About Advanced Magic

For the most part, there is nothing included in the Advanced Magic section that is beyond the scope and capabilities of many spells included in the standard magic system of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. However, as Spheres of Power is, by definition, designed for those who wish to augment the standard Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, these abilities are listed here as optional rules, so that they may be used or discarded as the game demands and the players and GM see fit.

If a low-magic world is desired where powerful wizards must still rely on horses and quick wits no matter their level, then all advanced magic options can simply be removed. If a high-magic world is desired, one that closely resembles the standard Pathfinder Roleplaying Game experience, then virtually all advanced magic options may be included. Or, if a custom world is desired, one where magic is unstable and individual or where only certain options are available, the game may include only one or two carefully-selected advanced systems. In all cases, players and GMs are encouraged to communicate openly before a game starts so that both understand what they are expecting from their game.

Advanced Talents

Advanced Talents are magic talents that greatly alter what a sphere can do. With advanced talents, a Warp caster could traverse the world, a Creation caster could permanently turn enemies to stone, or a Life caster could raise his allies from the dead. These powers become part of the caster’s daily routine, letting him use spell points to enact great feats of magic.

Incantations

Incantations are a tool by which a GM can create custom magical formulae, beyond the scope of other rules systems. Incantations utilize skill checks and a series of very specific conditions to bring about risky—but often rewarding—magical effects and are a powerful tool for customizing a plot or setting. Incantations could include anything from a villain’s ceremony to end the world, to a nursery rhyme that tells players how to visit to the king of Faerie, to a simple ritual that helps them find their way through an otherwise impenetrable forest. As incantations are independent of character class and caster level, they need not even be magical at all and could include any skill-based activity from performing risky surgery to unlocking a complicated secret door to constructing steam-powered wonders.

Rituals

Rituals are complex ceremonies through which a caster can create a variety of magical effects through an investment of time and other resources. This system is designed to better integrate spells into a world of spheres by giving sphere casters a system by which they can cast spells from the core Pathfinder magic system. While generally impractical in combat, rituals add utility to a caster, allowing him limited access to game-changing magic, provided he has the time and materials to use it.

Spellcrafting

Spellcrafting is a system that allows creatures to wield custom powers, combining effects from multiple spheres into their own unique creations. In many ways, this is similar to designing magic items and allows players and GMs to customize their available abilities. While not necessarily as game-changing as the other advanced magic systems, spellcrafting involves rules purposefully left vague in order to encourage creativity, and as such always requires GM oversight.

Why so many systems?

One of the goals of Spheres of Power is to give GMs and players the tools they need to craft characters and worlds to fit their desires. As such, we’ve provided a variety of magic systems, each of which provides something different in flavor or execution. For players, advanced talents add power to their characters while rituals add utility. For GMs, rituals give the party freedom while incantations add flavor to games and plots. For both, spellcrafting changes tactics and adds personality to a caster’s magic. A game can feature none of these systems, all of them, or a mixture depending on what kind of game is desired. The GM could even throw out normal magic entirely and create an unique magic system from only the Ritual and Incantation rules. There are as many options as there are games, and we encourage players and GMs to experiment with the rules and systems included herein to find what works best for their games.

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