Witch, Variant (5e Class)

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Witch

A kindly old crone who always smells of tea and fresh earth lives down the street. She gives homemade sweets to the children and is quick to come over when childbirth or sickness takes someone abed. She never asks for anything for her services, but the village showers her with gifts, if not out of gratitude then out of fear she may leave.

A young woman sews together a small poppet of a wicked man, lips twisted in a cruel smile. She sets it over the flame and knows that somewhere a villain is boiling in his own skin.

A twistedly beautiful dark queen stirs a great black cauldron, within is a terrifying stew with too small bones bobbing to the surface. She did unforgivable things to brew the awful sludge, but the fumes will give her another 100 years of youth and vigor.

Witches are learned spellcasters like wizards, but unlike wizards they gain their magic not in schools but at the fringes of society, learning from the shunned and adopting folklore and old ways that frighten common folk but offer great power. They bind pieces of their souls to items that become tied to their very lives, acting as lightning rods for the energies of the universe. It is said that the magic witches use is descended from the oldest practices of magic in the multiverse. Their mysticism manipulates fortune and the powers of the elements in ways both wondrous and dark and terrible.

Creating a Witch

How did your character learn the old magic to become a witch? What were your goals in learning old magic to become a witch? Do you dislike traditional schools of magic, ie wizards?

You can make a witch quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Dexterity is a good score as well. Second, choose the Sage background.


Class Features

As a Witch, Variant you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Witch, Variant level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + Constitution modifier per Witch, Variant level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: None
Weapons: Dagger, darts, sickle, handaxe, shortbow, quarterstaff
Tools: Herbalism kit, poisoner's Kit
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Constitution
Skills: Choose 2 from: Arcana, Animal Handling, Investigation, Insight, Nature, Perception, or History.

Equipment

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

  • (a) A dagger or (b) A handaxe
  • (a) A component pouch or (b) an athame used as an arcane focus
  • (a) Herbalism Kit or (b) Poisoner's Kit
  • (a) Scholar's pack or (b) Explorer's pack

Table: The Witch, Variant

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Cantrips Known Max Spell
Level
Spell Points
1st +2 Spellcasting, Witch Talisman, Mystic Shield 3 1 4
2nd +2 Witch Covenant 3 1 6
3rd +2 Covenant Spells 2 3 2 14
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4 2 17
5th +3 Covenant Spells 3 4 3 27
6th +3 Witch's Mind 4 3 32
7th +3 Covenant Spells 4 4 4 38
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 44
9th +4 Covenant Spells 5 4 5 57
10th +4 Covenant Feature 5 5 64
11th +4 Witch's Conveyance 5 6 73
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5 6 73
13th +5 5 7 83
14th +5 Witch's Home 5 7 83
15th +5 Covenant Feature 5 8 94
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5 8 94
17th +6 5 9 107
18th +6 Changing Appearance 5 9 114
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 5 9 123
20th +6 Covenant Feature 5 9 133

Mystic Shield

When not wearing any armor or wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier (maximum 3) + your Intelligence modifier.

Spellcasting

As a witch, attuned to the natural flows of magic through the universe, you have a mystical talisman translating spells that turn the hope for magic into true power.

Preparing Spells: A witch can only harness so much magical lore at once before her soul begins to strain under the weight of such power. They focus their magic on a limited number of spells at once, choosing from their repertoire of secrets each day. You can prepare a number of witch spells equal to your Intelligence modifier + your witch level, and can change this list of spells any time you take a long rest. You can choose from any spell you know.

Talismanic Spells: A witch does not keep her knowledge neatly stored in a series of textbooks, she absorbs the secrets of magic directly into her own soul and stores their power within the talisman she has entrusted her fate to. Like a wizard, though, a witch must seek out the world’s hidden lore to add to her power, discovering it through the works of other spellcasters or learning the ways of cultures both young and ancient, both grand and humble. At 1st level you start with 4 1st level witch spells imbued in your talisman. Each time you gain a level you may add 2 witch spells from the witch spell list of any level you can cast into your talisman. These are your spells known.

