Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Viking Irishman’s Guide to Witches

Last Updated April 24, 2013

Welcome, one and all to my first class guide. I noticed a depressing lack of any kind of Witch guide on the boards and felt a compelling urge to write one myself. It totally doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that one of the core members of my gaming group is the guy who created AM BARBARIAN. Not at all...ahem.

EDIT: As soon as I posted this guide on the forums, I found a Witch guide. Hubble, Bubble, Toil, and Trouble. (Damn, what a good name).  Honestly, I think you can benefit the most from reading both. Reading is good for you.

EDIT: Also check out A Witch's Guide to Shutting Down Enemies. This one focuses on primarily on what needs to be done to ruin an enemy’s day and/or life. Much good information lies within.

At any rate, I’m going for a fairly comprehensive guide in which I look at nearly every choice a Witch has, so be prepared for a good deal of reading. I will also make absolutely zero effort to make this document any more easily searchable. Read it all, it’s good stuff.

Also, if you aren’t familiar with a particular item or ability, is probably the most helpful resource for you. For anyone, really. It has made making this guide a hell of a lot easier.

That said, I’ll be using the standard color coding system, as presented below:

Blue - Get this. Seriously, unless your intent is to make your Patron cry, this is a must.

Green - A recommended option. Pick one of these if you have a chance.

Black - An average option. These are okay, get it if you like it, I guess.

Orange - A situational option. Likely useless outside of that situation.

Red - Avoid this. Again, unless you want your Patron to shed tears, stay away.

Let’s get started, shall we?


The six basic ability scores. What’s important? Let’s find out! And remember, when I give specific numbers, I don’t mean at level 1. I just mean that you probably want to ignore it after it reaches that point, whenever that may be.

Strength - Unless you’re worried about your carrying capacity, you can just ignore this. Maybe even dump it.

Dexterity - Increases your AC, Reflex Saves, and Ranged Touch Attacks. 14-16 here is the sweet spot. You’ll likely not need much more.

Constitution - In addition to boosting your HP, it also boosts your Fortitude saves. You probably only need 14 at most here.

Intelligence - Maybe I should use a different shade of Blue or something to really drive home the importance of this one. This needs to be your highest stat always.

Wisdom - Boosts your Will saves. Would be higher ranked if it governed anything other than your saves and a handful of skills. 12 at most.

Charisma - Really only matters for social interactions. You can afford to ignore or dump this.


Every character has a race, be it Elf, Dwarf, Half-Dragon Starfish, or Gnome. Let’s examine them one by one.

Dwarves - Really, the only thing Dwarves have going for them is their lack of knowing how to die right. +2 Con, +4 AC against Giants, and +2 on saves against poison and spells (and SLAs) is pretty much all they bring to the table. They don’t even really get anything good from the ARG. Unless your GM is a total bastard, you might want to rethink these guys.

Elves - Is anyone really surprised by the fact that Elves are awesome casters? +2 Int and Dex, and +2 to overcome spell resistance make Elves a top tier race for Witch. The +2 to Perception isn’t bad either.

Also, if your GM allows APG stuff (which they should, otherwise, why are you rolling a Witch?) and you feel okay giving up your Elven Immunities, the Dreamspeaker alternative racial trait actually dovetails pretty nicely with the Slumber Hex. Just sayin’.

As far as the ARG, Elves get access to an extra +2 to initiative from the Fleet-Footed trait, and  there are a couple cool racial spells, as well.

Gnomes - Like Dwarves, but shorter and more annoying. Supporters of Gnomes will call them “colorful.” Also like Dwarves, pretty much all they bring is situational defensive capabilities. And a +2 racial bonus to Craft (alchemy) if you feel like rolling with the Cauldron Hex. Which has been conclusively proven to be not a good Hex.

The ARG added an alternate favored class bonus that is actually good. Good enough to bump Gnomes up to Black, at least. Also, the Fell magic trait adds a neat bit of versatility for low-level witches.

Half-Elf - As good as a full-blooded Elf. +2 Int is always good. You’ll probably want to drop Adaptability for Dual Minded as a +2 to Will saves will usually serve you better than a free Skill Focus. Also, dropping Multitalented in favor of Arcane Training is almost a must. You don’t plan on multiclassing anyway, right?

Further, the alternative favored class bonus is truly amazing for your versatility. Just make sure you’re taking a different bonus (namely the extra HP, unless you’re running a skill-heavy build) for levels 1 and 2. No need to waste a class ability on Cantrips.

ARG updates these guys with a neat racial feat called Elven Spirit and a handful of cool spells. Also, the Bonded witch Archetype, which I’ll get into much further down.

Half-Orc - Amusingly enough, Half-Orcs make pretty decent Witches. Obviously your bonus will go to Int. You can probably drop Intimidating in favor of Scavenger for the Perception bonus (and I guess the bonus to detect spoiled food if your GM rolls that way). The alternative favored class bonus is largely useless unless you REALLY want your familiar to be extra good at something other than Perception.

The main difficulty here is in deciding whether to keep Orc Ferocity or pick up Sacred Tattoo. Sacred Tattoo will give you a +1 luck bonus to all of your saves, which should theoretically come into play more often. But having that one extra round to toss off a heal on yourself can be (literally) a life saver. Ultimately it boils down to your play style. You decide!

I was really disappointed in the new alternate favored class bonus in the ARG. I was expecting something vile and ruthless. Instead I get bonus skill points for my familiar. T_T However, Ferocious Resolve is almost a no-brainer for ANY Half-Orc.

Halfling - Man, what is it with these short races? Again, pretty much the only benefits to rolling a Halfling are defensive ones. They do get a semi-useful alternate favored class bonus and a couple neat spells out of the ARG, but that’s about it.

EDIT: Somehow I missed the Jinx trait from Halflings of Golarion and the associated feats. You can do some really nasty stuff with those. Halflings have been upgraded to Black.

Human - Humans are good at everything. It makes me sick. +2 Int, a bonus feat, and the same awesome alternative favored class bonus that the Half-Elf gets make Humans good at being Witches. As far as Skilled goes, your other options (Heart of [pick one]) are equally good, if more situational. Pick your favorite. Heroic is fantastic in any game that uses hero points, and Dual Talent is great if you want a free boost to something other than Int. They also get two fantastically awesome spells that are back-breaking in a water-based campaign, but will rarely be useful outside of one.

...and there we have it. What have we learned from this? That short races make subpar Witches. Everybody point and laugh at them.

Other Races

Time to get into the new races from the Advanced Race Guide. While I appreciate the new options, I shake my fist at the new workload. ^_^

Aasimar - These guys aren’t exactly bad, they just provide so little benefit to the class that I simply can’t recommend them. They do get access to the Truespeak spell, but that isn’t enough to redeem them.

Catfolk - These guys are in the same boat as the Aasimars. The Black Cat feat is flavorful as all getout, and the Steal Breath spell is kind of bonkers for a 2nd level spell, but that’s really all they bring to the table.

Changeling - I was so very excited when I saw a Witch archetype for these guys. And it’s awesome, just in a really cool, flavorful, NPC kind of way. That said, Changelings get a couple neat utility abilities and their alternate favored class bonus is standard awesome. Sow Thought is pretty neat, too.

Dhampir - I tried really hard to not rate these guys as Red. I really did. I mean, you’d think that half-vampires might provide some sort of benefit to being a Witch. The fact of the matter is that they bring literally nothing, and any minor ability they have that might be perceived as a bonus gets smacked around by that glaring -2 Constitution. Even their racial feats aren’t anything a witch could be happy with, and they get zero racial spells that Witches can cast.

Drow - These guys just don’t feel right without being spider-obsessed. I mean, demon-worshipping dark elves are cool, but man, I miss all the spiders. Anyway, Drow don’t directly increase your ability to be witchy, but the sheer number of SLAs you can get from the “Nobility” feats has to be useful for something. That and they have spell resistance that you can increase at 13th level.

