“Toss a Credit to Your Jinxer,” Soldier Fighting Style for Starfinder

Obviously when working on ShadowFinder, one of the things I want to do is give new character options that will help produce the kinds of PCs I expect people to want for that modern-urban-fantasy Play Mode. While many of those are inspired by various urban fantasy media, there are also fantasy, horror, and scifi concepts that adapt well. The Jinxer is one such concept, adapted as a soldier fighting style.

Jinxer Fighting Style

You have been trained to oppose monsters and supernatural threats. In this pursuit you can create and utilize special serums to enhance your abilities, and over time change your physiology to gain access to greater eldritch powers.

(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

Personal Serums (Ex) – 1st Level

You have learned to take materials that would be useless at best for others (and poisonous at worst) to make a serum specifically designed to boost your metabolism. When you regain your daily abilities, you can create any one enhancement serum with an item level of 5 or less. This serum works only for you, and expires after 24 hours, as well as whenever you create a new personal serum. You can draw and consume this serum as a move action. You can recreate an expended personal serum whenever you recuperate*. While there is no cost to this serum, you must have access to your personal possessions to be able to create it.

Jinxer Power (Su) – 5th Level

When you consume a serum (including your personal serum), you can use it to unlock special powers. Each time you drink a serum, select one of the powers below. It lasts for 10 minutes per soldier level.
Darkvision: You gain darkvision with a range of 90 feet.
Extreme Speed: You gain a +10-foot enhancement bonus to your land speed.
Jinxer Blast: You access phrenic powers to gain a telekinetic strike, allowing you to make a special ranged unarmed strike that targets KAC, requires one hand, is not archaic, has a range increment of 30 feet, bludgeoning damage, is a force effect, and has the stunned critical hit effect. For the duration of this ability, you gain a special version of the Weapon Specialization feat that adds 1-1/2 times your level to the damage of this unarmed strike (rather than adding your level).

*Recuperate is my proposed term for when a character takes a 10-minute rest and expends a Resolve point to regain Stamina points.

Jinxer’s Vigor (Ex) – 9th level

When you consume a serum (including your personal serum), you also heal damage equal to your soldier level. If this healing exceeds your max HP, you gain the additional healing as temporary HP that alst for 10 minutes per soldier level. These otherwise work as jinxer powers.

Expanded Jinxer Power (Su) – 13th Level

When you drink a serum (including your personal serum) you add the following powers to those you can select with the jinxer power.

Black Blood: Your blood becomes toxic. Any creature that damages you with a bite attack must make a Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 minute/soldier level. Adjacent creatures that damage you also must make this save, but gain a +4 bonus to their saving throw.

Ear for Trouble: You gain blindsense, 30 feet.

Jinxer Resilience: You gain DR/– and energy resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic equal to 1/4 your soldier level.

Rapid Reactions: You gain a +4 bonus to Initiative checks.

Greater Jinxer Power (Su) – 17th Level

When you gain a jinxer power from drinking a serum (including your personal serum), you may select two abilities rather than just one.

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Cantrip-Based Items for PF1

Yes, these are yet more inexpensive, nonconsumable items for 1st edition Pathfinder, but these are all united by being based on cantrips. The idea is to create items that boost the utility and functionality of low-level spellcasters in a different way that giving them minor scrolls or wands. These items popped into my head over the past few days, inspired by a conversation I had with longtime (37+ years) gaming friends earlier this week. (I’m also making them available to my wife, who is running a currently-5th-level PF1 campaign, in case she wants to pass them out as loot).

