Category Archives: Pathfinder Development

Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 7)

We start the week continuing with more new stuff for our Revised Magister class, for PF1. Having done the core mystic bond rules and updated all the original ones, today we continue to add new mystic bonds, delving into more of the hybrid classes that came out after the original magister was written.

Spirit Bond (divine) – The magister forms a bond with the spirits of the world. The magister gains a spirit from the shaman spirit class feature, The spells granted by that spirit are added to her primary spell list. At 1st level she gains that spirit’s spirit ability, at 8th level she gains its greater spirit ability, and at 16th level she gains its true spirit ability. She can select to gain a hex from her spirit instead of magister bonus feats at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level. The magister treats her magister level as her shaman level for all abilities gained through the spirit bond.

Special: An occult magister who selects the spiritualist spell list as a primary or secondary spell list may select the spirit bond.

(Art by zhenliu)

Kenning Bond (arcane) – The magister turns to ancient poetry and sagas for secret ways to access and manipulate magic. Once per day, the magister can cast any spell on her primary spell list (see Choosing Spells for more information on magister spell lists) as if it were one of her magister spells known, expending a magister spell slot of the same spell level to cast the desired spell. Casting a spell with the kenning bond always has a minimum casting time of 1 full round, regardless of the casting time of the spell. At 6th level she can use the kenning bond to cast a spell from her secondary spell list. At 11th level, she can use this ability twice per day, and at 17th level, she can use it three times per day.

Additionally, the magister becomes a master of many different types of lore. At 1st level, and every 2 levels thereafter, she selects one Knowledge skill she can always take 10 on checks with, even if danger and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. At 7th level, once per day, she can take 20 on any of the Knowledge skills she has selected with this ability as a standard action, instead of spending the normal time taking 20 requires. The magister can use this ability to take 20 on a Knowledge skill check twice per day at 13th level and three times per day 19th level.

Special: A divine magister who worships a god that grants the Knowledge of Magic domain can select the kenning bond.

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Hey folks! We’re not done with the Magister just yet — there are new and revised mystic talents and magister feats yet to come… but what do you want to see AFTER that?

I know there’s less-and-less material being produced for Pathfinder 1st edition by people who worked on the game as Paizo developers. If you want to encourage me to keep creating new options for this rule system, please consider joining my Patreon (or buying a cup work of support at my Ko-Fi) and letting me know!

HEY, WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION!

I’m working with novelist and veteran game design Darrin Drader to bring a new edition of his Reign of Discordia sci-fi setting to 5e and the White Star rpg. As is the standard these days we have a Kickstarter campaign running at the moment, and would really appreciate you taking look, telling your friends, and maybe backing it!

Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 6)

We start the week continuing with more new stuff for our Revised Magister class, for PF1. Having done the core mystic bond rules and updated all the original ones, today we continue to add new mystic bonds, rounding out or new occult bonds.

Mystic Implements (occult) – A magister with this mystic bond explores the eldritch links between objects and specific forms of magic. The magister gains one implement school from the occultist class feature of the same name, and its base focus power. She also gains the occultist’s mental focus class feature, with a number of points of mental focus equal to half her magister level (minimum 1) plus the bonus of her secondary spellcasting ability (see the magister spells class feature for more details on primary and secondary spellcasting ability scores).

The magister can select additional focus powers at 4th and 8th level. She can select an additional implement school (gaining their base powers) instead of magister bonus feats at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level. Alternatively, a magister can select additional an additional focus power for any implement school she knows instead of a bonus feat.

The magister adds all spells from any implement school she knows to her primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells”). The magister treats her magister level as her occultist level for all abilities gained through the mystic implements bond.

Special: A divine spellcaster who worships a god that grants the Artifice domain may select the mystic implements mystic bond.

(Art by wimage72)

Psychic Bond (occult) – This represents a method of accessing magical powers using a specific part of the magister’s mind or psyche. The magister gains one psychic discipline from the class feature of the same name of the psychic class. The magister does not receive the discipline’s spells as bonus spells known, but they are added to the magister’s primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells”).

The magister can select phrenic amplifications instead of magister bonus feats at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level. The first time she does this, she gains a phrenic pool (with her phrenic points determined based on the ability score determined by her psychic discipline). The magister treats her magister level as her psychic level for all abilities gained through this bond.

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Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 5)

We round out the week continuing to add some genuinely new stuff to our Revised Magister class, for PF1. Having done the core mystic bond rules and updated all the original ones, today we continue to add new mystic bonds. And we finally get to some occult mystic bonds!

(Art by art1art)

Mystic Inquisition (divine) – Some magisters forge a bond with the enforcement-themed powers of specific gods. A magister must worship a deity to select this mystic bond. The magister gains an inquisitor inquisition available to inquisitors who worship the same deity she worships. When determining the powers granted by this inquisition, the magister’s effective cleric level is equal to her magister level.

The magister may select the 1st-level abilities of other inquisitions granted by her deity at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level, rather than take a magister bonus feat.

Special: A magister with the divine power source may select mystic inquisition for the banishment, conversion, damnation, or excommunication inquisition, whether or not they worship a deity. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that domain as divine spells.

A magister with the occult power source may select mystic inquisition for the heresy, oblivion, possession, or secrets inquisition, whether or not they worship a deity. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that domain as arcane spells.

Mystic Spirit (occult) – Unlike a medium, who can use a seance to invite in a local spirit, some magisters find themselves (intentionally or accidently) bound to a single spirit full-time. The magister gains a single spirit as if she had the spirit medium class feature and had performed a seance to house a spirit (which always has exactly 1 point of influence over her, and cannot gain or lose influence). The magister gains the spirit bonus (but not spirit surge), seance bonus, influence penalty, and one taboo (of the magister’s choice) of the spirit. The magister also gains the spirit’s intermediate spirit power at 6th level, its greater spirit power at 11th level, and its supreme spirit power at 17th level.

Mesmerism (occult) – The mesmerism mystic bond is an eldritch connection between the magister’s eyes and powers of enchantment and confusion. The magister gains the hypnotic stare class feature of the mesmerist. At 2nd level, she gains the painful stare class feature. For all abilities linked to this mystic bonus, the magister treats her magister level as her mesmerist level. The magister may select a bold stare for which she meets the prerequisites at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level, rather than take a magister bonus feat.

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Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 4)

We’re finally adding some genuinely new stuff to our Revised Magister class, for PF1. Having done the core mystic bond rules and updated all the original ones yesterday, now we get to start adding new mystic bonds! We begin by casting our envious eye at class features of the arcanist, bard, and bloodrager.

Arcane Reservoir (arcane) – The magister gains an arcane reservoir, as if she was an arcanist of the same level as her magister level. The magister gains one arcanist exploit at 5th level, and a second at 10th level, and may select them instead of a bonus feat when she gains magister bonus feats. The magister treats her magister level as her arcanist level for all magus arcana, and must meet their prerequisites. The magister also gains the consume spells class feature. She cannot select arcanist exploits that affect or depend on abilities or class features she does not possess.

Special: A magister with the divine power source who worships a deity or philosophy of magic can select this mystic bond without meeting its prerequisite.

(Art by Digital Storm)

Bardic Performance (arcane) – The magister gains the bardic performance class feature. She gains one of the following forms of performance at 1st level — countersong, distraction, fascinate, inspire courage — and can select another performance from that list she does not yet have at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level. She gains the following forms of performance at the listed level — inspire competence (5th), suggestion (6th), dirge of doom (8th), inspire greatness (9th), soothing performance (12th), frightening tune (14th), inspire heroics (15th), mass suggestion (18th). Her rounds of performance per day are equal to her magister level plus her Charisma modifier. This ability otherwise functions as if her magister level was her bard level. She does not gain versatile performance, well-versed, lore master, or jack-of-all-trades.

Special: A magister with the divine power source who worships a deity or philosophy of art, music, or song can select this mystic bond without meeting its prerequisite.

