Witch Blade (A fighter archetype for Pathfinder)

Fighters get bonus feats. Witches can pick up bonuses hexes with a feat. Witches are full 9-level spellcasters even beyond their hex ability (and some witch archetypes, such as the white-haired witch, give up all hex ability and remain viable, powerful classes). Further, non spellcasting classes sometimes gain extensive access to hexes, such as with the new sylvan trickster archetype (which allows rogue talents to be used for hexes… with rogue talents also being something you can gain more of with a feat.) This suggests both that hexes can be layered atop an otherwise already-effective chassis without unbalancing anything, and that a hex is worth roughly a feat in trade.
And with that, we go straight to the witch blade (which should never be run together as a single word).

Witch Blade (A fighter archetype)

While arcane spells and armor often don’t mix well, in some lands skilled combatants, champions, and dread slayers have learned that hexes have no such restrictions.

Proficiencies: The witch blade is not proficient with tower shields.

Skills: The witch blade receives 4 + Int modifier skill points per level. She adds Knowledge (arcana, planes, religion), Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device to her list of class skills.

Canny Guard (Ex): The witch blade knows to fight smarter, not harder. She can add her Intelligence bonus (to a maximum equal to her class level) to her Armor Class in place of her Dexterity bonus. Since she must still maneuver to use smart positioning to avoid attacks, her Int bonus to AC is also limited by the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by her armor and shield.

Hexes: At 2nd level, and at every even level thereafter, the witch blade gains a witch hex. She gains the benefit of or uses those hexes as if she were a witch of a level equal to her fighter level. Upon reaching 4th level, and every four levels thereafter, a witch blade can choose to learn a new hex in place of a hex she has already learned. In effect, the witch blade loses the old hex in exchange for the new one. The old hex cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another hex, feat, prestige class, or other ability. A witch blade can only change one hex at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the hex at the time she gains a new hex for the level.

This ability counts as the hexes class feature for purposes of prerequisites. This ability replaces all bonus feats.

(If the Hellion class from Rogue Genius Games is in use, the witch blade can also access hellion hexes. If Patron Hexes are in use, the witch blade can select a single patron, and select its patron hex.)

New Hexes

While the witch blade can select any witch hex she meets the prerequisites for, the following hexes are available only to witch blades.

Witch Blade (Su): You can summon a mystic melee weapon as a move action. The weapon can function as any melee weapon with which you are proficient with a cost no greater than 25gp per witch blade level. If it leaves your hand, it disappears at the end of your turn. If it is damaged or destroyed, you can reform it as a swift or move action.

You can select your witch blade as a weapon for feats and abilities that require you to select a weapon (such as Weapon Focus). As long as the witch blade is functioning as a weapon the selected feat or ability could apply to, it does. For example you could select your witch blade for the Smashing Style feat, but it would only apply while your witch blade was functioning as a weapon from the axes, hammers, or flails fighter group.

When you summon a witch blade, you may infuse it with the magic power of any weapon within which you are proficient that is in your possession, as long as the form of the witch blade is a legal target for those powers. For example, if you have a +1 flaming short sword and a +2 light mace of disruption, and you summon a witch blade in the form of a longsword, you could have it function as a +1 flaming longsword, but could not use the magic ability of the light mace as a longsword cannot receive the disruption magic property. While your witch blade has these magic properties, the original weapon cannot use them (it attacks as if it was a nonmagic weapon). If the donor weapon leaves your possession, you can no longer use it’s magic abilities. You can switch what magic weapon your witch blade draws from has as a move action.

Witch Guard: You can summon a mystic suit of armor as a move action. The armor fits only you, and disappears if removed from you. If it is damaged or destroyed, you can reform it as a swift or move action. The armor replaces any other armor you are wearing while it is active (but not other items worn, such as clothing or rings or manacles). The armor functions as a chain shirt, but grants you an armor bonus equal to 4 + 1/2 your witch blade level. At 10th level, it functions as a mithral chain shirt that grants you an armor bonus equal to 4 + 1/2 your witch blade level.

If you have armor in your possession that has magic armor properties other than an enhancement bonus, when you summon your armor you can have it gain the magic weapon properties of that armor, subject to all the restrictions of the similar ability from the witch blade hex. Your never gain or benefits from enhancement bonuses to AC while using your witch armor.

A Sponsored Post!

This archetype brought to you by http://www.d20pfsrd.com, sponsors of my Patreon! Want to find a big list of hexes from dozens of sources to pick through for your witch blade? Check out http://www.d20pfsrd.com!


About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on December 1, 2017, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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