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I am looking to play a Witch in Pathfinder, but I want to play a male witch. Can I do that, and if I can does the name matter? I'd like to call him a Warlock—can I do that?

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There's no solid answer for this one. The class in the book is called 'Witch'. If you want to call it something else, consult your DM. –  MadMAxJr Jan 22 '14 at 18:05
Welcome to the site Storm Mage. Just to add a bit more context to the comment @MadMAxJr gives, RPG.SE is a Q&A site, and as such we favor questions that can be definitively answered, and not opined on or discussed. See the help for more information. And drop by chat when you have 20+ reputation; that's where questions like this are likely to be discussed. –  wraith808 Jan 22 '14 at 18:25
If y'all want to chat go to chat. Comments here are for improving questions and answers, not spouting out your favorite related trivia. Comments have been deleted. –  mxyzplk Jan 23 '14 at 1:07
You could also just make him a male witch. I played a pathfinder game that was quite fun and had a male witch that no one bothered to question at all!...Though his name was Sue... –  Zibbobz Jun 26 '14 at 15:10

4 Answers 4

While witch and warlock are arguably the female and male version of the same trope, just like a sorceress and a sorcerer, Pathfinder is intended to be retrocompatible with D&D 3.x material and D&D 3.x already has an official base class called Warlock (and a different Witch as an exaple of homebrewing a base class).

While I'd suggest to keep referencing to your character as a Witch (or a male Witch, when it could cause confusion), that is just a label the system places on the collection of powers, the class, and thus would only be used when speaking out of character, maybe when explaining your build to someone else or when reminding your Dungeon Master where to look for rules for your hexes.

On the other hand, in the game's fiction, it's perfectly fine to be calling a male Witch "a warlock". The same could be true for all Sorcerers/ress, or even all arcanists, depending on what "a warlock" is perceived to be in the game world.
And I'm not even talking of the possibility of refluffing your character so that, while using the Witch's mechanics, he actually is not a witch (or a warlock, if that matters) for the people in the fictional universe - e.g. maybe he's a psion whose powers work differently from other Psion psions because of some event in his past.

(For ease of reference, all classes names are written with a Capital Initial, all descriptive names are in italics)

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Basically: giantitp.com/comics/oots0209.html –  Oxinabox Jan 23 '14 at 2:00
A rose by any other name... –  PipperChip Jun 26 '14 at 20:25

In most cases, yes.

Let's break it down.

Can my character refer to himself as a Warlock during roleplaying encounters?


In real life, I write programs for a living. When asked what I do, I can answer a lot of ways: Programer, Systems Developer, Web Application Designer, Male Model, Professional Adventurer, etc. Some of these are more accurate than others.

Your character has the same flexibility: he can describe himself however he wants. Witch, Warlock, Wizard, Fighter, Rogue, Adventurer... Regardless of what it says on your character sheet, you can say whatever you want.

Will the world acknowledge my choice of being called a Warlock?

Probably (ask your DM).

Are there others who call themselves Warlocks in the game?

When Bob, Captain of the Guard, hears that you're a warlock, does he know you mean a male witch?

If a Zone of Truth were cast on you, and you were asked your class, would you be able to say Warlock, or would you be compelled to say Witch?

These are all situations that are under the control of the DM. You'll have to ask him, but in most cases the DM will be cool with it.

Will the other players call me a Warlock?

It doesn't matter.

The other players will call you whatever they want to call you. Some will be respectful, some won't. You can express your preference of being called a Warlock, but they're under no real obligation to comply.

Can I write Warlock on my character sheet?


Unless your group are real sticklers for record keeping, it probably doesn't matter. Your character sheet is primarily for your reference, so put what makes you happy on it (as long as you can accurately recall the important parts of your character).

If I'm talking to someone (online or in person), and they ask what class my character is, can I say Warlock?


Well, you can. And it might even work within your group. But no one else will know what the heck you're talking about. Just go with Witch, which everyone understands.

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"If a Zone of Truth were cast on you, and you were asked your class": I'm pretty sure that characters are not aware of the game-mechanical class concept or their names, except insofar as they happen to match the name you mention in your first section. –  SevenSidedDie Jan 23 '14 at 2:53
A bit of reductio ad absurdum might help: if a Zone of Truth were cast on you and someone asked you which feat you took at third level, what would you answer? –  Alex P Jan 23 '14 at 4:49
@AlexP The asker is also a character in the universe unaware of game mechanics, and therefore, presumably he would actually ask something like "What was the trick you learned when you were at so and so level of skill in your art?". –  Superbest Jan 23 '14 at 6:51
@SevenSidedDie By games I wasn't referring to system. My apologies for being unclear. I meant specific groups at specific tables. My experience has been that almost every group I've played in has, at some point, had one character (player or NPC) ask another character what class they were at some time or another. Sometimes it's clumsy and beating around the bush, and sometimes it's direct. It isn't simulationist, but it is true to the rules established by the game world. –  AceCalhoon Jan 23 '14 at 16:49
@KRyan That is interesting. It gets at a distinction I don't think we discussed, where class determines in-world abilities, which determines in-world reality, but the character is still insulated from the mechanical expression thereof. So they know "I am a warrior, a fighter, a mercenary sword", but not "I am (the class) Fighter with Sword Expertise." This is harder to keep in mind with some, like paladins, where the mechanic names and fiction meanings overlap more exactly, but firewalling fiction from mechanics, while keeping the causality intact, is still important (to me). –  SevenSidedDie Jun 26 '14 at 17:41

The real question is why not? If the GM has an issue with such a small stipulation then frankly he should lighten up on being a control freak, especially over such a small matter. Why wouldn't you be able to do things like "translate" the class for a male character. It's the model of your character, it's what engages you. Of course again this ultimately falls to the GM but unless they are absolute about the guides of the role play this shouldn't be a problem.

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Of course. Different cultures have different names for things, and while your definition of a Warlock might not meet up with what someone else considers a Warlock, doesn't mean your opinion is any different.

It's the same as mages/sorcerers/clerics/druids being called Witches and the like in less magically inclined lands with less formal understanding of the intracises of magic.

On your character sheet, yes, you're a witch, but you can introduce yourself however you wish, though it may lead to all sorts of in-character problems from people who expect one thing and you are another due to having differing opinions of what a witch/warlock/wizard/mage/sorcerer/arcanist/bard/etc is.

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