Casting Traditions
Table of Contents
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Casting traditions are the method by which a caster creates magic. In the core magic system for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game a wizard, a cleric, and a druid can often create very similar magical effects, but one does so through arcane materials and signs, the other through a holy symbol and a prayer, and the other through invoking a connection to nature. Each of these and other magic-using classes possess restrictions on how they invoke magic, an ability score that governs their magic, as well as specific information regarding what magic spells they have access to, and whether their magic is arcane in origin, divine in origin, or comes from another source entirely.

While many gaming tables are content to adventure in worlds that carry these assumptions, and indeed many great stories have been told in these worlds, there are all manner of stories to be told in worlds that have none of these rules. Perhaps the story takes place in a world where magic is cast entirely through written runes. Perhaps a player wants to recreate a favorite TV, book, or movie character whose powers simply do not fit this paradigm for how magic operates in the core magic system.

Spheres of Power is designed to aid GMs and players in creating whatever worlds they wish to create, be they classic fantasy roleplaying worlds, transcriptions of worlds from literature or film, or entirely new worlds built out of their own imagination. To better facilitate this creative freedom, Spheres of Power makes use of casting traditions to allow GMs and players a greater level of freedom when determining the whys and hows of magic.

Whether it be a nation where government knights invoke animal spirits and collect souls to power their magic, a character who gains magical power from highly addictive and illegal magical drugs, or a setting where elemental-based casters use martial art forms to manipulate the world around them, casting traditions allow magic to be altered to fit the needs of the game, rather than the other way around.

Using Casting Traditions

Casting traditions are made up of drawbacks, boons, and casting ability modifiers

Drawbacks represent restrictions and methodologies used by a casting tradition, while boons represent that tradition’s particular strengths. Casting ability modifiers determine what ability score magic-users of that tradition use when determining the strength of their magic (usually Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma).

While casting traditions are a great way to customize a world, it is possible to use Spheres of Power with no tradition at all, either as a specific choice, or simply because a player or GM does not wish to include them. In that instance, magic is considered to be innate, and is treated the same as spell-like abilities. In these cases, the magic has no restrictions on its use, no benefits associated with it, and defaults to using Charisma as the casting ability modifier (the ability score used to govern spell-like abilities). If a character gains a casting ability modifier without gaining casting (such as through a class feature) then later gains a casting tradition, the casting tradition’s casting ability modifier takes precedence.

Casting Ability Modifiers

The first component of a casting tradition is its casting ability modifier: the ability score the caster uses when determining their spell points and the difficulty class of their magical effects. Unless a particular boon or magic trait is being used, this choice must be made from Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.

FAQ: Do Other People Know I'm Casting Magic?

Yes. Other people can tell that you're using magic, even if you don't take especially obvious drawbacks (such as Magical Signs), or if you have something like the Natural casting tradition with no drawbacks at all. While there are some options in the game that can help you disguise your casting, the default is that all spellcasting is detectable and can be identified while being cast (through the Spellcraft skill, or other options as available). Yes, spells can be detected even if the caster is invisible. Several elements of the game's rules work under this assumption, and it continues to hold true in Spheres of Power. This rule exists mainly for fairness and balance, and should not be lightly disregarded; players who want to be 'hidden' casters are expected to invest the appropriate resources, not receive such a powerful bonus as a default of the system rules. See also: The Paizo FAQ on spell manifestations.

For casters who want to be hidden, the Conceal Spell feat can help hide casting altogether, and effects such as the Cunning Caster feat or the Virtuoso casting tradition boon can help hide that you're the source of magic. -Wiki Admin


Drawbacks

Do magic-users of this particular tradition need to gesture to invoke magic? Must they speak in a resounding voice? Do they require a special magical focus or magical components, or does their magic only affect animals? If the answer to any of these or other, similar question is ‘yes’, then that casting tradition would make use of a drawback.

Drawbacks come in two varieties: general and sphere-specific. General drawbacks define the method by which a magic- user of that tradition creates magic, while sphere-specific drawbacks help define how that magic manifests. General drawbacks are always considered part of a casting tradition, and cannot be gained after character creation. Sphere-specific drawbacks, however, can be gained as part of a casting tradition, but can also be gained by a player at the time they gain a particular magic sphere.

For example, the sample tradition “Lycanthrope” describes a caster who draws their power from a lycanthropic curse, and so contains the Lycanthropic Alteration sphere drawback, which limits the Alteration sphere to only being able to affect the caster alone. However, a character without the Lycanthrope tradition could still choose, upon gaining the Alteration sphere, to gain the Lycanthropic drawback to reflect that their particular caster only knows how to transform herself. In one case the drawback is a result of the casting tradition, in another case it is a voluntary limitation to reflect the caster’s focus, but both cases are equally viable for gaining that sphere-specific drawback.

General Drawbacks

General drawbacks, as will be explained later, are the currency by which a casting tradition grants boons and bonus spell points. The more general drawbacks a tradition has, the more power it can grant its casters.

Some drawbacks are especially powerful; these drawbacks count as two drawbacks when calculating potential boons and bonus spell points. With GM permission a general drawback might be removed after character creation, but the caster must also lose the boon or bonus spell points gained from that drawback.

Balancing Drawbacks: Because a player is gaining power from a drawback, drawbacks are designed to be limiting. While some general drawbacks provide their own balancing mechanics (Extended Casting, Addictive Casting, Painful Casting, etc.), others depend on the situation around the caster in question (Verbal Casting, Material Casting, Focus Casting, etc.). Casting traditions determine how magic is used, and as such are tied integrally to a game’s setting. and as such the GM is encouraged to use these drawbacks when crafting situations for the characters to face.

For example, as detailed under the Material Casting drawback, the effects of Material Casting is heavily dependent on how hard the materials are to obtain: Are materials expensive? Are they common? Will the player run out and need to spend time hunting for more? Whether or not materials are core to the story, however, a player should not be able to gain the Material Casting drawback, only to negate its requirements through a one-time purchase of a spell pouch.

Similarly, if a character takes Focus Casting, it means he now must invoke an item to cast his magic, an action many enemies will notice and try to take advantage of. If this drawback has been incorporated into the world (for example, all magic-users must use a wand to cast spells), then disarming an opponent’s focus would become a common combat technique that may be employed and must be guarded against. Indeed, it could be argued that if no enemy ever attempts to take the focus from the caster, then the player has gained all of the benefits of the drawback with none of the detriments.

