General Prestige Class : Sea Witch
"I am one with the sea. I awaken the very ocean. Cross me, and you cross the vengeful deeps as well." - Sibi alin Zakor, sea witch
Astride the crashing waves comes the sea witch: a terrible chaotic mage who wields the power of water and calls on the living horrors of the deep. Mariners blame sea witches for every mysterious shipwreck or monstrous raid, even when such events occur naturally - and since sea witches thrive on destruction and fear, they do not protest.
Wizards and sorcerers with a love of violent weather-magic are typical sea witches. However, it's also possible for monstrous beings that already possess such innate abilities to enter the class: A naga, for example, could become a very powerful sea witch. A kraken with levels in an arcane spellcasting class could augment its already considerable abilities with the powers granted by this prestige class.
To qualify to become a Sea Witch, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any chaotic.
- Skills: Speak Language: Aquan.
- Spells: Ability to cast arcane spells, which must include control water, control weather, or favorable wind as well as summon monster III (or any higher-level summon monster spell).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the sea witch prestige class.
Curse of the Sea Witch (Sp): The ocean is a vengeful, mercurial entity, and you're capable of awakening its dark side. Your curse functions like bestow curse, except that the target can remove it automatically by spending an hour more than a mile from the nearest large body of water.
Starting at 3rd level, you can use this class feature twice per day.
Spellcasting: At each level below, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other class feature a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a sea witch, you must decide which class gains each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Call Maelstrom (Su): On attaining 2nd level, you gain the innate ability to create a terrible whirlpool called a maelstrom. The whirlpool persists for 1 hour per class level and can appear anywhere within 1 mile of you. This whirlpool has no special exit: Creatures ejected from the vortex must make their way back to the surface or away from the currents. You can create a maelstrom once per day.
At 6th level, you can produce a major maelstrom once per day. This has no special exit, but you can locate the vortex so that it empties into an underwater feature such as a cavern, if the feature is within the whirlpool's depth.
At 9th level, you can produce a greater maelstrom once per day. This vortex opens directly into the Elemental Plane of Water. You do not control the destination on that plane.
Briny Deep Summoning (Sp): Starting at 4th level, you can summon a dire shark, echinoloth, or elder tojanida to attack your enemies and follow your commands for 1 round per arcane caster level. This spell-like ability otherwise functions like the highest-level summon monster spell you can cast.
Starting at 8th level, you can employ this class feature twice per day. You can summon a caller from the deeps, a scyllan, or 1d4+1 dire sharks, echinoloths, or elder tojanidas.
Curse of the Albatross (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, you're able to extend your curse to cover an entire ship and its crew. The ship takes a -10 foot speed penalty, and its crew takes a -4 penalty on Profession (sailor) and Swim checks. The curse of the albatross otherwise functions like bestow curse and can be ended with break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish. Moving away from a large body of water isn't sufficient to end this curse, but it might make it come into play less often.
Starting at 7th level, you can use this class feature twice per day
Call Phantom Ship (Sp): At 10th level, you can create a eerily glowing longship with phantom rowers that crosses the seas at your command. The phantom ship, which lasts 1 hour per arcane caster level, is functionally a longship, except that it has an oar speed of 30 feet. The rowers are phantoms, AC 15 (+4 natural armor, +1 Dex), with 7 hp +1 hp per caster level. They won't do anything other than silently row.
|Sea Witch||Hit Die: d4|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Curse of the sea witch 1/day||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+3||Call maelstrom||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+3||+1||+3||Curse of the sea witch 2/day||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+4||+1||+4||Briny deep summoning 1/day||-|
|5th||+2||+4||+1||+4||Curse of the albatross 1/day||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|6th||+3||+5||+2||+5||Call major maelstrom||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|7th||+3||+5||+2||+5||Curse of the albatross 2/day||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||+4||+6||+2||+6||Briny deep summoning 2/day||-|
|9th||+4||+6||+3||+6||Call greater maelstrom||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||+5||+7||+3||+7||Call phantom ship||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
Playing A Sea Witch
Your power over the violence of the seas makes you at once feared and respected. If you are of an evil bent, you might be a leader of a pirate fleet, causing your prey to founder in a whirlpool and feeding sailors to the summoned scyllans. Alternatively, you could curse merchant ships, then use weather magic to smash them against the coast so that your scavenger people can salvage the goods. Your magic also lends itself well to protecting your base of operations, summoning mighty maelstroms and ferocious monsters to smash any who approach.
