Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pathfinder, Keep on the Borderlands and witches

So Saturday we started what we call "the kids game", this is our D&D game that includes me, my two sons (6 and 11), my regular DM and his sons (10, 10 and 5).
We started out as a 4e game and it went rather well.  This weekend though we switched over to Pathfinder.

And it was awesome.

It is not really saying much, but Pathfinder is closer to old school D&D than D&D 4 is.  We entered the goblin cave and had four encounters with goblins and "the big guy", an ogre helping them out.  It was a blast.  Our group consisted of a human witch (me), a human dragon-blooded sorcerer, a dwarf cleric, a half-elf ranger, a human ranger, and a human thief.   We figure that we need to make some tweaks, the sorcerer needs some different spells and I think my witch needs a cure light wounds spell to help out the cleric some.

So Greg (my DM) and I figured that under 4th Ed the characters would have been killed with these encounters.

We are going to keep going with 4th Ed in our "Big Kids" group.  So I am going to get a chance to do both games.

I like 4e, I do.  It is fun and the material for it is top notch.  But Pathfinder is a lot of fun too and those books are really nice.  Picked up the monster book for it.  If Pathfinder had something like DDI I would be all over that too.

So where do I stand with my "D&D" games?

I am running a 3.x (mostly 3.0) game with my two boys.  I am playing in a Pathfinder game and a D&D 4 game.  And it looks like I might be running another 4e game here soon.

For doing all my old school stuff, well it looks like we are going to be doing that as part of Pathfinder and doing something different for 4e.

All in all it sounds like a win all around for me and everyone else.

Now on to my witch.
She has a cantrip, Daze, that she kept using in combat.  Worked out nice really.  Was able to keep a goblin distracted (and the Ogre once) pretty much every round.  Not getting hit goes a long way to help keep the party alive.  Found a scroll of "cure light wounds", since I have that spell on my list I could read it and use it.  So game-wise a nice mix of witchy offensive power with some good defensive buffs of a divine nature.  I totally under-used my familiar however, but that is the same as my last 4e game, so those are even.
Comparing her to her 4e counterpart, Daze was my "bread and butter" spell where "Arcane Blast" is in 4e.  Arcane Blast has the advantage of causing some damage.  And my 4e warlock has those teleports which are very nice.  Both characters had the about the same feel in terms of hitpoints for the foes they were up against and I compensated the same way; I hid behind tougher characters and fired off spells from a distance.

The Pathfinder witch uses Intelligence though as her main stat.  I am not buying that.
Warlocks use Charisma and I can see that and see it for the witch.  In the end though I still think that it would be best for the witch to use Wisdom as her main stat for spell casting.  In this respect the Pathfinder does come up short.

So in my judging for combat playability, Pathfinder Witch vs. 4e Warlock, it's a draw.
In terms of spell casting mechanics, the Pathfinder has more "witchy" spells, but the warlock spells do fit that concept well and work well in the game.  So in the end I am giving the nod to 4e.

Looking forward to the new Pathfinder book that has the witch in it.  Is there still time to have switch the spellcasting stat to Wisdom?  Anyone know if we are going to see some witch prestige classes?


Rhonin84 said...

I think the familiar fits the witch very well and I like that idea as compared to the "pact" ideas.

I think that you feel that spell mechanics fit better in 4e when you really don't have much spell casting in 4e.

I am beginning to see 4e as the "anime" version of DnD and Pathfinder as the continuation of the Dungeons and Dragons family, at least as an old Grognard like me understands it! ;)

Timothy S. Brannan said...


I am looking forward to trying her out some more AND her dark mirror in the 4e world.

tralala said...

Great review & sounds like fun!
I agree 200% about Wisdom. If the casting-stat were Wisdom, I'd have no complaints.
There is a 3e/3.5 book called "Quintessential Witch" from Mongoose. I had it years ago & they were done a bit differently, but still quite well. Anyway, maybe check that out.
Otherwise, I hope they change it to wisdom! haha

Timothy S. Brannan said...


And if there has been an RPG book about witches published in the last 20 years you can bet I own it or have seen it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Got the APG. Witch is still based on INT. None of the new Prestige classes are witchy.