Addictive Casting

Your magic is addictive. Whenever you spend one or more spell points, you must succeed at a Fortitude save against your addiction DC. Your addiction DC is 10, + 1 for each roll you have previously made, to a maximum of 15 + your caster level (thus, your first roll would be a DC 10, the second a DC 11, the third a DC 12, etc.). If you fail this save, you gain a minor addiction, suffering a -2 penalty to Constitution. If you already possess a minor addiction and fail your Fortitude save after spending spell points, you gain a moderate addiction. This increases the penalty to a -2 penalty to Constitution and Strength, and requires 3 saves to overcome. If you fail your save and already have a moderate addiction, you gain a severe addiction, suffering instead a -2 penalty to Dexterity, Constitution, Strength, Wisdom, and your primary casting attribute (if not Wisdom or Constitution). All penalties from your addiction are suppressed for 1 minute whenever you spend a spell point, whether or not you succeeded at your Fortitude save.

Each day you do not use a spell point, you may attempt a Fortitude save against your addiction DC. After succeeding at a save in this fashion, your addiction DC is reduced by 2. If you succeed at 2 consecutive saves, your addiction also reduces by one level (or disappears, if you only have a minor addiction). Unlike normal addictions, an addiction to magic cannot be cured with magic, although the Heal skill can be used to help overcome addictions similar to overcoming diseases.

This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining boons and bonus spell points.

Anemic [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Casting Traditions 2

Your magic interferes with your natural circulation. If you are immune to bleed damage, you lose that immunity. If you are not subject to bleed damage (such as because of your creature type), you become subject to it. Whenever you take slashing or piercing damage, as well as bleed damage from any other source, you suffer 1 point of bleed damage plus an additional point of bleed damage for every 10 points of your magic skill bonus; this stacks with all other sources of bleed damage. The Heal DC to stop yourself from bleeding increases by your magic skill bonus. Healing from magical sources does not stop you from bleeding unless the caster succeeds on a magic skill check against your magic skill defense. If you receive healing from a non-magical source (including fast healing or regeneration) you must still receive a Heal check in order to stop the bleeding.

Area Bound

You are mystically bonded to a single notable location such as a cave, large tree, spring, a magical laboratory or prominent stone formation and draw your magic from it. You must remain within a number of miles equal to your MSB to use your magic normally. Using magic outside this area requires you to attempt a concentration check (DC 20 + 1/2 the caster level) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. You may bond to a new site of the same general type with an 8 hour ritual.

Center Of Power

You have an obvious physical feature which is the source of your magical power. Whenever you cast, any creature observing you can clearly see that your magic originates from your center of power.

If a critical hit is confirmed on you, your center is disrupted and you lose 1d4 spell points (if you have them) and are dazed for 1 round. A creature can also target your center of power with a called shot, which also causes a disruption. The center of power is considered a challenging shot (-10).

At the GM’s discretion, certain kinds of physical restraint might also make spellcasting require a concentration check (DC 20 + caster level), depending on the nature of the center of power and the restraint. An undesirable polymorph effect may also produce the same results.

You may not select this drawback if you possess the Focus Casting or Galvanized drawbacks.

Charged Spells [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Casting Traditions

You must prepare a sphere effect into a charge before you can use it yourself. Preparing a charge takes 10 full-round actions (without allowing swift or free actions) in a row that provoke attacks of opportunity. If you are disrupted before you finish your charge, you must start all over to create it, but any spell points invested into its creation are not lost.

You must determine spell points that will be used as part of the charge as well as the talents, feats, class abilities, any other modifiers or variables at the time of casting. Any temporary increase to caster level, ability score or other such modifier must be active during the entire creation process in order to benefit you when expended.

Expending a charge to use the sphere effect takes up the same action as using it regularly, and provokes (or does not provoke) attacks of opportunity as would normally happen with the effect. Spell points invested in a charge are locked and cannot be used for any other purpose until expended in the charge. A charge remains until you rest and regain spell points, but can be dismissed prematurely as a free action (this wastes the charge). You can maintain a number of charges at once equal to your magic skill bonus plus your casting ability modifier.

This drawback counts as 2 drawbacks for the purposes of determining boons. Temporary talents (such as those granted by the prodigy’s adaptation ability) cannot be used as part of a charge.

Incompatible: Diagram Magic, Prepared Casting

Consciousness Linked

Your effects are linked to you even after you spend a spell point to have them continue without concentration. If you fall asleep or unconscious, or are dazed, stunned, confused, reduced to animal intelligence, or otherwise unable to take coherent mental actions, all of your magical effects immediately end.

Coy Caster

Your magic is a fickle thing, or perhaps you are simply possessed of performance anxiety. If you attempt to use magic while you know you are being observed, you must attempt a concentration check (DC 15 + 1/2 the caster level) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If you believe you are hidden or alone, even if you are not, you may use magic normally.

Diagram Magic

In order to perform any magical effect, either you or your target must be entirely contained within the boundaries of a special diagram. Creating this diagram requires a full-round action for every 5-foot square contained within the diagram. Once the circle has been drawn, attempt a Spellcraft check as part of the full-round action to draw the final part of the circle against DC 15 + the maximum caster level of any effect to be performed within the circle to determine if it was done correctly. You may take 10 on this check even if in combat or stressed. You can increase the speed at which you draw the diagram but at greater risk of making a mistake. Doing so prevents you from taking 10 on the check, and for every step by which you reduce the time required to draw the diagram, increase the spellcraft DC by +5 to a maximum of +20 to draw the circle as a free action.

The diagram need not be drawn with any special materials, and can be done with sprinkled salt, paint, blood, a finger in sand, or anything else that may be on hand so long as it is clearly visible. Permanent portable diagrams are usually not possible (as any scuff to the diagram disrupts the magic), but a diagram may be made out of fixed, permanent material such as metal. If a diagram is disrupted (any amount of damage dealt to the surface it is carved upon, or sufficient force from water, wind, or any other effect that might disperse the material the diagram was created with) then any magic currently being maintained by concentration via the diagram immediately ends, and no further magic may be used until a new circle is drawn. Spells and effects created by magic within the diagram (including summoned creatures) never disrupt it even if they would otherwise.

This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining boons and bonus spell points.

Draining Casting

Using magic saps your lifeforce. Whenever you spend one or more spell points you are dealt 1 point of nonlethal damage which cannot be avoided by nonlethal damage immunity, reduced by damage reduction, and cannot be healed through any means except rest (a full night’s rest heals all nonlethal damage caused by this drawback at once). This nonlethal damage increases by 1 point for every 5 caster levels.