Witches learn new spells in a manner similar to wizards, but look for very different things when seeking the knowledge out. Wizards seek out codified and sure ways of reproducing a magical effect through formulae while witches put their trust in the lore of the land and the ancient ways of folk the world over. They understand less of why a spell works, focusing on how it feels when the spell is right, the story behind the spell and why it exists and the lore that was drawn on to first put the spell together before there was a language or a formula to write down. They are magical historians, picking apart spells the way they are now to get to the root of a spell’s primal nature. A wizard’s way is safer, more predictable and easier to plan with, but a witch’s grasp of primal magic make her spellcasting more flexible and free.

Once your talisman has been imbued with a spell, it can never lose it. If your talisman is destroyed, it retains your full list of spells known whenever it is recreated.

Spell Point Costs

Instead of binding your magic to a number of spell slots per long rest, you instead draw power from the world around you to cast from a pool of spell points. You can cast spells by spending a number of spell points according to the level of the spell you wish to cast. You can cast spells at a higher spell level by spending the number of spell points equal to the level you want to cast the spell as. (ex. You can cast a 2nd level magic missile spell by spending 3 spell points instead of 2.)

You regain all of your spell points after you finish a long rest.

1st Level = 2

2nd Level = 3

3rd Level = 5

4th Level = 6

5th Level = 7

6th Level = 9

7th Level = 10

8th Level = 11

9th Level = 13

Spellcasting Ability

At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the witch spell list. You learn additional witch cantrips at 4th level and at 10th level.

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability since your power stems from your ability to interpret the patterns of energy of nature and learn the lore and secret histories of the cultures of the world. You use your Intelligence whenever an ability refers to your spellcasting modifier. In addition you use your Intelligence 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 Intelligence modifier.

Spell Attack Modifier: Your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

  • Ritual Casting: You can cast a witch spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag. You don’t need to have the spell prepared, only have it known.
  • The Witch’s Burden: Witches do not need to contend with spell levels, but the higher mysteries of the world carry a heavier cost than most. Regardless of their number of spell points, a witch can only cast spells of 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level once before they need to finish a long rest to cast these level spells again.

Witch Talisman

At 1st level, you choose a witch talisman. Your witch talisman counts as an arcane focus for the purpose of casting witch spells. A talisman is a highly personal item that the witch has imbued with a part of their soul, acting as a channel to the ambient magical energies of the universe.

Talismans, regardless of type, have half the amount of health that you do and an AC of 20. They can only be hit if targeted specifically and cannot be included in areas of effect. If a talisman is destroyed, a witch loses their spellcasting abilities and any ongoing spells they cast immediately end. Witch's also take 50% of their maximum health in damage when a talisman is destroyed. A talisman is restored to full hit points and automatically created anew if destroyed after the witch takes a long rest.

Your choice of talisman also gives you a special ability associated with it, based on its type as listed below. This choice cannot be changed.

  • Amulet: Your talisman is a magical amulet with a design unique and iconic to you. While you wear it you gain a +1 bonus to your AC. (Examples: A lucky coin, a shiny button that replaces a button on anything you wear, a scarab beetle necklace, a silver belt buckle, a four leaf clover that never wilts, a bone pentacle.)
  • Athame: Your talisman is an ornate or rustic magical weapon. Typically this weapon takes the form of a dagger, short sword or other onehanded blade, but could also be a spear, hammer, or any other melee weapon. You are proficient in the use of your athame and it deals 1d6 bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, chosen when you select this class feature. Attacks with your athame use your spell attack bonus on attack rolls and add your Intelligence modifier on damage rolls. Over the course of a long rest, you can choose to desummon your athame and resummon it as a different type of melee weapon.(Examples: A black glass dagger, a silver longsword, a stone handaxe, a bone spear, a gleaming glove that produces a deadly blade, a barbed scourge.)
  • Headpiece: Your talisman is a hat, pendant, barette, hairband, headband or head piece of some sort with a design unique to yourself, generally with a jewel or bone centerpiece. While you wear it you gain proficiency in any 2 skills, chosen when you select this class feature. (Examples: A pointed, conical hat. A gem that hangs from a chain on the center of the forehead. A butterfly barette. A beautiful sapphire pin.)
  • Focus: Your talisman is a magic wand, broom, staff, crystal, tome or rod with a design unique to you. While you wield it your spell attack and spell DC both increase by 1. (Examples: A carved wand of bone, a twined ivy bracelet, a crystal ball that floats above the hand, a tome of fairy tales and poems, a staff made from a single ancient oak branch, a gnarled broom, a giant pestle.)
  • Ring: Your talisman is a ring of power with a unique design. It could be chased metal, fine wire with a jewel or bone setting, a thick band, a wedding ring, a cage ring, a claw ring or any other finger adornment. While you wear your ring you can speak, read, and understand the following languages: Celestial, Abyssal, Sylvan, and Draconic.

When a witch dies, their talisman is destroyed in a spectacular display of magical power. It cracks, streams of light pouring from it until it shatters and explodes in a cloud of glittering dust, elemental energy, shrapnel and arcane force. One piece of it always remains: the burned husk of a witch’s broom, the blackened crystal from a gorgeous necklace, the broken hilt of a cruel knife.

Witch Covenant

At level 2, you select a covenant for your witch between Wise Witch and Wicked Witch, all detailed at the end of the class description. This covenant gives you class abilities and bonus spells throughout your entire career. Your subclass choice grants you features at 2nd level and again at levels 10th, 15th, and 20th.

Witch's Mind

At level 6, your mind has completely transformed into one of a witch, your mind and powers are mystical and powerful enough to word off most intrusions of the mind. You have immune to the charmed condition, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

Witch's Conveyance

At level 11, you can create a magical item in 7 days that, as long as you are mounted on it, gives you a flying speed of 40 feet. This item could be a broom, a giant mortar, a cauldron, a pony-sized swan made out of ivory, a fey stallion, a giant bat or any other mount or conveyance. The item is made of your own magic and has a piece of your soul invested in it, like your talisman. The conveyance has half the amount of health that you do and an AC of 20. The conveyance works only for you and can carry a single passenger. If you are within 1 mile of your conveyance you can call it to your side at its flying speed. Your conveyance can shrink down to the size of a 6 inch figurine to fit in a pack or belt pouch. Your conveyance has limited animation when away from you, even if it is in the form of a living creature. It can take no actions unless it is within 60 feet of you, in which case it can only move its flying speed or interact with objects. Your conveyance can never make an attack or any other combat action.

Witch's Home

At level 14, you can create a magical home in 7 days time. It can be no less than 30 feet long and 10 feet tall on each side on the outside, but is no more than 80 feet long and 40 feet tall on each side. It could be a fine wooden house, a tower of stone, a hut standing on chicken legs, a ramshackle mansion of clockwork and magic, a garden enclosed in a fence of black thorns or any other domicile. This class feature otherwise works as the spell magnificent mansion except it has an unlimited duration and a physical presence in the real world. The home’s banquet of food regenerates once every 24 hours and never spoils. The home can be moved once per week in a ritual that takes one hour to a location within 10 miles. Each time it is moved the outer dimensions of the house can be altered to fit the new location, but the inner dimensions remain as the spell magnificent mansion.

Changing Appearance

At 18th level, a witch may always have the spell disguise self on themselves. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

Wise Witch

The Wise Witch has sought out the secrets of creation to benefit herself and others, focusing on those secrets that better and strengthen, that cause healing and banish illness. Their wisdom could be used for any cause in the end, for even the very wise can turn to darkness, but the magic of the wise witch is rooted in the ability to heal and bring succor to those it touches and reveal the secrets of the world to the witch’s unconquerable eye.

Bonus Spells: At each of the following spell levels you gain 2 bonus spells of that level. These spells are considered to always be prepared and do not count against your number of spells prepared.

1st Level: cure wounds, bless

2nd Level: enhance ability, lesser restoration

3rd Level: protection from energy, magic circle

4th Level: divination, polymorph

5th Level: creation, mass cure wounds

2nd Level: Let None Suffer Illness A wise witch’s ways stave off the coming of darkness and decay. When the wise witch or a creature within 60 feet of her fails a saving throw, she may use an immediate action to allow them to reroll that saving throw. This may be done only once per saving throw. A wise witch can do this a number of times equal to her intelligence modifier and regains all uses of this feature after the witch finishes a long rest.

10th Level: Works of the Wise The witch has the ability to distill their magic into concoctions, imbuing them into potions, teas, candies, powders or other ingestible substances. After taking a long rest a witch can invest no more than half of their spell points in the creation of potions and oils she may distribute to their allies. This creation takes a total of 1 hour of work, regardless of the number of potions created. She may create any potion type magic item of common to very rare quality, with higher costs based on the rarity of the potion. It takes 2 spell points to create a potion of common quality, 5 spell points to create a potion of uncommon quality, 10 points to create a potion of rare quality and 20 points to create a potion of very rare quality. A Wise Witch adds twice her witch level to the healing done by any potion she creates that heals hit points and doubles the duration of any potion or oil that enhances the user. All potions created by this feature lose their powers and turn into harmless (either tasty or disgusting) substances when the witch next takes a long rest.

15th Level: Ancient Secrets and Lost Ways At 15th level, the wise witch understands the secrets of the world so intimately those that look upon her can feel the wisdom she radiates. The witch can now use Let None Suffer Ill twice as often, multiplying her Intelligence modifier by 2 when calculating how many times she may cast it per long rest. When using Concentration to maintain a spell, the witch has advantage on concentration checks.

20th Level: Wisdom Never Dies The wise witch has been accepted by nature as a part of its cycle, imperishable and full of wonder. The wise witch becomes a Fey type creature. The wise witch assumes the age of a maiden in her late teens to early 20s, a matron in her late 30s to her 40s or a crone in her 70s or 80s. The witch never feels the negative effects of aging and will remain her chosen age unless she wishes to assume another of the two forms, which takes a short rest. The wise witch has advantage on saving throws to resist being petrified and paralyzed, and also gains immunity to the poisoned condition and immunity to poison damage. When the witch would be reduced to 0 hit points or killed, she can instead returns to life at half of her maximum hit points. You regain use of this feature after finishing a long rest.

Wicked Witch

Though not necessarily evil, the Wicked Witch is a witch whose intentions towards using their magic are not benign in any way. Wicked Witches are driven, vengeful, they wield their powers in order to hurt and punish. Whether they hurt and punish villains or use their powers to terrorize and lord over goodly folk is up to the witch. One thing is for certain: A Wicked Witch does whatever she wants.

Bonus Spells: At each of the following spell levels you gain 2 bonus spells of that level. These spells are considered to always be prepared and do not count against your number of spells prepared.

1st Level: sleep, witch bolt

2nd Level: blindness/deafness, phantasmal force

3rd Level: lightning bolt, bestow curse

4th Level: blight, polymorph

5th Level: dominate person, contagion

2nd Level: The Evil Eye A wicked witch’s foes crumble and fail under the force of her derision and baleful glare. As their reaction, a wicked witch can cause any creature within 60 feet of her to take disadvantage on any attack roll, ability check or saving throw it is currently making. You regain use of this feature after you finish a short or long rest.

10th Level: Works of the Wicked The witch has the ability to distill their magic into concoctions, imbuing them into potions, teas, candies, powders or other ingestible substances. After taking a long rest a witch can invest no more than half of their spell points in the creation of potions and oils she may distribute to their allies. This creation takes a total of 1 hour of work, regardless of the number of potions created. She may create any potion type magic item of common to very rare quality, with higher costs based on the rarity of the potion. It takes 3 spell points to create a potion of common quality, 5 spell points to create a potion of uncommon quality, 7 points to create a potion of rare quality and 10 points to create a potion of very rare quality. A wicked witch may create poisons of any rarity following these same rules and adds their witch level to the damage they deal. They double the duration of harmful effects caused by any poison they create. All potions created by this feature lose their powers and turn into harmless (either tasty or disgusting) substances when the witch next takes a long rest.

