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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Tibbius's Avatar

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    May 2019

    Default New Class - The Witch - PEACH

    The Weird in RPGs
    Too often, weirdness overwhelms roleplaying games – usually in the form of “magic” that is limitless in its potential and can easily become a go to deus ex machina for resolving conflicts and plot points that otherwise might be interesting narrative challenges.

    Yet a little weirdness does make a story more interesting.

    This is a proposal for a little bit of weird.

    Specifically, a new character class – the Witch – who has the special class features of
    1. “the Word” (projective telepathy reliant on personal communication),
    2. “the Sight” (clairvoyance and prognostication reliant on personal communication),
    3. Herbology (able to prepare potions from foraged plants),
    4. Speak with Animals,
    5. Shape Self, and
    6. Shape Others.
    The Witch can gain these features in any order as she or he increases in level.

    A heavy reliance on Saving Throws and Ability Checks is intended to limit the Witch's abilities at low levels. At higher levels, the Witch becomes somewhat like a Druid or specialist Wizard.

    The Witch
    Hit Points
    Hit Dice: 1d6 per witch level
    Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per witch level after 1st.
    Proficiencies
    Armor: None
    Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
    Tools: None
    Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma.
    Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, and Religion
    Equipment
    You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
    • any simple weapon
    • an herb pouch (for Herbology) or a mirror (for the Sight)
    • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
    • Two daggers

    Table: The Witch
    Level Proficiency Bonus Class Features FB + E (per day):
    +1
    +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9
    1st +2 First class feature 2
    2nd +2 3
    3rd +2 Second class feature 4 2
    4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
    5th +3 4 3 2
    6th +3 Third class feature 4 3 3
    7th +3 4 3 3 1
    8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
    9th +4 4 3 3 3 1
    10th +4 Fourth class feature 4 3 3 3 2
    11th +4 4 3 3 3 2 1
    12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2 1
    13th +5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
    14th +5 Fifth class feature 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
    15th +5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
    16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
    17th +6 Sixth class feature 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
    18th +6 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
    19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
    20th +6 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

    FB + E (Feature Bonus and Effect)
    Each day, the Witch may use her class features with the specified bonus and for the specified duration, this number of times. For example, a 10th level Witch could use the Word, the Sight, and Herbology a total 15 times for all three features: 4 times with a +1 bonus and a duration of one hour, twice with a +5 bonus and a duration of 120 hours, etc.

    The Feature Bonus is in addition to the Witch’s proficiency bonus. It applies to the Witch’s ability checks for using a passive feature, and to the difficulty of any target’s Saving Throw against an active feature.

    The Feature Effect is equal to the factorial of the bonus in hours. E.g., if a feature is used with a +4 bonus, its duration will be 24 hours or until dispelled or dismissed by the Witch. If a feature is used with a +9 bonus, its duration will be 36,288 hours (about four years and fifty days).

    Class Features

    The Word
    The Witch has the ability to verbally and nonverbally communicate their thoughts so effectively that they can instill perceptions, beliefs, and even memories into others’ minds. The Word works only on creatures with whom the witch can communicate.

    A character with the Word could with a little speech establish an illusion or delusion in their listeners.

    Targets of the Word get a WIS Saving Throw. Its difficulty is equal to 10 + the Witch’s CHA modifier + Proficiency Bonus + Feature Bonus.

    The Feature Effect is how long the Word endures. For example, an illusion established with a Feature Effect of 3 would last 6 hours in the affected target's mind.

    Examples of what a player can narrate if their character has the Word:
    * “After a few words are spoken, the guard decides to let my character out of the dungeon.”
    * “As my [young male] character greets each of the villagers, each in turn perceives him as an old woman with long white hair and a warty nose.”
    * “When my character seizes the pirate’s wrist, the pirate perceives that his muscles in that arm become limp and do not respond to his will.”
    * “My character says ‘It’s getting dark in here.’ The other characters perceive that all the candles are extinguished and the room becomes so dark they cannot see their own hands.”
    * “My character says, ‘Boil your blood and freeze your bones.’ The bandits feel intense pain in their bones and blood vessels, so intense that they feel they might die.”

