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Core Classes


Two Lassa Witch Doctors Two Lassa Witch Doctors

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NakedCelt of the Giant in the Playground Forums.

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The witchdoctor is an arcane healer and abjurer, whose ability to dispel curses and heal wounds derives not from the favour of a god or spirit but from his own knowledge of magical secrets. At higher levels his detailed knowledge of anatomy gives him an edge in close combat, and he crafts valuable magical talismans for protection and healing. Witchdoctors are particularly common among savage races with evil gods whose clerics are unable to cast heal spells spontaneously.


Abilities: Intelligence determines how powerful a spell a witchdoctor can cast, how many spells he can cast, and how hard those spells are to resist. A high Dexterity score is helpful for a witchdoctor because it provides him with a bonus to Armour Class.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8. A witchdoctor's knowledge of health and healing make him rather more robust than most arcane casters.

Class Skills

The witchdoctor's class skills (and the ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Decipher Script (Intelligence), Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (Arcana) (Intelligence), Knowledge (local) (Intelligence), Knowledge (nature) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), and Spellcraft (Intelligence).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the witchdoctor.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Witchdoctors are proficient with all simple weapons except the crossbow, and with the blowpipe. Witchdoctors are not proficient with any armour, nor with shields. Witchdoctors who wear armour incur the usual arcane spell failure chance.

Spells: A witchdoctor casts arcane spells. A witchdoctor must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the witchdoctor must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witchdoctor's spell is 10 + the spell level + the witchdoctor's Intelligence modifier.
Like a wizard, a witchdoctor may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting a good night's sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the witchdoctor decides which spells to prepare.

Spellbooks: Witchdoctors must study their spellbooks each day to prepare their spells, much like wizards. A witchdoctor cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook (except for read magic, which all witchdoctors can prepare from memory). A witchdoctor begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level witchdoctor spells plus three 1st-level spells of the player's choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the witchdoctor has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell. Each time the witchdoctor achieves a new level, he gains two new spells of any level or levels that he can cast (according to his new level). The witchdoctor can also add spells found in the spellbooks of other witchdoctors.

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Canny defence, defensive strike, transference 3 1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Precise strike +1d6 4 2
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3   4 2 1
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Craft talisman 5 3 2
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Spell turning 5 3 2 1
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Precise strike +2d6 5 3 3 2
7th +5 +5 +2 +5   6 4 3 2 1
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Stunning strike 6 4 3 3 2
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Venom immunity 6 4 4 3 2 1
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Precise strike +3d6 6 4 4 3 3 2
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7   6 5 4 4 3 2 1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Painful strike 6 5 4 4 3 3 2
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8   6 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Precise strike +4d6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9   6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Paralysing strike 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10   6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Precise strike +5d6 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11   6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Deadly strike 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4

Canny Defence (Ex): When wearing no armour and not using a shield, a witchdoctor adds his Intelligence bonus to his AC. Any condition that causes the witchdoctor to lose his Dexterity bonus to AC also causes him to lose this bonus.

Defensive Strike (Ex): If an opponent attacks a witchdoctor and misses while he is using the total defence action, but wearing no armour and not using a shield, he can attack that opponent on his next turn with a +4 bonus on his attack roll. He gains no bonus against an opponent that does not attack him or against an opponent that attacks and does not miss. The witchdoctor may use a defensive strike to make a touch attack if he so chooses.

Transference (Sp): A witchdoctor may "lose" any prepared spell in order to cast a Conjuration (healing) spell of the same level or lower, provided the healing spell is in his spellbook. The witchdoctor must then make a touch attack on another creature within a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence bonus, thus inflicting the damage healed on the victim. Spells that raise or resurrect the dead cannot be transferred in this way. If the touch attack succeeds, the victim is entitled to a Fortitude saving throw to negate the damage. If the touch attack fails, or the saving throw succeeds, or the victim is immune to the damage dealt, the healing is cancelled and, in addition, the witchdoctor receives damage equal to half the damage he attempted to transfer. Many witchdoctors keep animals such as goats or chickens, or sometimes captive enemies, in order to have ready victims for transferred damage.

Precise Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, a witchdoctor's knowledge of anatomy enables him to make a precise strike with any light or one-handed melee weapon he is proficient with, dealing an extra +1d6 damage. The witchdoctor must study his foe for 3 rounds first, during which time he can take only move actions. Having completed the 3 rounds of study, the witchdoctor must make the strike within the next 3 rounds, or the study is wasted. A defensive strike cannot be a precise strike. The witchdoctor cannot use a precise strike to deliver a spell (not even to transfer damage). At every 4th level thereafter, the witchdoctor adds another +1d6 to damage with a precise strike: +2d6 at 6th level, +3d6 at 10th level, +4d6 at 14th level and +5d6 at 18th level. He cannot make a precise strike against any creature that is immune to critical hits for any reason.

