Eclipse – Building d20 Psychics Part III, The Witch Level One Build

   Our next sample level one Eclipse classless d20 character build is the Witch – a psychic character who draws on their personal energies to power their abilities. This offers remarkable fine control, makes them extremely versatile, and avoids the flashy displays typical of other power sources – but it also means that their powers are exhausting to use and ultimately very limited. That’s what makes the Witch unusual, even for Eclipse; lots of characters may dabble in Witchcraft, and even learn a few of the more advanced powers – but ultimately any mid- or high-level character will wind up using Witchcraft simply to supplement their other abilities. A warrior-witch may use his or her powers for enhanced strength and reflexes, heightened senses, and to heal small amounts of damage in emergencies – but ultimately they’ll be relying on physical combat. A rogue-witch may heighten his or her talents, draw a cloak of shadows about himself or herself, and weave minor suggestions and illusions to distract guards – but it will still be his or her skills and blade which will get them in and out. Fortunately, Witchcraft is extremely useful at low levels.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three for 10 CP), and add
  • Duties (to a feudal overlord, school, deity, faith, or whatever, +2 CP/Level. Restrictions – such as not using armor and major weapons or some such – can be substituted readily).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: These should be chosen with respect to the witches later career aspirations. The difficulty of resisting Witchcraft is based on the user’s Charisma, but witchcraft is mostly used to enhance the user, rather than for direct attacks anyway.

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +8 Skill Points (8 CP)
  • +2 on any one Save (6 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP).
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP). A would-be warrior-witch can easily make up for this later – or shift some points over from Skills. Variants on this build abound anyway.

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Basic, Intermediate, and Master level Witchcraft (18 CP). This provides them with (Str+Dex+Con)/3 Power and their choice of seven of the twelve basic witchcraft abilities.
    • For a low-level character I’d suggest making sure to include Healing – and probably Shadowweave (allowing the creation of minor illusions) – among those choices. None of the witchcraft abilities are all that powerful, but those two are especially handy for low-level characters.
    • A first-level witch is also eligible for two Pacts – which can pay for two choices from amongst the advanced witchcraft abilities. Here I can offer little in the way of generic advice: the choice of what Pacts – if any – are acceptable to a character, and which advanced powers he or she may select, depend on what the characters personality and what he or she wants to become far too strongly. Given that caveat however, the various temporary attribute-boosting abilities can be handy for a very wide range of characters.
  • Mana (+3d6 Power, 6 CP). The game master will probably look on a witch buying large amounts of Power with some suspicion, but a modest bonus will be very useful.
  • That leaves us with 6 CP left over. What you spend that on should – once again – vary with the character conception. Making a warrior? Proficiency with Medium Armor, or a +1 BAB, seems attractive. A rogue-type? Perhaps some more Skill Points or Augmented Attack? Sticking with Witchcraft for a level or two? Perhaps more save bonuses or Ritual Magic? For the would-be Bardic type, Mystic Artist is an obvious choice. Someone headed down the unarmed-fighter route might want Martial Arts. Unfortunately, major witch-magi and witch-priests will just have to wait until later to get started on their career paths: 6 CP simply isn’t enough to get started on any of the major spellcasting paths – unless you just set it aside for later or take a magic level with major limitations that you’re going to buy off later.

   Future Advancement: As far as advancing as a Witch goes, a few more dice of Power, a few more advanced witchcraft abilities, and perhaps an enhancement ability or two about covers it. Every character will need skills, saves, and more hit dice, but most of what a witch buys after the first few levels will be related to their approach to adventure. Warriors will want combat enhancements, roguish types will want skills and tricks, mages and priests will want magic, and so on.

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One Response

  1. […] The Witch: a low-powered but extremely flexible psychic. […]

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