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Feiya, iconic witch.

Iconic character
Source: Advanced Player's Guide, pg(s). 65–71 (1E)
Advanced Player's Guide (Second Edition), pg(s). 94–105 (2E)
A winter witch.

Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source and using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but also a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even fearful of what that source might be, or where its true purposes lie.1


Witches are neither born with spellcasting abilities, nor do they have to spend years studying or devoting themselves to divine beings. Instead, their spells and hexes come from their patron, a powerful and mysterious entity, who communicates with them through their familiar. Patrons choose witches to be their agents in the world, and prefer to keep their distance, revealing little of their identity or motivations, and usually communicating through the familiar they have sent to the witch. A patron might be a divine being, a powerful hag coven, a fey lord, an archdevil, or any other entity of similar power, or even a mix of such figures working together.23

While patrons do not reveal their identities to witches, some information can still be gathered by studying the type of power a witch receives from them. Each patron has a theme which describes the forces he has influence over, and some have multiple themes, granting different powers and teaching different lessons to different witches. These themes include:23

  • Baba Yaga teaches her witches to transfer spirits into inanimate objects and freeze their foes.4
  • Curse patrons thwart the efforts of their foes and undermine those who stand in their way.
  • Fate patrons grant their witches the ability to see glimpses of the future.
  • Fervor patrons are devoted towards an idea or a goal, or might even represent it themselves, and their witches further their mission and bring others to the cause.
  • The Mosquito Witch has followers in Shimmerford, although few would be foolish enough to attempt to draw her attention. Her witches have the power to control insects and other arthropods.5
  • Night patrons live in the shadows and hold power over darkness and dreams.
  • Pact patrons deal in promises and bargains, and no lesson is ever given for free.6
  • Rune patrons hold influence over symbols, books, and knowledge.
  • Wild patrons command the powers of nature, wild and untouched by civilization.
  • Winter patrons reflect the frozen lands of the world, cruel and dangerous to those not prepared to face them.

On Golarion

The wintry realm of Irrisen has the highest concentration of witches, called winter witches, in the Inner Sea region, and it is here where they hold nearly all important stations in government. Outside of Irrisen, most witches live in small communities or on the fringes of society, where they serve as hermits, wise women, and advisors to tribal groups. When they must make their way into larger settlements, most witches prefer to hide their true natures, due to the significant prejudice they evoke in most people; this prejudice is largely based on the activities of evil witches.7

Notable witches

See also: Category:Witches


There are no restrictions on the ancestry of a witch, but dhampir, fetchling, ganzi, kitsune, sprite, kholo,8 and automaton adventurers often become witches.


Paizo published a major work about witches and witchcraft entitled Blood of the Coven.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 65–71. Paizo Inc., 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 53. Paizo Inc., 2020
  3. 3.0 3.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 96–100. Paizo Inc., 2020
  4. Mikhail Rekun. Baba Yaga” in Legends, 32. Paizo Inc., 2020
  5. John Compton. Mosquito Witch” in Monsters of Myth, 75. Paizo Inc., 2021
  6. James Case, et al. Curses and Pacts” in Dark Archive, 159. Paizo Inc., 2022
  7. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 275. Paizo Inc., 2011
  8. Paizo referred to all kholo as gnolls until the publication of The Mwangi Expanse, and renamed all gnolls to kholo across Player Core, GM Core, and Monster Core. For details, see Meta:Kholo.