Witch (5e Class)
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The Power of the Craft
The whole village fears the tiefling woman in the house on the corner. Rumors spread that she is in league with demons. Every night, a black cat can be seen leaving her home and spying into the windows of others. Unbeknownst to them, the cat is a vigil for the tiefling. She sees what the cat sees and now knows that the home is free of intruders and evil spirits. With that home safe, the cat moves onto the next home to help its master keep the town safe.
An elfish man dressed completely in black enters the home of the family that called him. As soon as he sets foot inside, he is overwhelmed by a sudden chill. He is led to the ailing child, whom he was summoned to help. After completing a ritual spell of herbs and sticks, the spirit tormenting the child is revealed. The elf casts a spell, somehow more powerful than what is normally seen, blowing the spirit away. When the spirit is blown backward, a black, red-eyed dog lunges at the evil spirit, and banishes it to the realm from whence it came. The elf takes his payment and walks away.
A human woman walks down the sunny streets, her white robes seemingly gleaming in the sun. A voice whispers in her ear about a nearby feeling of anxiety. The woman looks and sees a halfling shopkeeper stacking her merchandise. Sensing the halfling needs help, the human silently commands her unseen companion. The halfling suddenly feels a rush of confidence, and successfully, although precariously, stacks her wares to sell. Seeing that her work is done, the human walks on her way.
Bonds of the Soul
Witches acknowledge that there is a spiritual connection between all things – forces that inexplicably and randomly bind beings and happenings together in a kind of mass, shared fate. They see other witches as brothers and sisters, and other spellcasters as close cousins. As a consequence, witches are often fond of forming alliances. One kind of alliance is the circle that a witch belongs to.
The circle that a witch joins is the manifestation of a philosophy regarding the nature of spirits. Some, like the circle of power, believe in a supreme energy that extends beyond the physical world, weaving together magic and the collective conscience of all living things. Others, from the circle of blood, for example, believe in a more intimate connection between the physical world and the other side. In this philosophy, each soul is tied to something close to it in the physical world – a body, an object, or a location that was important to it when it was alive.
Creating a Witch
When deciding on the witch class, think about what led your character to tap into the magic of the natural world. Maybe witchcraft is a tradition in the area, or your character comes from an area rife with a ghostly past. Superstition is also a good trigger for a fascination with witchcraft. What is your relationship with spirits and magic? Is there a measure of mutual respect?
How did your character come to be an adventurer? It could be that he or she was a pariah in their community due to contact with the other side, cast out and forced to fend for him or herself. Perhaps your character is even haunted by a particular spirit, and seeks a way to control or be rid of it.
- Quick Build
You can make a witch quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Wisdom your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the hermit background.
As a Witch you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Weapons: Quarterstaffs, crossbows, daggers, darts, slings
Tools: Herbalism kit
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose three skills from Arcana, Animal Handling, Deception, Medicine, Nature, Persuasion and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A quarterstaff or (b) a dagger
- (a) A light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) a sling with 20 pieces of ammunition
- (a) A priest’s pack or (b) a scholar’s pack
- (a) An athame used as an arcane focus or (b) a component pouch
|—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Witch's Familiar, Ghostly Bond||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Ghostly Bond Feature||3||4||2||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Witch's Coven Feature||3||4||3||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||3||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||Ghostly Bond Feature||4||4||3||2||—||—|
|11th||+4||Witch's Coven Feature||4||4||3||3||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||3||3||—||—|
|15th||+5||Witch's Coven Feature||4||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||2||—|
|18th||+6||Ghostly Bond Feature, Familiar Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+6||Witch's Coven Feature||6||4||3||3||3||2|
When you start, you have an animal that is your familiar to act as an extension of yourself to nature and spirits. You may choose from any beast that is size Medium or smaller and has a CR of 1/4 or lower to be your familiar. Add your proficiency bonus to your familiar's AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals the hit point number in its stat block, or four times your witch level, whichever is higher. Like any creature, it can spend Hit Dice during a short rest to regain hit points (shares your level, only in regard to how many Hit Dice it will have).
Your familiar obeys your commands to the best of its abilities. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesn't take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command your familiar to where you want it to go. You can use a bonus action to verbally command it to take the attack, dash, disengage, dodge or help action.
Your familiar has a magical bond to you, and the two of you are able to sense one another's location within 50 feet of one another. Beyond that limit, your familiar will actively look for you. If you are incapacitated, your familiar will try to protect you from harm.
If your familiar dies, you can obtain a new familiar by spending 8 hours performing a ritual to get one. The new familiar must meet the size and CR requirements.
