Witch Doctor (3.5e Class)

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Witch Doctor[edit]

A wild mage of less civilized cultures, the witch doctor is a force to be wary of. Her spells and curses can quickly turn the tide of any battle.

Making a Witch Doctor[edit]

As a spellcaster, the witch doctor need not engage in direct combat. In fact, since many of her abilities have no visual manifestation, her abilities make her best suited for stealth and debuffing while supporting her team.

Abilities: The witch doctor's spells are based off of Wisdom while the save DCs and many of the witch doctor's skills are based off of Charisma. Constitution and Dexterity help the survivability of the somewhat frail witch doctor in combat.

Races: Any race who lives in a tribal society is perfect for the witch doctor

Alignment: Any nongood

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100gp).

Starting Age: Complex

Table: The Witch Doctor

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Turn Spirits, Cursed Doll, Voodoo Curse 1d4 2 2
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Mumbo Jumbo 3 3
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Blood Component 4 4 2
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Voodoo Curse 2d4 5 5 3
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Blood Metamagic 6 6 4 2
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Omen 6 6 5 3
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Voodoo Curse 3d4 6 6 6 4 2
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Doll of Flesh 6 6 6 5 3
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 6 6 6 6 4 2
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Voodoo Curse 4d4 6 6 6 6 5 3
11th +5 +7 +3 +7 Steal Memories 6 6 6 6 6 4 2
12th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
13th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Voodoo Curse 5d4 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 2
14th +7/+2 +9 +4 +9 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
15th +7/+2 +9 +5 +9 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 2
16th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Voodoo Curse 6d4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
17th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 2
18th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
19th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Voodoo Curse 7d4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
20th +10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Destroy Doll 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Geography, History, Nature, Planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis)

Class Features[edit]

Often a shaman of more primitive cultures, a witch doctor's skills reflect their abilities to lead and their knowledge of the world. All of the following are class features of the witch doctor.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Witch doctors are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear.

Witch doctors are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. (A witch doctor may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. See the ironwood spell description) Witch doctors are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones.

A witch doctor who wears prohibited armor or carries a prohibited shield is unable to cast spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Spells: Witch doctors choose their spells from the following list:

0—

Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Flare, Guidance, Know Direction, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Read Magic. Resistance, Virtue

1st—

Bane, Bless, Bless Water, Calm Animals, Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Command, Curse Water, Cure Light Wounds, Deathwatch, Detect Animals or Plants, Detect Chaos, Detect Good, Detect Law, Detect Undead, Divine Favor, Doom, Endure Elements, Entangle, Entropic Shield, Faerie Fire, Goodberry, Hide from Animals, Hide from Undead, Inflict Light Wounds, Magic Weapon, Obscuring Mist, Pass without Trace, Remove Fear, Speak with Animals, Summon Nature's Ally I

2nd—

Aid, Animal Trance, Barkskin, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Calm Emotions, Cat's Grace, Chill Metal, Consecrate, Cure Moderate Wounds, Darkness, Death Knell, Delay Poison, Desecrate, Eagle's Splendor, Enthrall, Fog Cloud, Gentle Repose, Ghoul Touch, Gust of Wind, Heat Metal, Hideous Laughter, Hold Animal, Hold Person, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Owl's Wisdom, Resist Energy, Restoration, Lesser, Shatter, Scare, Silence, Soften Earth and Stone, Summon Nature's Ally II, Summon Swarm, Vampiric Touch, Warp Wood, Web, Wood Shape, Zone of Truth

3rd—

Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Blindness/Deafness, Contagion, Cure Moderate Wounds, Daylight, Deeper Darkness, Diminish Plants, Dominate Animal, Neutralize Poison, Nondetection, Plant Growth, Poison, Protection from Energy, Quench, Remove Disease, Snare, Speak with Plants, Spike Growth, Stone Shape, Suggestion, Summon Nature's Ally III, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Speak with Dead, Water Breathing, Wind Wall

4th—

Air Walk, Antiplant Shell, Blight, Command Plants, Control Water, Crushing Despair, Cure Serious Wounds, Dispel Magic, Divination, Divine Power, Enervation, Fear, Freedom of Movement, Giant Vermin, Hallucinatory Terrain, Phantasmal Killer, Reincarnate, Repel Vermin, Restoration, Rusting Grasp, Scrying, Spike Stones, Summon Nature's Ally IV

5th—

Animal Growth, Atonement, Awaken, Break Enchantment, Commune with Nature, Control Winds, Cure Critical Wounds, Death Ward, Dream, False Vision, Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hallow, Hold Monster, Insect Plague, Mind Fog, Mirage Arcana, Nightmare, Raise Dead , Seeming, Shadow Evocation, Slay Living, Summon Nature's Ally V, Transmute Mud to Rock, Transmute Rock to Mud, Unhallow, Wall of Thorns, Waves of Fatigue

