By Thilo Graf
This supplement is 6 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 4 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The idea of this pdf is simple, yet genius and overdue: The hexes contained herein are tied to specific patrons and may only be used by witches of said patron, making the choice matter more as well as serving as unique distinguishing elements that set witches of different patrons more apart. A great idea that I hope will be further developed in future supplements, but let’s take a look at the hexes, shall we? I’ll first give you the patron’s theme/name and then what the hex does, so let’s hit it!
- Agility: Allows the target of the hex to gain a massive bonus to acrobatcis to avoid AoOs due to the boneless, wobbling gait as well as allowing the recipient use of the skill in medium and heavy armour. Disturbing and cool!
- Ancestors: Whispers from beyond the veil allow the retry of a failed knowledge-check.
- Animals: +4 to Str and Con, +2 to will, -2 to AC for one round for an animal, longer at higher levels.
- Death: Touch dead foes to have them count as having been killed by a death-effect. Neat!
- Deception: Hallelujah! EPIC! Thanks! This hex acts as a minor form of non-detection that fools all detect-spells. Glorious to avoid those annoying scan-spells! Thank you on behalf of all DMs who hate the hell out of them.
- Elements: Change elemental damage for one round. Also: At higher levels synergy with other hexes.
- Enchantment: Distract others, hampering mental and dex-based checks by evoking dormant dark desires in others.
- Endurance: Grant temporary HP.
- Healing: Always count as having a heal-kit and allows you to treat caltrop/spike stone wounds as a standard action.
- Insanity: Force other creatures to babble incoherently, potentially ruining communication and spells.
- Light: Increase illumination and make such increased illumination count as light-spells with regards to e.g. darkness.
- Moon: Similar yet different from light, this patron grants access to witchlights that illuminate the witch’s item. If she chooses, though, she can opt to be the only one who can see the light. Cool!
- Occult: Grant a creature a disturbing characteristic of undeath that translates into a minor bonus to a multitude of rolls.
- -Plague: Sicken foes.
- Portents: 10 seconds weal or woe prediction. Nice for “which one to cut”-situations.
- Shadows: Grant minor bonus to stealth and make identification by sight impossible – very useful!
- Spirits: Allow one creature to attack and hurt spirits.
- Stars: Shaken foes.
- Strength: Increase carrying capacity – also very cool; E.g. to carry allies out of the collapsing dungeon, move vast objects like in the Necromancer Games classic “Chaos Rising”.
- Time: Grant an extra swift action to a creature.
- Transformation: Disguise as other race and gain one of the race’s qualities as determined by the hex.
- Trickery: Sleight of Hand as class skill + bonus to it.
- Vengeance: Use this hex to make a creature that strikes the witch provoke an AoO from the witch.
- Water: Breath water, bonus to swim and later swim speed.
- Winter: Grant creatures bonus cold damage to add to their attacks.
- Wisdom: Perception as class skill plus bonus to it.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG’s 3-column landscape-standard and the artworks in b/w are ok. the pdf has no bookmarks, but at slightly more than 4 pages, I’m still willing to not hold that against the pdf.
As I’ve already mentioned, I enjoy the diversity and unique options that patron hexes bring to the fray and much like we’ve come to expect from SGG, these options are interesting, solid crunch and balanced well. What is quite interesting is that many of the hexes herein are of the utility/special-type that has no straightforward combat application, but when used smart could help immensely – this is greatly in line with my concept of the witch as the primary spellcaster for the versatile, smart and mystic, scheming bunch. The patron hexes tie the class more closely to the respective patron, which is also something I welcome: In my homegame, different patrons allow exclusive access to certain spells (no other class may cast) and thus, hexes like this, especially well-made ones, are neat complimentary options for the witch-class. That being said, this pdf is also VERY short, and honestly, I think two hexes per patron would not have been too much to ask – perhaps a sequel? Due to the relative brevity of the supplement when compared to similar releases by SGG, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars. If you don’t mind the brevity, get this – the hexes are worth it and their synergy with e.g. the cackle hex is neat and something that can be neatly expanded upon in future releases.
Advanced Options: Patron Hexes is available from: