The Coven hex allows you to use an 'aid another' action to increase the caster level of the other witch for one round,

In addition, whenever the witch with this hex is within 30 feet of another witch with this hex, she can use the aid another action to grant a +1 bonus to the other witch’s caster level for 1 round. This bonus applies to the witch’s spells and all of her hexes.

The save, however, is not decided with caster level, it's decided by class level.

10 + 1/2 the witch's level + the witch's Intelligence modifier.

Would Coven be too powerful if I houseruled the hex to increase class level? Would the Brew Potions feat count as a hex if taken by the Cauldron hex, so two witches with Coven can stand behind one brewing potions, improving her level for the purpose of brewing?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You have 3 separate questions here, and at least one of them is a request for a potentially enormous list. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Jun 4, 2015 at 6:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman, there are only 65 hexes in total, so at most the list would contain 32 entries: either you list the ones that do scale with CL, or the ones that don’t, whichever is less. That doesn’t seem too broad. And the other two questions are fairly related to one another. So really, this is two questions – which should still be split, but the situation is not as dire as you make it out to be. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have removed the request for the list of CL-scaling hexes, as that is a separate question. I personally think it’s probably just within the bounds of a reasonable question here, though others may differ, but either way it’s a separate question and should be asked as such. I’ve also clarified on (what I believe to be) the intent of the question about Cauldron and how it relates to the overall question about Coven. Teco, feel free to clarify or revert my edit if I have gotten any of it wrong. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, it would also work if someone simply posted what would make a hex caster level reliant,( e.g. If it's a spell like ability or something). Your edits are perfectly fine, but I kept the title generic to include any witch CL increasing effects, if there are any other than coven. \$\endgroup\$
    – Teco
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


Would Coven be too powerful if I houseruled the hex to increase class level?

Coven is what might be called a “build-around” hex. Its benefits are very specific, and getting the most from it requires a very particular type of campaign. When you have such a campaign, its effects are fairly potent, but in a typical campaign it is almost-useless.

So the “primary” benefit of coven, the ability to join hag covens, is really a plot-ability; player characters will most likely never use it excepting in campaigns that revolve around it. It allows witches to join the covens of hags, which are generally-unpleasant, if not outright-evil, monsters. No hag is a playable creature,1 so the hag isn’t likely to come adventuring with you.2

The exception, again, is if the campaign revolves around this coven. Then the hex becomes quite useful, if not literally a requirement for entry.

The “secondary” benefit of coven doesn’t require a hag, but it does require at least two witches who have selected coven. Therefore, you’re looking, in most cases, at having at least two players coordinate to start a coven and both take this hex.3 To a limited extent, a single player could take advantage of this, through Leadership, but really that says more about the power level of Leadership, that it could kind-of salvage this hex, than anything else.

So with all this being the case, the coven hex is extremely niche. It does not make sense to select it in the overwhelming majority of games, and we haven’t even discussed what it does yet. No matter what it does, so long as it requires a hag and/or another person who has the same hex, it’s just going to be extremely niche.

As for what it does, there’s something of an issue in that hexes never say anything about caster level; even the ones that are spell-like say to use your “level” as the caster level of the SLA. So there must be some interpretation going on here for the Aid Another usage. Now, in a typical case, scaling effects (duration, damage, area, and so on) use caster level, while saving throw DCs use class level or character level, so I agree that coven would probably not improve the save DC, but this is far from certain.

Allowing coven to apply to the save DC would make it better, but still not worth taking in most campaigns. In campaigns where you want to take it anyway, to participate in a hag’s coven... it might occasionally be worthwhile to have the Aid Another option, but that will be pretty rare. Actually, the best use might be with Leadership, but don’t bring your witch-followers into any kind of combat scenario; a single fireball will kill most of them. If they (and you) all have coven, though, you might be able enact some pretty hefty rituals... but you’re still limited by the options on the witch hex list. Hexes that can be used out-of-combat and benefit from buffs to saving throw DC are kind of limited.

As for cauldron, no: the effect of the hex is that you get a bonus feat. The rules of that feat, and how it relies on caster level, are not part of the hex. But allowing it wouldn’t be a problem; usually people want to reduce the caster level of items they make, because caster level is expensive. Note that having higher caster level would not allow the witches to brew potions of spells they didn’t already have anyway. Also, bear in mind that potions are very, very weak.

So ultimately, coven is probably just a matter of plot, for NPC witches, and should only really come up in campaigns revolving around a coven. It’s a niche ability that doesn’t really have significant effect, and there’s not a lot to be done about that without completely changing the nature of the hex.

  1. Weirdly, I think anyway, the “half-hag” race, changeling, does not get any benefits relating to covens. Even the changeling witch racial archetype doesn’t mention the hex or the hag ability in any way.

  2. For the record, you cannot select any type of hag as a monster cohort with the Leadership feat. Why not, I don’t know; that could actually make this hex fairly interesting. But you can’t.

  3. There are a few archetypes of other classes that can select hexes, like hexcrafter magus, so they don’t both need to be witches, at least.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Aw, I was searching all over the web for a hag cohort, though it wouldn't be too much of a stretch if I finally found out the pattern and correlation between CR and cohort level... \$\endgroup\$
    – Teco
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Teco Ask your DM about the hag cohort; I would definitely allow it, and was really disappointed and surprised that there didn’t seem to be any way to get one. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I AM the DM, I just need to find out what would be considered a fair cohort level, to avoid making leadership... Never mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – Teco
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Teco If I were to want to plan a campaign around this effect, I would change it. I would probably allow non-hags to form covens (probably with some kind of scaling list of SLAs based on the level of the participants), or at least give a plot-reason why a hag is working with the PCs. I would give the coven hex itself to players for free, since it is required to play in such a game, and that even on non-hexing classes (though I might require some magical ability) to ensure some variety. I’d also probably give something Leadership-like for free at some point, as they start attracting witches \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:48

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