6th—

Antilife Shell, Bear's Endurance, Mass, Bull's Strength, Mass, Cat's Grace, Mass, Cure Light Wounds, Mass, Dispel Magic, Greater, Eyebite, Find the Path, Fire Seeds, Flesh to Stone , Harm, Ironwood, Liveoak, Move Earth, Owl's Wisdom, Mass, Repel Wood, Spellstaff, Stone Tell, Stone to Flesh, Summon Nature's Ally VI, Wall of Stone

7th—

Animate Plants, Blasphemy, Changestaff, Control Weather, Creeping Doom, Destruction, Dictum, Holy Word, Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass, Heal, Hold Person, Mass, Power Word Blind, Scrying, Greater, Resurrection, Shadow Conjuration, Greater, Summon Nature's Ally VII, Sunbeam, Transmute Metal to Wood, True Seeing, Vision, Wind Walk, Word of Chaos

8th—

Cloak of Chaos, Control Plants, Cure Serious Wounds, Mass, Earthquake, Finger of Death, Holy Aura, Horrid Wilting, Maddening Scream, Mind Blank, Power Word Stun, Repel Metal or Stone, Reverse Gravity, Shadow Evocation, Greater, Shield of Law, Summon Nature's Ally VIII, Sunburst, Trap the Soul, Unholy Aura, Whirlwind, Word of Recall

9th—

Antipathy, Cure Critical Wounds, Mass, Energy Drain, Etherealness, Elemental Swarm, Foresight, Freedom, Heal, Mass, Imprisonment, Miracle, Regenerate, Shades, Shambler, Soul Bind, Summon Nature's Ally IX, Sympathy, True Resurrection, Weird

With your Dungeon Master's approval, a witch doctor may also add approved Wizard spells from the necromancy, illusion, and enchantment schools as well as Cleric and Druid spells from other other books to her spells available to retrieve.

Spells Retrieved: A witch doctor casts divine spells from the witch doctor spell list spell list. She can cast any spell she has retrieved, just like a spirit shaman (Complete Divine), much like a bard or sorcerer can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To retrieve or cast a spell, a witch doctor must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell level (Wisdom 10 for 0-level spells, Wisdom 11 for 1st-level spells, and so on). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witch doctor's spell is 10 + the spell level + the witch doctor's Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a witch doctor can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given above. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score. Like a sorcerer, a witch doctor knows only a small number of spells. However, each day a witch doctor may change the spells she knows. When a witch doctor meditates to regain her daily allotment of spells (see below), she sends forth her spirit guide to bargain with the spirits and retrieve knowledge of the specific spells she will be able to use that day. She can cast any spell she has retrieved at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level. If a witch doctor knows any metamagic feats, she applies them to her spells when she retrieves her spells for the day. For example, a witch doctor might choose to retrieve an empowered chill metal by using a 6th-level spell retrieved slot. Any time she uses chill metal during the ensuing day, she must use a 6th-level spell slot to cast it, and it is always empowered. A witch doctor could use a 4th-level spell slot and a 6th-level spell slot to retrieve chill metal and empowered chill metal if she wanted to have both spells available to her in a day. A witch doctor cannot choose to alter her spells with metamagic feats on the fly, as other spontaneous casters do. Witch doctor using metamagic feats do not have an increased casting time as sorcerers do.

Table: Witch Doctor Spells Retrieved
Level Spells Retrieved
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 3 1
2nd 3 2
3rd 3 2 1
4th 3 2 1
5th 3 3 1 1
6th 3 3 2 1
7th 3 3 2 1 1
8th 3 3 2 2 1
9th 3 3 3 2 1 1
10th 3 3 3 2 2 1
11th 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
12th 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
13th 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
15th 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
16th 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
17th 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
18th 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 1
19th 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2
20th 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2

Each witch doctor must choose a time at which she must spend 1 hour in quiet meditation to regain her daily allotment of spells and bargain with the spirits for the specific spells she knows on that day.