Blooddrop Pin
Aura
faint necromancy; CL 3rd; Slot head or shoulders; Price 1,500 gp; Weight
This long silver pin has a bright, blood-colored, teardrop-shaped garnet in the handle. It can be worn as a hairpin (taking the head item slot) or as a cloakpin (taking the shoulder item slot). It can also be used as a Small or Medium dagger without being considered an improvised weapon, but its base damage is 1, rather than 1d4. A spellcaster who has the bleed cantrip on their class list can learn it from the blooddrop pin as if the pin was a scroll, without damaging the item. The pin also allows the spell bleed to be targeted on a creature with a positive hp total, causing them on a failed save to take 1 hp and gain a 1 hp bleed effect. Multiple bleed spells cast on a target in this manner do not increase the bleed effect to more than 1 hp/round.
Craft Wondrous Item, bleed; Cost 750 gp

Brightstrap
Aura
strong (no school); CL 17th; Slot —; Price 250 gp; Weight
A brightstrap is a silvery silk-and-leather strap roughly 6 inches long that can easily be tied to a weapon, torch, holy symbol, belt, glove, or most other common adventuring equipment. A spellcaster who has the light cantrip on their class list can learn it from the brightstrap as if the strap was a scroll, without damaging the item. When a spellcaster casts the light cantrip on a brightstrap, it does not count against their maximum of 1 active light spell at a time.  This item does not grant the ability to cast light, just to modify the spell if the caster already has access to it.
Craft Wondrous Item, continual flame, light; Cost 125 gp

Charcoal Cord
Aura
strong (no school); CL 17th; Slot —; Price 1,500 gp; Weight —The charcoal cord is a short length of dark gray cording that appears to be covered in charcoal, though it leaves no powder or mark behind. The cord can be worn nearly anywhere on the body (wrapped around the wrist, tied to a belt, used to hold back hair, etc), and does not take up a magic item slot. A spellcaster who has the detect poison cantrip on their class list can learn it from the cord as if the cord was a scroll, without damaging the item. Three times per day, the charcoal cord allows a character casting detect poison to do so as a move action. This item does not grant the ability to cast detect poison, just to modify the spell if the caster already has access to it.
Craft Rod, Craft Wondrous Item, Quicken Spell; Cost 750 gp

Guiding Star
Aura
strong (no school); CL 17th; Slot belt, body, chest, or shoulders; Price 1,500 gp; Weight
The guiding star is a fine cloth sash with small patterns matching constellations sewn into it. It can be worn as a belt, shoulder sash, chest wrap, or numerous other ways that allow it to take one of a number of magic items slots (see above) and still function. A spellcaster who has the guidance cantrip on their class list can learn it from the sash as if the sash was a scroll, without damaging the item. Three times per day, the guiding star allows a character casting guidance to have the spell last up to 10 minute pers level (until discharged). This item does not grant the ability to cast guidance, just to modify the spell if the caster already has access to it.
Craft Rod, Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell; Cost 750 gp

Ring of Trifles
Aura
feint transmutation; CL 7th; Slot ring; Price 500 gp; Weight
A character able to prepare cantrips can prepare one additional cantrip when wearing this ring. The ring must be worn or 24 hours before it can be used.
Forge Ring; Special creator must be able to prepare cantrips from at least 2 different class spell lists; Cost 250 gp (1st)

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More Minor PF1 Magic Items

More minor magic items for 1st edition Pathfinder.

Beneficial Beltpouch
Aura
minor conjuration; CL 5th; Slot —; Price 500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This appears to be a typical beltpouch, appearing large enough to hold about a quart of material. In fact, it is like a bag of holding and can actually hold material of as much as 2 cubic feet in volume or 20 pounds in weight.
While such storage is useful enough, the purse has an even greater power. When the wearer reaches into it for a specific item, that item is always on top. Thus, no digging around and fumbling is ever necessary to find what the beltpouch contains. Retrieving any specific item from a beneficial beltpouch is a move action, but it does not provoke the attacks of opportunity that retrieving a stored item usually does.
Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Cost 250 gp

Eldritch Brazier of Focus (1st-Level Spell)
Aura strong transmutation; CL 17th; Slot —; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Once per day a character able to prepare spells of at least 1st level can burn this brazier while making their preparations, allowing them to prepare one additional 1st level spell. A character can only benefit from a single eldritch brazier per day.
Craft Wondrous Item; Special creator must be able to prepare 1st-level spells; Cost 500 gp (1st)