Duergar - Invisibility 1/day as a SLA. Otherwise, truly awful witches.

Fetchling - Sneaky shadow-men. They get a handful of nice SLAs and a neat spell.

Gillmen - Aboleth’s Lung is a brutally effective 2nd level Save or Suffocate spell. And if you’re actually near water, it can benefit your party. But seriously, with a duration of hours/level, things that fail your save will just die unless they can find someone who cares to dispel it. Good luck finding someone before you pass out.

Goblin - More than anything, I wanted there to be something great for Goblin witches. Goblins have to be my favorite Golarion race. Sadly, their only saving grace is the +4 to Perception from the Over-Sized Ears trait. That said, the Feral Gnasher archetype for Barbarian is so amusingly awesome that I have to give it a shout-out.

Grippli - The Princely trait may make me giggle, but that in no way makes these little frogmen worthwhile as witches. Frogs with rapiers...

Hobgoblin - These guys bring less to the table than Goblins, and they don’t even have the decency to be as cool as their smaller cousins. You might want to see if your GM will let you learn the Agonizing Rebuke spell, though.

Ifrit - Fire-men. Most of their benefits go toward burning stuff, which really isn’t your schtick, but the Wildfire Heart racial trait gets you an extra +4 to initiative (Come on, admit it. You’d crap your pants at a +14 initiative modifier at level 1) and they actually get some great spells.

Kitsune - These guys are in the same basket as Drow. There really isn’t much they dish out aside from a monstrous host of SLAs. But, come on. Ninetails.

Kobold - Another of my absolute favorite races, and again there really aren’t any good bonuses. I mean, the alternate favored class bonus is...interesting...but I don’t know how often, if ever, it will come up. Unless you’re one of those madmen that actually uses your squishy familiar to deliver touch attacks.

Merfolk - merfolk are great. They get 3 racial bonuses and no penalties. None of those bonuses are in Int though, and none of their traits really support witchery.

Nagaji - BOOM! INTELLIGENCE PENALTY! And they have nothing else to make up for it.

Orc - No, I haven’t gone completely insane. I know it sounds like madness to say that Orcs make good Witches, what with the penalty to Int and absolutely no useful racial traits. And I do mean none. They don’t get any decent witchy feats, either. what makes them good witches then? Well, they get a number of really nice spells. Not convinced yet? Fine. I’ll tell you. the Scarred Witch Doctor archetype. I’ll go into detail about it later, but suffice it to say that it turns Witch into a CON-BASED FULL CASTER CLASS!!! Seriously, if your GM will let you take this archetype without being an Orc, races with Con bonuses just got a hell of a lot better.

Oread - Nothing more than a couple spells. Weep for these guys, because I doubt they can weep for themselves.

Ratfolk - An Int Bonus! Finally! they get a couple of other neat utility traits and feats. Their alternate favored class bonus is really good, too. You could potentially have a hex that can hit targets up to 130 feet away. Sneaky little ratmen.

Samsaran - I like these guys on principle. The whole constant reincarnation thing is a neat bit of fluff, and the Mystic Past Life trait can spell murder for your enemies if you select your spells properly. Int and Wis bonuses, too. No alternate favored class bonus, though.

Strix - Big, angry birds. No tangible benefits aside from an actual flight speed from day one.

Suli - Descended from Jann. Int penalty with no other benefits.

Svirfneblin - These guys are as much a jumble of traits as their name is a jumble of letters. I mean, their list of traits is in the double digits. As is their name...

Sylph - The alternate favored class bonus is fantastic. +10 to your familiar’s Perception checks is worlds of awesome. Add to that the Int and Dex bonuses and the Breeze-Kissed trait, and you have yourself one awesome witch.

Tengu - Just say “No” to these guys. Please. Better to just treat them as though they didn’t exist. I think Paizo is intentionally making my favorite races worthless as witches. T_T

Tiefling - Int and dex bonuses? Check. A Prehensile Tail that can hold metamagic rods? Check. Other stuff? Yeah, that’s there too. I wish their alternate favored class bonus was better, though.

Undine - There’s not much to be gained from being an Undine. Sorry. Best move along.

Vanara - These guys have a Prehensile Tail, but that’s about it.

Vishkanya - These guys are so awesome and flavorful, just not as witches. I mean, you can’t exactly poison a hex.

Wayang - Apart from being absolutely terrifying in appearance, these little guys have Int and Dex bonuses. They get a couple SLAs and some shadow-based stuff, but otherwise not much else.

...and there we have the new races from the ARG. Don’t ever say I never did anything for you.


Don’t let the fact that Witches are full casters distract you from the truth: Hexes are your main ability. They serve all kinds of nifty purposes and you can use them all day long. There are traps scattered around in there, though. Watch your step.

Note: I’m going to be including Hexes from Ultimate Magic and Champions of Purity in this guide. Some GMs don’t allow those books (the bastards), so I’ll mark those particular Hexes with an asterisk.

*Aura of Purity - This is actually really cool, even if the frequency of it being useful is pretty small. Still, the second you render your GMs cloudkill useless is a second you’ll never forget.

Blight - Useless unless you like killing plots of land. The curse has a frequency of 1/day, which means absolutely nothing to you outside of slowly killing peasants that have angered you.

Cackle - This is THE Hex that makes Witches such fantastic debuffers. The fact that it’s a move action means you can Cackle twice in a round, giving you the freedom to do something other than laugh maniacally for the next round.

Cauldron - A pretty decent Hex. Brew Potion can be hella useful, especially since you have the Cure spells on your list. If you go this route and are the party’s designated “Potion Bitch” try to convince everybody to split loot an extra time for a “potion fund.” It’ll make life easier, I promise. Note that you CAN take this Hex at level 1, despite Brew Potion normally requiring a caster level of 3. Pretty sneaky, Witches.

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that crafting single-use Wondrous items is both more efficient and costs the same as brewing Potions. AND CWI doesn’t have a spell level limit. My world is upside down, and Cauldron just hit Orange.

*Beast of Ill-Omen - This Hex is just...strange. You curse your familiar, so that the next enemy to see it gets hit with bane. There’s a lot of text detailing how close the enemy has to be and who gets hit when there are multiple people who see your familiar, but all-in-all it just seems like a lot of setup for minimal payoff.

Charm - Outside of combat, this Hex is an absolute dream for making your life easier. Need a favor from someone who likes you? Suddenly, they jump from Friendly to Helpful. Hell, at 8th level you can ask complete strangers for favors and they’ll be Helpful. That or make the Hostile Orc feel strangely indifferent toward you.

*Child-Scent - I see what you did there, and I appreciate the flavor, but no.

Coven - If you have another Witch in the party (or, I guess, a Hag) this one can be kind of useful, but largely a waste of a Hex.

Disguise - This is one of those things that’s really just preferential. Combined with the Charm Hex, you can really mess with people’s minds, but there’s not too terribly much utility out of it.

Evil Eye - Oh gods, the horrible things this hex lets you do. Not only is it incredibly versatile, but you can target the same creature more than once for different effects (Hint: Always target saving throws first. It makes it easier to land the others). Once you start stacking effects, you can Cackle each round to keep them all going simultaneously.

*Feral Speech - In my experience, speaking to animals can be almost as much fun as having your teeth pulled, depending on the GM. If you need to know which path the Goblin took, that lizard might be able to tell you. Maybe.

Flight - The capability to zip around the skies giving your enemies the Evil Eye and Cackling maniacally makes for seriously amusing combat. The scary thing? It’s effective.

Fortune - This one is better than it looks at first glance, simply because you can just continue Cackling and your allies keep getting a reroll every round.

