How to use Shadow Witches?

For the last mission, I threw a Shadow Witch at the squad, but it wasn’t as scary as I feel it should have been. When I created the scenario, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to let the squad to use their special armor from Zora (anti-magic seals), but it never came into play, and they also brought Reliquaries, only one of which was used (in an interesting way to Resist a couple Hexed that had gotten a grapple-hold on the Medic). So I feel like I didn’t use the Shadow Witch to their full potential.

What am I missing? How do you run a Shadow Witch? Can they “cast spells” or do they have to carve hexes into flesh to have an effect on someone/something?


To keep with the themes of body horror, I have my shadow witches focus on tactile illusions and body control. First encounter with witches they rescued a scout who was largely immobilized because a witch swapped the nerve impulses in the scouts legs, so she needed to relearn to walk. Level 2 harm is a persistent illusion that stinging insects are burrowing under your skin. Lethal harm is your comrade raising her musket, a look of horror on her face, and convulsively discharging it into the legionnaire next to her.

My players HATE the witches.


@Michael_Atlin Yes! Flavouring the harm can go a long way. I love those ideas.

I’ve been thinking about Shadow Witches too.

From the book, it’s clear that a Shadow witch can use hexes and magic to:

  • twist the world around them to their whim
  • bind limbs
  • corrupt animals
  • befoul supplies
  • weaken troops.

They can also:

  • control Burned and Hexed, and the Transformed as pumped up hexed
  • fly on devourer (as pictured)

Twisting the world is pretty damn broad, so could easily include invoking energies and warping spaces, maybe tracing hexes in the air around them or belching inky foulness out of themselves. Binding limbs sounds like immobilising opponents and horrible disfigurement. Given the magical weather flavour of Breaker, I think this could be ill winds, burning rains, foul airs, ominous clouds, and poisoned grounds. These could let the Shadow Witch strike from a distance: separating foes, throwing up barriers and deflections, illusions and monstrous phantasms. Taking ideas from Nature’s Fury, but making them more direct attacks from visibly present Shadow Witch, rather than an independent, corrupt force of nature like a storm or fog.

All this flavour of hexing sounds like Shadow Witches specialise in isolating and immobilising foes before sending in their line troops to attack. This makes it seem particularly useful if the Shadow Witch is flying about, controlling the battlefield from afar.

Befoulment could be an obstacle on the road to the mission target or after a confrontation. With befouled supplies, legionnaires might suffer 1-harm from hunger or have to raid for food. I can see a foul, choking miasma that leaves an oily residue on everything.

The Storm Riding ability suggests that Shadow Witches might be already able to harness the lightning forces inside Burned (not body jump, but maybe as a weapon). I don’t think Shadow Witches can call down lightning without Nature’s Fury ability. But the trees the Burned are impaled on have a constant lightning storm, so a Shadow Witch amongst those trees would have a potent weapon in bringing down those strikes on foes.

I’m of two minds about how to use the Burned. At first, I read the Burn as immobile undead, still impaled on trees. But that seemed really hard to use as a line troop. So now I think the Burned can roam free of their trees, literal shock troops that electrify and burn their foes, particularly potent as a group, starting fires with sparks. The trees remain a threat since they have a perpetual lightning storm about them and as a source for creating more Burned.


Yeah my read is the trees are how burned are created, and then they climb down and are jittering, twitching, sparking fast zombies with shocking touch.


I create each Shadow Witch as someone with specific hex abilities - illusion or confusion or direct corruption or paralysis; whatever comes to mind. I give each shadow witch three such hex abilities, plus they all can do distance damage with electricity. To be fair, thus far I have only created three shadow witches, and the players have killed one of them at their second encounter with him.