Although we can remember playing Assassins, Cavaliers and Thief-Acrobats, our gaming group is new to the 4E movement. As such, you may understand our hesitancy on adding a new player class. However, we have used the HARD BOILED CULTURES by One Bad Eggs Ideas with success in other games (Although the product was designed for 4E, this cultural article had great utility in other gaming systems, too.), and felt that a FREE preview would be worthwhile. We have recently downloaded the .pdf and found it to be very inspiring!
Witch Doctors (WD) fill the niche as 4E controllers, and it appears to be somewhat of an “anti-leader,” too. The WD has many interesting powers, many of which focus on ill effects of Saving Throws. When aimed at an enemy leader, our group believes WDs to be more powerful than wizards of (at least) lower levels. Wizards cannot deal significant damage to a powerful enemy leader, but WDs can provide unsettling curses and similar effects to distract or otherwise render the bad guy less powerful. Also, the “Resolute Witch Doctor” relies heavily on his Constitution score, making this class an attractive difference beyond being a healthy caster.
In addition to the unique powers, our group liked the flavorful background of the WD, especially in light of the newest 4E Players Handbook II that includes more primitive classes and options. An Eladrin Wizard differs greatly from a Dwarf Witch Doctor while filling similar roles! We noticed some overlap with a WD and a Staff Wizard, but the powers are different, especially regarding the wall-powers of WDs. Our group's controller chose to build a Tiefling WD, because the dark and spooky race seemed like a natural fit as WDs, too, and their Charisma bonus helps. Finally, we will look to add the Apelord as a Witch Doctor to our next game, and see how successful One Bad Egg can be marrying two of its products.
Our only regret was not learning about the play-testing sooner…
[5 of 5 Stars!]