Archives of Nethys

Prestige Classes

Winter Witch

Source Reign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 12, Paths of Prestige pg. 62 (Amazon)
In the minds of the folk of the arctic north, the otherworldly powers of winter witches are inextricably linked with the frozen realm of Irrisen and its cruel aristocracy. These rulers, the Jadwiga, have the bitter blood of Baba Yaga running through their veins, and possess unique abilities that make them unparalleled in their power over ice, snow, and cold.

Not all winter witches have a blood connection to the nobility of Irrisen. Some have their craft passed down to them by wizened mentors, and others hear their calling in the howling winds of a freezing winter’s night. Of those winter witches who live outside Irrisen, many subsist on the fringes of civilization or in the wild, often concealing their powers lest they be seen as Irriseni spies. This is particularly true in the lands of the Linnorm Kings, where memories of the Winter War with Irrisen fuel long-held hatreds, as well as in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, whose superstitious tribespeople deeply distrust most forms of arcane magic.


To qualify to become a winter witch, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Spells: Able to cast at least three different spells with the cold descriptor, one of which must be of 3rd level or higher.
Special: Must have a patron and the ice magic class feature (Inner Sea Magic 43).

Class Skills

The Winter Witch's class skills are Bluff (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Survival (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Hit Die: d6.

Class Features

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialSpells Per Day
1st+0+0+0+1Hyperboreal patronage, winter withcraft
2nd+1+1+1+1Freeze and thaw+1 level of witch class
3rd+1+1+1+2Unnatural cold+1 level of witch class
4th+2+1+1+2Sculpt ice and snow+1 level of witch class
5th+2+2+2+3+1 level of witch class
6th+3+2+2+3Blizzard sight+1 level of witch class
7th+3+2+2+4+1 level of witch class
8th+4+3+3+4Unearthly cold+1 level of witch class
9th+4+3+3+5+1 level of witch class
10th+5+3+3+5Iceglide, inexorable cold+1 level of witch class

The following are class features of the winter witch prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A winter witch gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spells per Day: At the indicated levels, a winter witch gains new spells per day and patron spells as if she had also gained a level in the witch class. She does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained except for additional spells per day and an increased effective level of spellcasting.

Hyperboreal Patronage: A winter witch’s patron reveals an icy aspect. A winter witch adds the following spells to her spell list at the listed class levels, but does not automatically learn them: 3rd—wall of ice, 5th—icy prisonUM, 7th—freezing sphere.

Winter Witchcraft: Levels of the winter witch prestige class stack with witch levels for determining when a witch learns new hexes, the effect of her hexes and other witch class abilities (including archetype abilities), the abilities of her witch’s familiar, and the level at which she can select major hexes or grand hexes.

Freeze and Thaw (Su): At 2nd level, a winter witch can freeze water or melt ice and snow with a touch. As a standard action, a winter witch can melt an adjacent 5-foot cube of ice or a 10-foot cube of snow. Melting snow produces a volume of water equal to 10% of the snow’s volume. Alternatively, a winter witch can freeze 5 cubic feet of water into solid ice. This freezing takes place gradually over 1 round, making it almost impossible to trap a creature unless it’s helpless. This ability cannot affect water that is within a creature. One cubic foot of ice contains roughly 8 gallons of water and weighs about 60 pounds.

This ability works on fresh water and saltwater, but has no affect on water creatures; on liquids (frozen or otherwise) other than water; or on magical water, ice, or snow. A winter witch can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her class level.

Unnatural Cold (Su): At 3rd level, whenever a winter witch’s spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability deals cold damage, treat affected creatures as having half their normal cold resistance when determining the damage dealt.

Sculpt Ice and Snow (Sp): At 4th level, a winter witch can sculpt ice and snow into any shape that suits her purpose (as stone shape, except that it works with ice). This ability also works on snow, doubling the volume affected. At 7th level, this ability functions on ice or snow like the fabricate spell, increasing the volume manipulated and allowing a higher degree of craftsmanship. The winter witch must succeed at appropriate Craft checks to form complex items or ones with fine detail. Items created by the fabricate version of this ability solidify into ultra-hard ice (hardness 5, 10 hit points per inch of thickness) that resists normal melting but takes double damage from fire. The ice remains in this ultra-hard state for 1 hour per class level before returning to normal ice. A winter witch can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her class level.

Winter Hex: Starting at 5th level, whenever a winter witch can choose a major hex, she must choose from the following hexes: ice tombUM, hoarfrostUM, numbing chill (see below). Once the winter witch has selected all three winter hexes, she may thereafter choose any other hex she meets the prerequisites for.

Numbing Chill (Su): Whenever the winter witch casts a spell that deals cold damage, she can imbue the spell with a debilitating eldritch chill as a swift action. She chooses one of the spell’s targets or a creature within the spell effect. If that creature takes cold damage from the spell, it must also succeed at a Fortitude save or take 1d4 points of Dexterity damage and be staggered for 1 round. The creature need only make this saving throw once per spell, even if the spell deals damage multiple times. If the target saves successfully, it is immune to this hex for 1 day. This is a cold effect.

Blizzard Sight (Su): At 6th level, a winter witch can see normally in natural or magical rain, sleet, hail, fog, snowstorms, blizzards, and similar weather conditions.

Unearthly Cold (Su): At 8th level, a winter witch’s spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities that deal cold damage become horrendously cold. Half the cold damage caused by these effects comes from an otherworldly power and is not subject to being reduced by resistance or immunity to cold-based attacks.

Iceglide (Su): At 10th level, a winter witch can move effortlessly at her base land speed through ice or snow. This movement leaves behind no tunnel or hole, and doesn’t create any ripple or other sign of passage. While icegliding, a winter witch can breathe normally. A control water spell cast on an area containing an icegliding winter witch flings her back 30 feet in a random direction, stunning her for 1 round unless she succeeds at a DC 15 Fortitude save. A winter witch can use this ability for 10 minutes per day. This time need not be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. Activating this ability is a swift action.

Inexorable Cold (Su): At 10th level, a winter witch casts spells with the cold descriptor at +1 caster level. In addition, she gains a +1 bonus on caster level checks to counterspell, dispel, or penetrate spell resistance with these spells, and the DC to counterspell or dispel these spells increases by 1.