Adapting the Bilocation Spell for PF1
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
I got a request through my Patreon to adapt the Sf spell bilocation to Pathfinder 1st edition. Since asking for specific content is one of the perks of being a Patron, here’s that project!
Mostly, this is about rewriting things to match Pathfinder 1e’s rules and terminology, but there are a few other concerns we must consider.
While there’s nothing wrong with bilocation as a Pathfinder 1st edition spell name (“clone” has been in the game for several editions over many decades), it still feels more scifi than fantasy. Since this spell conjures something that looks like you, I’m going to go with “mirror self” as a spell name for now. that can change later with no real rule implications.
When looking at what level spell to make this, I think we want it to enter the game at about the same time as bilocation, which means this should be an 8th level spell. That restricts this to full spellcasters, and I’m okay with that. I don’t think we need a magus to have this, for example–they can do enough as it is. (It’d be possible to make a version we kept as a 6th level spell, but it would have to be even more limited).
That raises the question of what spell lists we DO want to put this on. Sorcerer/wizard is a given. I don’t see it as a cleric or druid spell–and, honestly, it might be too powerful in their hands given how good they are at both spells and non-spell actions. By the same logic, I wouldn’t give it to shamans. But I can easily see letting witches and psychics have it. Witches will make the best use of it, since they’ll be able to use two hexes or one hex and one spell each round, but at high levels witches often lack the pure spell power of wizards of psychics, so I’m okay with that.
Besides, it seems creepy and witchlike to split into two people who can walk around and hold a conversation from two locations.
School conjuration (creation); Level Psychic 8, Sorcerer/Wizard 8, Witch 8
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a hand mirror)
Duration 1 round/level (D)
This spell creates an identical copy of you in an adjacent space, along with everything you wear and carry other than artifacts and other creatures. (If you carry an artifact or a creature, you decide which body retains it.) You exist in two places at once until the spell ends. Once the copy is created, it can travel an unlimited distance away from you. Your duplicate acts just after you do each round—it doesn’t have a separate initiative count. One of you can use a full round’s worth of actions, and the other can take only a standard or a move action.
Between the two of you, you can cast no more than the numbers of spells per round you could if not under the mirror self spell (normally one spell per round, unless you have a special ability that allows you to cast more than one spell when you have no duplicate, such as the Quicken Spell metamagic feat). This applies to spell-like abilities and spells cast from wands, scrolls, potions, and other magic items.
You and your duplicate share sensory information, so if one of you is aware of or knows something, both of you do. The duplicate is another creature for most purposes, with the following exceptions.
You and the duplicate use the same statistics and share resources, including one pool of consumable items (including ammo, such as arrows), daily-use abilities (including from items) spell slots/prepared spells, and Hit Points. If your duplicate casts a spell, your spell is expended, and if your duplicate uses a consumable item, that item is no longer available to you. Similarly, if an item one of you carries is permanently lost or destroyed, that item is lost or destroyed for both.
Attacks, spells, and effects affect the two bodies as though they were one person, taking the worst effect applicable. For example, if both bodies are in the same fireball, you attempt the saving throw only once and take the damage only once. If you fail the saving throw against hold person, both bodies are paralyzed, and if one body is diseased or poisoned, both are. Both bodies count as one creature for spell effects, and they can’t be chosen more than once for such effects. Any magical effect on you has its duration halved while you’re using mirror self. For example, the aforementioned hold person loses 2 rounds of duration each round it paralyzes you and your duplicate. Similarly, if you cast shield on yourself, your duplicate is also affected, and the spell has a duration of 5 rounds per level. An effect that has its duration shortened in this way lasts a minimum of 1 round.
In addition, if you attempt a Knowledge skill check, you roll only one check. Similarly, if you and your duplicate are in the same area, you roll only one Perception check to determine what you’re both aware of, although you receive a +2 bonus to this check as if your duplicate aided you on it.
When this spell ends, you decide which body remains and which disappears. Any enduring effects continue to affect you.
That’s potent, but unlikely to have a greater impact than other 8th level spells.
I went ahead and created a lesser mirror self spell that’s 6th level and available to more classes (including bard and magus), and posted it on my Patreon as an exclusive thank-you to my Patrons for their ongoing support! Joining my Patreon gets you access to hundreds of posts of content for numerous game systems, as well as the exclusive content I haven’t posted anywhere else.
About Owen K.C. StephensOwen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens
Posted on March 29, 2022, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged Game Design, gaming, Geekery, PC Options. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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