Healing - If the Barbarian drops and the loss of his rage puts him in serious peril of having to roll up a new character and the Cleric is halfway across the battlefield crushing Orcs with his earthbreaker (like every cleric should), the party won’t begrudge you for touching the Barbarian in his naughty place. Also, it saves the Cleric from wasting spells on you guys that he could be using to cast Awesome Angels IX which, in the long run, will save more HP than the Cure would anyway.

Misfortune - Are you seeing a pattern here? Your combat progression should roughly resemble “X, Cackle” with Evil Eye (saves) and Misfortune being the most important value for X. Once the enemy has a -2 to his saves and is being forced to roll twice and take the worse result, the chances of you not landing a Hex approach zero.

*Nails - I guess this could be useful in an emergency, but you could also just carry a dagger.

*Peacebond - Eh, there’s better things you could do than this, but if you want an emergency parley before the weapons get busted out it can be useful.

*Poison Steep - Can provide amusement via Beguiling Gift but usually not worth it.

*Prehensile Hair - This one is another strange one. Aside from the obvious utility of having an extra hand, you could theoretically use it to climb stuff in lieu of rope or a Strength score.

*Scar - As presented in Ultimate Combat, this Hex does literally nothing mechanically. Thank the gods that there was a FAQ for this Hex. The chance to use your Hexes on the Scarred target from up to a mile away may seem superfluous, but take a moment to consider the fact that you could horribly Scar your party members and use your Healing Hex on them at range. Or find them when they get lost. This may be your only opportunity to disfigure your friends and not have them hate you afterward.

EDIT: Feedback from the boards has convinced me to bump this up to Green. You may not need to Hex someone from a mile away very often, but more than 30’ will actually come up pretty frequently.

Slumber - I only have three words to say here: Coup de Grace.

*Swamp Hag - A nifty, if limited, ability.

Tongues - Need to interrogate the writhing tentacle monster, but no one in your party knows how to speak the ululating language of the outer reaches? Not a problem for you.

*Unnerve Beasts - Only not Green because the effect is up to GM interpretation. Use this on a mounted enemy and watch the hilarity ensue.

Ward - If only you could use this on yourself! This does dovetail nicely with the Scar Hex in that you can Scar your friend, Ward him, send him down the deep dark tunnel, and immediately know when something bad happens to them. Warding him again from far away is an option. As is leaving him to die so you don’t have to split loot so many ways.

*Water Lung - Useless if you never encounter water, invaluable when you do.

Whew...and those were just the basic Hexes

Major Hexes

Welcome to the next level of Witchery. You’re starting to get pretty cool.

Agony - Your final candidate for cackle abuse. Nauseated is a seriously harsh condition.

*Beast Eye - Neat for scouting if there are critters around. Or if you have a sneaky familiar. Probably not a good idea to put your walking spellbook in potential danger though.

*Cook People - Maybe nifty for NPC Witches, but useless for you. Unless you’re running an Evil campaign, in which case, it probably won’t last long anyway.

EDIT: Alright, look. if you’re running an evil campaign and/or your players and GM are soulless and don’t care about the fact that this is an evil act, the benefits of this Hex are fantastic. Truly. In the event that your group doesn’t care about the morals involved, treat this hex as Green.

Hag’s Eye - Hey, look! It’s an earlier and more consistently useful version of Beast Eye!

*Hidden Home - Awesome if you aren’t the kind of adventurer that likes...adventuring. I guess you could spend a day every time you relocate to a new area to make a new home, but that’s a bit much in my opinion.

*Hoarfrost - Only marginally more useful than Blight because it has a frequency of 1/minute instead of 1/day. Still fairly useless in a combat setting, though.

*Ice Tomb - We don’t care about the damage here. What we care about is the fact that you can take a threat out of combat completely and deal with it when you feel like getting around to it. Only not Blue because of the limitation on times you can target per day.

EDIT: I have been convinced that this should be Blue in the event that your GM isn’t the kind of person to factor in the natural melting of ice. Seriously, I’ve played with GMs like that. It’s terrible.

*Infected Wounds - A less versatile Blight Hex. O.o

Major Healing - The same logic from Healing Hex apply here, but this one’s even better. Healing Hex is probably pretty negligible for you at this point anyway.

Nightmares - Remember that Orc you killed last week? If he had managed to survive that encounter, he totally wouldn’t be able to sleep due to fear of you. It was actually merciful for you to kill it.

Retribution - Seriously, every party has someone who takes the hits. Now the monsters can take them too!

*Speak in Dreams - About as useful as Dream. As in, only very rarely.

Vision - Too dependent on GM interpretation to be consistently, well, anything.

Waxen Image - Man, Witches are vile creatures...all the torture and pain. This one would probably be Blue if not for the fact that even if they fail the first save, they can still completely end the effect each round.

Weather Control - A Control Weather that takes six times as long. Whee.

*Witch’s Bounty - Goodberry is one of my favorite spells ever. It’s terribly underrated.

*Witch’s Brew - A great step up from the Cauldron Hex. Brewing multiple potions at once makes your life as “Potion Bitch” a hell of a lot easier.

EDIT: See Cauldron Hex for stuff.

*Witch’s Charge - The status effect is neat, but the ability to target your friend with touch spells at 30’ is awesome.

Grand Hexes

These are the bad boys. You’ll get, at most, three of these ever. Choose carefully.


Death Curse - Mine is an evil laugh! NOW DIE!

*Dire Prophecy - -4 to damn near everything? Including saves? I think order of importance just hit Evil Eye (saves), Misfortune, Dire Prophecy.

Eternal Slumber - Permanent sleep that can only be ended with Wish or your death? Again, Coupe de Grace.

Forced Reincarnation - A neat concept, but all it really does is hit the target with 2 negative levels. That and likely change its race, which may or may not be a cool thing.

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that this hex can make Great Wyrm dragons into Young Adult dragons. Now Green.

*Lay to Rest - It’s pretty neat to be able to end undead things, but it’s dependant on there actually being enough undead things that you want to die at level 18+ to justify spending a Grand Hex slot on this.

Life Giver - This one has the same benefits as the Healing Hexes. The big tradeoff? You don’t really have enough Grand Hexes to pick up something like this unless it’s your schtick.

Natural Disaster - Big damage isn’t really something Witches usually do. Except when they do this. Only usable once per day, though.

*Summon Spirit - As useful as Greater Planar Ally, but still based on the kind of person your GM is. I’ve known some real bastards.

*Witch’s Hut - Okay, let’s try to forget just how appalling seeing this Hex in action is for a second. The effect is actually pretty nice, since you basically have a 15’ x 15’ storage shed on chicken legs following you around. Still, it’s a disturbing visual concept.


Patrons are mysterious beings that for some reason have taken a liking to you. They teach your familiars new spells for you to cast. Some are greater than others. In an effort to save my sanity, I’m only going to color code stuff if there’s something particularly good. Spell lists are pretty personal anyway. Far be it for me to dictate exactly which spells you want.

Agility: 2nd—jump, 4th—cat’s grace, 6th—haste, 8th—freedom of movement, 10th—polymorph, 12th—mass cat’s grace, 14th—ethereal jaunt, 16th—animal shapes, 18th—shapechange.

Haste and Freedom of Movement are the big spells from this patron.

Ancestors: 2nd—bless, 4th—aid, 6th—prayer, 8th—blessing of fervor, 10th—commune, 12th—heroism, 14th—refuge, 16th—euphoric tranquility, 18th—weird.

Animals: 2nd—charm animals, 4th—speak with animals, 6th—dominate animal, 8th—summon nature’s ally IV, 10th—animal growth, 12th—antilife shell, 14th—beast shape IV, 16th—animal shapes, 18th—summon nature’s ally IX.

Boundaries: 2nd—protection from evil, 4th—see invisibility, 6th—magic circle against evil, 8th—dimensional anchor, 10th—control summoned creature, 12th—banishment, 14th—ethereal jaunt, 16th—dimensional lock, 18th—gate.