Ring of Escape
Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th; Slot ring; Price 2,000 gp; Weight
Once per day as a reaction when the wearer takes damage or fails a saving throw, they can become invisible as if they had cast vanish, using their character level as the caster level.
Forge Ring, Improved Initiative, vanish; Cost 1,000 gp

Satchel of Endless Bandages
Aura
faint conjuration; CL 8th; Slot —; Price 250 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This shoulder satchel has a faintly pleasant, herbal smell to it, and has a clasp in the form of a snake woven around a small staff. It functions as a healer’s kit, but never runs out of charges.
Craft Wondrous Item; goodberry; Cost 250 gp

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“Loot 4 Less” for Pathfinder 1e

In 1st edition Pathfinder, it can be tricky to give players interesting, useful, nonconsumable treasure at low levels. I did a whole line of Loot 4 Less books to extend the options available, but it’s often still useful to come up with new inexpensive-but-nice items for characters under 6th-7th level.

Here are some I have written up.

Boots of Quick Pace
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: feet              CL: 1st    Price: 1,000 gp  Weight: 1 lb.
These boots increase the wearer’s base land speed by 5 feet.
Construction
Feats Craft Wondrous Item; Spells longstrider; Cost 500 gp

Oil of Reforging
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: —   CL: 1st    Price: 450 gp      Weight: —
When applied to a weapon, this oil turns the weapon into a shiny mass of claylike material. If the claylike material is then applied to a second weapon, that weapon gains any masterwork, special material, or magical property of the first weapon that can apply to the second. The first weapon is destroyed, and the duration of this change is instantaneous. If for some reason granting the second weapon the appropriate properties would cost more than forging the first weapon, the difference between the two must be added to the oil bottle prior to adding it to the first weapon. If the oil is applied to a weapon to make it claylike, and that clay is not applied to a second weapon within an hour, the claylike material returns to its original weapon state, and the oil is expended.
Construction
Feats Brew Potion, Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Spells polymorph any object; Cost 225 gp

Resistant Mantle
Aura: faint Abjuration    Slot: Shoulder    CL: 1st    Price: 340 gp      Weight: —
Once you have worn this mantle for 24 hours, you gain a +1 resistance bonus to your lowest saving throw category (Fort, Ref, or Will) while wearing it.
Construction
Feats Craft Wondrous Item; Spells resistance; Cost 170 gp

Rod of Cantrips
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: Held             CL: 1st    Price: 650 gp      Weight: 1 lb.
While holding the rod, when you deal damage with a cantrip that has no other enhancement to its damage and has not been augmented by any form of metamagic, you add your caster level to the damage dealt (maximum +5 damage).
Construction
Feats Craft Rod; Spells spiritual weapon; Cost 325 gp

Weapon Talisman of Eldritch Blows
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: —   CL: 1st    Price: 400 gp      Weight: —
This silken ribbon is roughly a foot long, with an apparently wax seal bearing a sigil of crossed staff and scimitar. It can be wrapped around any nonmagic weapon, the wax seal affixing it in place, at which point it changes coloration and symbols to match the patronage, deity, order, or personal mark of the weapon’s bearer.
Once per day when an attack is made with a weapon it is attached to, as part of the attack the wielder can activate the talisman, causing the attack to be affected as by magic weapon (+1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage for 1 minute).
A weapon can only benefit from a single weapon talisman each day.
Construction
Feats Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Spells magic weapon; Cost 200 gp
Special
Like a +1 magic weapon can be upgraded to a +2 magic weapon, a weapon talisman of eldritch blows can be augmented to work more often, with its total cost increased as noted below
2/day    800 gp
3/day    1200 gp
4/day    1600 gp
Permanent         2300 gp

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Some Custom PF1 Items for Witches

Just a few magic items I designed at request, to add to a haord that was supposed to include multiple witchy things.

