View Full Version : Pathfinderizing the Witch Doctor

2009-05-28, 09:04 PM
Well, I'll start by saying hello to everyone!

Now, me and my friends are giving Pathfinder a try. In fact, we were going to do that campaign as a 3.5 game, but decided to use Pathfinder a week ago. Now the problem is, a guy from my group wants to play a Witch Doctor (you can find the class here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60146&highlight=witch+doctor)). We already modified the class a bit, but not enough as to make it stand up to Pathfinder characters, and really I suck at homebrewing...

Here's the changes we did with the class (spoiler for those of you that don't want to read it):


All of the following are class features of the witch doctor:

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Witch doctors are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.

Spells: A witch doctor casts arcane spells (The same type of spells available to sorcerers and wizards, which are drawn from the witch doctor spell list below. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time the way a cleric or wizard must. When a witch doctor gains access to a new level of spells, he automatically knows all the spells of that level listed on the witch doctorís spell list. Essentially, his spell list is the same as his spells known list. Witch doctors also have the option of adding to their existing spell list through their advanced learning ability as they advance in level.

To cast a spell, a witch doctor must have a Charisma score of 10+ the spellís level (Cha 10 for 0-level spells, Cha 11 for 1st level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witch doctorís spell is 10 + the spellís level + the witch doctorís Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a witch doctor can only cast a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell
allotment is given in the table.

Armored Mage (Ex): A great deal of any witch doctor's spells are extremely similar in their movements and gestures, with only minor variations to change the exact effect delivered upon the being who is touched. This relative simplicity allows a witch doctor to exercise his body to the point where he can make those gestures despite the encumbrance of armor. A witch doctor's spells do not suffer from arcane spell failure as long as he is wearing only light armor.

Craft Voodoo (Su): The signature talent of a witch doctor is his ability to craft voodoos, small effigy dolls in the shape and vague appearance of specific individuals. Creating a voodoo doll requires 1 hour of uninterrupted work, 10GP worth of materials per Hit Die of the subject, including a small portion of the person after whom the doll in modeled (a tuft of hair, bit of skin or scales, fingernail/toenail, a few drops of fresh blood, etc.), and a Craft check with a DC of 10+the subjectís Hit Dice. This special component is no longer required after the witch doctor reaches 9th level (see Spiritual Voodoo, below). Once complete, a mystical link forms between the voodoo doll and the individual it represents, allowing spells cast by the witch doctor on the doll to affect that individual despite intervening distance or obstacles. A voodoo doll is a non-magical, Diminutive object with 0 hardness and 1 hit point per Hit Die of the subject creature. Multiple voodoo dolls created by the same witch doctor towards the same subject have no additional effect, and a witch doctor cannot use voodoo dolls created by any other witch doctor. If a creature represented by a voodoo doll later gains permanent Hit Dice after the doll is created, additional materials must be incorporated into the doll to make up for the difference.
Whenever the witch doctor casts a spell that designates a target, he may choose to use a voodoo doll in his possession as a focus for the spell in addition to any other foci or material components required. If the individual linked to the doll is within 10 feet per witch doctor class level of the witch doctor, the spellís effects are applied to that individual even if they would normally be out of range, out of line of sight, or out of line of effect of the spell. Similarly, if the witch doctor would make a touch attack as part of an ongoing spell, he may touch a doll in his possession instead, and the effects are applied to the dollís subject.
A voodoo doll becomes nonfunctional if its linked individual is currently within the boundaries of an antimagic field. If a bonded individual is slain, any voodoo dolls currently linked to them become useless forever Ė even if they are later returned to life, a new doll must be created.) A witch doctor can never make a voodoo doll of an incorporeal or ethereal creature.

Advanced Learning (Ex): At 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th levels, a witch doctor can add a new spell to his spell list, representing the results of personal study and experimentation. The spell must meet all of the following criteria:

Must be drawn from the wizard, cleric, or druid spell list.
Must be of the Abjuration, Transmutation, or Necromancy school.
Must have a range of touch, personal, or short.

Once a spell is selected, it is forever added to that witch doctorís spell list and can be cast just like any other spell on the warmageís list.

Improved Voodoo (Su): Beginning at 5th level, whenever a witch doctor casts a spell on an individual by use of that personís bonded voodoo doll, the spell receives a +1 bonus to its save DC (if any) and a +1 bonus on all caster level-related variables and checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 10th level, +3 at 15th level and finally +4 at 20th level.

Rapid Voodoo (Su): Beginning at 7th level, a witch doctor can create a voodoo doll with only 1 minute of uninterrupted work, instead of 1 hour. All other requirements remain unchanged, including the necessary supplies. The witch doctor can only do so a number of times per day equal to 3+ witch doctorís Charisma modifier.