Spontaneous Casting: A witch doctor can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that she hasn’t prepared ahead of time. She can “lose” a prepared spell in order to cast any summon nature’s ally spell of the same level. Additionally, a witch doctor always may spontaneously cast any spell from her domain just as she would spontaneously cast a summon nature's ally spell.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A witch doctor can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity’s (if she has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Turn or Rebuke Spirits (Su): Any witch doctor, regardless of alignment, has the power to affect spirits creatures by channeling the power of her faith through her holy (or unholy) symbol (see Turn or Rebuke Undead). In this case, spirits are any of the following:

  • Incorporeal Undead
  • Fey
  • Elementals
  • Extraplanar Outsiders
  • Creatures in astral form or with astral bodies (but not a creature physically present on the Astral Plane)
  • Creatures with the spirit subtype

A good witch doctor can turn spirits. An evil witch doctor instead rebukes such creatures. A neutral witch doctor must choose whether her turning ability functions as a turn or rebuke. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed. A witch doctor may attempt to turn spirits a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. A witch doctor with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against spirits.

Cursed Doll (Su): At first level, once per day a witch doctor may create a doll. The doll is typically constructed of clay, cloth, or some other simple material such that its cost is negligible and it has no defining features other than a basic anatomy. It's through these dolls that the witch doctor casts her curses. As a full round action, a witch doctor may attempt to use the doll to curse a target within medium range that she can see. Said creature must make a will save (DC = 10 + 1/2 level + Cha) or affected by the curse. A cursed creature is bound to the doll such that magical effects (both positive and negative) cast on the doll also affect the bound creature. If the magical ability allows a save then the cursed creature gets a +2 bonus on whatever saving throw is involved. If the ability doesn't allow a save, then the creature gets a will save (DC = 15 + 1/2 level + Cha) to negate the effect. If affected by the curse, the creature remains affected even if they move out of medium range. If the creature travels to a separate plane, they remain cursed but cannot affected by any of the curses abilities until they are on the same plane as the witch doctor. Any creature that succeeds the save is immune to all witch doctors curses for one minute. Remove curse instantly frees a creature from a witch doctor's curse and destroys the doll she was using. Similarly, destroying a witch doctor's doll frees the person bound to that doll. Initially, only one target may be cursed at a time, regardless of how many dolls are in the witch doctor's possession. The witch doctor may willingly free a target from the curse as a free action. This is not a mind affecting ability thus mindless creatures are not immune to it although creatures with the swarm subtype are. At 2nd level and every even level after that a witch doctor may create one additional doll per day.

Voodoo Curse (Su): True to the legends of voodoo magic told about the land, a witch doctor carries a set of small pins or needles, crafted of wood, metal, bone, etc., that have been imbued with magical power. As a free action. a witch doctor may stab one of these needles into a doll she has created. Any creature bound to that doll takes 1d4 points of magical piercing damage each turn the needle remains in the doll (DC = 10 + 1/2 level + Cha fort save negates each turn). Any creature that makes three consecutive saving throws against voodoo curse and it's derived abilities is freed from the curse and the doll it's bound to is destroyed. A curse broken this way renders the creature immune to witch doctor curses for one minute.

Starting at 1st the witch doctor may stick a maximum of one pin total into her cursed dolls and one additional pin every three levels hereafter. If she tries to use more needles than she's typically able, the creature she was attempting to pin is freed and the doll bound to that creature is destroyed. Curse damage is magical in nature and overcomes DR related to material (e.g. mithril, adamantine, cold iron), but not alignment (e.g. good, lawful, chaotic, or evil), damage type (e.g. slashing or bludgeoning), or DR/-.

Mumbo Jumbo (Sp): A master of presentation, at 2nd level witch doctor may use daze, flare, and prestidigitation at will.

Blood Component (Su): At 3rd level, a witch doctor can substitute a drop of their own blood for a spell's material component (if any), and in so doing increase the spell's power. The pinprick or minor knife cut to draw the requisite blood is a free action (just like using a material component) that becomes a normal part of casting the spell. Using this ability deals 1 point of damage to the witch doctor but raises the spell's caster level by 1. Damage reduction doesn't apply to this damage. If a spell has a costly material component (greater than 1 gp), the witch doctor must still provide it but can use this ability to enhance the spell she desires. She can similarly enhance a spell that has no material component.

Blood Metamagic (Su): At 5th level, witch doctors learn the secret of how to apply a metamagic feat they know to a spell by paying an additional cost in blood. By draining her own blood, a witch doctor can enhance her spells without using a higher-level spell slot. The cost is a number of points of Constitution damage equal to the spell slot adjustment of the metamagic feat. A witch doctor cannot enhance a spell to a level higher than she can cast. She may also not use the blood of an unwilling creature for this ability though allies' blood may be used. A witch doctor cannot select an ally immune to Con damage or an ally without a Constitution score. For purposes of this spell, a witch doctor cannot designate a summoned or charmed being as an ally. This ability's usage is limited by its witch doctor's constitution and cannot be used to apply more levels of metamagic than the witch doctor's Con-10 each day. For example, a witch doctor with 15 Con may enhance up to five levels of metamagic each day, even if she restores her constitution back to its normal max.

