Last week’s Best in Class was the herbalist, designed for those who really wanted to dive into the world of herbs and dial everything up to 11. I wanted to do another herb-related archetype this week, but one that was a little bit more subtle and laid-back, and would appeal even to those who weren’t all that interested in herbs. I wound up with the following archetype for jungle witches, which can benefit from herbs, but doesn’t need them by any stretch.
New Witch Archetype
While the wild and dangerous depths of tropical jungles are anything but a picnic for most, some, such as the jungle witch, actively seek out such places. Here, they tap into the primal power and life energy of such places, and use them to power their magic.
Familiar: A jungle witch must choose a familiar that is native to hot, humid jungle environments, even if she herself operates in another region. Traditionally, this limits the jungle witch to the following familiar choices: bat, greensting scorpion (UM), lizard, monkey, pig (UM), scarlet spider (UM), snapping turtle (UM), toad, turtle (UM), and viper. A jungle witch who gains the Improved Familiar feat can select any familiar she desires, as long as it does not have the cold subtype.
Patron: A jungle witch must select her patron from one of the following patron themes: agility, ancestors, animals, death, endurance, healing, occult, plague, spirits, strength, vengeance, water, or wisdom.
Spells: A jungle witch treats the following spells as though they were on the witch spell list. She does not, however, learn them automatically.
1st-level spells: detect animals or plants, detect snares and pits.
2nd-level spells: forest friend (UC), speak with animals.
3rd-level spells: mad monkeys (UM), plant growth, speak with plants.
4th-level spells: giant vermin.
5th-level spells: command plants.
6th-level spells: awaken.
A jungle witch cannot learn or cast any spells with the cold descriptor.
Poison Familiarity (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, a jungle witch is skilled and knowledgeable about poisons of all sorts. She gains a +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist poisons, and can safely apply poisons without risk of poisoning herself. At 9th level, the bonus on saving throws made to resist poisons increases to +5, and at 14th level she becomes immune to poisons.
This ability replaces the hex gained at 4th level.
Hexes: A jungle witch gains access to the following special hexes, and may take them if she chooses.
Cook Beasts (Su): The jungle witch can cook the flesh of animals or magical beasts in order to grant some of their power to those who eat it. Cooking a beast in this way takes 1 hour, and expends the entire corpse of the creature. The creature provides one serving per 3 Hit Dice it possessed, and eating the food provides one of the following benefits: age resistance (UM), animal aspect (UC), ant haul (APG), aspect of the bear (APG), aspect of the falcon (APG), bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, cure critical wounds, cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, cure serious wounds, eagle’s splendor, endure elements, fox’s cunning, jump, neutralize poison, owl’s wisdom, remove disease, spider climb, or water breathing.
The caster level for the effect is equal to the Hit Dice of the consumed animal or magical beast, and an animal or magical beast whose Hit Dice is less than the minimum caster level to cast the spell cannot be used to create that spell effect. The animal or magical beast being consumed must relate in some way to the spell effect, such as an aquatic creature granting water breathing, or a particularly strong creature granting bull’s strength. The GM is the final arbiter of what spells are appropriate for what types of beasts. The jungle witch must have the cauldron hex to select this hex.
Entangling Vines (Su): The jungle witch can summon forth magical vines from the ground to hinder her foes. As a standard action, she can force a single creature within 30 feet to succeed on a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the jungle witch’s witch level + the jungle witch’s Intelligence modifier) or be entangled by vines which burst from the ground. The witch must maintain this effect as a standard action each round, or the vines retreat back into the earth, releasing the target. Despite the fact that the vines emerge from the ground, they are not securely anchored, and move with the target, rather than preventing him from moving. The creature can escape entanglement with a successful Strength check (DC 10 + the jungle witch’s Intelligence modifier), or a successful Escape Artist check (DC 10 + 1/2 the jungle witch’s witch level + the jungle witch’s Intelligence modifier), both as standard actions.
Herb Lore and Mixology (Ex): The jungle witch is particularly knowledgeable about herbs and their uses. She gains a bonus equal to 1/2 her witch level on all checks made to forage herbs or to create special preparations or compounds from herbs. Additionally, when the jungle witch reaches 8th level, she can combine up to two preparations, compounds, or potions together. Doing so requires one hour of work and both of the components to be combined, as well as a successful Craft (alchemy) check, with a DC equal to the highest Craft DC of the component items +5. The result of such a combination functions identically to its two component parts, and requires only a standard action to use.
Nature Lore (Ex): The jungle witch is particularly in tune with the forces of nature, and can cast certain spells normally reserved for druids. The witch may choose one spell that appears on the druid spell list at each spell level. She treats those spells as though they appeared on the witch spell list at the same level. She does not automatically learn these spells, however.