View Full Version : The Witchdoctor (new base class, PEACH)

2009-02-22, 02:25 PM
My group is starting a new campaign, and a friend of mine said he wanted to play a witchdoctor. We were looking at the published classes and didn't see anything we liked, so I wrote one. I saw it as a mix between the spirit shaman and the adept, a sort of village elder / shaman that derives their power from their relationship with the spirit world.
This is my first serious attempt at homebrewing anything as complex as a base class, so I expect it will not be balanced well. I appreciate all comments.

The Witchdoctor
HD: d6
Skills: 4+int
Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Heal, Knowledge (nature), Knowlege (Arcana), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (Religion), Listen, Perform (dance), Profession, Spellcraft, Spot.
Proficiencies: all simple weapons, light armor

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th| 9th

+2|Spellcasting; Spirit Congress: Alertness; Taboos|3|2

+3|Ritual Dance +1|4|3

+3|Spirit Congress: Warnings|5|4|2

+4|Channel Spirit Energy: Undisciplined Burst|6|5|3

+4|Spirit Congress: Detection|6|6|4|2

+5|Spirit Manifestation|6|6|5|3

+5|Spirit Congress: Sight|6|6|6|4|2

+6|Channel Spirit Energy: Bolster|6|6|6|5|3


+7|Spirit Congress: Guidance|6|6|6|6|5|3


+8|Spirit Congress: Nondetection|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

+8|Channel Spirit Energy: Deeper Pool|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|2

+9|Ritual Dance +2|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

+9|Spirit Congress: Anticipation|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|2

+10|Channel Spirit Energy: Shaped Burst|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3


+11|Spirit Congress: True Sight|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3



Class Features
Spellcasting: A Witchdoctor casts divine spells taken from the Witchdoctor spell list. He can cast any spell he has retrieved spontaneously. He must meditate 1 hour per day to regain spells and change the spells retrieved. To cast a spell the Witchdoctor must have a wisdom score equal to 10+ the spell level. The DC of the Witchdoctor's spells are charisma based.

A Witchdoctor uses a specially prepared stave as a divine focus for any spell that requires one. The Witchdoctor must be in possession of the stave when he meditates to retrieve/prepare spells. If the stave is lost or destroyed, the witchdoctor cannot properly meditate to regain spells or cast spells requiring a divine focus. Recreating the stave requires dedicating a full 8 hours to a ritual. The stave is not considered a magic item, and is considered a quarterstaff if used as a weapon.

Witchdoctor Spells Retrieved





















Taboo: A Witchdoctor is forbidden to use a weapon with the ghost touch ability or wear armor with the ghost touch property. This includes abilities granted by spells as well as properties built into the item. A Witchdoctor who violates this taboo looses access to the Spirit Congress and Spirit Manifestation class features until he receives an atonement spell.

Spirit Congress: During a Witchdoctor's training he learns to communicate with the spirits that constantly swarm through the ethereal plane. As a Witchdoctor gains power he creates larger and larger networks of contacts in the spirit world, and the spirits become more willing to share their information with him.
Whispers: At the 1st level the Witchdoctor attracts a cloud of spirits who constantly whisper information to him about his surroundings. He gains Alertness as a bonus feat.
Warnings: At the 3rd level the Witchdoctor has become so used to these whispers that he can put them to better use, and can now react to threats more quickly. He gains a +2 insight bonus to initiative rolls.
Detection: At 5th level he attracts spirits that can read the auras in the area around him. He can use Detect magic/good/evil/law/chaos/thoughts 3 times per day total
Sight: At 7th level the spirits in his network become willing to reveal hidden dangers to him. He can use “see invisible” as a SLA 3/day and “invisibility purge” as a SLA 1/day.
Guidance: Once he reaches the 10th level the spirits are willing to give information about broader aspects of the material plane. You gain the ability to use “Know direction” as a SLA at will and to use “Find the path” an a SLA 1/day.
Nondetection: At the 12th level the spirits begin to act as a barrier to magical attempts to locate you. You are continuously under the effect of a Nondetection spell, DC 22 to overcome.
Anticipation: At 15th level, the spirits will inform you of an attempts to move through the ethereal realm to your area. You are constantly under the effect of “greater anticipate teleport”
True Sight: At 18th level the spirits will grant you the ability to see through any illusion or attempt to hide. You can use “True Sight” as a SLA 2/day.

Ritual dance: Witchdoctors often incorporate ritual dances into their spellcasting. When casting a spell the witchdoctor may choose to dance. If the witchdoctor succeeds on a Perform(dance) check of DC (15+spell level), then the save DC of the spell is increased by 1. Dancing increases the time required to cast the spell to 1 round. Spells with a casting time of 1 round or greater cannot be modified with dancing. If the perform check fails, the witchdoctor must make a concentration check against DC (10+ amount the perform check failed by) or lose the spell. The witchdoctor cannot use Ritual dance and cast defensively at the same time.
At level 14, the bonus to the save DC increases to +2