Some sea witches, if not exactly good, are not deliberately evil. Your mastery of the sea's power can protect your people by sinking pirate ships and driving away hostile creatures. A stretch of water known to be hazardous (because of your efforts) keeps away the curious and hides your people's settlements from the reavers who plague the coast. Maelstrom currents can bring fish and driftwood closer to shore, and summoned monsters might help bring food for a hungry village.
Most sea witches, however, are loners who exult in the violence of the sea and take no heed of the devastation they leave in their wake.
As a spellcaster, hand-to-hand combat is not your strength. That's why you call on powerful sea creatures to assist you. You are already able to cast summon monster spells, since that is a prerequisite for the class, and as you attain higher levels you can call ever more powerful monsters to your aid.
Just getting close to you is difficult for enemies be cause you can trap pursuers in deadly maelstroms. The maelstrom and your spellcasting can keep you safe if you work alone, but your magic is also well suited to supporting allies. A cursed ship caught in a whirlpool's currents can't effectively respond to attacks from your vessel, and enemies distracted by a sea monsters attacks can't concentrate on your forces.
As you attain higher levels, the monsters you summon have powerful magic and supernatural abilities of their own. At your most powerful, you bring another feature to the battlefield: the ability to simply remove enemies. Your greater maelstrom is likely to smash a ship to finders, but even if it survives the vessel and its crew are then sucked into the Elemental Plane of Water. Without plane-spanning magic (or more practically, a way to survive underwater), enemies so caught are irrevocably trapped.
Your love of the wild waters - or perhaps a sheer thirst for destruction - drives you onto the path of becoming a sea witch. You've already begun to cast water-controlling magic and call upon the beasts of the deep. This prestige class brings your talents to their natural culmination. Sea witches are not an organized group - in fact, each is a territorial being claiming a wide swath of ocean, so they are few and far between. Those who travel the seas consider this a blessing.
The awe engendered by your mere existence brings ever-increasing reward. You might begin as a minor pirate lord who uses magic to help garner plunder but eventually become the ruler of a terrible island-kingdom demanding tribute from all who must pass through your waters. If you are more benevolently disposed, you become increasingly powerful within a community that depends on you for protection.
Even without an organization on which to draw, you have many resources at your disposal. Your summoned creatures are intelligent and able to perform other duties besides attacking your enemies.
If you belong to a community, you are in a position of power. You can call on warriors and requisition matériel, whether through intimidation or loyalty.
Sea Witches In The World
Having a sea witch in an adventuring party offers plenty of opportunities. Pirate hunters, for example, find a sea witch in their midst strikes terror into the hearts of buccaneers who cannot stand up to his monstrous and magical assaults. By contrast, raiders can take advantage of a sea witch's skills to establish a well-protected base anywhere along a coast.
For the most part, people live in terror of sea witches. Parents threaten children with stories of summoned monsters that carry away misbehavers, and grizzled sailors spin tales of immense whirlpools that swallow ships without a trace. Having a terrible reputation is just fine for someone who really is a sea witch, but it can be a problem for a character wrongly believed to be one.
Commoners such as average sailors, fishers, and shore dwellers are automatically hostile to anyone they believe to be a sea witch. They have no power to combat such a mighty threat, though, so they either flee or hide. Unless the sea witch is known as a benevolent defender or a leader of people who depend on his magic, trying to establish contact or even to convince them of good intentions is almost impossible. Nations that feel threatened by a sea witch are likely to hire high-level adventurers (especially spellcasters) to try to neutralize the danger. Conversely, a sea witch sometimes finds his talents sought by fleets looking for an edge in battle. A sea witch's most dangerous enemies are other sea witches, who might see him as a threat to their plans to consolidate their power. When two warring nations pit sea witches against each other, the devastation can be staggering.
Sea Witch Lore
Characters with Knowledge (arcana) or the bardic knowledge ability can research sea witches to learn more about them.
- DC 10: Ships sometimes disappear in a particular stretch of ocean. It's not natural.
- DC 15: There's a sea witch living in the area, who can use magic to destroy ships.
- DC 20: Sea witches can summon powerful monsters and even cause the sea to swallow their enemies. Stay far, far away from them by any means you can.