Bloodrage Bloodline (arcane) – This represents a link between extreme emotions and arcane magic, which may be part of the magister’s background or may have been bestowed by a ritual when the magister first gained magic powers. This grants the magister a bloodrager bloodline. The magister also gains a special kind of eldritch rage, which functions as the bloodrager’s bloodrage class feature (using the magister’s level as her bloodrager level), but has no effect on her ability scores, AC, or ability to cast spells. The magister gains the bloodline powers of the selected bloodline, and like a bloodrager they only function while she is in a bloodrage unless they specify otherwise.
When determining the powers granted by this bloodline, the magister’s effective bloodrager level is equal to her magister level. A magister that selects this option does not receive the bloodline’s spells as bonus spells known (unlike a bloodrager). However, bloodline’s bonus spells are added to the magister’s
primary spell list (see “Choosing Spells”). When she gains bonus magister feats, she may select them from the normal list of bonus magister feats, or from the bonus feats of her bloodrage bloodline.

Special: A magister with the divine power source who worships a deity or philosophy of anger, fury, rage, or wrath can select this mystic bond without meeting its prerequisite.

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Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 3)

Okay, still working on the Revised Magister, for PF1. having covered the basics and spellcasting/spell selection, let’s get on with the work of revising and expanding class features! We’ll start with the existing magister mystic bonds. I’m not reprinting all the rules for existing mystic bonds here (you can go pick up the pdf still, if you want that info), but I’m giving all the revision rules you need. New mystic bonds will come soon!

(Preview of Magister art, by Kalleek. Does this mean a new pdf is coming?!)

Mystic Bond

At 1st level, a magister forms a bond with the powers of magic. This bond allows a magister to access some of the class features or specializations of some other spellcasting class. The magic source listed for the mystic bond must be one of the two mystic bonds the magister has selected (arcane, divine, or occult). For example, the arcane pool mystic bond is listed as being arcane, so only a magister that has selected arcane as one of their two magic sources can choose it. If a mystic bond lists multiple sources of magic the magister need match only one of them, and if it lists “any,” it has no mystic source requirement.

Any abilities gained from the mystic bond (or spells known taken from a list provided by the mystic bond) that have calculations based on an ability score (such as uses per day, or save DCs) is calculated using the magister’s primary or secondary spellcasting ability. This choose is made by the magister at 1st level, and cannot be changed.

Arcane Pool (arcane) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister

Arcane Specialization (arcane) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister

Divine Heritage (divine) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister. A character may select a subdomain, rather than a standard domain.

Special: A magister with the arcane power source may select divine heritage for the Air, Earth, Fire,
Magic, or Rune domain. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that domain as arcane spells.

A magister with the occult power source may select divine heritage for the Charm, Knowledge, Madness, or Void domain. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that domain as occult spells.

Divine Inspiration (divine) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister.

Special: A magister with the arcane power source may select divine inspiration for the dragon, elemental, flame, waves, wind, or winter mystery. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that mystery as arcane spells.

A magister with the occult power source may select divine inspiration for the ancestor, dark tapestry, lore, or occult mystery. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that mystery as occult spells.

Martial Bond (any) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister.

Sorcerous Bloodline (arcane) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister.

Special: A magister with the divine power source may select sorcerous bloodline for the abyssal, astral, celestial, daemon, div, djnni, efreeti, fey, infernal, marid, oni, rakshasa, or shaitan bloodline. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that bloodline as divine spells.

A magister with the occult power source may select sorcerous bloodline for the aberrant, accursed, dreamspiun, ectoplasm, harrow, possessed, psychic, or vestige bloodline. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that bloodline as occult spells.

Metamagic Pool (any) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister.

Patron (arcane) – Detailed in The Genius Guide to the Magister.

A magister with the divine power source may select a patron for the animals, death, healing, light, plant, protection, recovery, storms, thorns, water, winter, or woodlands patron. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that patron as divine spells.

A magister with the occult power source may select a patron for the ancestors, conspiracies, insanity, jinx, mind, occult, space, spirits, or stars patron. If this option is taken, the magister casts any spells known taken from that patron as occult spells.

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Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 2)

Okay, still working on the Revised Magister, for PF1. Here comes one of the big reworkings — rules for how to select spells given that you can draw from one of three possible combinations of sources of magic (arcane/divine, arcane/occult*, or divine/occult).

*And yes, I know it’s “psychic” magic in PF1. But it’s used by occult classes, from Pathfinder Occult Adventures, and it became Occult Magic in PF2, so I just think of it as occult magic. If I release this as an actual product, I’ll go back and fix it. 😛

Spells

A magister casts spells from any two of the following sources of magic: arcane, divine, and occult. They can learn and cast spells from any class spell list that draws from the same type of magic as either of the two they have selected. Thus, an arcane/divine magister can draw spells from all arcane and divine class spellcasting lists; an arcane/occult magister can draw spells from all arcane and occult class spellcasting lists; a divine/occult magister can draw spells from all divine and occult class spellcasting lists. For more details on this, see “Choosing Spells,” below).

When deciding her two sources of magic, the magister also must choose two ability scores, one as her primary spellcasting ability, and the other as her secondary spellcasting ability. These cannot be the same ability score. The possible abilities that can be selected to be primary and secondary spellcasting abilities are Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

A magister can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a magister must have a primary spellcasting ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magister’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magister’s secondary spellcasting ability score modifier. Like other spellcasters, a magister can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on “Table 1: The Magister.”
In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high primary ability score.

A magister need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level. The magister’s potential range of spells is extremely broad, but she may only know a limited total number of spells. A magister begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the magister’ choice (see “Choosing Spells”, below). At each new magister level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on “Table 2: Magister Spells Known.”

Upon reaching 3rd level, and at every other magister level after that (5th, 7th, and so on), a magister can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the magister “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s effective level (see “Choosing Spells”, below) must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level class spell the magister can cast. A magister may swap only a single spell at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level. A magister applies metamagic feats to her spells as if she were a sorcerer (unless she has metamagic points—see the metamagic pool mystic bond, below).

A magister who has selected occult magic as one of her two sources of magic casts spells drawn from occult spell lists using occult components (emotion and thought rather than somatic and verbal). For purposes of prerequisites and magic effects, a magister can choose to be treated as a spellcaster of either of the two types of spellcaster she has selected, but cannot count as both at the same time. For example, while both a cleric 3/magister 4 and a magister 4/wizard 3 qualify for the mystic theurge prestige class, a magister 7/sorcerer 1 does not. (In no case should a GM allow things clearly designed for multiclass arcane/divine spellcasters to apply to a single-class magister character in a disruptive or unbalancing manner.)

Choosing Spells

Choosing spells is a more complex process for the magister than for other spellcasting classes. To begin with, there is no set “magister spell list.” As a practitioner of two of the three sources of magic (arcane, divine, and occult), a magister will be able to choose spells from the list of any base class that draws spells from one of the two sources she has selected (though not spells available only to prestige classes). However, a magister’s choices begin with her primary spell list.

Primary Spell List
A magister must designate the class spell list of a devoted spellcasting class as her primary list. Devoted spellcasting classes are those that receive spells at 1st level, and have 0–9th level spells on their spell lists. (This includes the arcanist, cleric, druid, shaman, occultist, psychic, sorcerer, witch, and wizard.) At least half of all the spells a magister knows at each spell level must come from her primary spell list. Even if a magister chooses to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows, she must maintain this ratio at every spell level. Some mystic bonds (see the mystic bonds class feature), can also add bonus spells to a magister’s primary spell list. A magister can select spells from her primary spell list as known spells with no penalties or restrictions.

Other Devoted Spellcasting Classes
In addition to her primary class list, a magister may select spells known from the list of any devoted spellcasting class that draws power from one of the two magic sources she has selected. If that class draws from the same magic source as the magister’s primary spell list, she may choose these spells with no penalties (though she is still under the restriction that at least half the spells she knows at each spell level must come from her primary spell list). So, for example, at 7th level a magister who has selected arcane and divine as her two magic power sources, and taken the cleric spell list as her primary spell list, could decide to make flame blade her new known 2nd-level spell, since it is from the druid spell list—a devoted spellcasting class with the same magic source (divine) as her primary spell list. However, the magister can only do this if both her other known 2nd-level spells are from the cleric spell list (her primary spell list).