This is a pretty neat patron. All the spells deal with making you safer around unpleasant things and forcing those things to stay where they are. Gate is also awesome.

Death: 2nd—deathwatch, 4th—blessing of courage and life, 6th—speak with dead, 8th—rest eternal, 10th—suffocation, 12th—circle of death, 14th—finger of death, 16th—symbol of death, 18th—power word kill.

Deception: 2nd—ventriloquism, 4th—invisibility, 6th— blink, 8th—confusion, 10th—passwall, 12th—programmed image, 14th—mass invisibility, 16th—scintillating pattern, 18th—time stop.

Confuse and Time Stop are pretty cool.

Devotion: 2nd—divine favor, 4th—martyr’s bargain, 6th—magic vestment, 8th—greater magic weapon, 10th—flame strike, 12th—mass bull’s strength, 14th—bestow grace of the champion, 16th—holy aura, 18th—mass heal

This patron is kind of all over the place; buffs, protection, damage, and healing all somehow find their way here. Mass Heal is pretty neat to have on an arcane caster.

Elements: 2nd—shocking grasp, 4th—flaming sphere, 6th—fireball, 8th—wall of ice, 10th—flame strike, 12th— freezing sphere, 14th—vortex, 16th—fire storm, 18th— meteor swarm.

Enchantment: 2nd—unnatural lust, 4th—calm emotions, 6th—unadulterated loathing, 8th—overwhelming grief, 10th—dominate person, 12th—geas, 14th—euphoric tranquility, 16th—demand, 18th—dominate monster.

Endurance: 2nd—endure elements, 4th—bear’s endurance, 6th—protection from energy, 8th—spell immunity, 10th—spell resistance, 12th—mass bear’s endurance, 14th—greater restoration, 16th—iron body, 18th—miracle.

Miracle. ‘Nuff said.

Healing: 2nd—remove fear, 4th—lesser restoration, 6th—remove disease, 8th—restoration, 10th—cleanse, 12th—pillar of life, 14th—greater restoration, 16th—mass cure critical wounds, 18th—true resurrection.

If you’re going to be taking the Hedge Witch archetype (more on that later) this probably the Patron you want.

Insanity: 2nd—memory lapse, 4th—hideous laughter, 6th—distracting cacophony, 8th—confusion, 10th—mind fog, 12th—envious urge, 14th—insanity, 16th—symbol of insanity, 18th—overwhelming presence.

Confusion, Insanity, and Symbol of Insanity are the heavy lifters here.

Light: 2nd—dancing lantern, 4th—continual flame, 6th—daylight, 8th—rainbow pattern, 10th—fire snake, 12th—sirocco, 14th—sunbeam, 16th—sunburst, 18th—fiery body.

Moon: 2nd—darkness, 4th—darkvision, 6th—owl’s wisdom, 8th—moonstruck, 10th—aspect of the wolf, 12th—control water, 14th—lunar veil, 16th—horrid wilting, 18th—meteor swarm.

Occult: 2nd—detect undead, 4th—command undead, 6th—twilight knife, 8th—black tentacles, 10th—snake staff, 12th—create undead, 14th—waves of exhaustion, 16th—trap the soul, 18th—gate.

Peace: 2nd—sanctuary, 4th—calm emotions, 6th—wind wall, 8th—dismissal, 10th—serenity, 12th—word of recall, 14th—forcecage, 16th—euphoric tranquility, 18th—antipathy

Yup, a defensive patron.

Plague: 2nd—detect undead, 4th—command undead, 6th—contagion, 8th—animate dead, 10th—giant vermin, 12th—create undead, 14th—control undead, 16th—create greater undead, 18th—energy drain.

A great complement to the Gravewalker archetype (see below).

Portents: 2nd—ill-omen, 4th—locate object, 6th—blood biography, 8th—divination, 10th—contact other plane, 12th—legend lore, 14th—vision, 16th—moment of prescience, 18th—foresight.

Shadow: 2nd—silent image, 4th—darkness, 6th—deeper darkness, 8th—shadow conjuration, 10th—shadow evocation, 12th—shadow walk, 14th—shadow conjuration (greater), 16th—shadow evocation (greater), 18th—shades.

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that I neglected this patron initially.  Bad me. Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Evocation, the Greater versions of both and Shades do wonders for your versatility, albeit at a lower percentage of effect.

Spirits: 2nd—ghostbane dirge, 4th—invisibility, 6th—speak with dead, 8th—spiritual ally, 10th—mass ghostbane dirge, 12th—shadow walk, 14th—ethereal jaunt, 16th—planar ally, 18th—etherealness.

Stars: 2nd—faerie fire, 4th—dust of twilight, 6th—guiding star, 8th—wandering star motes, 10th—dream, 12th—cloak of dreams 14th—circle of clarity, 16th—euphoric tranquility, 18th—astral projection.

Strength: 2nd—divine favor, 4th—bull’s strength, 6th— greater magic weapon, 8th—divine power, 10th—righteous might, 12th—bull’s strength (mass), 14th—giant form I, 16th— giant form II, 18th—shapechange.

Time: 2nd—ventriloquism, 4th—silence, 6th—haste, 8th—threefold aspect, 10th—teleport, 12th—disintegrate, 14th—expend, 16th—temporal stasis, 18th—time stop.

Haste and Time Stop.

Transformation: 2nd—jump, 4th—bear’s endurance, 6th—beast shape I, 8th—beast shape II, 10th—beast shape III, 12th—form of the dragon I, 14th—form of the dragon II, 16th—form of the dragon III, 18th—shapechange.

Trickery: 2nd—animate rope, 4th—mirror image, 6th—major image, 8th—hallucinatory terrain, 10th—mirage arcana, 12th—mislead 14th—reverse gravity, 16th—screen, 18th—time stop.

Time Stop.

Vengeance: 2nd—burning hands, 4th—burning gaze, 6th—pain strike, 8th—shout, 10th—symbol of pain, 12th—mass pain strike, 14th—phantasmal revenge 16th—incendiary cloud, 18th—winds of vengeance .

Water: 2nd—bless water/curse water, 4th—slipstream, 6th—water breathing, 8th—control water, 10th—geyser, 12th—elemental body III (water only), 14th—elemental body IV (water only), 16th—seamantle, 18th—tsunami.

Winter: 2nd—unshakable chill, 4th—resist energy (cold only), 6th—ice storm, 8th—wall of ice, 10th—cone of cold, 12th—freezing sphere 14th—control weather, 16th—polar ray, 18th—polar midnight.

Good for the Winter Witch archetype (see below).

Wisdom: 2nd—shield of faith, 4th—owl’s wisdom, 6th— magic vestment, 8th—globe of invulnerability (lesser), 10th— dream, 12th—globe of invulnerability (greater), 14th—spell turning, 16th—protection from spells, 18th—mage’s disjunction.

As you can see, your Patron doesn’t much change up your game. Your spells mainly serve to supplement your stupidly awesome curses anyway. ^_^


Oh gods, feats. There’s SO. DAMN. MANY. I’m totally not putting a lot of effort in here. Only Blues and Greens will appear. Asterisks for anything not in the Core Rulebook or the Advanced Player’s Guide.

*Ability Focus - Yes, this is from the Bestiary. Yes, most GMs won’t let you take it. No, I don’t give a damn. Pick your Evil Eye Hex or your Misfortune Hex for best results.

*Accursed Hex - If your enemy somehow manages to pass his save on that Ice Tomb that you really need to stick, this can be a lifesaver. Pretty situational though.

Combat Casting - Seriously, no matter how well you stay out of combat, there will eventually be some vile creature that will force you to make a concentration check. Preparation is key.

*Uncanny Concentration - Some would call this overkill, but again, I like to be safe.

*Evolved Familiar - If you have the Cha for this, the Reach evolution makes having your familiar deliver your touch spells mean they don’t have to occupy the same square as the enemy.