Emotional Casting

Your magic requires heightened emotional states of mind to use. When subject to a non-harmless effect that invokes an emotion (such as fear effects, demoralization, spells with the emotion descriptor, or (charms) such as Fear or Hostility) you are unable to use magic. You may use the metamagic feat Logical Spell to overcome this drawback.

Expensive Locus [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Casting Traditions

Resting to regain your magic requires an increasingly expensive locus, requiring you to dedicate more and more of your wealth to sustaining your magical power. This locus, and the way you gain power from it can take multiple different forms depending on what is appropriate for the character concept; from setting up expensive runes and talismans to calibrate your astral self, requiring an expensive laboratory to process your material components, or simply sleeping on a dedicated pile of gold to get in touch with your draconic side.

Whenever you rest to regain your spell points, it must be with a locus with a cost of 50 gp x your magic skill bonus squared. The base cost of the locus increases to 100 gp at a magic skill bonus of 10 or higher. This wealth has to be dedicated purely towards fulfilling the locus, with no other utility; meaning that magic items, or equipment you possess cannot count towards this drawback.

Using magic without your locus requires you to make a concentration check (DC 20 + 1/2 the caster level) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If a locus is lost, stolen, or broken, the caster must create a new locus by securing the necessary items of the requisite monetary value and spending 8 hours bonding with it. At the GM’s discretion, however, another caster’s locus may be used instead.

Extended Casting

Your magic takes longer to use than normal. When using an ability gained from a sphere or talent, increase the casting time by one step: swift and immediate actions become move actions, move actions become standard actions, standard actions become full-round actions, full-round actions take 1 round to complete, and 1-round actions take 1 minute to complete. This drawback counts as 2 drawbacks when determining boons and bonus spell points.

You may take this drawback twice. If taken twice, your casting takes a minimum of 1 minute to perform, regardless of the sphere effect being used. Taking this drawback twice grants a total of 4 drawbacks when determining boons and bonus spell points.

Fey-Infused Magic

Your magic is intrinsically linked to the realm of Faerie and shares its inhabitants aversion to iron. Any creature wearing light armor consisting of cold iron, steel or iron gains a +1 circumstance bonus to saving throws against sphere effects originating from you. Wearing medium armor increases this bonus to +2 and wearing heavy armor increases it to +3. Wielding a weapon made of cold iron increases this bonus by +1. When a target under the effects of one of your sphere abilities takes damage from iron or steel weapons, that target is treated as if it had been affected by the Counterspell feat, with a magic skill check equal to 10 +1/4th the damage dealt. This Counterspell is applied at the beginning of that creature’s turn, adding together all damage suffered from applicable sources since the beginning of its last turn, and ignores all effects that do not have the Fey-Infused Magic drawback. If the target is struck by a weapon made out of cold iron, the Counterspell is capable of dispelling one additional sphere effect per 5 points of base attack bonus that the attacker possesses.

Focus Casting

Your magic requires you to use an item such as a wand, holy symbol, ring, or staff to create magic. The focus must be wielded or equipped to be used (for example, a wand must be held, a ring must be equipped in a ring slot, etc.) Using magic without your focus requires you to attempt a concentration check (DC 20 + 1/2 the caster level) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If a focus is lost, stolen, or broken, the caster must create a new focus by securing the necessary item and spending 8 hours bonding with it. At the GM’s discretion, however, another caster’s focus may be used instead.

If you are carrying your focus when subject to a polymorph effect that would normally meld your equipment into your new form, your focus melds into your body as well, causing this drawback to function as the center of power drawback for the duration of the effect.

You may not select this drawback if you possess the Center Of Power or Galvanized drawbacks.

Galvanized

Your magic was forged by war, and is integrated with your fighting abilities. To use or concentrate on your abilities, you must be wielding a martial or exotic weapon with at least some metal components (even some metal decorations on a wooden weapon are sufficient). You must be able to attack with the weapon (it cannot be tied down or otherwise unusable), and you must have proficiency with it. The weapon itself does not need to have any special abilities, but cannot have the broken condition.

Being disarmed or having the weapon sundered counters any sphere abilities you are casting or maintaining. If a polymorph spell causes the weapon to become part of your body you lose your abilities, unless you can still attack with the weapon somehow. You can still switch between weapons while maintaining sphere abilities.

You may not select this drawback if you possess the Center Of Power or Focus Casting drawbacks.

Incompatible Energies [S&P]

The magic of your foes adversely affects yours to an extreme degree. When calculating your MSD, you use half your casting class levels instead of your full casting class levels. Whenever a spell you create is successfully dispelled, you cannot spend spell points for 1 round. In addition, if you possess the Alien Source boon, this drawback does not apply against other casters who draw from the same Alien Source as you.

Innate Curse [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Casting Traditions 2

Your magic comes from a source that curses you, or your cursed condition is a side effect of your casting ability. You suffer the hindrance of a singular oracle curse, and do not get its benefit, nor the benefits that come with increased level. Use your magic skill bonus as your oracle level to determine any penalties from its hindrance. This curse is permanent and cannot be removed.

Not all curses are appropriate for this drawback, and the GM is the ultimate arbiter of which oracle curse you suffer from.

Special: If you already possess an oracle’s curse (or gain one later), then you retain this curse in addition to the other other curse, but each curse must be a different type of curse and provide different kinds of benefits (even if you don’t possess the curse mastery feat).

Madness Mantra [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Casting Traditions

Your magic fights against you for control. At the end of any round in which you spend 1 or more spell points you must succeed at a Will saving throw with a DC of 10 + 1/2 your magic skill bonus or enter into an enraged state at the beginning of your next turn. While enraged, you gain the antagonized condition, always treating the creature(s) closest to you as your antagonist(s).

The GM may rule that the nature of your power will make you focus specifically on your allies, or beings of great importance to you (for example power that comes from a demon bound inside you may cause you to inflict harm to those you value the most before it can be contained).

When you attempt a Sense Motive check to end the antagonized condition, the skill check is made against your own magic skill defense + your casting ability modifier (minimum DC 15).

Incompatible: Emotional Casting

Antagonized: An antagonized creature can only target its antagonist (the one who caused the antagonized condition) with hostile actions. A hostile action is any attack or effect that causes direct harm to an opponent in the form of damage, negative conditions, or any other effect that penalizes or hinders a creature. Furthermore, an antagonized creature does not threaten any opponents except its antagonist: it cannot make attacks of opportunity or be used to determine flanking bonuses against other opponents. A creature is no longer antagonized if its antagonist is helpless, unconscious, or cannot participate in combat. If an antagonized creature uses an ability that targets multiple creatures, the antagonist must be chosen among these targets. If an antagonized creature uses an ability that targets an area, its antagonist must be within the ability's targeted area.

On each round after the first, an antagonized creature may attempt a Sense Motive skill check as a swift action to realize the folly of its actions. This skill check is opposed by the antagonist's original antagonize skill check. If the creature succeeds on its Sense Motive skill check, the antagonized condition ends, but the creature suffers a -2 penalty on attack rolls and a -2 penalty to the saving throw DC of its abilities and any spells it casts for 1 minute. These penalties do not apply against the antagonist.

Magical Signs

Your magic is accompanied by tell-tale signs; for example, your body glows brightly, the sound of tortured souls shriek as you cast, a deep chill affects all nearby creatures, etc. Using magic automatically breaks stealth, and whenever you use magic all creatures within 60 feet who are observing you are considered to have automatically succeeded at a Spellcraft check to know which sphere effect, talents, and casting tradition you used.

You may not select this drawback if you possess the Witchmarked drawback.

Material Casting

Your magic requires the expenditure of specific materials: precious metals, rare components, etc. The exact nature of this material should be worked out with the GM, but as a rule of thumb, this should cost a silver piece worth of materials per caster level per ability used. A player who does not want to track the cost of such material components can instead simply spend 10 gp per caster level per month on components, which is assumed to cover his costs for spells cast and research performed. You must possess a spell component pouch or otherwise have access to your components to use your magic. The gp cost of materials listed in this drawback are certainly not the only metric that can be used to reflect the role of magic materials in a setting, and GMs are encouraged to consider what role magic materials might play in their game.

Perhaps magic in one world requires a pearl to use per spell point, and players must track how many pearls they possess. Perhaps magic is fueled by a rare mineral, the buying and selling of which is heavily regulated by powerful kings, merchants, and other world powers; in such a world, Material Casting might even be worth two drawbacks to reflect its rare usage.

Mental Focus

Your magic requires you to have a focus that is not always possible to achieve. You normally have focus, but lose it whenever you fail a save versus mind-affecting magic, have a critical hit confirmed on you, or a condition causes you to lose the ability to concentrate (such as being nauseated or helpless or failing a forced concentration check such as from being entangled). Using magic without your mental focus requires you to attempt a concentration check (DC 20 + 1/2 caster level) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If focus is lost, the caster can refocus by meditating as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Narcoleptic Casting

Your magic has a pacifying effect that can lull you to sleep. At the end of any round in which you spend 1 or more spell points you must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw with a DC of 10 + 1/2 your magic skill bonus (minimum DC 11) or fall asleep standing up for 1 round. Sleeping creatures are helpless. Slapping or wounding awakens an affected creature, but normal noise does not. Awakening a creature without dealing damage is a standard action (an application of the aid another action). Creatures immune to sleep cannot gain this drawback; if a creature later becomes immune to sleep after gaining this drawback, they must immediately retrain it for another drawback or lose it, recalculating their spell points as appropriate.

This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining the number of spell points gained.

Painful Magic

Your magic debilitates you the more you rely on it. Whenever you spend one or more spell points, you must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the ability’s caster level) or be sickened for 1 round. If you fail this save while already sickened, you are instead nauseated for 1 round. If you fail this save while nauseated, increase the duration of the nauseated condition by 1 round. Creatures immune to the sickened condition cannot take this drawback.

Prepared Caster

You must prepare your magic before you can use it. After resting to regain spell points, you must assign each of your spell points to a sphere you possess. You cannot spend more spell points in a given sphere in a day than you have assigned to that sphere. Class features and feats that use spell points (such as the Counterspell feat) are considered a single unified ‘sphere’ for this purpose.

Rigorous Concentration

Your magic requires intense amounts of concentration to use. When attempting a concentration check (such as to cast defensively or while taking damage), the DC increases by +10. You may increase the casting time by one step to take extra time focusing and negate this penalty.

Skilled Casting

You must create your magic through singing, drawing, or performing some other activity. Your magic is tied to a particular Perform, Profession, or Craft skill (although with GM permission another skill may be substituted). You must succeed at a skill check to use any sphere ability. The DC of this skill check is 15 + the ability’s caster level. For every 2 points by which this skill check falls short of this DC, the ability manifests at -1 caster level. If this reduces the ability to a caster level below 0, the manifested ability fails and any spell points used are lost.

A caster with Skilled Casting must be able to perform their skill to use their magic, which is similar to but not the same as possessing other drawbacks. For example, a caster who must draw to create magic must have at least one hand free, although unless he also possesses Somatic Casting he may do so while wearing any armor without a chance of arcane spell failure. Likewise, a caster who uses music to create magic must be able to speak, but unless he also possesses Verbal Casting he can do so by whispering and thus not automatically break stealth.

At the GM’s discretion, this drawback may count as two drawbacks if the skill involved requires bulky equipment or the use of both hands (for example, the Perform (strings) skill, or Craft (stonework)).

Somatic Casting

You must gesture to cast spells—a process that requires you to have at least 1 hand unoccupied. When using magic, you cannot wear armor heavier than light without incurring a chance of arcane spell failure.

You may select this drawback twice. If taken a second time, you cannot wear any armor or use a shield without incurring a chance of arcane spell failure.

Note: With GM permission, it is possible to modify this drawback so that, when taken once, the caster may wear either light or medium armor but cannot use a shield without incurring a chance of arcane spell failure, mimicking the core bloodrager.

Spell Stand-In [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Cohorts & Companions

In place of being able to cast spells directly, you must channel them through a summoned companion. You lose the ability to cast any sphere effect through yourself outside of summoning your companions. You gain the Conjuration sphere and the Spell Conduit talent as bonus talents, and the Spell Channel feat as a bonus feat.

Terrain Casting

Your magic draws upon the primal energy and nutrients of the terrain. Whenever you use a sphere talent or ability you must either spend an additional spell point or increase your casting time by one step, else your magic drains and corrupts your space and all adjacent squares. Terrain that has been blighted in such a manner prevents those who possess the Terrain Casting drawback from using sphere talents or abilities as if it were a dead magic zone. Areas that have had its nutrients drained are affected in different ways depending upon location (water may turn brackish or stagnant, while soil may become barren or salted); regardless of location, blighted areas will generally heal naturally after a year.

Unsettling Casting [Cata. HB]

The magic you draw upon utilizes eldritch forces your mind cannot comprehend, these energies taking a toll on your sanity. You take 1 point of sanity damage every time you cast a spell, plus an additional point of sanity damage for every spell point beyond the first that you spend. This sanity damage cannot be removed until at least 24 hours after it is taken.