Starting at 6th level, your bond with your familiar grows. As an action, you are able to see the world through the eyes of your familiar, and learn everything they see. You can only see what they do. You do not hear what your familiar hears, or smell what they smell, or feel what they feel.
Starting at 14th level, your familiar becomes more powerful. Each of your familiar's ability scores increases by 2.
Starting at 18th level, your bond with your familiar is completely profound. You and your familiar understand everything that you say to one another as clearly as if you were speaking the same language. In addition, when you use an action to see the world through the eyes of your familiar, you experience everything that they sense. You see, hear, feel, smell and taste everything that they do. You stop experiencing the world through them when your sight returns to your own body.
Every witch has a connection to all things via the use of a spirit. You are able to choose one type of spirit to be bonded to, and gain features from your choice at the 1st level, then again at the 5th, 10th, and 18th level. You are not able to choose the same spirit twice, even if you are allowed to choose again. The spirits you may choose from are as follows:
Jack-o-the-Green appears as a man made entirely out of leaves, moss, fungus, roots, and branches. As spirits of nature, they help a witch attune more to the natural world than most. Jack-o-the-Green grants the following features:
- At 1st level, you gain proficiency in the Nature skill. If you are already proficient in this skill, double your proficiency bonus.
- At 5th level, you begin to understand the natural world a little better. You may pick one type of difficult terrain to become unhindered by from forest, mountain, ruins or swamp.
- At 10th level, your bonded spirit starts to affect your animal familiar. Your familiar can now communicate with other animals, which the information can then relay to you. You cannot understand the specific details of what your familiar is telling you. You can only understand vague messages from your familiar until you reach 18th level.
- At 18th level, your bonded spirit makes you a master of nature. You can now breathe underwater and can walk on difficult terrain (such as deep snow or quicksand) as if it were solid ground.
- Grey Lady
A Grey Lady appears as a woeful woman clad in grey clothing. A spirit of fear and despair, they are able to help a witch attune more to the emotions of other creatures, and sometimes their inner thoughts. A Grey Lady grants the following features:
- At 1st level, you are only beginning to understand your fearful companion. As an action, you are able to reveal the visage of your Grey Lady to any creature within 10 feet of you. When you do, every creature in the 10 foot radius must make a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you for 1 minute. You can use this ability once a day at 1st level, twice at 5th level, 3 times at 11th level, and 4 times at 18th level.
- At 5th level, your bonded spirit starts to affect your animal familiar. Some of your magical power starts to rub off onto your familiar, making it more dexterous than normal. Your familiar can now use magic to levitate and carry objects that are within its ability to lift without magic. The object must be light enough for the creature to carry, and must be within 5 feet of your familiar.
- At 10th level, when a creature attempts to deceive you through either non-magical or magical means, you are able to perform a wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the Grey Lady whispers in your ear that the creature is lying, but does not know any of the details. On a successful save, the Grey Lady whispers in your ear that the creature is lying, and knows vague details about the lie it is telling. You are able to use this feature a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier (minimum of 1), and regain expended uses upon finishing a long rest.
- At 18th level, no emotions lie hidden. As an action, you can ask any question you want to a creature, forcing the creature you asked to make a charisma saving throw. On a failed save, they are forced to divulge the full details of their secrets to you. The creature remains friendly for one minute as if they were charmed. After one minute, the creature realizes it was charmed and becomes hostile to you.
- Black Dog
A black dog appears as a large dog with shaggy black fur and glowing red eyes. A spirit of magic, they are able to help a witch attune more to the ethereal powers that permeate the material plane. A black dog grants the following features:
- At 1st level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill. If you are already proficient in this skill, double your proficiency bonus.
- At 5th level, your black dog spirit is able to alert you to the presence of dangerous magic. As an action, you are able to sense the location of any magical trap, structure or object within 30 feet of yourself. In addition, you are able to sense the presence of magically hidden traps, structures, or objects. When used this way, you can sense the magic that hides the trap, structure or object, but do not know what trap, structure or object is, or how to find it. You are able to use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1), and regain expended uses upon finishing a short or long rest.
- At 10th level, your bonded spirit's magic starts to rub off onto your familiar. Your animal familiar is now able to use 1 cantrip of your choice from the witch's spell list, and is only able to use 1st level spells from the witch's spell list. Your animal familiar may choose 2 spells to use for themselves, and may cast a spell as an action on their turn.
- At 18th level, your bonded spirit greatly augments your magical ability. As an action, you may choose to add 2d8 element damage from acid, cold, fire and lightning to add to your spell's regular damage. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1), and regain expended uses upon finishing a long rest.