Extra Hex - You can almost NEVER have enough Hexes. There’s a lot of great utility Hexes that you probably don’t have room for via normal progression.

Improved Familiar - A familiar that isn’t in constant peril of dying horribly? Yes, please.

*Spell Hex - Bungle, Mage Armor, and Ray of of Enfeeblement are good candidates.

EDIT: It was pointed out to me that this feat has Major Hex as a requirement. That means that you can’t get it until 10th level. At that point, you’re 1st level spells aren’t much going to impact, well, anything.

Spell Penetration - Always a good choice.

        Greater Spell Penetration - Even better.

*Split Hex - Remember how awesome your Hexes are? This makes them twice as awesome.

        *Split Major Hex - And this one works with Major Hexes.

*Witch Knife - This can be mildly useful if your Patron spells are good. Just don’t lose that knife.

Crafting and Metamagic feats are all about preference.

Oh, yeah. I wanted to let you know about this:

Accursed Critical - This is a monstrous trap for a single-class Witch. It requires Critical Focus, which you don’t even qualify for until 18th level, and can’t pick up until 19th, leaving you no opportunity to actually pick up Accursed Critical. Beware.


Some Witches are different in ways other than their Hexes or spell selection. We shall examine them here. Also, all of these are from sources beyond the CRB and APG, so I just put an asterisk on the section itself.

Beast-Bonded - The only worthwhile thing this archetype gives you is Twin Soul, which makes you and your familiar harder to kill.  You have to wait ten levels and give up three Hexes though, so I’m not fond of it.

EDIT: Alright, look. If you’re starting around 10th level or above and your GM isn’t the type of person to annihilate everything including your familiar, this is basically immortality. Well, it’s immortality anyway, but starting with Twin Soul means you don’t have to be subpar for nine levels to get there. In such a case, treat this archetype as Black, possibly Green.

Bonded Witch - This archetype seem cooler in theory than practice. The flexible extra spell each day is nice, but not many of the spells you get really play to your strengths as a debuffer. Most bonded objects give you some nice defensive spells, and Wand and Weapon both help facilitate a damage dealer build, but getting pre-metamagiced spells just seems lazy on Paizo's part.

Dimensional Occultist - I'd stay away from this one. You're giving up three Hexes for three abilities that are marginally useful at best. Flavorful as hell, though, and the Patron spells are pretty nice.

Dreamweaver Witch - If you’re playing the type of social campaign where invading people’s dreams is the kind of thing you’ll actually be able to do with frequency, this might become Black. Otherwise, it’s a fantastically flavored, wonderful waste of your main combat ability.

Gravewalker - This one is actually pretty bitchin’ if you enjoy summoning undead. Usually that kind of thing is frowned upon in a standard adventuring party, but as long as there’s no Paladin mucking things up, screw what the rest of your party thinks. Acceptance is just a Death Curse away.

Hedge Witch - If your party lacks a half-competent healer, you yourself can be that half-competent healer. Usually you’ll want to still be ruining your enemies’ day, but being able to spontaneously cast Cure spells in addition to using Healing Hex is useful.

NOTE: I don’t really condone dedicated healers, but if that’s your bag, so be it.

Scarred Witch Doctor - I’m in love. Firstly, your main spellcasting stat is CONSTITUTION. As in, “I’m a full caster with an absurd amount of HP that still has rockin’ save DCs.” Secondly, Fetish Mask. You get a tiki mask for a familiar that you can upgrade as though you had Craft Wondrous item. You also, get to add half your class level to your AC as a natural armor bonus for a number of minutes equal to your level per day. The best part? You only give up 1 hex for all these badass abilities. Seriously, see if your GM will let you take this even if you aren’t an Orc. Find another race that has a good Con score and go to town.

Sea Witch - Largely useless, even in a sea-based campaign. The only reason this isn’t Red is out of pity. That and Cloudkill.

White-Haired Witch - When I first saw this one, I gasped a little until I realized that Witches have a poor BAB and no armor proficiency. This archetype is basically giving up your most important ability to be able to smack stuff around with your hair. I guess you could build more like a Wizard than a Witch, but then why not just play a Wizard?

Winter Witch - Aside from the fact that Witches are better served by not slinging damage, this archetype is actually pretty decent, especially because it gives you access to two unique Hexes: Frostfoot and Frozen Caress.

EDIT: The Winter Witch prestige class has been recommended to me for this archetype, and honestly, I’ll recommend it for anyone wanting to play the whole “Ice Queen” attitude. Seriously, the main player here is this:

Winter Witchcraft: Levels of the winter witch prestige class stack with witch levels for determining when she learns new hexes, the effect of her hexes and other witch class abilities (including archetype abilities), the abilities of her witch’s familiar, and the level at which she can select major hexes or grand hexes.

Which pretty much says “You lose absolutely nothing by taking this prestige class except for a single level of spellcasting.” Neat stuff, and the PrC actually helps the Witch out on the damage dealing front. Not a lot, mind you, but some.


Okay, when it comes to spells, I REALLY feel that this is up to you. But in the spirit of completeness, I am going to link you HERE.  The author has done a lot of work here and even if I don’t completely agree with everything in the guide, I agree with a lot of it. Plus, multiple opinions help you make a better decision. For this reason, I won’t be copy/pasting any part of the guide here to ease your travels. The adventuring life is hard.


Your familiar is your best friend. It teaches you spells and spends time making your life easier. There are a few (relatively minor) benefits that each familiar provides.

Basic Familiars

Bat  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Fly checks

Cat  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checks

Centipede, house  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checks

Compsognathus  -  Master gains a +4 bonus on Initiative checks

Initiative bonuses are fantastic. Getting a free Improved Initiative is just icing on the fact that your familiar is a dinosaur.

Donkey rat  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves

        If you need to boost your Fortitude a bit, this is a good option.

Fox  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves

        If you need to boost your Reflex a bit, this is a good option.

Goat  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Survival checks

Hawk  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks in bright light

        Perception is important. Only not blue because this only functions in bright light.

Hedgehog  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on Will saves

        If you need to boost your Will a bit, this is a good option. Cute too.

Crab, king  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on CMB checks to start and maintain a grapple

        Witches don’t get Telekinesis so the chances of this bonus ever being useful are minimal.

Lizard  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks

Monkey  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Acrobatics checks

Octopus, blue-ringed  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Swim checks

Owl - Master gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks in shadows or darkness

        Perception is important. Only not Blue because it only functions in shadows or darkness.

Pig  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Diplomacy checks

Rat  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves

        If you need to boost your Fortitude a bit, this is a good option.

Raven* (or parrot)  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks

        Having a familiar that can talk is pretty useful.

Scorpion, greensting  -  Master gains a +4 bonus on initiative checks

Hooray for errata! This little guy gives you a bonus comparable to the Compy.

Spider, scarlet  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks

Thrush*     Master gains a +3 bonus on Diplomacy checks

        Having a familiar that can talk is pretty useful.

Toad  -  Master gains +3 hit points

Casters may not have to worry so much about HP these days, but more HP is always better.

Turtle  -  Master gains a +1 natural armor bonus to AC

This would be better if it were some type of bonus that applied to touch attacks, but still, extra AC is good.

Turtle, snapping  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves

        If you need to boost your Fortitude a bit, this is a good option.

Viper  -  Master gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checks

Weasel  -  Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves

        If you need to boost your Reflex a bit, this is a good option.

* Speaks one language of its master's choice as a supernatural ability.

Improved Familiars

These guys are the nifty ones. They’re generally tougher and more useful than basic familiars. Also, the wording on the Improved Familiar feat (You may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each alignment axis) suggest that a Neutral character could pick up a familiar of any alignment.

I’m going to be ignoring templated (Celestial, Entropic, Fiendish, or Resolute) creatures here, because all those templates really do is give whatever creature they’re applied to some minor defensive capabilities and a smite, which is worthy of at least a Black rating.