A magister may also select spells known from a devoted spellcasting class that draws from her secondary magic source. However, for the magister, such spells have an effective spell level one higher than usual. Thus, the magister from our example above (who has arcane/divine as her two magic power sources, and who selected the cleric spell list as her primary spell list) may select acid arrow as a spell known. But because that is a 2nd-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list—a devoted spellcasting class with a different magic source than her primary class—this magister must count it as a 3rd-level spell known. For her, acid arrow is treated in all ways as a 3rd-level spell.

Non-Devoted Spellcasting Classes
A magister may also select spells known from the spell list of a non-devoted spellcasting class (a class that either does not receive spells at 1st level, or that does not include 0-level through 9th level spells on its spell list), as long as it is still from one of the two magic sources the magister has selected (arcane, divine, or occult). For the magister, such spells have an effective spell level two higher than usual, regardless of their magic source. Thus, our example arcane/divine magister from above could, upon reaching 7th level, decide to select bless weapon as a spell known. Since this is from the paladin spell list (a divine nondevoted spellcasting class), the magister counts it as a 3rd-level spell known. For her, bless weapon is treated in all ways as a 3rd-level spell.

If a spell appears on more than one class spell list, the magister may treat it as being from whatever class list is most beneficial to her.

[This is the original magister Spells Known table. In our revision, it would note that the numbers are “From primary Spell List (+spells from any spell list using an associated sources of magic)”]

Spells and Magic Items
For purposes of using magic items and meeting prerequisites, a magister’s spell list is considered to include all spells from her primary spell list, plus any other spell that the magister currently knows. Thus, a magister can use a wand of magic missiles freely if she has taken the sorcerer/wizard spell list as her primary spell list or if she has a different primary spell list but has selected magic missile as a spell known. Otherwise, she must make a Use Magic Device check to use the wand.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells
A magister can’t cast or choose to know spells of an alignment opposed to her own (even if they are arcane or occult spells). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Cantrips/Orisons
Magisters learn a number of cantrips and orisons, or 0-level spells, as noted on “Table 2: Magister Spells Known”. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.

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Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 1)

Back in 2010, I wrote The Genius Guide to the Magus, which present a spellcasting class for the 1st edition Pathfinder Roleplaying Game that could draw spells (and abilities) from both an arcane class and a divine class. The idea was to make something like the mystic theurge but balanced to have access to two spell lists at 1st level. When Pathfinder Ultimate Magic came out, with an official (and very different) class titles the magus, I rewrote the book to be the Genius Guide to the Magister. You can still buy this revised version of it at either link provided (though I make more money on sales from the first link to the OGS 🙂 ).

Of course, a LOT of PF1 material has come out since 2010, and the magister could use a revision to its revision. For one thing, I’d like it to be able to take any 2 of 3 spellcasting sources (arcane, divine, or arcane), and still be, you know, balanced. It could also use some expanded class options.

So, without covering all the fluff and old design notes, let’s look at what it would take to update this popular, well-reviewed 3pp class. The class progression table from the original product is included below so folks can follow along, but I’ll do a new one if the redesign calls for it. Let’s start with some basic stuff, like HP, skills, and proficiencies.

Alignment: A magister may be of any alignment. If a magister worships a deity, her alignment must be within one step of her deity’s along either the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis.
Hit Die: d6
Starting Wealth: At 1st level a magister begins play with 4d4 x 10 gp.
Class Skills: The magister’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (arcana)(Int), Knowledge (history)(Int), Knowledge (local)(Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Perform (oratory)(Cha), Perform (sing)(Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Mastering two sources of magic leaves little time for weapon training—a magister is proficient with only the club, dagger, light crossbow, and quarterstaff. A magister is also proficient with light armor, but not with any shields.
A magister who casts arcane spells can, as a result of her mix of two magical power sources, cast arcane class spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, a magister wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (even if casting a spell from a divine spell list).
A multiclass magister still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells she casts as another class.

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Deep Dive: The PF1 Mindblade (Magus Archetype) Revised

Sometimes, specific things about how classes, archetypes, and rule subsets work together in the first edition Pathfinder Roleplaying Game come to my attention. Sometimes it’s due to my own research or design work. Sometimes it’s from a forum post or social media. Sometimes it’s from someone in my gaming group. A lot of these I can incorporate in other articles, or do a quick determination and move on.

Sometimes, it needs a Deep Dive.

So, today, I’m taking a look how the magus class, its mindblade archetype, and the psychic magic rules from Pathfinder Occult Adventures, all blend together. For this article to make sense, you likely want to be familiar with all those elements first.

So, here’s the magus class progression chart, as it would look after taking the mindblade archetype, without the spells/day and spells/day info:

Mindblade

LevelBABFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+0+2+0+2Psychic poolcantripsspell combat
2nd+1+3+0+3Spellstrike
3rd+2+3+1+3Magus arcana
4th+3+4+1+4Psychic access
5th+3+4+1+4Bonus feat
6th+4+5+2+5Magus arcana
7th+5+5+2+5Psychic access, dual weapons
8th+6/+1+6+2+6Rapid manifest
9th+6/+1+6+3+6Magus arcana
10th+7/+2+7+3+7Fighter training
11th+8/+3+7+3+7Bonus feat, psychic access
12th+9/+4+8+4+8Magus arcana
13th+9/+4+8+4+8Dual manifest
14th+10/+5+9+4+9Psychic access
15th+11/+6/+1+9+5+9Magus arcana
16th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Counterstrike
17th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Bonus feat
18th+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Magus arcana
19th+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Psychic access
20th+15/+10/+5+12+6+12True magus

Okay, that looks pretty good. But, there are some hidden problems in there. Let’s look at each archetype class feature in turn.

Psychic Magic

The first is that this is clearly build on the idea that psychic magic and arcane magic have the same value for the magus build. At a glance that seems fair — each arcane component of a spell is replaced with a different component for psychic magic — emotion for somatic, and thought for verbal. And that’s fine, as far as it goes. But built into thought components is the need to either have the DC of concentration checks be 10 higher, or to take a move action to negate that penalty.

And neither of those works at all well for a magus.

The core power of the magus is spell combat, which allows a magus to take a full round action to make all their normal melee attacks and cast a single spell. Since you can only do this in melee, it obviously requires you to cast defensively… for which the DC is 10 higher. And the magus can’t lower the DC back to normal with a move action while using spell combat, since spell combat is already a full-round action.

That’s not the only potential issue, either. The core magus is carefully built around starting with light armor, then gaining medium and heavy over time. The mindblade, however, can load up in full plate (yes, without proficiency) and cast a shield spell at 1st level (or as soon as they have the money, which is likely to actually be 2nd level), and be fine. Which isn’t great for a straight magus build… but is awesome as a 1-level dip for cavaliers, fighters, and paladins. Those character likely don’t even care what their other spells are, though picking enlarge person and magic weapon certainly gives a cavalier 1/mindblade magus 1 with time to prepare a great one-combat combat loadout.

When a design works better for a 1-level dip for a different class than to support it’s own core ability, it’s an issue.

So, what if we rewrite how their psychic spell power works? Allow them to cast psychic spells in light armor without the DC of their thought spells increasing by 10. Then, add the ability to do this in medium and light armor at the same level a standard magus gains those armor proficiencies. That lets a mindblade use spell combat the same way a standard magus does, and makes the archetype a less-attractive 1-level dip for heavy armor combat classes. Okay, one problem solved.

Psychic Pool

Psychic pool basically replaces the ability to enhance a melee weapon with magic, with the ability to summon one that is magical as a standard action. There are some tradeoffs here. On the up side you are safe from losing a valuable piece of gear since you can always just summon a new sword; you can spend money standard magi would use for buying magic weapons for other magic items; you can use a two-handed weapon or twin weapons (really a function of being a psychic spellcaster, but most relevant here); you end up getting +7 bonuses worth of benefits over the course of the class, rather than just +5. On the down side, it starts as a standard action (again negating the usefulness of spell combat); you can’t combine the bonuses with those of an existing weapon; you can’t throw it; it ties up 1, 2, or 3 or your psychic pool points (yes, you get them back if you lose the weapon, but you can’t spend them on other things if you don’t want to be without your weapon in later rounds.