    Examples of what a player cannot narrate, even if their character has the Word:
    - “My character says ‘Let there be light!’ and the true features of the cavern become apparent to her and to the other characters.” (The character can influence the perceptions of others with her Word, but cannot instill knowledge of reality external to her own thoughts and perceptions. If she had previously seen the cavern by torchlight, then at best she could replicate that memory for herself and for others – but her memory might no longer match the true features.)
    - “By a simple touch, my character restores sensation to the pirate’s paralyzed arm.” (This can work only if the arm was paralyzed by the Word; it will not work on paralysis caused by physical injury.)
    - “With a word and a gesture, my character causes stones to fly at his enemies.” (Nope. This isn’t any form of communication. However, the character could cause the enemies to perceive that they were being pelted with stones.)

    Thus, many of the effects that can be achieved with the Word also can be achieved by other, less weird abilities such as ordinary fast talking or disguise.

    The Sight
    The Witch has the unusual gift of extremely accurate inference (“the Sight”). Given this ability, the character may be able to glean from their communications with a creature a fair estimate of past, future, or current events involving that creature.

    To accurately use the Sight, you must succeed on an INT ability check with DC as for the Ear. Bonuses to the roll are the Witch’s INT modifier, Proficiency Bonus, and Feature Bonus. Feature Effect is how long ago the Witch could have communicated with the target and how long the information remains accurate from the last time the Witch saw the target. A Feature Effect of 1 would grant the Witch insight into all activities of a person whom the Witch saw an hour ago, from an hour before the Witch saw the person until right now; or all the activities of a person whom the Witch sees right now, from an hour ago until an hour into the future.

    Because the Sight provides a confusing flood of information, you can access that information only by asking specific questions about what the target has experienced or is experiencing or will experience.

    Examples of what a player can narrate if their character has the Sight:
    - “A few words with the guard about the food in the dungeon, and my character sees what is planned for her tomorrow...” The lead then can narrate what will come.
    - “After talking briefly with the merchant about his profits, my character sees where the merchant keeps his gold and how to get it.”
    - “Expressing sympathy for the crippled pirate, my character sees how his arm came to be withered."
    - “After interrogating the pilloried bandit, my character has a clear vision of where the bandit camp is situated in the mountain forest.”

    Examples of what a player cannot narrate, even if their character has the Sight:
    - “After speaking with the count about her attendance at the king’s conference last month, my character sees where the king is.” (This doesn't work because your character hasn't communicated with the king, so can't see what's going on for him. Your character could, however, see that the count has negotiated a truce with the invaders and will not march to aid the king.)
    - “Looking from the eyes of a soaring eagle, my character sees where the bandits have their hidden camp on the mountainside.” (This works only if the character can communicate with the eagle.)
    - “Staring into the flames of the campfire, my character sees how the king will die.” (Again, the Sight relies on inferences from personal communication – the campfire neither knows nor communicates anything about the king.)

    Herbology
    The Witch has learned how to identify, harvest, process, and mix many types of plants to produce potions of any type.

    To successfully use Herbology, you must succeed at an INT ability check with the following DC:
    Potion rarity DC
    Common 10
    Uncommon 15
    Rare 20
    Very rare 25

    Modifiers to the roll are the Witch’s INT modifier, Proficiency Bonus, and Feature Bonus. Feature Effect is how many hours the potion is usable.

    Speak with Animals
    The Witch can figure out the sounds and gestures that animals make to communicate, and can mimic those sounds to communicate with animals. This feature works on only one animal at a time.

    To successfully speak with an animal, you must succeed on a roll with DC equal 10 plus the animal’s Hit Dice. Modifiers to the roll are the Witch’s WIS modifier, Proficiency Bonus, and Feature Bonus. Feature Effect is how many hours the Witch is able to speak with that particular animal.

    Shape Self
    The Witch can assume the shape of any animal with Hit Dice less than the Witch’s level.

    To successfully shift shape, you must succeed on a roll with DC equal to 10 plus the animal’s Hit Dice. Modifiers to the roll are the Witch’s CON modifier, Proficiency Bonus, and Feature Bonus. Feature Effect is how many hours the Witch can retain the shape (unless earlier dispelled or dismissed by the Witch).

    Shape Other
    The Witch can impose on another creature the shape of any animal with Hit Dice less than the Witch’s level.

    The target of this feature gets a CON Saving Throw with DC equal to 10 plus the Witch’s CHA modifier, Proficiency Bonus, and Feature Bonus.
    Last edited by Tibbius; 2019-07-08 at 02:15 PM.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what you’re thinking now. You’re thinking 'Oh my god, that’s treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    DTRPG and itch
    The Knife - Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

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