Craft Talisman: At 4th level, a witchdoctor gains the Craft Talisman feat for free. He can create a one-use magic talisman, imbuing it with the power of any spell in his spellbook that is 3rd level or lower. The witchdoctor must provide any material components or focuses the spell requires. If casting the spell would reduce his XP total, he pays the cost upon beginning the process in addition to the XP cost for making the talisman itself.

Spell Turning (Su): At 5th level, witchdoctor who has readied spell turning as an action, or who is using the total defence action, may turn offensive spells back on enemy spellcasters. The witchdoctor must first make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell's level, or 20 + the spell's level for divine spells) to identify the spell. If the check fails, the witchdoctor (if he is the target) must make a save against the spell as normal, at a -2 penalty due to the distraction of making the Spellcraft check. If the check succeeds, the witchdoctor expends a spell slot of the offensive spell's level or higher. If he has no such spells left, he cannot turn the offensive spell, but can make his save against it (if he is the target) as usual; he gets a +2 bonus for knowing what's about to hit him, which merely cancels the -2 penalty for the distraction of making the check. The witchdoctor then makes a caster level check against the spell's usual save DC. If it succeeds, the spell has no effect on its target but instead takes full effect on the caster. If the caster level check fails, the witchdoctor has forfeited any saving throw against the spell and (if he is the target) takes full damage.

A witchdoctor may turn any offensive spell or spell-like attack of a level equal to or lower than the highest-level spells he himself can cast, or any supernatural attack effect produced by a creature whose HD is no greater than twice the level of the highest-level spells he himself can cast. For spell-like abilities the DC to the initial Spellcraft check DC is 20 + spell level. For supernatural abilities the witchdoctor must instead make a Knowledge check at DC 25: Knowledge (nature) if the creature is an animal, a fey, a magical beast, a plant, or vermin; Knowledge (Arcana) if it is an aberration, a construct, or a dragon; Knowledge (the planes) if it is an elemental or an outsider; Knowledge (local) if it is a humanoid or monstrous humanoid; Knowledge (religion) if it is undead. If the witchdoctor chooses an inappropriate knowledge skill, the check automatically fails. The spell slot he expends to turn a supernatural ability must be of a level equal to or higher than one-half the creature's HD, or, for supernatural abilities granted by class levels, one-half those class levels.

The witchdoctor may turn spells and powers targeted on himself or an adjacent ally, or whose effect is to create a ray (ranged touch attack) aimed at himself or an adjacent ally. In these cases, the spell is completely countered as regards its intended target. Spells whose effect is to deceive, charm, or control the target simply fail if successfully turned; other spells affect the original caster as they were intended to affect the target, with no saving throw (but Spell Resistance and other forms of resistance or immunity still apply). The witchdoctor can also partially turn area-of-effect spells. In such a case, the spell is not completely dispelled, but is cancelled out within a cylinder of 10-foot radius centred on the witchdoctor. The original caster receives the damage the witchdoctor would otherwise have received (again, Spell Resistance and other forms of resistance or immunity still apply). A witchdoctor cannot turn an area-of-effect spell whose area does not include his space.

Stunning Strike (Ex): At 8th level, a witchdoctor may use a precise strike to stun a foe. If the witchdoctor so desires, an opponent struck by a precise strike must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 level + witchdoctor's Intelligence modifier) or become stunned for one round. If the saving throw succeeds, the precise strike deals 1d6 less extra damage than a normal precise strike.

Venom Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, a witchdoctor gains immunity to all poisons.

Painful Strike (Ex): At 12th level, if a witchdoctor so desires, the victims of his successful stunning strikes are subject to such debilitating pain that they are nauseated for one round following the round they are stunned. If the saving throw succeeds, the precise strike deals 2d6 less extra damage than a normal precise strike.

Paralysing Strike (Ex): At 16th level, a witchdoctor may use a precise strike to paralyse a foe. If the witchdoctor so desires, an opponent struck by a precise strike must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 level + witchdoctor's Intelligence modifier) or become paralysed for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the witchdoctor. If the saving throw succeeds, the precise strike deals 3d6 less extra damage than a normal precise strike.