I get why having a “free” weapon seems like it has to come with huge drawbacks, but this doesn’t pan out as balanced at mid- and high-levels. Even at low-level, doing something like sacrificing 3 psychic pool points to have an effective 2-handed melee weapon is a big cost, and that’s in addition to needing to take a standard action to create it. Now, the ability gets better over time, but does so as stand-alone abilities that replace things like improved spell combat… and it never gets as good enough you could take Quick Draw and pull your weapon and make a full attack action in the same round, which again cuts back on the mindblade’s ability to do core, iconic magus things.

Also, being able to create dual weapons or double weapons later at higher level… sucks in play. Dual weapon wielding only works well if you have a ton of feats to back it up. That means you either have to take those feats early, before you can use them with you psychic weapon, or you wait until you can summon dual weapons at which point you are behind the curve compared to any other 2-weapon fighter.

Pretty clearly, this ability is too restrictive and too likely to frustrate players without giving nearly enough back in terms of either raw power or alternate tactical options. We can fix it by allowing characters to create dual weapons or double weapons at 1st level (by tying up 3 psychic pool points, just like with 2-handed weapons, and dividing their bonuses between them). That currently leaves some blank class levels but that’s okay. We’ll get to them.

Psychic Access

Okay, here’s the biggest one — psychic class spells! Sure, you give up (deep breath) spell recall, knowledge pool, improved spell recall, greater spell combat, and greater spell access, but it’s worth it, right?! I mean, you get more spells!

Except sadly, you don’t.

What you get is to add some spells from the psychic class list to your mindblade class list. But you *don’t* add them as additional spells known. Over the course of 4th to 19th level, you add 10 psychic spells to your mindblade spell list. You don’t end up with any more spells known, and you give up 5 features each as powerful as a magus arcana to do it, including greater spell access. greater spell access literally gives you 14 extra wizard spells for your magus class list, and lets you automatically know them and have them scribed into your spellbook with no time and no cost.

So, psychic access gives you fewer spells than greater spell access alone, and gives you less of a benefit with the spells you do know, and takes up 4 more major class features to do it. That’s objectively worse than the magus. This might make sense of the psychic spell list were massively more effective for a mindblade than the wizard is for a magus… but looking at the lists that is clearly not the case.

Also, as worded, it causes the spell blending arcana to not only grant you psychic spells rather than wizard spells, it doesn’t change the wording of them being added as “spells known.” That’s fine for a preparation spellcaster, where spells known doesn’t impact how many spells they have to choose from in combat (as that’s determined by what is prepared). But as a spontaneous spellcaster, the mindblade suddenly can expend every magus arcana and typical feat (for Bonus magus Arcana) to gain another spell known, and (using various “blending” arcana) can do it from the bard, psychic, and witch class lists.

Giving up knowledge pool, all by itself, is PLENTY of cost for any edge a mindblade might pick up from their psychic blades and the psychic spell list. it is, in fact, an enormous blow to any 7th-level or higher mindblade. Similarly, not having some ability to boost spells-per-day the way spell recall and improved spell recall do is similarly a *vast* cost. Not only should the archetype not also give up a slew of other core magus powers after losing spell recall, knowledge pool, improved spell recall, and greater spellacces, they actually need both some powerful options added BACK, and more ways to spend theirpsychic pool points.

A spontaneous caster doesn’t gain as much from having a bigger class spell list as a preparation spellcaster. It doesn’t increase the potential number of spells they can have ready at one time, or that they can use to meet prerequisites, or craft items. The hunter hybrid class, for example, gets the whole ranger class spell list and 0-6th druid class spell list, and clearly hasn’t had to give up a ton of other cool options to do so.

Given how much overlap already exists with the magus and psychic class lists, it seems obvious that like the druid, we should just give the mindblade access to two class spell lists (magus and psychic), starting at 1st level. Then, to fill the holes left by spell recall, improved spell recall, we add some phrenic amplifications from the psychic class, which both ties into the “mind” part of mindblade, and gives the class something to spend their psychic pool points on.

Here’s the revised class feature chart, and the rewritten mindblade powers.

(Art by Warmtail)

Deep Dive Mindblade

LevelBABFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+0+2+0+2Psychic poolcantripsspell combat
2nd+1+3+0+3Spellstrike
3rd+2+3+1+3Magus arcana
4th+3+4+1+4Psychic access
5th+3+4+1+4Bonus feat
6th+4+5+2+5Magus arcana
7th+5+5+2+5Medium armor, psychic access
8th+6/+1+6+2+6Dual weapons, improved spell combat
9th+6/+1+6+3+6Magus arcana
10th+7/+2+7+3+7Fighter training
11th+8/+3+7+3+7Bonus feat, psychic access
12th+9/+4+8+4+8Magus arcana
13th+9/+4+8+4+8Heavy armor
14th+10/+5+9+4+9Greater spell combat
15th+11/+6/+1+9+5+9Magus arcana, psychic access
16th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Counterstrike
17th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Bonus feat
18th+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Magus arcana
19th+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Psychic access
20th+15/+10/+5+12+6+12True magus

Spell Casting

A mindblade casts drawn from the magus spell list and psychic spell list as psychic spells. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a mindblade must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The saving throw DC to resist a mindblade’s spell is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the mindblade’s Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a mindblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. She knows the same number of spells and receives the same number of spells slots per day as a bard of her magus level, and knows and uses 0-level knacks as a bard uses cantrips. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table 1–3 on page 17 of the Core Rulebook).

At 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, a mindblade can learn a new spell in place of one she already knows, using the same rules as a bard. In effect, the mindblade loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and the new spell must be at least 1 level lower than the highest-level spell the mindblade can cast.

A mindblade need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any magus/psychic spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level. A mindblade who takes the spell blending magus arcana selects additional spells from the occultist spell list, rather than wizard, and none of the “blending” magus arcanas grant the spells added to the mindblade’s class list as bonus spells known.

A mindblade in no armor or light armor can cast mindblade spells with thought components without increasing the DC of related concentration checks by 10. Like any other psychic spellcaster, a mindblade wearing medium or heavy armor, or using a shield, has the DC of related concentration checks increase by 10 if the spell in question has a thought component. At 7th level, the mindblade gains proficiency in medium armor and this ability extends to medium armor. At 13th level, the mindblade gains proficiency in heavy armor, and this ability extends to heavy armor.

This ability replaces the magus’s spellcasting, and the medium armor and heavy armor magus class features.

Psychic Pool (Su)

A mindblade gains a psychic pool, similar to a normal magus’s arcane pool. At 1st level, a mindblade can expend 1 point from her psychic pool as a standard action to manifest a light melee weapon of her choice, formed from psychic energy, and by spending 2 points, the mindblade can manifest a one-handed melee weapon. By spending 3 points, she can manifest a two-handed melee weapon, two light melee weapons, a light melee weapon and a 1-handed melee weapon, or a double weapon. This psychic weapon can last indefinitely, but it vanishes if it leaves the mindblade’s hand. The mindblade can dismiss a held psychic weapon as a free action. When a psychic weapon vanishes, the mindblade regains the psychic energy used to create it. She can maintain only combinations of weapons listed above (and thus cannot, for example, manifest two one-handed melee weapons).

At 1st level, a psychic weapon counts as a magic weapon of whatever type the mindblade selected, with a +1 enhancement bonus. At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the weapon’s enhancement bonus increases by 1, up to maximum of +5 at 12th level. Starting at 5th level, the mindblade can add any of the weapon special abilities listed in the arcane pool class feature in place of these bonuses, although the weapon must maintain at least a +1 bonus to benefit from any weapon special abilities. At 15th and 18th levels, the weapon gains an additional +1 enhancement bonus, which the mindblade can spend only on weapon special abilities.