Arbiter (Inevitable) - Lawful Neutral. There’s really not a lot these guys have to offer a Witch aside from their Truespeech. Almost everything else is so slanted against Chaos that you’re probably better off  befriending something else. These guys do have Regeneration though, so you rarely have to worry about it dying on you.

Augur (Kyton) - These guys are pretty standard for Improved Familiars. They do have a constant deathwatch which is pretty cool.

Brownie - Neutral. Aside from being cute in a creepy way, these little guys can cast Lesser Confusion once per day and they have DR5/cold Iron.

Cacodaemon (Daemon) - Neutral Evil. Yes, they’re Evil, but have you seen the stats on these things? Fast Healing, Damage Reduction, Immunities, Resistances, Flight, Invisibility, Telepathy, Change

Carbuncle - ...the hell? This little guy is nifty in a sad kind of way. Vulnerability to Suggestion is kind of a dealbreaker in something that’s supposed to be supremely loyal.

Cassisian (Angel) - Neutral Good. These guys are almost as awesome as Cacodaemons, and still merit being Blue. Their Perfect memory can be useful in so many unexpected ways and their Lesser Protective Aura only serve to make your life easier.

Cythnigot (Qlippoth) - Chaotic Evil. These little things are pretty nasty, and they complement your abilities pretty well. Their SLAs are a bit less useful though.

Dire Rat - Neutral. Compared to the other options on this list, these guys feel so underwhelming that it makes me wonder why they even came to the party. Still, they have more survivability than a basic familiar.

Doru (Div) - This little guy isn’t likely to die anytime soon. It’s got more defenses that it realistically should.

Elemental, Small (any type) - Neutral. Not a bad choice, but they don’t really bring a lot to the table aside from being awesome conceptually.

Faerie Dragon - I’ve seen the Euphoria Cone do too many amusing things to disregard this little guy. Sure, the DC is piss-poor, but it’s just so much fun. Plus it casts as a 3rd level Sorcerer. See if your GM will let you customize its spell list.

Harbinger (Archon) - CLW on a familiar is an auto-green in my book. These guys can also do moderately effective damage should the need arise.

Homunculus - Any. I love these guys for pure flavor reasons. Mechanically, they’re underwhelming, but they just make me so damn happy.

Imp (Devil) - Lawful Evil. Man, what is it with Evil being so awesome? These little guys have a great spread of SLAs in addition to the defensive capabilities and flight.

Lyrakien (Azata) - Chaotic Good. Here’s another cool candidate. This one even has heals and makes you less tired.

Mephit (any type) - Neutral. Mephits are cute and have neat abilities. Plus, they can try to summon friends.

Nosoi (Psychopomp) - Neutral. I really like these guys. They have more to offer against undead, but they’re still pretty cool.

Nuglub (Gremlin) - Chaotic Evil. These little buggers are mean, but they feel a bit more combat oriented than a familiar should be.

Paracletus (Aeon) - Neutral. These may be the best option for a Witch. The fact that they can hit your enemies (and your allies, ick) with a -2 to Will saves means that most of your Hexes are going to be connecting. Being hard to kill helps as well.

EDIT: It has been noted that the save DC on the aura is only a 12, so that really doesn’t help you too much. I still think these guys are Blues, though.

Pseudodragon - Neutral. These guys are the classic target of Improved Familiar. That said, there’s nothing particularly special about them aside from the fact that they’re tiny dragons.

Quasit (Demon) - Chaotic Evil. Basic demon minions. Awesome defensive capabilities and their tiny claws are so cute.

Raktavarna (Rakshasa) - Change Shape, Master’s Eyes, and a constant comprehend languages are pretty damn useful. And it has appreciable SR.

Ratling - I almost rated these guys Blue out of my sheer love for how awesome they are. That said, these little rat things have a whole bevy of SLAs and they can cast spells from scrolls. Any scrolls.

Severed Head - Despite being a horrifying thing to have following you around, this thing is just too vanilla to be considered “Improved.” If you absolutely HAVE to have a floating head as your familiar, see if your GM will let you get one of the Belching variety so it isn’t entirely useless.

Shikigami (Kami) - Wow, at will invisibility and Improvised Weapon Mastery (not the feat, something much better) make this little guy cool.

Silvanshee (Agathion) - Neutral Good. This is one of the best familiars any caster can have, simply because it not only excels at staying alive, it also excels at keeping you alive. Plus, flying cat.

Spirit Oni (Oni) - You can wear this familiar as a mask. Let me repeat that. YOU CAN WEAR THIS FAMILIAR AS A MASK! ‘Nuff said.

Stirge- Neutral. There’s a long and amusing story involving a Stirge that happened in the very first game that Trinam ran with me as a PC back in...2003? It is one of the stories that anyone who games with me hears. That story does not compensate for a Stirge’s viability as a familiar. I lump it with the Dire rat.

Tripurasura (Asura) - The ability to look like a small humanoid and the constant nondetection make this little guy a wonderful infiltrator. All it needs is an invisibility and it can get in most anywhere.

Voidworm (Protean) - Chaotic Neutral. In addition to being more durable than a standard familiar, these things have a pretty damn good selection of SLAs.

Zoog - Otherworldly Touch and Spell Sight are both pretty neat, but nothing really groundbreaking here.


This is going to be a (small) selection of skills that a Witch should find useful. Anything not listed is just simply not super-important. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad skill.

Appraise - This is a minorly useful skill. Being an Int-based caster, you can probably skate with no ranks in this.

Craft - Craft (alchemy) can be useful for a Witch that likes to craft. If you go this route at all, it’s something you’ll want to keep maxed.

Diplomacy - Some people like to be friendly. I usually just let a party member with a decent Cha be friendly for me.

Escape Artist - If you have the skill points to spare, this is a skill I recommend to ANY caster.  You’re going to be terrible at dealing with things grappling you, and being able to use Escape Artist instead of trying to actually break the grapple is a godsend.

Fly - This probably won’t come up too often, but being able to fly well can sometimes spell the difference between life and death.

Heal - If you’re rolling a Hedge Witch, you’re going to want to max this.

Knowledge (Arcana), (Dungeoneering), (Engineering), (Geography), (History), (Local), (Nature), (Nobility), (Planes), (Religion) - Those listed in green are mostly for being able to identify and gather information about any creatures you may come across. In addition, History and Local are probably the most common checks when dealing with being an adventurer. You can just put 1 point in each of these and skate off of your Int mod for a reasonable chance of success.

Linguistics - A highly undervalued skill. Get good enough at this and you can forge documents from the Queen herself giving you access to the Royal Armory. The extra languages are pretty nifty too, though it begins to become absurd once you know every language detailed under the Linguistics skill (including Druidic which, for some reason, doesn’t have a class restriction on learning it via this skill) and have to resort to skimming the Bestiaries or just plain inventing new languages.

Perception - This is the single most important skill for any character to have. Max it out. If you can see what’s coming, your chances of survival increase dramatically.

Spellcraft - Mostly only important for counterspelling and identifying magic items. Identifying magic items yourself can make life a lot easier.

Use Magic Device - This usually won’t be terribly important unless you feel like bringing along a wand of something not on your list. If you decide that you need to be able to use a spell not on your list, you’ll need to max this to reliably activate whatever item you’re using.


Equipping a caster is fairly standard across all casters, but I’ll list the core things you’ll want here. None of these will be color coded. That said, equipment is highly subjective, so this list is by no means comprehensive.

EDIT: I urge all of you to head out and buy Ultimate Equipment. Right now. I makes life SO much easier by compiling all manner of stuff together and ACTUALLY ORGANIZING IT! *gasp* Seriously, you’ll be glad you did.

Basic Equipment

Before I get into all the really nifty stuff, I do need to point out the fantastic usage of a Buckler. Yes, yes, Witches aren’t proficient with shields. But let’s take a look at exactly what that does.