Animate Voodoo (Su): Moved as a level 6 class feature. Upon reaching 6th level, a witch doctor can call upon the magical forces imbuing his voodoo dolls and bring them to life in his defense. When animated, a doll transforms into a construct of the same size as the subject with the hit points, movements, base attack bonus, base saving throws, Strength score, and Dexterity score of its subject. It has no Constitution or Intelligence score, a Wisdom score of 10, and a Charisma score of 1. The doll gains the armor and dexterity benefit of the modeled creature and a bonus to natural amor equal to the witch doctorís charisma modifier. The doll gains two slam attacks, each dealing damage equal to 1d6+ the dollís Strength modifier (for a Medium doll). Despite its physical appearance, the doll remains a construct, gaining construct traits but none of its subjectís special attacks, special qualities, class features, skills, or feats. Any equipment or items modeled on the doll grow along with it, but are ornamental only and give no benefit, bonuses, or usage; only the weapons and armor bring such benefits and are non-magical nor masterwork. The animated doll is mindless and cannot speak, but it obeys the witch doctor, or its subject individual, or both, chosen by the witch doctor when it is animated. A doll remains animated for 1 round per witch doctor class level, after which it shrinks back to its original size and appearance. A specific doll can only be animated once per day, and the witch doctor may not use this ability more than once per day. The witch doctor must also succeed on a concentration DC 10 + Ĺ the linked creatureís hit dice to animate a doll. The witch doctor cannot animate a voodoo doll of a subject that would have more hit dice than 3+ the witch doctorís hit dice. If an animated voodoo doll is destroyed, the voodoo doll is also destroyed and thus becomes unusable. The witch doctor can use this ability an extra time at 9Th, 12th, 15th and 18th level. An animated voodoo loses the linked quality it had with the witch doctor for as long as it stays animated. At any time, if you lose sight of the animated voodoo doll, you must recover sight within 1 round or it returns to its original shape.

Voodoo Reach (Ex): At 7th level, a witch doctor gains an intuitive understanding of the magic that links his voodoo dolls and their subjects, and learns to apply it to all spells he casts. The witch doctor gains the feat Reach Spell as a bonus feat.

Spiritual Voodoo (Su): Beginning at 9th level, a witch doctor can create voodoo dolls that bond to their intended subjects without the need for a physical connection, linking through the spirit alone. This eliminates the need for the witch doctor to include a piece of the subject when creating their voodoo doll, though all other requirements remain unchanged. A voodoo doll without a component from a creature cannot be animated. Reaching the 15th level, a witch doctor can animate such a doll, but its duration becomes 1d4+1 rounds.

Instinctive Voodoo (Su): Beginning at 11th level, a witch doctor can utilize any voodoo doll carried on his person in his spells without the need to physically hold them, allowing him to cast multiple-target spells on such dolls more easily. From this point on, a spell cast by a witch doctor automatically includes any voodoo doll (and thus its subject) as a focus if desired by the witch doctor. The witch doctor can include a number of voodoo dolls equal to is Charisma modifier in his spells at any given time.

Exceptional Animated Voodoo (Su): Reaching the 13the level, when the witch doctor animates a voodoo doll, he can imbue this doll to be able to receive one of the extraordinary special attacks or qualities of the linked creature, and only if that creature is within 30 feet. If the linked creature and the animated voodoo doll are at any time at a distance superior to 30 feet, the voodoo doll loses this special attack or quality. This can be used once per day and reduces the animate voodoo duration by half. Being a construct, the voodoo doll cannot duplicate a Fast Healing or Regeneration effect.

Impromptu Voodoo (Su): Beginning at 14th level, a witch doctor can create a voodoo doll incredibly fast, even in the heat of combat if necessary. It now requires only a full-round action to craft a Voodoo doll that provokes attacks of opportunity. All other requirements remain unchanged.

Retributive Animated Voodoo (Su): Reaching the 18th level, when the witch doctor animates a voodoo doll, he can create a retributive effect on it. Whenever a retributive animated voodoo doll would take damage and the linked creature is within 30 feet, that subject takes damage equal to half the damage taken by the doll (if the doll would reduce damage, the damage received by the linked creature is also reduced). The witch doctor can use this ability once per day. A Retributive Voodoo doll reduces the Animate Voodoo duration by half. If used in conjunction with exceptional voodoo, the duration is only halved.

Voodoo Fatebond: A 20th level witch doctorís voodoo dolls are so lifelike and convincing that their destruction can actually kill the subject. As a standard action, a witch doctor can permanently destroy any voodoo doll in his possession. If that voodoo dollís subject has line of sight to the witch doctor, they must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC10 +1/2 witch doctorís Hit Dice + witch doctorís Charisma modifier) or be slain instantly. Even if the save succeeds, the subject is shaken for 1d6 rounds, but it becomes immune to Voodoo Fatebond for 24 hours. This is considered a death effect.

What I'm looking for really are ideas to make the class better without changing what it's meant to be: A nice buffer, an even better debuffer with a little bit of utility. I thought about giving him the powers of the Transmutation School (p. 169), but it's a bit too... unpersonal, as in it's not HIS ability.

So, has anyone any ideas how to Pathfinderize this class?