Alright, so I want to make a villainous witch to be the villain that starts off the plot for a campaign. I want her to hex a beloved noble with either some format of permanent sleep, or impending death that can be staved off but not cured.

I was hoping for the witch to be around level 14 so I could have a party grow in power as they chased her down, but I couldn't find any permanent curse that would fit this concept for a witch of that low of level. I would prefer witch, but if another class would fit, I would love to hear the suggestion.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you open to homebrew spells? \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Jul 7 '15 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd rather not, but it's probably worth it. \$\endgroup\$ – Levi Jul 7 '15 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to instead create a way to re-apply the effect? Say the party identifies what the curse is, they cure it, but it just keeps coming back the next day. \$\endgroup\$ – DanceSC Jul 7 '15 at 21:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is actually a quite interesting method. A way to make the curse quite interesting. \$\endgroup\$ – Levi Jul 7 '15 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could always tie the curse to a relic so that the victim can be shielded from the effect, however if the shielding isn't maintained or staved off, the persistence is still there and the curse is reapplied. Think along the lines of a Lich's phlyactery. The relic doesn't even have to be near the person, just make it something they had as a kid or a family heirloom or something. Better yet, if it's a vial of the fathers/mothers blood, you can tie the curse to the blood of the individual. That way you can't remove it, you have to find the source. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jul 9 '15 at 13:34

Deep Slumber

is a 3rd level spell for witches, and Mythic Deep Slumber can do what you want with a Mythic Tier 5 Witch. Mythic Tiers are independent of level so you can certainly have a 14th level Witch with MT 5. Mythic Tiers are really powerful, however, so you might want to drop her level a bit or give the PC mythic tiers of their own in the course of the quest.

Bestow Curse, a core level 3 witch spell, allows the caster to make up their own effects, but is easily removed long before level 14.

Greater Bestow Curse (from Pathfinder Adventure Path #82) is a level 7 witch spell, right up the alley of our 14th level witch, allows more powerful effects, and is much harder to dispel (will require a decent quantity of specific items dedicated to fixing this one problem on the part of the rogue, or a level 10 caster with Break Enchantment and plenty of time (or Pearls of Power V)).

Having to sleep isn't well covered by the core rules, but adventure path 44, cited in this sidebar, gives some rules. Severely affecting a character's sleep requirements is well in line with both versions of the spell, while some form of Save-or-Die sleep effect (e.g. Fall asleep, as per the sleep spell, immediately. Fort save or can't wake up until the curse is removed) would be in line with the short-range 7th level greater curse.

If there's a shortage on royalty in the area, an Apple of Eternal Sleep (from Ultimate Equipment) is exactly what you want, and very classic, but the whole 'ends on kiss from royalty' thing probably puts it out of the question here.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright thank you, I really like the idea of a witch with a boost of mythic tier involved for mythic deep slumber. Could you suggest an amount of character levels to reduce her by to make her of a similar strength to a 14th lvl witch? \$\endgroup\$ – Levi Jul 7 '15 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Being that the minimum level in which Greater bestow curse can be dispelled is 10 (with break enchantment) (DC 11 + CL[14] + 5 = 30 vs d20 + CL[10]) it might be quite viable, specially if the PCs don't know how the curse came to being and the witch's level. \$\endgroup\$ – Gusk Jul 8 '15 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gusk Hey! Maybe so! I'd been worried about the party rogue popping Break Enchantment scrolls like candy, but it seems you would still need a +1 CL from something, which is hard with scrolls. That could work well indeed! \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jul 8 '15 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Coupled with mask dweomer (just remembered this spell), you could have the curse register as something else for 1day/level. And since if they want to know what they are against, they will study it right away, rather than wait half a month, you may not even have to worry about them finding out what is creating the effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Gusk Jul 8 '15 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gusk Yeah, I considered that, but I don't think the 14 days is gonna be long enough for the OPs purposes. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jul 8 '15 at 17:31

Have your villainess create an evil twin anti-hero from the PCs or a famous NPC hero

  1. Extort a PC or NPC hero into giving a tissue sample (e.g. the party can be involved in an adventure to save hostages, stolen relics, etc. while the target PC or NPC serves as collateral).
  2. Clone1 the hero from the tissue sample (without letting the players know, natch), and go all Sith Emperor "turn to the dark side" yadda yadda yadda on the clone.
  3. Make sure the villainous clone gets some high-profile crime time while the adventurers are off being heroes thereby ruining the hero's reputation. Bonus points for unwitting interactions between the villainous clone and the player party before they become aware that the clone exists.
  4. ... ?
  5. Profit!

1 This assumes you are using the "neither can tolerate the other's existence without one going insane" flavor of the spell in early versions of D&D, or perhaps using a magic jar, demonic possession of the clone, etc. It depends also on how the witch would get access to the clone spell... but that's what DM creativity is for, yes? :)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you may have accidentally posted this on the wrong question. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jul 8 '15 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Nope, "What is a spell..." This use of clone provides a long-lasting campaign arc (I have played through one just like this, and there the chief architect was indeed a villainous witch). \$\endgroup\$ – Lexible Jul 8 '15 at 0:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ The spell clone doesn't work that way, but the spell simulacrum or a mirror of opposition might work. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 8 '15 at 0:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan It does work that way in previous editions, hence the footnote. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Lexible Jul 8 '15 at 1:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ But using either of the other ways means keeping things within the bounds of the Pathfinder rules, though. It wasn't a criticism (I just reread the 1978 clone spell and it does, indeed, do what you say) but a suggestion for an updated version of a similar effect. It's cool. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 8 '15 at 1:32

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