Deadly Strike (Ex): At 20th level, a witchdoctor may use a precise strike to kill a foe. If the witchdoctor so desires, an opponent struck by a precise strike must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 level + witchdoctor's Intelligence modifier) or die. If the saving throw succeeds, the precise strike deals 4d6 less extra damage than a normal precise strike.


0-Level Witchdoctor Spells (Cantrips): arcane mark, Cure Minor Wounds, daze, detect disease (OA), Detect Magic, detect poison, Guidance, Inflict Minor Wounds, mending, Purify Food and Drink, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue, virtue

1st-Level Witchdoctor Spells: accuracy (OA), alarm, bane, bless, calm animals, cause fear, charm animal, charm Person, command, cure light wounds, deathwatch, detect chaos/evil/good/law, doom, endure elements, enlarge person, Entropic Shield, erase, expeditious retreat, ghost light (OA), hypnotism, identify, inflict light wounds, magic fang, magic stone, magic weapon, magic aura, object reading, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, reduce person, remove fear, Sanctuary, shield

2nd-Level Witchdoctor Spells: aid, Augury, backbiter (OA), barkskin, bear's endurance, blur, bull's strength, calm emotions, cat's grace, cure moderate wounds, darkness, death knell, delay poison, eagle's splendour, Fox's Cunning, gentle repose, hold animal, Inflict Moderate Wounds, know motivation (OA), know the shadows (OA), Lesser restoration, locate object, magic mouth, Make whole, owl's wisdom, protection from charm (OA), rebuke (OA), remove paralysis, Resist Energy, scare, shield other, silence, snare, Spider Climb, status, warning (OA), zone of truth

3rd-Level Witchdoctor Spells: attraction (PHB), bestow curse, blindness/deafness, Contagion, Cure serious wounds, detect curse (OA), detect thoughts (PHB), discern lies, discern shapechanger (OA), dispel magic, glyph of warding, haste, inflict serious wounds, keen edge, kiss of the toad (OA), Magic Circle Against Chaos/evil/good/law, magic vestment, mental strength (OA), mental weakness (OA), Neutralize poison, nondetection, poison, protection from energy, Remove blindness/deafness, remove curse, remove disease, slow, vampiric touch, water breathing

4th-Level Witchdoctor Spells: aversion (PHB), blight, cure critical wounds, death ward, divination, enervation, fatigue (OA), freedom of movement, giant vermin, imbue with spell ability, inflict critical wounds, lesser globe of invulnerability, obscure object, pain (OA), Rary's mnemonic enhancer, reanimation (OA), remove fatigue (OA), repel vermin, restoration, rusting grasp, sensitivity to psychic impressions (PHB), snake barrier (OA), spell immunity, sustain (OA), tongues

5th-Level Witchdoctor Spells: advice, awaken, break enchantment, commune with nature, dispel chaos/evil/good/law, fatal attraction (PHB), greater command, Insect Plague, mark of justice, mass cure light wounds, mass inflict light wounds, permanency, possess (OA), raise dead, sense magic (as sense psionics PHB), scrying, slay living,Spell Resistance, symbol of pain, symbol of sleep, telekinesis, true seeing

6th-Level Witchdoctor Spells: animate objects, antilife shell, antimagic field, baleful polymorph, Blade Barrier, find the path, geas/quest, greater dispel magic, greater glyph of warding, globe of invulnerability, harm, heal, mass bear's endurance, mass bull's strength, mass cat's grace, mass cure moderate wounds, mass eagle's splendour, mass fox's cunning, mass inflict light wounds, mass owl's wisdom, mind probe (PHB), Mordenkainen's lucubration, Prying Eyes, repel wood, snake darts (OA), spellstaff, symbol of fear, symbol of persuasion, transfix (OA), vulnerability (OA)

7th-Level Witchdoctor Spells: destruction, greater restoration, Greater Scrying, ironwood, mass cure serious wounds, mass inflict serious wounds, mislead, refuge, regenerate, repulsion, resurrection, sequester, spell turning, symbol of stunning, symbol of weakness, transmute metal to wood

8th-Level Witchdoctor Spells: compel (OA), discern location, finger of death, greater spell immunity, limited wish, mass cure critical wounds, mass inflict critical wounds, mind blank, moment of prescience, surelife (OA), symbol of death, symbol of insanity, waves of exhaustion, withering palm (OA)

9th-Level Witchdoctor Spells: antipathy, energy drain, freedom, Foresight, Greater Scrying, horrid wilting, Implosion, imprisonment, mass harm, mass heal, Mordenkainen's mage's disjunction, psychic chirurgery (PHB), refuge, soul bind, sympathy, true resurrection, wish

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