Unstable Storage [Mana HB]

The methods you have developed to store your magical potency are improperly practiced, dangerous, or otherwise fragile to others. You have some sort of obvious indicator of the levels of your magical reserves that alert any creature who can see you of how many spell points you have in reserve. The exact indicator varies across different casters, ranging from crystalline growths on their body that fade after magical use, to their skin color and tone draining the lower their spell point pool is.

Additionally, your spell point pool also serves as a bridge to your vitality. When you have less than 1/2 of your total capacity of spell points (rounded down), you are fatigued. When you have less than 1/4 of your total spell point capacity, you are exhausted. When you have no spell points remaining, you must attempt a concentration check (DC 15 + your caster level, +2 for every check succeeded, which resets when you rest to regain spell points) every hour and when you cast sphere effects or otherwise fall asleep. These conditions may only be cured by gaining spell points (including temporary ones) above the thresholds whether via use of Mana sphere, consumables, or rest. This drawback counts as two drawbacks when determining the number of spell points gained.

Author's Note: The exhausted, fatigued, and sleep conditions caused by this drawback bypass any immunity to those conditions.

Verbal Casting

You must speak in a loud, clear voice to cast spells. Using magic alerts all nearby hearing creatures to your presence and location, effectively breaking stealth. You cannot cast in an area of magical silence, or in any other situation where you are unable to speak clearly.

Vulnerable Spellcaster [Mana HB]

Your magical capabilities are directly linked to your physical state. When suffering from a condition or effect that bestows an attack penalty (or penalty, ability damage or ability drain to any physical ability score), you apply the largest penalty (counting ability damage or drain as a penalty) to your caster level. These penalties stack if you have multiple conditions, although they may not reduce your caster level below 1. Other penalties to your caster level may reduce your caster level to below 1, in which case any attempt to cast a sphere effect automatically fails, and the spell points are wasted. Additionally, you may not utilize magic while suffering from the frightened or panicked conditions.

If your caster level is brought below the requirement needed to cast certain advanced magic, rituals, incantations or to qualify for certain feats, you cannot make use of them while your caster level is reduced under the amount needed to cast the sphere effect or qualify for the feat.

Note: Under the GM’s discretion, other effects that would penalize the caster in a physical way may apply a similar penalty to their caster level.

Wild Magic / Variant Wild Magic

Your magic is not entirely stable and can result in a variety of unwanted effects. You have a base wild magic chance of 10% (whenever you cast a spell or magical sphere ability, you have a 10% chance of activating a wild magic event). When you activate a wild magic event, roll as if you had activated a rod of wonder, then add that effect to those you produce with your magic. GMs may always use their own wild magic tables to determine the nature of a wild magic event.

Witchmarked

Some aspect of your visage is a dead giveaway about your magical nature. This could be any purely cosmetic modification or sensation that is hard to hide such as a vestigial tail (or tails), glowing eyes, an aura visible to the naked eye or the stench of death clinging to you. The intensity of this trait grows proportional to your power. Anyone who sees you may attempt a Knowledge (arcana) check (DC 20 - your MSB, minimum DC 0) to learn your magic skill bonus, caster level and what base magic spheres you possess.

You may attempt to hide your witchmark trait, but doing so requires a successful Disguise check (DC 10 + your MSB, roll is hidden). Alternatively, if attempting to hide your witchmark as part of a more elaborate disguise, this gives a penalty to that Disguise check equal to your MSB. Using an illusion, shapechange, or other magical disguise to hide your witchmark automatically succeeds, but any use of magic that does not explicitly hide your witchmark instead immediately reveals your witchmark to all observers.

You may not select this drawback if you possess the Magical Signs drawback.

Sphere-Specific Drawbacks

Rather than granting boons and bonus spell points, sphere-specific drawbacks grant the target an extra magic talent in their prerequisite sphere. The prerequisites of the selected talent must be fulfilled. A creature does not gain this bonus magic talent until they gain the sphere-specific drawback’s prerequisite sphere. A sphere-specific drawback may be removed by spending a magic talent, in essence ‘paying back’ the talent gained from the drawback.

It is possible to have multiple sphere-specific drawbacks from the same sphere, but some drawbacks are incompatible with each other. These are listed under each drawback as ‘incompatible’. Occasionally a sphere-specific drawback grants a bonus feat in place of a bonus magic talent. Such sphere-specific drawbacks must be bought off with a feat instead of a talent, and may only be bought off in this fashion if the caster meets the bonus feat’s prerequisites.

You cannot gain sphere-specific drawbacks when gaining a sphere through temporary talents (such as those that are only gained for a single casting or that last less than 24 hours), nor use a temporary talent to buy off a sphere-specific drawback you possess.

Alteration

Beast Soul

You cannot bestow the Blank Transformation, including through the Anthropomorphic Transformation talent. You must select a (transformation) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Fleshwarper

You may not target yourself with shapeshift.

Incompatible: Lycanthropic

Lycanthropic

You can only target yourself with your shapeshift ability. You cannot gain the Mass Alteration nor Ranged Alteration talents.

Incompatible: Fleshwarper, Rebound

Rebound

If an unwilling creature succeeds on a save to resist your shapeshift effect, you must save against the same effect at the same DC. On a failed save, you receive all the traits and forms you would have granted the target. This effect lasts for 1d4 rounds. You must select Animal Mind or Twisted Shapeshift with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Lycanthropic

Transformative Brew

You must select the Instill Shapeshift talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Alteration sphere abilities through this talent.

Unnatural Transformation

Creatures under the effect of your shapeshift bear irrepressible signs (coloration, visual aura, glowing sigil or similar) of their true identity. Your shapeshift never grants a bonus to Disguise checks due to the obviously unnatural nature of the transformation. When touched by silver (such as being hit with a silver weapon or even touched by a silver piece) a creature under the effect of your shapeshift must attempt a Will save with a DC equal 5 + any damage dealt or have the shapeshift end immediately.

Blood

Cruoromancy [BaP]

You cannot use blood control. You must select any (blood art) talent with the bonus talent from this drawback.

Incompatible: Hemokinetic, Limited Acceleration, Self-Controlled.

Hemokinetic

You cannot use blood control. You must select the Hemokinesis talent with the bonus talent from this drawback. You may use the blood arc option on creatures within blood control range (and may take the Improved Range talent) even when they are not under your blood control. You may use the Hemokinesis options dependant on the Manipulate Alchemy and Manipulate Health talents, but only when the necessary ability has been used by another creature.