15th Level: Cruel Intentions The witch’s insight into the weaknesses and fears of others have revealed much about the world. That it is destructible, crumbling, failing in an infinite number of ways even when it seems to be flourishing. All saving throws made to resist their poisons are now made at disadvantage.

20th Level: The Draught of Stolen Lives The witch has created and imbibed the most selfish of potions, the Draught of Stolen Lives. The witch no longer feels the negative effects of aging and will live until they are killed. They now count as a Fiend type creature. The wicked witch gains resistance to necrotic and acid damage. Whenever a creature within 60 feet of them drops to 0 hit points and is killed, they may choose to regain a number of hit points equal to the creature’s hit dice and regain a number of spell points equal to their witch's level. You regain use of this feature after finishing a long rest.

Spell List

Cantrips: chill touch, dancing lights, druidcraft, light, mage hand, mending, message, minor illusion, poison spray, prestidigitation, ray of frost, shocking grasp, thaumaturgy

1st: burning hands, charm person, color spray, comprehend languages, cure wounds, detect magic, detect poison and disease, disguise self, entangle, faerie fire, feather fall, find familiar, fog cloud, hex, identify, longstrider, magic missile, protection from evil and good, purify food and drink, shield, sleep, speak with animals, witch bolt
2nd: alter self, animal friendship, arcane lock, augury, barkskin, blindness/deafness, blur, calm emotions, darkness, detect thoughts, enthrall, gust of wind, heat metal, hold person, invisibility, knock, lesser restoration, levitate, locate animals or plants, locate object, magic mouth, mirror image, misty step, moonbeam, phantasmal force, ray of enfeeblement, scorching ray, see invisibility, suggestion, web, zone of truth
3rd: bestow curse, blink, call lightning, clairvoyance, conjure animals, daylight, dispel magic, fear, glyph of warding, lightning bolt, magic circle, mass healing word, nondetection, plant growth, protection from energy, remove curse, sending, sleet storm, slow, speak with dead, speak with plants, stinking cloud, tongues, water breathing, water walk, wind wall
4th: arcane eye, banishment, black tentacles, blight, compulsion, confusion, conjure woodland beings, control water, control weather, dimension door, divination, freedom of movement, greater invisibility, hallucinatory terrain, ice storm, locate creature, polymorph, stoneskin, wall of fire
5th: antilife shell, awaken, animate objects, commune with nature, cone of cold, contagion, creation, dominate person, dream, commune with nature, conjure elemental, contact other plane, dispel evil and good, dream, geas, hold monster, insect plague, legend lore, mass cure wounds, mislead, modify memory, planar binding, raise dead, scrying, seeming, telekinesis, teleportation circle
6th: circle of death, conjure fey, create undead, disintegrate, eyebite, find the path, flesh to stone, forcecage, guards and wards, instant summons, magic jar, mass suggestion, move earth, programmed illusion, sunbeam, true seeing, wall of thorns
7th: etherealness, finger of death, fire storm, mirage arcane, plane shift, prismatic spray regenerate, resurrection, reverse gravity, sequester, symbol, teleport
8th: animal shapes, antimagic field, antipathy/sympathy, control weather, demiplane, dominate monster, earthquake, feeblemind, glibness, maze, mind blank, power word stun, sunburst
9th: astral projection, foresight, gate, imprisonment, prismatic wall, power word heal, power word kill, true polymorph, weird, wish

Multiclassing

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into this class, you must meet these prerequisites: Intelligence 15 and Constitution 13.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into this class, you gain the following proficiencies: herbalism kit, shortbows, and daggers.


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