Omen (Sp): At 6th level, a foreboding sense of doom travels with the witch doctor, as candle lights flicker, fresh food turns green, or the air becomes stale. A witch doctor can use her spell-like ability prestidigitation as a swift action instead of the normal standard action.

Doll of Flesh (Su): At 8th level, If a witch doctor incorporates a physical piece of a target (such as a finger bone, lock of hair, or nail) into one of her dolls, that creature takes a -4 penalty to saves against curses from that doll. If that doll is destroyed, the physical part of the target inside the doll is also destroyed.

Steal Memories (Sp): At 11th level, a witch doctor gains the ability to use speak with dead at will on any creature killed by the effects of voodoo curse in the past 24 hours. There is no limit to the number of questions that can be asked and creatures spoken to this way are under the effect of a zone of truth spell (DC = 10 + 1/2 level + Cha). A witch doctor may make a sense motive check to determine if the zone of truth effect has failed. The DC equals the creature's will save result. This is usable a number of times per day equal to the witch doctor's charisma modifier (minimum 1/day).

Destroy Doll (Su): At 20th level, 1+Cha times per day (minimum 1), a witch doctor may cause a doll bound to a creature to turn to ash in her hands. The creature bound to said doll must make a will save (DC = 10 + 1/2 level + Cha) or be affected as if they'd failed the fortitude save of a disintegrate spell. Creatures destroyed this way spontaneously combust and burn away to ash leaving their gear mostly intact aside from flammable materials which catch fire as well. A single creature may not be affected by this ability more than once per day.

Ex-Witch Doctor[edit]

A witch doctor who ceases to revere the spirits or switches to a prohibited or alignment loses access to the Turn/Rebuke Spirits, Mumbo Jumbo, Blood Component, Blood Metamagic, and Omen abilities and may not continue advancing until they're of appropriate alignment again. Additionally, witch doctors cannot multiclass as devoted religious classes such as the Cleric or any Paladin variants without losing the abilities listed above as well as Voodoo Curse and its derived abilities. If she ceases to revere nature she must also be the the subject of an atonement spell from a nature worshiping cleric or druid before she can continue progressing as a witch doctor.

Epic Witch Doctor[edit]

Table: The Epic Witch Doctor

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st
22nd Voodoo Curse 8d4
23rd Bonus Feat
24th
25th Voodoo Curse 9d4
26th Bonus Feat
27th
28th Voodoo Curse 10d4
29th Bonus Feat
30th

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Spells: The witch doctor's caster level is equal to her class level. The witch doctor's number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level.

Voodoo Curse: A witch doctor's voodoo curse continues to increase in power every three levels after the 18th.

Bonus Feats: The epic witch doctor gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic witch doctor feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Witch Doctor Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Combat Casting, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Familiar Spell, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Focus, Spell Knowledge, Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic. In addition to the feats on this list, the witch doctor may select any item creation feat or metamagic feat not listed here.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Witch Doctor[edit]

Religion: Witch doctors worships spirits and thus might not derive her divine power from standard deities. She may acknowledge the existence of more gods but to her they're nothing more than very powerful spirits.

Other Classes: Given their background, witch doctors typically get along best with classes like barbarians, druids, and [[rangers]. They might be more neutral towards rogues, fighters, and bards and they view the more devoted religious classes like clerics and paladins with outright confusion.

Combat: The witch doctor is a powerful spellcaster who boasts several abilities capable of debilitating the enemy. They work best in the back of the group using their curses and spells from a safe distance.

Advancement: Witch doctors most commonly multiclass as barbarians or rangers. Rogues and fighters are not uncommon either. Bards and other religious classes are exceptionally rare.

Civilization is just another tribe of beasts hiding in their dens for fear of what the forest holds
—Beral Spiritsight, Human Witch Doctor

Witch Doctor Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in knowledge (religion or nature]] can research witch doctors to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (religion or nature)
DC Result
10 They say that the savage tribes on the edges of civilization host powerful spellcasters capable of commanding the spirits of the dead
15 Witch doctors are the respected shamans of savage cultures who are skilled at reading the land
20 These priests are masters in the art of voodoo magic which they use to great effect in battle
25 Witch doctors most often channel their curses through cursed dolls. If you destroy the you can break the curse.

Witch Doctors in the Game[edit]

Adaptation:The witch doctor is a somewhat of a cross between the druid and the traditional cleric designed to represent the superstitious nature of primitive cultures. With the permission of the Dungeon Master, one could easily substitute witch doctors to create a more sinister villain than a cleric or druid.


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