Incompatible: Limited Acceleration, Self-controlled

Humors

You must select the Instill Blood Control talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Blood sphere abilities through this talent.

Limited Acceleration

Choose either (quicken) or (still). You can only use this ability and cannot use abilities of the other type.

Incompatible: Hemokinetic

Self-Controlled

You may only target yourself with blood control. You must select the Self Control talent with the bonus talent from this drawback.

Incompatible: Hemokinetic

Conjuration

Caller

You do not gain the summon ability of the Conjuration sphere. You must select the Call Planar Creature advanced talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback. This drawback may not be selected if the Call Planar Creature advanced talent is not permitted in your campaign.

Incompatible: Any Conjuration drawback that affects the summon ability or companions granted by it.

Constant Link

Maintaining your companion’s presence requires concentration. You may not spend a spell point to continue the duration of summon without concentration nor take any talents that would allow you to maintain the summon without concentration.

Divided Soul

Your Conjuration sphere companions share a single pool of Hit Dice. The Hit Dice of all your companions combined is equal to your caster level (with a minimum of 1 Hit Die per companion). When you gain a caster level, you may choose which companion gains the additional Hit Die, but no single companion can have Hit Dice exceeding 2/3 your caster level. If this calculation would result in companions with less than 1 Hit Die, such a companion instead has 1 Hit Die, but has their hit points reduced by half and takes a -1 penalty on all d20 rolls. Calculate the companion’s Hit Dice prior to applying the effects of any companion template. You must take Extra Companion with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Elongated Summoning

Summoning a creature requires 1 minute of concentrated effort, rather than only a standard action.

Figment Companion

Your companions are only semi-real projections. The first time each round a creature is affected by an effect originating from your companions, such as attacks or sphere effects, it may attempt a Will save versus your Conjuration sphere DC to negate the effect and any others originating from your companion before the start of the creature’s next turn. Succeeding on this save grants a +2 bonus on future saves made against that same companion for the next 24 hours. (As usual, this bonus does not stack with itself.)

Limited Range [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Cohorts & Companions

Your companions must remain at a close proximity with you or lose effectiveness. Your companions must remain within 5 feet + 5 feet per 5 points of magic skill bonus you possess, and cannot move beyond this distance without being dismissed. If your moving would cause your companion to be beyond this range, your companion may take a movement action outside of their turn (which provokes attacks of opportunity as normal) to try to end up back in the area. If successful the companion is not dismissed and is staggered on their next turn.

Material Weakness

Choose cold iron, silver, or wood (or another special material with GM’s explicit approval). When touched by an object primarily composed of the chosen material, your companion must attempt a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + any damage dealt by the object or be dismissed from the plane. The companion may not be summoned again for 1 hour.

Object Bound

Choose an object you possess for each companion you gain (for example: a small oil lamp, a ring, or a sword). Such objects count as magic items of the Conjuration sphere using your caster level for the item’s caster level, though you may still enchant them with other effects normally. If enchanted separately, the other effects on the item may be suppressed using dispel effects separately from the magic property granted by this drawback, using the caster level of those enchantments for determining the MSD of those effects.

You must drop or throw this object as part of summoning the companion. This does not affect the casting time, though additional actions may be required to draw the object.

If this object is broken or destroyed, you cannot summon the corresponding companion. While the companion is present, the object is visible on the companion and may be targeted with the sunder maneuver, dispel effects, and other effects that can target attended magical items. While part of the companion, the object emits a sign that draws attention to itself, usually glowing. If the object is broken, destroyed, or has its magic suppressed, the companion immediately disappears and may not be summoned again until the object is repaired or replaced. Attuning a new object requires a 24 hour ritual. Any damage dealt to the object is also dealt to the companion without being further affected by damage reduction, immunity, resistance, or vulnerability.

You may choose to have a single item for any or all of your companions, but no more than one companion can be summoned at a time using a single item.

Creation

Down to Earth [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Casting Traditions

Your objects are all rooted to a surface and you cannot create objects in mid-air. All your creations must be created on a surface large enough to hold them. You gain the Created Momentum talent as the bonus talent from this drawback and may still create objects with momentum, but this does not allow the object to detach itself from a surface in the process of creation (meaning you can only target creatures that are on the surface where the created object is going to be).

Incompatible: Limited Creation (create)

Fission

When creating objects, you do so by splitting off part of your body: this inflicts 1d4 points of damage + 1d4 per size category of the object or objects above Small to be created. This damage bypasses temporary hit points, and cannot be healed as long as the object or objects exist. However, you may reabsorb the created object by touching it as a free action, causing you to heal damage equal to that expended to create it. If an object has the broken condition when it is reabsorbed you only gain 1/2 the hit points back. If the object is destroyed you cannot reabsorb it but may heal normally. You may dismiss any object created in this way regardless of distance. Doing so does not restore the lost hit points but allows you to recover normally as if the object was destroyed. Even through Distant Creation or other options, you cannot create objects further away from you than adjacent spaces. You must take either the Created Momentum, Exquisite Detail, or Practiced Creation talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Limited Creation (alter)

Limited Creation

Choose either alter or create. You can only use this ability.

Material Focus

You may only create or alter objects of a single, special substance such as wood, stone, bones, gas, etc. If the material in question would require a (material) talent to use, you must choose that (material) talent as the talent gained from this drawback. You cannot gain any other (material) talent. If you choose a material not available from 1st caster level (for example: iron or gold), this does not allow you to create or alter that material before your caster level is high enough.

Incompatible: Water Wizard

Material Mimic

In order to create or alter objects you must be in physical contact with another object that is composed of the material that will result from the effect and no more than three size categories smaller (e.g. to create a Medium iron object, you would need to be touching another iron object of Diminutive size or larger). If you possess Change Material then this restricts the materials you can change the targeted object into. You may not use your own body as a blueprint, but you may use other creatures, if applicable.

Water Wizard

You may only create or alter water, ice, and steam. You lose the ability to create or alter vegetable matter and instead can create or alter water in its solid, liquid, or gaseous forms. You gain Gaseous Generation as the bonus talent gained from this drawback, but can only use it to affect steam. You cannot gain any other (material) talents.

Incompatible: Material Focus

Dark

Black Spot

Your area of darkness is only a 5-foot radius, and cannot be increased in any way. You cannot select talents that change the area of your darkness (such as Greater Darkness, Shifting Shadows, or Wall Of Darkness). You must select a (darkness) talent as your bonus talent for this drawback.