Doomblood Athame
Aura necromancy; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 18,000 gp; Weight 0.1 lbs.
While this cold iron dagger is on your person or in your possession (it need not be welded), the first time each round a target makes a saving throw against a hex of yours, you may choose to take damage equal to half your hexcaster level (all levels in classes that give you access to hexes, or half your character level, whichever is higher) to create a blood curse. This damage bypasses any defenses you have, and cannot be recovered through spells or channeling (though hexes and other spell-like abilities, potions, and natural healing, work normally).
If you are affected by this damage, the target is sickened for 1 round. This duration can be extended with the cackle hex. This effect can be removed with a remove curse or remove disease, but requires a caster level check against a DC equal to 10 + your caster level. Once you have used the doomblood athame’s blood curse against a target, you cannot use it against that target again for 24 hours.
Additionally, when you use either the doomblood athame or a natural weapon or unarmed attack to attack a target that has failed a save against one of your hexes within the past 24 hours, you may use your hexcaster level as your bonus to attack (in place of your base attack bonus and any ability score bonus you would normally add to the attack), and your attack is considered bane against that target (an additional +2 to your attack roll, and +2d6 damage).
Construction
Requirements Craft Arms and Armor, must know a greater hex; Cost 9,000 gp

Slippers of the Glacier
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th
Slot feet; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 0.1 lbs.
You ignore all movement reductions and skill check penalties from ice, cold, snow, and other winter hazards (mundane or magical). Additionally, if you have hexcaster levels (levels in a class that give you access to hexes), once per day you can cause a whirlwind of snow and ice to surround and support you as if you were using the flight hex. (If you have the flight hex, instead double the number of times you can use levitate, or the number of minutes of fly you receive).
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, flight hex; CL 5th; Cost 3,000 gp

Ring of Favor
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th
Slot ring; Price 7,500 gp; Weight
This ring appears to be a tiny silver chain with a thorny rose vine intertwined among the links. However, when worn by a character who has the hex class feature, it changes form to look like their personal symbol of heraldry (or a thematically appropriate appearance if the character has no heraldry). When the witch casts a hex on an ally, they can choose to have this symbol appear briefly over the ally, as a sign of the witch’s favor.
When word by a character who has 3 or more hexes gained from classes or feats, this ring grants one bonus hex known while worn. If the wearer has 6 or more hexes, it grants 2 bonus hexes. If the wearer has 12 or more hexes, the ring grants 3 bonus hexes.
The bonus hexes must be selected from the following list: Ameliorating, Aura of Purity, Fortune, Healing, Protective Luck, Ward.
Once made, the selection of bonuses hexes cannot be easily changed. Each time a character gains a new level in a class that grants hexes, they may change what bonus hexes they gain from the ring.
Construction
Requirements Forge Ring, must have patron class feature, CL 8th; Cost 3,750 gp

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Holiday-Themed Constructs

Look, maybe you want to run a fantasy ttRPG with giant animated fruitcake warriors… and maybe you’ll just get a giggle out of my actually taking this topic seriously. But if you want to reskin some class iron, clay, and stone constructs (or any construct-type creature) into holiday-themed materials, here are some options for powers to add based on the holiday material used.

Figgy Pudding/Fruitcake: Take half damage from bludgeoning attacks. Are sticky, so they gain a climb speed.

Gingerbread: As almost 2-d, flexible creatures, they can get through spaces a creature 2 size classes smaller could, without taking any penalties. Any fire damage sets them on fire, both damaging them and causing their attacks to do fire damage.

Holly: Anyone hit by the construct, or adjacent to it for a full round, must make a mental save or move towards the person present they would be most interested in kissing (though once they take that move, all compulsion stops).

Hot Cocoa: Gains all the powers of both a fire elemental and a water elemental of the same threat level. takes double damage from bite attacks.

Peppermint: These constructs are “curiously strong.” Tracking them by scent is easy, but they cover all other scents, and after being in an enclosed space for a minute, scent can no longer pinpoint their exact location with that space.