As per the PRD, when you are using a shield with which you are not proficient, you take the shield's armor check penalty on attack rolls and on all skill checks that involve moving.

Now, the buckler has a -1 Armor Check Penalty. Making it Masterwork eliminates that. So you are applying a 0 penalty. The only issue remaining is the 5% Arcane Spell Failure chance. Mithril reduces ASF by 10%, in addition to reducing ACP (and weight). Therefore, if you feel like pumping money into it, you could have a +5 Mithril Buckler, which would give you a +6 Shield bonus to AC, a nonexistent nonproficiency penalty and no ASF. This also frees up a ring slot if you were using a Ring of Force Shield.

Most importantly, you can still use the hand where the buckler is, since it attaches directly to your arm.  It's neat stuff.

Other neat stuff like this? Silken Ceremonial Armor. It’s practically useless for actual armor-wearing people, but a +1 Armor bonus with no Max Dex, check penalty, or spell failure makes this thing look like it was made for casters. Plus, it frees up your wrist slot for something better than Bracers of Armor. Screw nonproficiency penalties, too. You’ll be taking a whopping -0 penalty. Cool stuff.

Technically, the Haramaki armor is identical, just cheaper and lighter, but it looks silly. Don’t you want to look cool? ~_^

Adventuring Gear

Familiar Satchel - This is nice if your familiar is the kind of familiar that just teaches you spells and doesn’t try to touch stuff for you. Like my Compy, the Professor. ^_^

Weapon Cord - Weapon cords are nice for keeping rods...on hand.

Witch’s Kit - Everything a witch needs to start his or her adventuring career! Seriously, it’s just a list of common stuff you need with a compiled price.


Ring of Blinking - At the levels of AC that you’re likely to have (namely, low) a miss chance will generally do you better than an AC bonus.

Ring of Continuation - That one combat buff that you ALWAYS forget to have up before combat? Yeah, it’s up for 24 hours now.

Ring of Evasion - Basic. You know this is good.

Ring of Force Shield - A typically undervalued ring, this essentially gives your caster the benefits of a heavy shield with none of the drawbacks.

Ring of Freedom of Movement - Remember me talking about escaping grapples earlier? If you have one of these you can ignore that.

Ring of Invisibility - Nothing beats Hexing an opponent, becoming invisible, and just cackling to keep the Hex up without dropping your invisibility.

Ring of Protection - From the lowly +1 all the way up to +5, this is one of the things that will keep you alive the best. Deflection modifiers apply whether you’re targeting normal AC, Flat-Footed, or Touch.

Ring of Regeneration - Less time spent dying is more time spent ruining your enemy’s day.

Ring of Return - It’d be better if it didn’t have that sad 100 foot range, but it’s fantastic for popping around the battlefield and out of harm’s way.

Ring of Spell Storing - Minor, standard, and Major varieties allow you a bit more freedom in your daily spell selection while always keeping your staples, forgive the pun, on hand.

Ring of Spell Turning - Pretty situational, but nice.

Ring of Sustenance - Remember needing to eat? Tell it to go to hell. Also, you barely need to sleep, and you can prepare spells after that two hours. Go, Pathfinder! Tell 3.5 to go to hell!

Ring of Telekinesis - Does all kinds of nifty stuff, but the main draw here is that you can grapple opponents using your mind. This uses your caster level and your Int mod, so this is actually effective.

Ring of Three Wishes - However good this ring may be, I HATE it. With the fire of a thousand suns. I believe I’ve mentioned my old GM who was High Lord of Douchington? Yeah. He ruined Wish for me. My personal experiences don’t make this ring a bad idea, though.

Ring of Wizardry - These drop in relative usefulness as you get higher in levels, but still, doubled spells per day of a particular level (1st-4th depending on the variety of ring) is nothing to sneeze at.


Metamagic Rods - These are magnificent in nearly every way. Quicken, Silent, and Still are great choices. Most other rods pale in comparison.

Rod of Wonder - Because why the hell not?


Staff of Cackling Wrath - A very witch friendly selection of spells in this staff.

Staff of Curses - Curses are great fun. For you, I mean.

Staff of Hungry Shadows - A nice selection of spells and thematically awesome for the Shadows patron.

Wondrous Items

Ultimate Equipment may be nicely organized, but I sure as hell am not going to put forth the effort to (re)organize this section. Deal with it.

Amulet of Natural Armor - More AC means less dying, in general. The only downfall here is that it does nothing against touch attacks.

Apple of Eternal Sleep - Not really that useful unless you want to play around with Beguiling Gift but flavorful as hell.

Azlant Pendant - Fantastic if you’re interested in getting one of your Knowledge checks as high as possible.

Belt of Incredible Dexterity - Coming in +2, +4, and +6 varieties (your GM may allow even higher bonuses), these guys improve your AC, Reflex Saves, Initiative, and ranged touch attacks (regular touch, too if you have Weapon Finesse).

Belt of Mighty Constitution - Sister to the Dexterity Belt, this one improves your HP and Fortitude Saves.

Belt of Physical Might - This is the older brother. The one that lets you buff two physical stats (Go for Dex/Con). It is your friend.

Bottled Misfortune - This would be all kinds of fantastic if it didn’t distill your hexes into an artificially low DC.

Bracers of Armor - Witches are incapable of effectively wearing armor. These give you an armor bonus. Also, you can get armor enhancements on these. I’m fond of Ghost Touch.

EDIT: Go with Silken Ceremonial Armor. Just do it.

Broom of Flying - Cute, and useful if you don’t pick up the Flight Hex or plan to fly all day.

Cackling Hag’s Blouse - Nice if you didn’t pick up the Cackle hex (for shame). Actually still useful if you did.

Carpet of Flying - Generally more useful than the broom because you likely have friends that want to explore a whole new world with you.

Cauldron of Flying - Wait, what? The image that this provides is, I can’t stop laughing. Still, it’s no less useful than the other “of Flying” items.

Cloak of Displacement - coming in Minor and Major varieties, these cloaks grant you the benefit of a miss chance. Awesome stuff.

Cloak of Resistance - Classic adventuring gear, this provides you a resistance bonus (+1 to +5) to all of your saving throws.

Corset of Dire Witchcraft - Anything that buffs your hexes is king in my book. Just try not to think of how awkward your male witch is going to feel wearing this.

Fortunate Charm - How often this will come up depends on how often you fail Concentration checks or Skill checks, but it has the potential to turn a loss into a win.

Gems, Metamagic - These are cheaper up front, but more expensive over the long term, than Metamagic Rods, and they serve the same purpose aside from being single-use items.

Glove of Storing - Speaking of Metamagic Rods, store your favorite one in this glove, pop it out when you need it, and then put it back. I love this item.

Gloves of the Shortened Path - Useful for when you need to land a touch attack but don’t want to venture into Cthulhu’s reach.

Golem Manuals - Honestly, I feel like these are under-utilized. Golems are pretty cool, and if you go the crafter route, you can repair and improve your monstrous creations.

Halo of Menace - You sure aren’t an angel, but the DC on this is nontrivial and it supplements your Evil Eye hex.

Hand of Glory - The Daylight and See Invisibility 1/day is pretty nifty, but the extra Ring slot is what makes this hand truly sexy (despite being mummified and gross).

Hand of the Mage - Mage Hand at will, while largely useless, is fun as hell.

Handy Haversack - Seriously, EVERYONE should have one of these.

Headband of Inspired Wisdom - This really only buffs your Will saves, but it can be useful.

Headband of Mental Prowess - This one applies to two mental stats (probably Int and Wis). Plus, it gives you extra skill points just like the Int Headband.

Headband of Vast Intelligence - You need this. So very badly. It gives you extra ranks in skills, too.  Pick ones that you don’t already have ranks in.