Incompatible: Meld Into Dark, Penumbra, Shadow Master, Shadowed Brew

Cloaking Darkness

You are adept at turning a target’s own shadow against them, but your ability to craft areas of darkness from nothing is lacking. You must select Ranged Darkness as the bonus talent gained from this drawback. You may use (shadow) talents at this increased range, but you cannot form and maintain areas of darkness or blot unless you are standing within their area of effect.

Incompatible: Meld Into Dark, Penumbra, Shadow Master, Shadowed Brew

Crepuscular

Your magic draws on the interplay of darkness and light and the contrast of shadows rather than pure blackness. You may not use Dark sphere talents when you are positioned within lighting conditions of darkness or bright light, even if they were created by your own magic.

Meld Into Dark

You cannot create darkness, and cannot select (darkness) talents. You gain the Greater Meld talent as the bonus talent gained by this drawback.

Incompatible: Black Spot, Cloaking Darkness, Penumbra, Shadow Dependance, Shadow Master, Shadowed Brew, Subtle Shade

Penumbra

You cannot create darkness, and cannot select (darkness) talents. You must select the Dampen Light talent as your bonus talent for this drawback.

Incompatible: Black Spot, Cloaking Darkness, Meld Into Dark, Shadow Dependance, Shadow Master, Shadowed Brew, Subtle Shade

Personal Meld

You cannot grant a meld to another creature; you can only use them on yourself. You must select Quick Meld with the bonus talent gained by this drawback.

Shadow Dependance

Rather than summon darkness from nothing, you draw upon your own shadow to produce your magic. You stretch and manipulate your shadow to create areas of darkness or blot, and may only have one active at any given time. When your darkness or blot is active you do not cast a shadow and cannot use or be the target of abilities or talents that depend on possessing a shadow. You may otherwise use (shadow) and (meld) talents normally.

Incompatible: Meld Into Dark, Penumbra, Shadow Master, Shadowed Brew

Shadow Master

You cannot create darkness, and cannot select (darkness) talents. You must select a (shadow) talent as your bonus talent for this drawback.

Incompatible: Black Spot, Cloaking Darkness, Meld Into Dark, Penumbra, Shadow Dependance, Subtle Shade

Shadowed Brew

You must select the Instill Dark talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Dark sphere abilities through this talent. You must possess either the Meld Into Dark or Shadow Master drawback to select this drawback.

Incompatible: Black Spot, Cloaking Darkness, Crepuscular, Penumbra, Shadow Dependence.

Subtle Shade

You must select the Insinuate talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback. You cannot create darkness except for blots, and must use the Insinuate talent when creating blots.

Incompatible: Meld Into Dark, Penumbra, Shadow Master, Shadowed Brew.

Death

Death To The Living

The only actions undead you reanimate understand are “attack”, “fall” (causing them to fall prone as a free action), and “rise” (causing them to stand up from prone). While prone, they will still attack creatures within reach and will spend their move action to move 5 feet, but will not rise until commanded. If you do not direct your undead to attack a creature each round, they act as though confused (you are considered part of their “self”, but other allies are not). You may not select talents that increase your ability to communicate with your undead, such as Undead Whisperer or Master’s Presence. You must select Reanimated Warriors as the bonus talent gained through this drawback.

Incompatible: Flesh Artisan, Necromantic Limit (ghost strike)

Deathful Touch

You may only use ghost strike as a melee touch attack. If you use the Cryptic Strike talent, you can only do so with melee attacks. You must take a talent that augments ghost strike with the drawback.

Incompatible: Flesh Artisan, Necromantic Concoction, Necromantic Limit (reanimate),

Favored Undead

You gain the Expanded Necromancy talent with the bonus talent gained by this drawback. Choose one variant undead (such as bloody skeleton, burning skeleton, fast zombie, or plague zombie). Whenever you reanimate a creature, you must use this talent and may only reanimate creatures as the chosen variant.

Incompatible: Flesh Artisan, Necromantic Limit (ghost strike)

Flesh Artisan

You do not gain ghost strike nor reanimate. You gain both Corpse Manipulation and Tomb Of Flesh with the bonus talents granted by this drawback. This drawback counts as two drawbacks, and ghost strike and reanimate must be bought back separately.

Incompatible: Death To The Living, Deathful Touch, Favored Undead, Necromantic Limit, Necromantic Concoction, Undead Trainer

Necromantic Concoction

You must select the Instill Death talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Death sphere abilities through this talent.

Incompatible: Deathful Touch, Flesh Artisan

Necromantic Limit

Choose either ghost strike or reanimate. You can only use this ability and cannot use the one not chosen.

Incompatible: Flesh Artisan

Undead Trainer

Choose a creature type (other than undead) from the ranger favored enemies table. You may only reanimate dead creatures of the chosen type (and subtype, if applicable). For every 5 caster levels you possess, you may choose an additional creature type. You may choose ‘construct’ for a creature type, in which case it allows you to reanimate necrotic marionettes. You must select Undead Whisperer with the bonus talent gained through this drawback.

Incompatible: Flesh Artisan, Necromantic Limit (ghost strike)

Destruction

Aligned Combatant

Choose an end of the alignment spectrum that you possess (good, evil, lawful, or chaotic). Your destructive blast deals no damage to creatures who possess this alignment and full damage to creatures of the opposite alignment (evil for good, lawful for chaotic, etc.). Neutral creatures (those who possess neither your selected alignment nor its opposite) suffer only half damage from your destructive blast.

Destructive Touch

Your destructive blast’s range decreases from close to touch; you cannot use it to make ranged attacks. While you may still apply (blast shape) talents to your destructive blast, they cannot extend further than your natural reach (or the reach of your melee weapon, if using Energy Strike; you cannot use Energy Strike to make ranged attacks).

Incompatible: Shape Focus

Energy Focus

Choose a blast type group. You may only make destructive blasts from that blast type group. You must select a (blast type) talent from the chosen blast type group with the bonus talent granted by this drawback. You may not select any other (blast type) talents outside the chosen blast type group.

Author's Note: A blast type talent that is in multiple blast type groups counts as being outside your chosen blast type group and cannot be selected, even if one of the groups would match your chosen blast type group.

Shape Focus

You may only make a destructive blast of a single shape. You must select a (blast shape) talent with the bonus talented granted by this drawback, and cannot make destructive blasts except when using that (blast shape). You may not select any other (blast shape) talents.

Incompatible: Destructive Touch

Divination

Divining Concoction

You must select the Instill Divination talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Divination sphere abilities through this talent.

Limited Divination

Choose either sense or divine. You can only use this ability and cannot use the other type.