Channel spirit energy: The witchdoctor learns how to channel energy from the ethereal plane to affect the spirits around him. The witchdoctor can channel energy a total of 3+cha mod times per day.
Undisciplined Burst: When he first learns this ability at the 4th level, all he can do is release an undisciplined burst of energy which deals 1d6/witchdoctor level points of damage (will save DC 10+witchdoctor level+cha mod negates) to every spirit in a 40ft burst centered on him.
Bolster: At 8th level the Witchdoctor can now channel beneficial energies to aid the spirits. Every spirit in a 40ft burst gains the witchdoctor's level in temporary HP and a +2 sacred bonus on their attack rolls and saving throws. The temporary HP last 1 min, the +2 bonus lasts 2 rounds.
Deeper pool: At 13th level, the witchdoctor gains the ability to channel more potent energies. When channeling harmful energy, a successful will save only halves the damage, and when channeling beneficial energy the spirits gain 2x the witchdoctor's level in temporary HP and a +3 sacred bonus to attacks, AC and saves.
Shaped Burst: At level 16 the Witchdoctor can now apply these energies more accurately, allowing him to leave one 5x5 ft square unaffected by the channeled energy.

Spirit Manifestation:Eventually the witchdoctor gains enough trust that the spirits are willing to physically manifest themselves to aid him. When they do so, they take the form of spirit animals. Summoning them is a standard action and they remain in service of the witchdoctor for a number of rounds equal to his witchdoctor level. The creature summoned is one of the following animals: black bear, ape, boar, or wolf, octopus, large snake (viper or constrictor) with the “spirit animal” template added and with the ability to telepathically communicate with the witchdoctor over any distance. The witchdoctor can use this ability 3+charisma modifier times per day.
At level 9 add rhinoceros, brown bear, bison, huge snake, tiger, lion, dire ape, dire boar, and dire wolf to the list of forms the manifested spirits can take.
At level 17 the manifested spirits use the “ghost brute” template instead of the “spirit animal” template as long as the base animal is a vaild base creature.
At level 20 add griffin, grillion and ankheg to the list of forms the spirits can take.

Witchdoctor spell list:
0th level spells
Cure minor wounds, Bane, Detect magic, Read magic, Virtue, Light, Daze,

1st level
Bless, Cause fear, Doom , Cure light wounds, Shield of faith, Inflict light wounds, Deathwatch, Command, Remove fear, Enlarge person, Touch of idiocy, Ray of enfeeblement, Reduce person Sleep, Identify,

2nd level
Augury, Calm emotions, CMW, Gentle Repose, Hold person, Silence, Enthrall, Status, Bestow curse, Contagion, Remove disease, Hideous laughter, Spectral hand, Pyrotechnics, Arcane sight, Ray of weakness,

3rd level
Lesser restoration, Obscure object, Dispel magic, remove curse, CSW, Blindness/Deafness, Gust of wind, Nondetection, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Suggestion, Deep slumber, Spell vulnerability, Know opponent

4th level
Discern lies, Dismissal, Sending, Poison, Repel vermin, Commune, Dimensional anchor, Crushing dispair, enervation, Heroism, Divination, Moon bolt,

5th level
Neutralize poison, Scrying, Hallow, Unhallow, CCW, Prying eyes, Telepathic bond, Feeblemind, Hold monster, Mind fog, Nightmare, Analyze dweomer, Restoration

6th level
Banishment, Forbiddance, Geas/Quest, Heal, Undeath to death, Find the path, Raise dead, True seeing, Greater heroism, Power word Blind, Ray of entropy

7th level
Control weather, Greater scrying, Power word Stun, Moment of prescience, Irresistible dance, Demand, Mass hold person, Ethereal jaunt

8th level
Holy aura, Cloak of chaos, Unholy aura, Shield of law, Resurrection, Soul bind, Discern location, Harm, Binding

9th level
Astral projection, Dominate monster, Mass hold monster, Hindsight, Energy drain, Etherealness

2009-02-22, 02:32 PM
Two areas in particular where I'm looking for help would be the spell list and the list of different forms the spirits can manifest in.

For the spell list, I tried to focus on curses and divinations with some healing spells. I'm not sure how good of a job I did in terms of balance/usefulness.

For the Spirit manifestations, I was at a loss for how to make them improve to keep them useful. Should the ghost brute template come earlier? Any ideas on what goes well with it, the 8 or less charisma requirement really cuts out most candidates.

Any thoughts on the class in general? Does it look fun, interesting, etc?


Dalek Zek
2009-02-22, 02:49 PM
I realy like the consept fore a main class. It is hart to tell balance with a spell caster, but this one seems to be okay.

Prehaps you could gif it shadow conjuration becouse it is so close to spirrits?
Would the undisceplinet burst hurt the gongres spirrits ore his manifestation spirrits?

Frog Dragon
2009-02-22, 03:15 PM
You should really give it something for the last two levels. Or maybe move up abilities. As it stands nothing keeps you in the class for the last levels.

Edit: Other than new spirit forms which are not much.

2009-02-23, 09:51 PM
Yes, the "undisciplined burst" would hurt the manifested spirits on his side.

(Also I'm using the definition of spirit that was printed with the Spirit Shaman class.)

I thought about the "shadow" spells, but I don't have a lot of experience with them and I've read that they can be quite broken.

As for the empty later levels, I couldn't really come up with a capstone. I thought about letting the spirits manifest as a ghost brute juvenile white dragon, but that seemed overpowered. I also thought about giving them the "phantom" template from MM5, but that also seemed overpowered. What if I moved the ghost brute template to 20th level and doubled the duration of the manifestation at 17th?