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Relic Framework Concept: Rochambeau

When worldbuilding, sometimes you want to create a relic framework–that is, a set of rules and and concepts that guide how a specific type of important objects function and interact. This might be ancient rings of power (one of which binds them all in darkness), whispering keys (which perhaps have a special connection to one family line), conceptual stones that if gathered can change the entire universe, color-coded energy swords, alpha-class mecha no-one knows how to build anymore, or whatever.

This idea leaped into my head when I was contemplating such a set of relics, and trying to decide if I wanted to use them as narrative devices, McGuffins, elements of an RPG (ShadowFinders, maybe? Or my long-dusty StrangeFinder Modern ideas?), or whatever. But without knowing where I am going to put it yet, this has grown to be taking enough headspace I need to jot the ideas down so I can move on with other projects.

The Throws

Sometimes, the forces of the universe imbue an object with extraordinary power, thrown off from the normal processes of being a universe. Known as a “throw” the form of a throw may impact what it can do (a wasp trapped in a hunk of amber that can be used to summon a swarm of wasps), or might be utterly unrelated (a book of sonnets that teleports anyone hit in the head with it to a random bus station in Poughkeepsie).

Throws come in three categories.

Rock: Not always mineral, rocks are always unworked, natural objects, often stones but they could also be leftover plant matter, a liquid, a salt, amber, and so on. Most rocks are about the size of a child’s fist, though much larger and smaller exceptions exist. Rocks’ powers tend to center around raw creation or destruction on a powerful but crude scale. A rock’s powers are weak against a paper throw, and strong against a scissor throw. A rock is the only thing that can destroy a scissor, and a paper is the only thing that can destroy a rock.

Paper: Paper throws are always objects that hold knowledge, and are almost always manmade. A book, cassette tape, clay tablet, vinyl record, and knotted accounting cord are all possible papers, though in rare cases something like the cross-section of a tree showing the environments impacts on it over centuries could become a paper. Paper throws tend to have powers focused on evolution, change, and to a lesser extent knowledge. A paper’s powers are weak against a scissor throw, and strong against a rock throw. A scissor is the only thing that can destroy a paper, and a paper is the only thing that can destroy a rock.

Scissor: Scissors are always something created by the action of a living thing, but they are not all man-made. While tools, weapons, clothes, and furniture are all common scissors, so are bird nests, honeycomb, and beaver dams. Scissors’ powers are generally about applied force, ranging from destruction to heating, cooling, carving, and even assembling and forging things. A scissor’s powers are weak against a rock throw, and strong against a paper throw. A scissor is the only thing that can destroy a paper, and a rock is the only thing that can destroy a scissor.

So, this leaves us with a word where people seek relics for specific purposes, but every relic is also a potential weapon against one class of throw, and vulnerable to the other class of throw.

Now, what to DO with such a framework is a much broader question.

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Mountain Dew Cake and Mountain Dew Pie

Look, I’m not in charge of the Mountain Dew-to-Gamers connection, but I do like playing with it. People specifically asked for these recipes when I noted I had made them, so…

Mountain Dew CAKE
1 box Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix
1 box Jello instant pudding mix – lemon
4 eggs
1 teaspoon lime flavoring (or extract, I refer flavoring)
green food Coloring if desired, to your preferred neon hue
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup Mountain Dew (fresh and fizzy)

GLAZE
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Mountain Dew

 Preheat oven to 325
 Liberally coat bunt pan with nonstick spray
 Add all cake ingredients together and beat for 2 minutes
 Pour into pan and bake 50-60 minutes at 325
 About 5 minutes before cake is done, make the glaze
 Add all glaze ingredients together in a sauce pan and boil for 2-3 minutes
 Once cake comes out, pour glaze slowly over cake
 Leave in pan for 20-30 minutes to let glaze soak in, or up to 24 hours in fridge
 Remove. Color will be much darker on the outside than within each slice.
 Enjoy

Mountain Dew PIE
This is NOT a cheesecake, but an effort at pure Mtn Dew as a pie filling.
1 frozen pie crust, in pan
2 liters Mountain Dew (to make 12 oz. Mountain Dew Reduction)
2/3 cup sugar
8 tbsp flour
6 tbsp butter, diced