At 4th level, the mindblade can manifest her weapons as a move action. At 8th level, the mindblade can manifest her weapons with the same effort needed to draw a normal weapon from a shealth.

If the mindblade has two weapons, or a double weapon, she must divide her total enhancement bonus and weapon special abilities between them. Until 3rd level, this means one weapon (or one end of a double weapon) counts as a magical weapon but has no enhancement bonus. From 3rd level on she must maintain at least a +1 enhancement bonus on each weapon (or end of a weapon), and beginning at 9th level she can divide her remaining enhancement bonuses and weapon special abilities as she prefers.

This ability replaces arcane pool, and counts as arcane pool for the purpose of feats, abilities, and class features.

Psychic Access

At 4th level, and again at 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the mindblade gains a phrenic amplification drawn from the psychic class feature of the same name. The mindblade uses her psychic pool to power these (rather than a phrenic amplification pool), and treats her mindblade level as her psychic level for all purposes regarding these amplifications.

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Fantasy Witchwarper for Pathfinder (Full Playtest Version)

Okay, after a few weeks of blogging about drafts, design decisions, and development concerns, a first draft of the witchwarper for Pathfinder is done. So, this is the point when I bring it all together and see about some of the alternative ideas I had during the first draft. Most notably, I have decided to tweak this to be a psychic spellcaster, which both feels more in-line with the class flavor, and gives witchwarpers a less crowded niche as 0-9th level spellcasters.

This is still just a second draft, and in a commercial version I’d have more fluff, supporting feats, some alternate class features, and more paradigm shifts, but this is absolutely playable as-is. It’s at the stage where being playtested is extremely useful.

(Art by Kalleeck)

WITCHWARPER

Most people believe that reality is limited to their physical surroundings. You know the truth: that everything around you is merely a thin veil draped across the infinite tapestry of existence. Your reality is a palimpsest, with all possible worlds and all alternate existences at your disposal. Through your magic and force of personality, you can peer into these time lines and pull from them as you see fit, using their dimensional echoes to twist and reshape your own world.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6.
Starting Wealth: 2d6 x 10 gp (average 70 gp).
Class Skills
The witchwarper’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (planes)(Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table 1–Witchwarper Class Features

Level      BAB        Fort        Ref         Will        Special

1             +0           +0          +2           +0         Infinite worlds (1st-level Spells) 

2             +1           +0           +3          +0         Paradigm shift, warp pool

3             +1           +1           +3          +1         Compound sight +1, infinite backgrounds

4             +2           +1           +4          +1         Infinite worlds (2nd-level Spells)

5             +2           +1           +4          +1         Paradigm shift 

6             +3           +2           +5          +2          Alternate outcome 1/day, compound sight +2 

7             +3           +2           +5          +2          Infinite worlds (3rd-level Spells)

8             +4           +2           +6          +2          Paradigm shift

9             +4           +3           +6          +3           Compound sight +3 (two skills)

10           +5           +3           +7          +3           Infinite worlds (4th-level Spells)

11           +5           +3           +7          +3           Paradigm shift

12           +6           +4           +8          +4           Alternate outcome 2/day, compound sight +4 

13           +6           +4           +8          +4           Infinite worlds (5th-level Spells)

14           +7        +4           +9          +4           Paradigm shift

15           +7         +5           +9          +5          Compound sight +5

16           +8         +5        +10         +5           Infinite worlds (6th-level Spells)

17           +8         +5        +10         +5           Paradigm shift

18           +9         +6        +11         +6           Alternate outcome 3/day, compound sight +6 

19           +9         +6        +11         +6           Infinite worlds (7th-level Spells)

20           +10         +6        +12         +6           Paradigm shift, reality stutter

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Witchwarper are proficient with all simple weapons. Witchwarpers are also proficient with light armor, but not shields of any kind.

Spells: A witchwarper casts psychic spells drawn from the witch spell list. However, they do not receive curse and mind-effecting spells on the witch list unless those spells are also on the sorcerer/wizard spell list at the same spell level, and they do not gain access to any spell with the healing descriptor. They also add to their class spell list all conjuration and transmutation spells on the druid or sorcerer/wizard spell lists, except those with the healing descriptor. They do not gain access to any spell that requires access to a class feature they lack (such as a spell that affects your ability to use hexes, unless the witchwarpers has somehow gained hexes). They can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a witchwarper must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witchwarper’s spell is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the witchwarper’s Charisma modifier.

A witchwarper can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Their base daily spell allotment is given on Table 2: Witchwarper Spell Progression. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day if they have a high Charisma score (see Table 1–3 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook).

The witchwarper’s selection of spells is limited. A witchwarper begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the witchwarper’s choice. At each new witchwarper level, they learn one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 3: Witchwarper Spells Known. Unlike a spells per day, the number of spells a witchwarper knows isn’t affected by their Intelligence score; the numbers on Table 3 are fixed.

At 4th level and every even-numbered level thereafter (6th, 8th, and so on), a witchwarper can choose to learn a single new spell in place of one they already know. In effect, the witchwarper loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least 1 level lower than the highest-level spell from the witchwarper’s class list that the witchwarper can cast. A witchwarper can swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that they gain new spells known for the level.

Table 2 – Witchwarper Spells Per Day

Level1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
1st3
2nd4
3rd5
4th63
5th64
6th653
7th664
8th6653
9th6664
10th66653
11th66664
12th666653
13th666664
14th6666653
15th6666664
16th66666653
17th66666664
18th666666653
19th666666664
20th666666666

Table 3 – Witchwarper Spells Known

Level01st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
1st42
2nd52
3rd53
4th631
5th642
6th7421
7th7532
8th85321
9th85432
10th954321
11th955432
12th9554321
13th9554432
14th95544321
15th95544432
16th955444321
17th955444332
18th9554443321
19th9554443332
20th9554443333

Infinite Worlds (Su) – 1st Level
As a standard action, you can create a bubble of altered reality, projecting elements of parallel existences into your current universe. You expend a witchwarper spell slot of 1st level or higher to create an environmental effect, such as summoning fog or thick vines from other realities, which lasts for a number of rounds equal to your class level unless specified otherwise. Alternatively, you can create an instantaneous effect, such a flash of fire from an explosion that occurred in a parallel universe. The particular effects depend on the level of the spell slot expended.

All effects created by infinite worlds use the following rules unless they say otherwise. They have a range of 100 feet + 10 feet per witchwarper level and affect a 10-foot-radius spread. If you create multiple effects with one use of infinite worlds, they all originate at the same point. If an effect calls for a saving throw, the DC is equal to 10 + the spell level expended to create the effect + your Charisma modifier. You can define the cause and appearance of infinite worlds however you wish (subject to GM approval), but the effects themselves are only quasi-real and have no effects beyond the game mechanics listed as options for this ability.

You can instead create multiple, milder effects in place of a single, more powerful effect. When you do this, you select two effects available to any version of this ability created by expending a lower-level spell slot than that you actually expend. For calculations based on spell level, use the level of the spell slot you expend.

For example, a 10th-level witchwarper could expend a 3rd‑level spell slot and select either a 3rd-level effect or any two abilities normally created by expending 1st- or 2nd-level spells. If you expend a spell slot 2 levels higher than the highest-level slot required for the effects you create, you can create 3 different effects. If you use a spell slot 3 levels higher, you can create four effects.

