Witches and cauldrons are a pair that naturally go together, and while there are certainly options for alchemically-inclined witches, I wanted to try to cook up an archetype that really brought this aspect of witchery to the foreground. I think it’s a real hit, but why don’t you try a taste, and see what you think?
New Witch Archetype
Not all witches consort with familiars or otherworldly powers. Some take their power directly from their cauldrons, cooking up magic in much the same way that one might cook up a stew. These strange practitioners gain their magic from unusual brews with complex and exacting recipes of rare and exotic ingredients. Though they give up the companionship and animal servitude of a familiar, they form a bond that is no less intense with their magical cookpots.
Cauldronbound: The cauldron crone must select Cauldron as the hex she gains at 1st level.
Witch’s Cauldron (Su): A cauldron crone does not gain a familiar, as most witches do. Instead, she establishes an eldritch bond with a specific cauldron, and when she uses that cauldron she can perform unusual feats of magic. Because a cauldron crone does not have a familiar, she does not need to commune with one to prepare her spells. Instead, she must spend an hour brewing special tonics in her cauldron, which, when consumed, prepare the spells in her mind. Adding different ingredients to this brew allows her to prepare different spells, but none of these ingredients are costly. The cauldron crone stores the recipes used for creating these brews in a formula book, similar to an alchemist’s formula book or a wizard’s spellbook.
Additionally, whenever the cauldron crone uses her special cauldron to brew a potion with the Brew Potion feat, she can create a potion of any spell, even spells that she has not prepared, or that do not appear on the witch spell list. Doing so increases the DC of the Craft check by +5 (normally, potions are an exception to the rule that allows a character to skip one of the prerequisites of item creation by increasing the DC by 5).
Beginning at 4th level, whenever the cauldron crone uses her special cauldron to brew a potion with the Brew Potion feat, the cost do so is only 12 gp x the spell level x the caster level, instead of the normal amount.
Beginning at 10th level, the cauldron crone can create potions that replicate spells of 4th level. This functions identically to the normal process of creating a potion.
This ability replaces the familiar class feature, as well as the hexes gained at 4th and 10th level.
Stew of Visions (Su): Beginning at 7th level, a cauldron crone is able to brew a special concoction in her cauldron which allows her to use the scrying and greater scrying spells without needing a mirror or a pool of water to do so. Brewing this concoction can be performed while the spell is cast, and does not increase its casting time, but it does cost 50 gp in rare ingredients. The witch must still prepare and cast scrying or greater scrying separately, and this ability does not work unless she is able to cast the spell. However, whenever the cauldron crone casts a scrying spell in this way, the saving throw DC is increased by +2.