Starting at 2nd level, your contact with the natural magic of the world and intuitive knowledge of the magic which allows it to persist grants you the use of spells. See chapter 10 of the Player’s Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting and the end of this class description for the witch spell list.
You know two 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.
- Preparing and Casting Spells
The Witch table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and above. To cast one of these witch spells, you must expend a spell 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, choosing from the witch spell list. When you do so, choose a number of witch spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + your witch level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
For example, if you are a 5th 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 six spells of any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or 2nd-level spell slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.
You can also change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of witch spells requires time spent in communion and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
- Spellcasting Ability
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your witch spells, since your magic comes from knowledge of the natural world. You use your Wisdom 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 as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.
Spellcasting Focus: You can use an athame as a spellcasting focus for your witch spells.
Starting at 3rd level, you choose to join a coven of witches to determine which practice of magic you'll be perfecting: White Witch or Black Witch, both of which are detailed at the end of this page. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 20th 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.
A Black Witch specializes in dealing damage to others. All fear crossing a Black Witch, for the fearful power they possess.
- Dark Caster
Starting at 3rd level, you may summon your bonded spirit to poison opponents. As an action you may summon the spirit 20ft. away from yourself. Everyone in a 15ft. radius of where your bonded spirit was summoned must make a Constitution Saving Throw. If failed, the targeted creatures take poison damage equal to 1d6 + your witch level. If succeeded, they take half the poison damage, rounded down.
- Dark Summoner
Starting at 7th level, you may animate your shadow into a living being for 1 hour, or until its HP is 0. Your shadow has half your maximum HP and your same ability scores. It may take any action during exploration, and may only use the attack, dodge and hide actions during combat. Your shadow moves everywhere that you do, and has the same speed.
- Black Mark
Starting at 11th level, you learn to apply your bonded spirit to combat. As a bonus action, you are able to command your bonded spirit to attack the same creature you attacked on your turn. Your bonded spirit's attack damage is equal to your attack bonus.
- Potent Casting
Starting at 15th level, your spellcasting ability becomes greatly augmented. The attack bonus of your offensive spells is now equal to your Wisdom modifier + your Charisma modifier + proficiency bonus.
- Banisher of the Soul
Starting at 20th level, summon your bonded spirit to use banishment. You may use this feature 1 time, and may not use it again, until you finish a long rest.
A witch who has chosen to perfect the gentler aspects of the craft. A White Witch specializes in supporting others.
- Spiritual Aid
Starting at 3rd level, you learn to apply your bonded spirit to healing effects. As an action, you are able to command your bonded spirit to attach themselves to any creature within 30 feet of yourself, to grant them temporary hit points equal to your wisdom modifier + proficiency bonus. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier (minimum of 1) and regain expended uses upon finishing a short or long rest.
- Clear Conscience
Starting at 7th level, your magic starts to clear your mind. You become immune to being charmed or frightened, and cannot be magically put to sleep.
- White Mark
Starting at 11th level, you learn how to use your bonded spirit to protect your allies. As an action, you are able to command your bonded spirit to protect one creature of your choosing within 30 feet of yourself. The chosen creature has advantage on saving throws against being poisoned, blinded or deafened.
- Let None Suffer
Starting at 15th level, you learn to apply your magic to saving lives. When a creature within 30 feet of you fails a saving throw, you are able to use your reaction to allow the creature who failed their saving throw to try again. You may use this feature 3 times, and regain expended uses after finishing a long rest.
- Healer of Souls
Starting at 20th level, summon your bonded spirit to cast mass healing word on yourself and up to six creatures of your choosing. You must finish a long rest before using this feature again.
Spell List (Expanded)
1st Level animal friendship, bane, burning hands, charm person, command, cure wounds, detect magic, detect poison or disease, find familiar, frost fingers, mage armor, protection from evil and good, puppet, purify food and drink, sanctuary, tasha's caustic brew, unseen servant, witch bolt
2nd Level arcanist's magic aura, augury, crown of madness, darkness, detect thoughts, enhance ability, enthrall, find traps, flame blade, gift of gab, hold person, lesser restoration, locate animals or plants, locate object, protection from poison, ray of enfeeblement, shadow blade, shatter, silence, warding bond, wristpocket
3rd Level bestow curse, call lightning, catnap, clairvoyance, counterspell, dispel magic, fireball, glyph of warding, hypnotic pattern, magic circle, phantom steed, remove curse, tongues, tiny hut, water walk, lightning bolt
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Witch class, you must meet these prerequisites: Wisdom 13, Charisma 13
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Witch class, you gain the following proficiencies: Quarterstaves, Herbalism kit