The environmental and instantaneous effects you can create by sacrificing a witchwarper spell slot of a given level are as follows:
1st (Environmental): You cause the affected area to become difficult terrain. This might mean that stone flooring becomes rough and uneven, a waterway is choked by roots and seaweed, or the air is flooded with floating strands of web-like filaments. You can affect a single movement type (normal movement, burrow, climb, fly, or swim) or any combination of those movement types. When you create difficult terrain in this way, it is considered magically altered terrain for the purposes of other effects.
1st (Instantaneous): You cause a bright flash of light to fill the area. Each creature within the area must succeed at a Fortitude saves or be dazzled for 1 round per witchwarper level. If a creature rolls a natural 1 on its saving throw (meaning the d20 shows a “1”), it is also blinded for 1 round.
2nd (Environmental): You cause a hazard that deals damage each round equal to the level of the spell slot expended, with a successful Fortitude save reducing the damage by half. A creature attempts this save when it first takes damage from this effect, and its result applies for the duration of the effect. You select the damage type each time you use this ability (acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, slashing, or sonic).
2nd (Instantaneous): You cause a destabilizing event, such as a brief earthquake, a split-second reversal of gravity, or a blast of icy wind. Each creature within the area must succeed at a Reflex save or be knocked prone. If a creature rolls a natural 1 on its saving throw, it is also moved 5 feet per level of the spell slot expended in a direction of your choice.
3rd (Environmental): You cause the area to grant concealment against one sense—vision, scent, sound, or vibration.
3rd (Instantaneous): You cause a disorienting event, such as bursts of flashing colors and loud sounds, or rain falling upward in spirals. Each creature within the area must succeed at a Will save or take a -2 penalty to attack rolls for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell expended. If a creature rolls a natural 1 on its saving throw, it is also staggered for 1 round.
4th (Environmental): You create a barrier, the entirety of which must be within the range and area of infinite worlds’ environmental effects. The barrier is a number of 5-foot cubes no greater than double the level of the spell slot expended. The cubes must each connect along one side with at least one other cube, have hardness equal to double the level of the spell slot expended, and each have HP equal to 5 × the level of spell expended. Barriers you could summon might include stone walls, slabs of ice, and so forth.
4th (Instantaneous): You create a burst of damage affecting everything in the area. You select the type of damage each time you use this ability (acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, slashing, or sonic), and it deals 1d8 damage per level of the spell expended (Reflex half).
5th (Environmental): You make the air thicker or thinner, or fill it with toxic vapors. Each creature breathing the air must succeed at a Fortitude save or be sickened as long as it remains in the area. A creature attempts a single save when it is first exposed to the infinite worlds, which determines for the duration of the ability whether breathing within the area sickens that creature.
5th (Instantaneous): You attempt to entangle all targets within the area. You might fill the area with chains, viscous glue, or quick-hardening cement. Each target must succeed at a Reflex save or be entangled and anchored in place for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell slot expended. Creatures that enter the area after you use this ability are not entangled.
6th (Environmental): You reduce the hardness of objects within the area by 50% (Fortitude negates), or increase their hardness by 10 (to a maximum of double their normal hardness).

Warp Pool (Su) – 2nd Level

A witchwarper has a pool of psychic energy that they can draw upon to fuel their infinite worlds ability, and potentially powers gained through paradigm shifts. The maximum number of points in a witchwarper’s warp pool is equal to 1/2 their class level + their Charisma modifier. The warp pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours don’t need to be consecutive. Points gained in excess of the pool’s maximum are lost.

A witchwarper can expend a warp point from their warp pool, rather than expend a spell slot, to fuel their infinite worlds ability. When used for this purpose, the warp point functions as a spell slot with a spell level equal to half the witchwarper’s class level -1 (to a minimum of 1st level spell slot).

Paradigm Shift – 2nd Level

Paradigm shifts represent your ability to briefly install pieces of alternate realities into your own, subtly or radically changing your surroundings for a time. You learn your first paradigm shift at 2nd level, and an additional paradigm shift every 3 levels thereafter. Paradigm shifts require you to be a certain level to learn them and are organized accordingly. You cannot select the same paradigm shift more than once unless it specifies otherwise.

Unless otherwise stated, the effects of a paradigm shift last for a number of rounds equal to your witchwarper level. If a paradigm shift allows a saving throw to resist its effects, the DC is equal to 10 + half your witchwarper level + your Charisma modifier.

Starting at 4th level, your ability to shuffle these realities improves. Upon gaining a witchwarper level (including at 4th level), you can swap out one paradigm shift you know for a different paradigm shift of the same level. You can instead select a paradigm shift of a lower level, but note the level of the original paradigm shift so that when you later swap out the same paradigm shift at later levels, you can select any paradigm shift of the original level or lower.)

2nd level

Disrupt Attack (Su)
As a reaction when you or an ally is targeted with an attack originating within 100 feet, you can expend 1 warp point to impose a –2 penalty on the attack roll. If the attack is coming from a creature, that creature can attempt a Will saving throw to negate this effect. Once you’ve targeted an attacker with this paradigm shift, you can’t target the same attacker with this paradigm shift again for 24 hours. At 8th level, the penalty changes to –3, and at 14th level, the penalty changes to –4.

Disrupt Creature (Su)
As a standard action, you can expend a warp point to target a creature within 100 feet and swap in alternate physiologies (or gears, planar energy, or whatever the creature’s equivalent to physiology is) in its body in this version of existence, imposing the shaken condition for a number of rounds equal to 1/3 your witchwarper class level (minimum 1 round). The target is allowed a Fortitude save to negate this effect. This is not an emotion, fear, or mind-affecting effect, and it does not stack with other shaken or fear conditions. However, if you target a creature that has succeeded at a save against your disrupt creature ability in the past 24 hours, it takes a -2 penalty to its save if you target it again.

Eldritch Secret
You can draw specific magic effects from other realities, allowing you to access spells normally not available to witchwarpers. Select one spell from an arcane or occult class’s spell list. It must be of a level no greater than 1 lower than the highest-level spell you can cast. (Alternatively, you can select one spell from a divine class’s spell list. It must be of a level no greater than 2 lower than the highest-level spell you can cast.) Add this to your list of witchwarper spells known.

You cannot select a spell that requires class features you do not possess. If you select a spell of a different source than your own spells (arcane, divine, or occult), it changes to be a spell of that type. You cannot select a spell available only to members of specific groups (such as worshippers of a specific deity) unless you are a member of that group. You cannot select a spell available only through archetypes, prestige classes, or class features other than “spells” (such as spells only available through an arcane school, bloodline, or domain).

Each time you gain the ability to cast a higher level of witchwarper spells, you may swap out the spell gained with this paradigm shift for a new spell of a maximum level no greater than 1 lower (or 2 lower for a divine spell) than the highest-level spell you can cast. You can select this paradigm shift more than once but cannot at any time have more than one additional spell known from this ability at each level of spells you can cast.

Overlapping Forms (Su)
As a standard action, you can overlay faint outlines of yourself from multiple alternate realities, giving yourself a +1 dodge bonus to your AC. At 5th level, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool when using this ability to instead give an ally you touch a +1 dodge bonus to AC. In either case, the bonus lasts for a number of minutes equal to your caster level. You cannot have overlapping forms active on more than one creature at a time–if you place it on a new creature while it is still active on a previous creature, the older use ends.

Prevent Wounds (Su)
As a reaction when you or an ally within 100 feet takes hit point damage, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to prevent 1d4 points of that damage for every 2 witchwarper levels you have. You cannot prevent more damage than was dealt, and even if you prevent all damage any associated effects from the attack (such as disease or poison) still apply.

Push Area (Su)
As a reaction when a thrown attack with an area or splash effect, or instantaneous effect or spell defined as a burst radius that requires a saving throw with has an area of at least 5-foot-radius would be centered within 100 feet, you can expend a point from your warp pool to shift the area’s center by 5 feet before it detonates. Your allies within its area of effect gain a +2 insight bonus to their saving throws against the area-effect. At 8th level, you can shift the area’s center by 10 feet. At 11th level, you can shift the area’s center by 15 feet.

Shift Resistance (Su)
As a standard action, you can change the type of a single energy resistance (but not immunity) of a creature within 100 feet (from cold to fire, for example) for 1 round. The creature can attempt a Will saving throw to negate this effect. Once you’ve targeted a creature with this paradigm shift, you can’t target that creature with this paradigm shift again for 24 hours.

Thwart Ability (Su)
As a reaction when you or an ally within 100 feet is affected by a spell or ability that allows a saving throw and would deal damage, and fails the saving throw, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to grant the target a new saving throw with a +2 bonus to avoid or mitigate the effect’s damage and effects (with success acting as if the original save was successful).

