I’ve placed a bit of a hold on the updates to my OneNote Campaign Notebook, I suppose – mostly because I keep finding spells that I’ve missed in lists and such. I also want some additional time to test out the map capabilities before sending that out into the world. There was an update recently, though; I finally figured out how to make the Notebook compatible with newer versions of OneNote and with OneNote Online. I ended up just exporting the notebook from my own OneNote Online; all you have to do to use it with Online from there is import those files using the OneNote Online Notebook Importer. That should fix the problems, although none of my customers have actually confirmed that it worked for them so who really knows.
That minor update aside, I’ve been spending most of my time lately working on material for my own campaign. There are a lot of exciting story lines going on right now, and I need to make sure that they can all wrap up together into a cohesive plot that also incorporates all of the PCs. I’m trying to create elements that will get each of my PCs invested individually rather than just as a party, so balancing both of those things is a bit of a challenge. I think I have things well in hand with all of the planning I’ve done lately – except when it comes to those players that just aren’t around very much. Hard to incorporate a PC when they’re only there every other week (or less).
That’s not to say that I haven’t been working on any products, though – and with that, let’s get on to the main event!
I published my 5e Witch class nearly a year ago, now, so I think it’s about time for an update. I’ve developed three new subclasses: the Wortwitch, the Fatalist, and the Rambler. These subclasses grew out of my own needs for more varied types of witch NPCs in my campaign but will hopefully be interesting to players as well. I plan to release this as a separate product from my Witch class – a Pay What you Want product, I think, as those tend to get more downloads. Here’s a quick, non-mechanical overview of each.
“Commonly known as “hedge witches,” wortwitches are those that draw their power from the synergy among all things. As a wortwitch, you can feel the energies and auras of living and nonliving things and can manipulate their connections. Wortwitches get along well with druids and others who work intimately with the natural world, such as farmers or nature-based clerics.”
The Wortwitch was created to fill the archetype of the witch who is incredibly in-tune with her own surroundings, with the ability to see auras and supernaturally sense the natures of people, objects, and magic. I think the Wortwitch’s ability to sense unseen creatures fills a massive void in 5e, in which rogues’ Stealth checks are typically unassailable by anyone without expertise in Perception and the Observant feat – although I expect that rogues themselves might not be too happy about the change.
Sixth Sense: Pretty much what it sounds like: wortwitches get to sense the auras of creatures, allowing them to learn their alignment, location, or a number of other interesting tidbits. Useful both in and out of combat.
Preternatural Awareness: By 10th level, wortwitches are automatically aware of the presence and locations of all creatures within a certain radius. Bye bye ambushes… unless, of course, the ambushers know enough to ward themselves against divination magic.
Synergistic Transferral: Somewhat similar to the witch’s Guile ability, this feature allows the wortwitch to swap magical effects between creatures. The enemy just cast haste on their barbarian? Whoops, better move that to your paladin.
Seamripper: The capstone of this subclass lets a wortwitch sunder all magical and metaphysical ties that bind a creature to the rest of the world. It does some damage and has some other neat effects, but I think the most fun is forcing your enemy to have a temporary personality trait:
Lonely: “I am separate from everything and everyone. I am completely alone in the world.”
“Some witches have the ability to sense the tides of fate, pulling power from the tension between weal and woe, good luck and bad. Often laughed away from more traditional magical circles and into the walls of fortune tellers’ tents, fatalists are notorious for using their powers to curse those who have wronged them – but they can just as easily grant blessings.”
With this subclass, I wanted to nab both the fortune teller archetype and the wicked, cursing witch trope. There aren’t very many curse abilities in 5e (don’t even get me started on bestow curse), so I think this subclass also fills a big void. And for this one, I have to give big thanks to my wonderful, beautiful, amazing wife; most of the design ideas in the Fatalist were contributed by her, with me just filling in the mechanics.
Tweaking Fate: A fortune reading, for good or ill. This allows the fatalist to cause the target to add or subtract a die from skill checks based on an ability score of the fatalist’s choice until the target’s next long rest. An out of combat ability, but useful enough to use every day on someone, I think.
Turn the Tables: The fatalist gets to flip a d20 roll they don’t like to the exact opposite face of the die. Also something that should get used in every session, I think.
Wicked Hands: The first of the real “curse” abilities. The fatalist gets to attempt to strip away a target’s skill and force them to rely on pure fate; i.e., the target can’t add an ability score or proficiency bonus to skill checks of the type the fatalist chooses.
Threading Destiny: Somewhat inspired by the Diviner’s Portent Dice, this ability lets the fatalist roll 3d20, record the results, and arrange them in any order they like. They can then force a creature to use those dice, in the order they chose, for their next d20 rolls.
Unto the Seventh: The fatalist’s capstone brings the trope of a “contagious” curse to 5e. The witch attempts to blight a creature with a designer-curse, whose parameters they decide from a pre-set list when they inflict the curse. The curse can then spread from the initial target to their associates of a certain type; lovers, children, business partners, friends, etc. Great potential for terrifying NPCs that try to cheat you on prices.
“Perhaps the rarest of gifts to find among witches is that of the rambler – a witch whose power is drawn from the mingled energies of planar borders. Ramblers have an innate affinity for planar magic and travel, and many end up spending their lives aimlessly wandering the multiverse, drawn ever onward by the extraplanar pull in their blood.”
The Witch class overall was designed to be a support analogue to the Warlock. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the Rambler is that. An elementalist battle witch with a planar travel spin, the Rambler’s expanded spell list lets witches in on the elemental blasting spells they’ve been missing out on; fireball, cone of cold, burning hands, maximilian’s earthen grasp, etc. Their subclass features are a mix of elemental damage and planar travel.
Inner Affinity: The rambler chooses an Inner Plane with which they have a particular affinity; this grants them a spell they can cast once per long rest without a spell slot and a damage type that influences their subclass features later on. The Affinity Spells I chose are all bonus action or reaction spells, like shield or expeditious retreat – things witches might not normally bother casting because they’d be a relative waste of one of their limited spell slots.
Planar Bleed: The rambler gets to alter their elemental damage spells to deal damage of a different Affinity Damage Type. So, they could cast fireball but choose to have it instead deal acid damage, cone of cold but have it deal lightning damage, etc.
Slipstep: An at-will teleport. I based this on the Way of Shadow Monk’s Shadow Step ability, so it’s a bonus action and 60 ft. range. But because the Rambler doesn’t get access to it until 10th level rather than the Shadow Monk’s 6th, I didn’t put any additional limitations on it.
Vergewalker: The rambler gets to know plane shift for free, and doesn’t have to have a tuning fork in order to cast it.
Extraplanar Evocation: Beefing up the rambler’s damage output, they add their Wisdom modifier to damage rolls of their Affinity Damage Type. Applies to cantrips too (and since eldritch blast deals force damage rather than acid, cold, fire, lightning, radiant, or necrotic, it can’t double up with Agonizing Blast. That would be insane).
Dimensional Rift: The rambler capstone lets them tear open a rift in space that leads to their plane of affinity. The rift deals a bunch of damage and stays open for up to an hour with concentration, allowing the rambler to control or bottleneck a battlefield. It can also act as an escape button, as long as the party doesn’t mind taking a bit of damage when they hop through or leaving a giant dimensional scar on the plane they left from.
I’m pretty happy with how these subclasses look so far, but of course if you want to leave any feedback on them before I publish I’d be happy to revise. Otherwise, I’m just going to get started on the pdf for this product and upload it as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading! Until next time!