Heavyload Belt - This plus some Muleback cords does wonders for your carrying capacity. If that ever becomes an issue.

Hexing Doll - Fantastic and flavorful.

Ioun Stones - Holy crap, there are a ton of these. You can actually free up a lot of equipment slots by using the right Ioun Stones, at the price of them being easily stolen and looking like a miniature solar system.

Iron Bands of Binding - Moderately useful but thematically appropriate, this is another option for taking a creature out of a fight.

Lantern of Revealing - Essentially See Invisibility on a stick.

Lens of Detection - Despite the hilarity of looking a bit too much like Sherlock Holmes, +5 to Perception is pretty damn nice.

Mantle of Spell Resistance - SR 21, baby! This lessens in usefulness as you begin facing more powerful casters, but until then it’s so very sweet.

Mask of the Skull - I have seen this thing take out stuff that should have given us trouble. I love it.

Meridian Belt - Man, this thing is cool. If you find yourself wanting to pop back and forth between rings, this is the belt for you.

Muleback Cords - You probably have an abysmal Strength score. You also probably have a lot of stuff you want to carry. In all honesty, you can probably afford the 23 gold for a Mule and Cart to carry your stuff around. Sometimes, however, your poor mule won’t be able to accompany you on your adventures. During such times, YOU can be the mule with Muleback Cords™!

Necklace of Adaptation - How often this will be useful depends on your GM, but not having it when you need it will make you sad.

Necklace of Fireballs - I’ve said before that Witches aren’t really meant to dish out damage, but if the chips are down and you have the balls to do it, put on a Type VII, stand next to whatever you need to die, have a “friend” cast a fire spell at you, intentionally fail the saves, and force the enemy (and you, unless you somehow have fire resistance/immunity) to eat 58d6 Fire damage. For those of you keeping track, that’s an average of 101 damage when they MAKE their save. Boom.

Pearl of Power - Extra spells per day, especially as a prepared caster, make life SO much easier.

Periapt of Wound Closure - Automatic stabilization, immunity to bleed damage, and doubled natural healing are pretty nice to have, especially when you’re as squishy as a Witch.

Philter of Love - Yet another fun candidate for Beguiling Gift. The exact interpretation is GM dependent, but being that Charm Person is the operative spell for crafting this, that’s how I choose to rule it.

Portable Hole - This thing is great for transporting the truly ridiculous amount of loot that adventurer’s tend to acquire. That and bodies for potential reanimation later. Just don’t put it in your Haversack.

Robe of the Archmagi - This thing is so full of buffs, it’s almost sick. Not only is it totally awesome, but it frees up a few item slots as well.

Robe of Scintillating Colors - Your very own technicolor dreamcoat!

Robes of Xin-Shalast - Pretty cool...armor, handy haversacks and...wait...SR 24? holy crap!

Scarab of Protection - SR 20 and absorption of death effects. Less dead is more better.

Shadowform Belt - Sometimes you just need to get to the other side of a door. Or the floor. get the picture.

Stone Familiar - This thing is just...magical. seriously, 500 levels of spells stored for safekeeping makes your life a hell of a lot easier, especially if your fuzzy little familiar bites the dust. Get one of these.

Stone of Good Luck - +1 luck bonus to all saves? Yes, please!

Tattoos (Caster’s, Reservoir, Spell) - For those edgy Witches. ~_^

Tome of Clear Thought - Remember how Intelligence is your most important stat? This helps. Usually a better idea to just save up for the +5 than to waste money on progressively bigger versions. And most often you’ll only want to spring for the +4, unless you foresee your Int being an odd number by the time you hit 20.

Truesight Goggles - For the love of...okay, they’re pricey, but things just flat-out cannot visually deceive you.

Witching Gown - Man, casters get tasty stuff. Next to the Robe of the Archmagi, this is about the best thing you can cover your torso with.


These builds are going to be pretty lightly defined, probably only up to about 5th level. I’m also going to try for a few “suboptimal” roles to exercise my mind.

The Healer (or “Hubble Bubble”)

Human Hedge Witch

Stats (15 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 18 (Human Bonus), Wis 14, Cha 8

Stats (20 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 20 (Human Bonus), Wis 14, Cha 7

Skills: Max Heal, Max Perception, Max Spellcraft, 1 rank in each Knowledge


H Extra Hex: Fortune

1 Extra Hex: Cackle

3 Craft Wondrous Item (for single use "potions")

5 Reach Spell


1 Healing

2 Scar

Familiar: Compsognathus

Patron: Healing

Favored Class Bonus: HP at levels 1 and 2, HP or Extra Spell at each level thereafter.

The Debuffer (or “Toil and Trouble”)

Human Standard Witch

Stats (15 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 18 (Human Bonus), Wis 10, Cha 8

Stats (20 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 20 (Human Bonus), Wis 10, Cha 7

Skills: Max Perception, Max Spellcraft, 1 rank in each Knowledge


H Extra Hex: Cackle

1 Ability Focus: Evil Eye Hex

3 Extra Hex: Fortune

5 Accursed Hex


1 Evil Eye

2 Misfortune

4 Slumber

Familiar: Compsognathus

Patron: Insanity

Favored Class Bonus: HP at levels 1 and 2, HP or Extra Spell at each level thereafter.

The Damage Dealer (or “Fire Burn”)

Human Standard Witch

Stats (15 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 18 (Human Bonus), Wis 10, Cha 8

Stats (20 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 20 (Human Bonus), Wis 10, Cha 7

Skills: Max Perception, Max Spellcraft, 1 rank in each Knowledge


H  Extra Hex: Cackle

1  Accursed Hex

3  Reach Spell

5  Widen Spell


1  Evil Eye

2  Misfortune

4  Scar

Familiar: Compsognathus

Patron: Elements

Favored Class Bonus: HP at levels 1 and 2, HP or Extra Spell at each level thereafter.

The Crafter (or “Cauldron Bubble”)

Human Standard Witch

Stats (15 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 18 (Human Bonus), Wis 10, Cha 8

Stats (20 Point Buy): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 20 (Human Bonus), Wis 10, Cha 7

Skills: Max Craft, Max Perception, Max Spellcraft, 1 rank in each Knowledge


H  Scribe Scroll

1  Extra Hex: Fortune

3  Craft Wondrous Item (for single use “potions” and as a prereq for Craft Construct)

5  Craft Magic Arms and Armor (prereq for Craft Construct)


1  Cauldron (Yes, I know, but it’s a prereq for Witch’s Brew. Making many pots at once can help)

2  Scar

4  Cackle

Familiar: Compsognathus

Patron: Shadow (the Shadow Conjuration/Evocation line gives you access to TONS more items to craft)

Favored Class Bonus: HP at levels 1 and 2, HP or Extra Spell at each level thereafter.

The Tank (or “Something Wicked This Way Comes”)

Orc Scarred Witch Doctor

Stats (15 Point Buy): Str 11, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 5 (after Orc adjustments)

Stats (20 Point Buy): Str 12, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 5 (after Orc adjustments)

Skills: Max Perception, Max Spellcraft


1   Toughness (because why not?)

3   Extra Hex: Cackle

5   Accursed Hex


2   Evil Eye

4   Misfortune

Familiar: Fetish Mask

Patron: Endurance gets you access to the Bear’s Endurance spells, and Vengeance plays around really nicely with the pain motif these guys have.

Favored Class Bonus: HP at levels 1 and 2, HP or Extra Spell at each level thereafter.


Many thanks go out to the people at the Paizo messageboards who have helped clarify and modify this guide.

People of Note

These are the people who have pointed out major opinions and/or challenged me to think about things differently on a consistent basis.

Mathwei ap Niall


Richard Leonheart


Other Contributers

A lot. Seriously. Anyone who has posted HERE has been a huge help.


Err...image, I guess. There’s only the one.

At any rate, Wayne Reynolds.