 To make a Mtn Dew reduction, simmer 2 liters of Mtn Dew over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 hours. You should reduce the volume by at least half, and up to 65% or so. It doesn’t matter if the Mtn Dew is fresh, since you’ll lose all the carbonation anyway.
 Preheat oven to 395
 Pour 12 oz of Mtn Dew reduction in the pie crust, while the crust is still frozen
 Mix the sugar and flour, then sprinkle the mix evenly over the surface of the Mtn Dew reduction. Yes, it’s powder on syrup.
 As best you can, scatter the diced butter evenly over the flour/sugar mix.
 Cover edges of crust with foil.
 Carefully move into over. Bake for 30 min.
 Reduce temp to 340, then bake for another 30 min.
 Remove from oven, and take off foil. Pie filling is now a hot sticky plasma, so be careful. Fully cool, preferably on a stone or tile countertop.
 Once fully cooled, chill covered in fridge for 6-24 hours.

(Reduced Mtn Dew. This was once 2 liters)
(Reduced Mtn Dew in frozen pie crust)
(Sprinkled sugar/flour mix over top, then diced butter)
(Foil)
(Done! And, Neon!)

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Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Abjuring Step

Still converting Pathfinder 1st edition spells to Starfinder, and going back to alphabetical order (unless a member of my Patreon asks for something be done out-of-order, as happened with the shield spell; which is a great reason to join my Patreon!), with abjuring step. (You can find an index of the spells that have been converted to-date here).

The PF1 version of abjuring step is all about casting spells and not provoking attacks of opportunity. It’s primarily designed to boost the effectiveness of spellcasters who do a lot of touch-range buffs, since those need to get up lose to combat to be effective. It mitigates that power by ending if you make an attack or move too far. Spells like that are less common in Starfinder (fewer buffs in general, and some touch range spells specify they don’t provoke, though there are a few such as supercharge weapon). Attacks of opportunity are also less of a threat, both because fewer things provke (only THREE things can provoke an AoO in Starfinder), and because there’s no mechanism to allow foes to make multiple AoOs in a round.

So, if we want abjuring step to stay a useful option, we either need to increase it’s utility, or we need to reduce its spell level. While we could make it a 0-level spell, that comes with an additional set of complications (as 0-level spells can be cast an unlimited number of times). So, to keep things simple, let’s see if we can’t make abjuring step powerful enough to be appealing as a 1st-level option.

This version allows attacks, and even encourages popping out from cover, shooting, and moving back into cover. But rather than prevent AoOs, it makes the first one taken against you fail, then ends the spell. This gives it broader utility even in a game with many fewer attacks of opportunity, and makes it of use for a broader range of spellcaster builds, but also prevents it from becoming immunity to AoOs for a whole battle with one casting of the spell.

(Art by roman3d)

Abjuring Step
Classes mystic 1, technomancer 1, witchwarper 1
School abjuration
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range personal
Duration 1 round/level
Abjuring step allows you to take a full action to make up to two guarded steps, and either cast a spell with a casting time of one standard action or make a single attack. You can take both guarded steps before or after the attack or spellcasting, or take one guarded step before and one after. If a foe makes an attack of opportunity against you, the attack automatically fails, but the abjuring step spell is dismissed.

Casting abjuring step does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

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An Open Reply to Erik Mona

Editorial note From Owen: Earlier this week I posted An Open Letter to Erik Mona, written by a freelancer I know who had asked me to post it. Erik replied almost immediately, outlining steps he was taking, and you can see his response as a comment to the original open letter. The open letter’s author asked that this response to Erik’s reply also be publicly posted, which I am doing now. If you haven’t already read the open letter and Erik’s swift reply, doing so before reading this will give needed context.

“I appreciate the swift response in addressing the raised concerns. I believe that removal of slavery from Golarion is an excellent step towards creating a welcoming and inclusive game. I hope that Paizo will work closely with African American writers and sensitivity consultants as they move forward with this change and beyond. I look forward to seeing what we can create.”