4th level

Inhibit (Sp or Su)
As a standard action, you can prevent a creature within 100 feet from taking its best course of action by overwhelming it with visions of its failures in other realities as a supernatural ability. The target must succeed at a Will save or become staggered for 1 round. At 8th level, alternatively, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to instead use slow as a spell-like ability. Once you’ve targeted a creature with this paradigm shift, you can’t target that creature with this paradigm shift again (regardless of how you use it) for 24 hours.

Optimize (Sp or Su)
You can show a creature a glimpse of the results of its choices in other realities, allowing it to act more efficiently. As a standard action, you can touch a willing creature to increase all of its speeds by 10 feet. This is considered an enhancement bonus and is a supernatural haste effect. At 8th level, alternatively, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to instead use haste as a spell‑like ability. Once you’ve targeted a creature with this paradigm shift, you can’t target them with this paradigm shift again (regardless of how you use it) for 24 hours.

Resist Elements (Su)
As a reaction when you or a creature within 100 feet would take energy damage, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to grant the target resistance 5 against that energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic). This resistance is applied before the damage from the triggering attack. At 8th level, the resistance granted increases to 10. At 11th level, the resistance granted increases to 15.

Shifting Offensive (Su)
As a standard action, you can touch a weapon or magic item that deals damage and temporarily change its damage type (to acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, slashing, or sonic). If the weapon deals more than one type of damage, you can change all the damage it does (regardless of type) to the new damage type, or change just one of its damage types (leaving its other damage types unchanged). This effect lasts until the end of your next turn.

8th level

Flash Teleport (Su)
As a move action, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to teleport (as the spell) up to 30 feet. You must have line of sight to your destination. This movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.

Hobble Creature (Su)
As a standard action, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to target a creature within 100 feet and swap in alternate physiologies or circuitry in its body in this version of existence, imposing the staggered condition for a number of rounds equal to 1/3 your witchwarper level. The creature can attempt a Fortitude save to negate this effect. You must know the disrupt creature paradigm shift to learn this paradigm shift.

Magic Deletion (Su)
As a reaction when you are targeted by a spell, you can expend 1 point from your warp pool to gain spell resistance equal to 12 + your witchwarper level until the end of your next turn.

11th level

Dart Aside (Su)
As a reaction when you are hit by an attack but before the attack’s damage is resolved, you can expend 3 points from your warp pool to teleport (as the spell) up to 10 feet away. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If your new location would cause you to be an invalid target for the triggering attack (for example, because you are out of range of a melee attack or the attacker no longer has line of effect to you), the attack is treated as a miss.

Shaped Infinities (Su)
When you use infinite worlds, you can exclude up to one 5-foot square per witchwarper level from the effect’s area.

Substitute Mind (Su)
You can free a creature from mental control or conditions that hamper it. Once per day as a standard action, you can touch a willing or helpless creature. When you do, the affected part of its mind is replaced with a nearly exact duplicate from an alternate reality, ending all mind-affecting effects the target has. The subject is stunned until the end of its next turn.

You can also attempt to use this ability on an ally who would normally be willing, but is currently unwilling due to the influence of a mind-affecting effect. In this case, the ally must attempt a Will save against substitute mind. If that saving throw fails, then your substitute mind works as if the target were willing.

At 14th level, you can use this ability on yourself, even if you’re otherwise unable to take actions because of a mind‑affecting effect. If you do, it must be the first thing you do on your turn, and you are stunned until the end of your next turn.

For dart aside, my main struggle was how to price its warp pool expenditure. It costs 2 Resolve Points in the original Sf version, and that’s a huge cost given RP are also used to recover Stamina Points, stabilize, and get back into the fight. Since this lets you entirely dodge a melee attack, which is much more common in Pathfinder than in Starfinder, I wanted to make sure a typical 11th-level witchwarper still wouldn’t be doing it very often. I think a typical 11th-level witchwarper is likely to have a 24 Charisma (16 to start, +1 at 4th and 8th, +4 from an item — you could absolutely get higher, but I’m looking for a baseline, not the maximum), which would give them 11 warp points. Charging 4 means you can do this once a day and still have lots of other options, but if you use it 2 or 3 times, it starts to be most of what you are doing with your warp points that day. That sounds perfect to me.

Shaped infinities needed no changes at all. Substitute mind felt too complex, so I boiled it down. That said, I left it at once per day, since there’s no limit to what mind-affecting abilities it can stop. It might be a stronger Pathfinder design to make it a dispel check (maybe with a +4 bonus)… I’ll have to think about that, but this is as good as the original, so it’ll do for now.

14th level

Shifting Immunity (Su)
As a reaction when a creature with immunity to a type of energy damage within 100 feet is affected by energy damage, you can change the creature’s immunity to another type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic) before the damage is resolved. The effect of this paradigm shift lasts for 3 rounds. This does not affect the creature’s ability to survive environmental hazards or conditions, only what damage it takes from attacks and special abilities. (For example, a creature normally immune to fire that has its immunity shifted to cold by this ability and then swims in lava still doesn’t take damage from the lava even though it’s now vulnerable to fire weapons and spells.) The creature can attempt a Will saving throw to negate this effect. Once you’ve targeted a creature with this paradigm shift, you can’t target that creature with this paradigm shift again for 24 hours. You must know the shift resistance paradigm shift to learn this paradigm shift.

Swapping Step (Su)
Once per round as a move action, you can switch the positions of two creatures within 100 feet, instantaneously swapping their places. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. You can’t swap creatures’ positions in a way that would cause either creature to take damage or be forced into an inappropriate physical space. (For example, you could not swap the positions of two creatures of different sizes if doing so would cause the larger creature to risk falling off a cliff or into a hazard, or cause one of the creatures to be placed within a solid object). Each targeted creature can attempt a Will save to avoid this effect. If either creature succeeds, this paradigm shift has no effect. Once you’ve targeted a creature with this paradigm shift, you can’t target that creature with this paradigm shift again for 24 hours.

Unveil Reality (Su)
As a standard action, you can target one creature within 100 feet and tear back the veils of all worlds, overwhelming the target with a bewildering phantasmagoria. This causes the creature to gain the stunned condition for 3 rounds unless it succeeds at a Will saving throw. This is a mind-affecting effect. Once you’ve targeted a creature with this paradigm shift, you can’t target that creature with this paradigm shift again for 24 hours

Compound Sight (Su) – 3rd Level
You can sift through many realities, gaining understanding of a task by seeing it attempted dozens of different ways. Choose a skill. You gain a +1 insight bonus to checks using that skill. This bonus increases by +1 at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter. You can change your chosen skill every time you gain a witchwarper level. At 9th level, you become more adept with your compound sight and can choose two skills to apply it to.

Alternate Outcome (Su) – 6th Level
You can use your grasp of other realities to swap an outcome in your current existence with that of a more favorable reality. As a reaction once per day, you can reroll one attack roll, saving throw, ability check, or skill check that you attempt. If the d20 on this reroll results in a 1-10 (the die shows a 1 through 10), add 10 to your total result. You must use the result of the reroll, even if it is worse than your original roll.
Alternatively, you can expend a use of this ability as a reaction to cause a critical hit against you or an ally within 100 feet to instead be a normal hit.
You gain one additional daily use of this ability at 12th level and again at 18th level.

Unfold Existences (Su) – 19th Level
You have nearly unlimited insight into all possible worlds and can pluck power from them as you deem necessary. Select five paradigms shifts you don’t know but whose prerequisites you meet. These paradigm shifts must not require your level to be higher than 8th. You can use the selected paradigm shifts a total number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier.

Reality Stutter (Su) – 20th Level
Your force of will can infuse reality itself, changing key aspects of existence around you. You can spend a spell slot to use any paradigm shift you know. The spell slot must be of a spell level no less than half the minimum class level at which the paradigm shift can be selected.

This doesn’t take an action, but you must use this ability on your turn unless the paradigm shift can be used as a reaction. If the paradigm shift requires a reaction, you still can’t use it unless the stated trigger has occurred, but using it does not expend your reaction for the round. If the paradigm shift requires you to expend spell slots to use it, you must still spend those spell slots in addition to that spent to use this ability. You can use reality stutter only once per turn. You can use the unfold existences ability in conjunction with reality stutter; doing so expends a daily use of unfold existences as normal.

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The Peer (A Vigilante Alternate Class for PF1)

The vigilante class has a lot of cool stuff, but it’s all built around a specific, Scarlet Pimpernel/Robin Hood/Zorro kind of secret-identity-based character. It works extremely well for that type of character, but that type of character doesn’t work well for every player concept and campaign setup. In my experience, vigilantes are among the least-played (and least-allowed) base classes.

Seriously, I’ve run into more people outlawing vigilantes than gunslingers, psionics, and synthesist summoners.

That makes sense — a vigilante puts a certain cognitive load on GMs and can be huge spotlight-time hogs that leave other players feeling left out — but it’s also a shame. A lot of the vigilante’s abilities totally aide from their dual identity are iconic for another classic character type — the hyper-competent-but-otherwise-typical hero. This isn’t the chosen one, or the archmage, or the master thief. Instead it’s someone who is just good at getting things done, often as a emissary, legate, spy, or advisor. And, separated from the vigilante’s very pulp dual-identity, this character theme works well in a much wider range of campaign setups and playstyles.

For purposes of game rules, consider this an alternate class for the vigilante. We’ll call it the peer.

(Art by Digital Storm)

PEER

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 5d6 x 10 gp (average 175 gp).
Class Skills
All skills are class skills for the peer.
Skill Points at each Level: 10 + Int modifier.

Peer Class Features

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+0+0+2+2Peer’s edge, peer specialization, social talent
2nd+1+0+3+3Social talent
3rd+2+1+3+3Vigilante talent
4th+3+1+4+4Peer’s edge, social talent
5th+3+1+4+4Ninja/rogue/slayer talent
6th+4+2+5+5Social talent
7th+5+2+5+5Vigilante talent
8th+6/+1+2+6+6Peer’s edge, social talent
9th+6/+1+3+6+6Ninja/rogue/slayer talent
10th+7/+2+3+7+7Social talent
11th+8/+3+3+7+7Vigilante talent
12th+9/+4+4+8+8Peer’s edge, social talent
13th+9/+4+4+8+8Ninja/rogue/slayer talent
14th+10/+5+4+9+9Social talent
15th+11/+6/+1+5+9+9Vigilante talent
16th+12/+7/+2+5+10+10Peer’s edge, social talent
17th+12/+7/+2+5+10+10Ninja/rogue/slayer talent
18th+13/+8/+3+6+11+11Social talent
19th+14/+9/+4+6+11+11Vigilante talent
20th+15/+10/+5+6+12+12Capstone, peer’s edge, social talent

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Peers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, and medium armor.

Peer’s Edge: A peer gains an edge at 1st level, 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. A peer can select any of the following abilities by selecting it as a peer edge: dangersense (as unchained rogue of the same level), evasion, finesse training (as unchained rogue of the same level), improved evasion (must have evasion and be at last 8th level), trap sense (use peer level as rogue level), trapfinding, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge (must have uncanny dodge and be at least 8th level), unshakeable (as the vigilante feature of the same name).

Alternatively, a peer can select an additional skill point/peer level (including retroactively to previous peer levels), or a bonus feat (must meet its prerequisites, cannot have a feat type other than general). A peer can select these latter options multiple times. A peer with the theurge specialization can take an arcanist exploit as a peer’s edge. The peer must meet all the exploit prerequisites and treats their peer level as their arcanist level for this exploit. The peer cannot select any exploit that requires a class feature they do not have

Peer Specialization: As vigilante specialization. A peer must choose to be an avenger, stalker, or theurge. Once this choice is made, it can’t be changed. While many vigilante talents are usable by any specializations, some are unique to each specialization

An avenger gains a base attack bonus equal to their peer level instead of using those listed on Peer Class Features table. They add this value to any other base attack bonus gained from other classes or racial Hit Dice as normal. An avenger can take a combat feat in place of any vigilante or ninja/rogue/slayer talent, using their peer level as their fighter level for any prerequisites when doing so.

Stalkers gains an ability called hidden strike, which allows them to deal an extra 1d8 points of precision damage on melee attacks (or ranged attacks from within 30 feet) against foes who are unaware of their presence, who consider him an ally, or who are flat-footed against the attack. This extra damage increases by 1d8 at 3rd level and every 2 peer levels thereafter. A stalker peer can also deal hidden strike damage to a target that he is flanking or that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, but in these cases, the damage dice are reduced to d4s. A stalker can deal hidden strike damage against targets with concealment (but not total concealment).

A stalker peer can apply only one talent marked with an asterisk (*) to a given hidden strike, and only when that hidden strike is dealt against a foe that is , and only when that hidden strike is dealt against a foe that is unaware of the stalker vigilante’s presence (or who considers him an ally), unless otherwise noted. A stalker can also select a single form of debilitating injury (as the unchained rogue class feature) as a vigilante talent, treating it as a talent with an asterisk*.

Unlike vigilantes, peers have a third choice — theurge. A theurge gains spells known and spells per day as a bard of the same level. Their spell DC, bonus spells, and maximum level of spell they can cast is based on Charisma. When the peer first selects this ability, they must choose to cast spells from the bard, inquisitor, or magus list. Theurges that pick the bard or magus list are arcane spellcasters (though they do not suffer arcane spell failure for their peer spells in light armor–this ability extending to medium armor at 4th level and heavy armor at 7th level), and those that pick the inquisitor spell list are divine casters. A peer theurge cannot know or cast a spell that requires a class feature they do not have.

Social Talent: Starting at 1st level, and again at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, a peer gains a vigilante social talent, using their peer level as their vigilante level. Unless otherwise noted, a talent can be selected only once. Some talents require the peer to meet other prerequisites before they can be chosen, such as having another social talent or attaining a minimum peer level. Once a talent has been chosen, it cannot be changed. A peer is always considered to be in their social identity for social talennts.

Vigilante Talent: Starting at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a peer gains a vigilante talent, using their peer level as their vigilante level. Unless otherwise noted, a talent can be selected only once. Some talents require the peer to meet prerequisites before they can be chosen, such as possessing another vigilante talent, possessing a particular specialization, or attaining a minimum level. Once a talent has been selected, it can’t be changed.

Lacking a dual identity, there are no special rules about a peer using any of these talents while in a “social identity.”

Ninja/Rogue/Slayer Talent: Starting at 5th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a peer gains a talent taken from the ninja, rogue, or slayer class talent lists. The peer must meet all talent prerequisites and treats their peer level as the appropriate class level for this talent. Beginning at 12th level, the peer can take advanced talents. The peer cannot select any talent that requires a class feature they do not have, with the exception that abilities that affect sneak attacks can be selected by stalker peers to add to hidden strike attacks (and are considered vigilante talents with an asterisk* for this purpose).

Capstones
When a peer reaches 20th level, they select one of the following capstones.
Past Your Limits (Ex)
At 20th level, the peer has learned to stretch themself to do what they never thought they could before. The peer gains one additional social talent and one additional vigilante talent. This bonus vigilante talent is not subject to specialization requirements—a stalker can select an avenger-only talent, and vice versa. At the GM’s discretion, the peer can instead select an archetype-only vigilante talent, such as the cabalist’s living shadow.
Perfect Body, Flawless Mind (Ex)
At 20th level, the peer’s endless training and study has resulted in an unmatched mastery of the self. The character increases her ability scores by a collective total of 8. For example, she can increase one score by 8, or one score by 5 and another by 3, or four scores by 2, and so on.
The Boss (Ex)
At 20th level, the peer has become more than just a lone hero—they have become one of the senior figures of her field, with powers and responsibilities to match. They become one of the leading figures in some manner of group or organization, as appropriate to the campaign and the setting. The player and the GM should work together to determine the specifics. The peer gains the Leadership feat if they do not already have it, and the number of followers that the feat grants is multiplied by 10 (although depending on the campaign and setting, the position may grant other powers as well).

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