Limited Penetration

When using Divination talents or abilities to divine you cannot penetrate solid objects. You must select a (divine) talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback.

Incompatible: Limited Divination (sense)

Hidden Magic

You do not gain the base divine ability to detect magic, nor the base sense ability to decipher magical text. You may still gain other senses through magic talents and gain the ability to detect other things (undead, charms, etc.) through the divine ability.

Shaped Divination

Your divine area changes to a cone rather than a sphere centered upon yourself. You may take this drawback a second time, limiting your ability to only divine targets inside a line instead of a cone. This drawback does in no other way change the range at which you may divine targets. In regards to this drawback, your divination shape (be it cone or line) remains fixed pointing in one direction, and once each round as a free action you may change the direction of the shape. You must select (divine) talent(s) with the bonus talent(s) granted by this drawback.

Incompatible: Limited Divination (sense)

Enhancement

Bodily Enhancement

You cannot enhance equipment and objects, only creatures. You can only take talents which can affect creatures. You must choose an (enhance) talent or Natural Enhancement with the bonus talent gained by this drawback.

Incompatible: Constructor

Constructor

You cannot use any effect of the Enhancement sphere that does not create a creature or mind. You must use the bonus magic talent from this drawback to select either Animate Object or Bestow Intelligence.

Incompatible: Bodily Enhancement, Personal Magics

Marking Enhancements

A mark appears on any creature or object you enhance. This mark always appears on a body part or portion of the object where it is easily visible. The mark can be easily removed; it can be rubbed away as a standard action (which requires a touch attack and provokes an attack of opportunity if the creature is not willing), or fades away after being exposed to water or another solvent for one minute. Once the mark has been removed, the enhancement ends prematurely.

Personal Magics

You may only enhance yourself and your own equipment. You cannot take the Ranged Enhancement talent, and any enhancement bestowed on an object ceases to function unless you are carrying, wearing, or wielding that object. You cannot take talents such as Bestow Intelligence or Animate Object that give life or minds to objects.

Incompatible: Constructor

Special Delivery

You must choose the Instill Enhancement talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback. You cannot create enhancements except by using Instill Enhancement.

Fallen Fey

Terrain-Bonded [BaP]

Choose one terrain. Your fey-link only works while you are in that terrain. If a creature with your fey-link leaves your chosen terrain, your fey-link, and any ongoing fey-blessings, are suppressed until they reenter your chosen terrain. Consult the ranger list of favored terrains to see potential terrain types. You may change your chosen terrain by spending one week continuously in the same terrain. You must choose Fey Secrets, Listen To The Wind, or Wild Walker with the bonus talent gained by this drawback.

Fate

Cursed Brew

You must select the Instill Fate talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Fate sphere abilities through this talent. You must possess the Tongue Of Ages drawback to gain this one.

Luckless

You cannot use the Serendipity consecration. You must choose a (consecration) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Tongue Of Ages

Neutrality

You lack a strong connection to any alignment type. You cannot use the Hallow word. You must choose a (word) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Sanctified

Personal Fate

You may only target yourself with your words and motifs, and your consecrations only affect you. You cannot take Echoing Word or any other talent that would increase the range or expand the targets for your Fate sphere effects.

Sanctified

You may not create words.

Incompatible: Neutrality

Tongue Of Ages

You may not create consecrations.

Incompatible: Luckless

Illusion

Disappearance

You cannot create illusions or tricks, except to make suppressions. You must select the Suppression talent as your bonus talent for this drawback.

Incompatible: Theme Fixation

Glamered Brew

You must select the Instill Glamer talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Illusion sphere abilities through this talent. You must possess the Obscura Mage drawback to select this one.

Incompatible: Personal Illusion, Theme Fixation

Limited Sensation

You may not take additional (sensory) talents from the Illusion sphere. Your illusions lose the sight descriptor granted by the base Illusion sphere. You must take a (sensory) talent as the bonus talent granted by this drawback. If you select Illusionary Touch as the bonus talent granted by this drawback you are not prohibited from taking it a second time.

Obscura Mage

You may not create figments with your tricks and illusions. You must select a (glamer) talent as your bonus talent for this drawback, unless you possess the Disappearance drawback in which case you must select a (sensory) talent.

Personal Illusion

Your illusions are directly connected to your body. You can only apply glamers to yourself, and the range of your figments and tricks that target an area is reduced to 0 feet; you may only target squares that you currently occupy and must spend an immediate action any time your location changes to direct all figments and tricks you are currently maintaining to move with you.

To use tricks that target unwilling creatures or objects you must first make a successful melee touch attack. The duration of tricks targeting creatures or objects immediately ends the round you are no longer maintaining physical contact with the target.

Incompatible: Glamered Brew

Theme Fixation

You may only create figments and glamers within a specific and narrow theme such as dragons, cubes, insects, cards, weapons, hands, etc.

The exact nature of this concept should be worked out with the GM, but as a rule of thumb, this should consist of a consistent singular theme; you might only be able to create figments or glamers of dragons, or be able to create a figment of fire if it originated from the mouth of a dragon glamer. The GM is the final arbiter on whether an image or idea fits into the dedicated theme. You must take a (sensory) talent as the bonus talent granted by this drawback.

Incompatible: Disappearance, Glamered Brew

Tricksters Grudge

Your illusions only work on one specific type of creature. When you select this drawback you must select a creature type. If you select humanoid or outsider you must also select a subtype. All other creature types automatically disbelieve your illusions and any non-shadow effects that would persist even if disbelieved have no effect on them.

Life

Glorious

You are not a healer, you are a soldier, and life cannot be given before it is taken. You cannot use your Life sphere abilities without successfully attacking a worthy enemy first. You gain the Taste Of Victory talent as your bonus talent for this drawback, but you can only use your Life abilities when Taste Of Victory is triggered.

Incompatible: Medicinal

Inhuman Healing

Your cure effects cannot heal living creatures. You gain Esoteric Healing with the bonus talent gained through this drawback.

Limited Restoration

Choose either restore or cure/invigorate. You can only use this ability or abilities and lose the ability to use the ones not chosen.

Medicinal

You must select the Instill Life talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Life sphere abilities through this talent.

Incompatible: Glorious, Sympathetic

Regenerate

You may only target yourself with your Life sphere abilities.

Incompatible: Sympathetic

Slow Recovery

You lack the ability to cause rapid healing. You must select the Revitalize talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and cannot use cure unless you use it through the Revitalize talent.

Incompatible: Limited Restoration (restore)

Sympathetic

You may only restore others by taking their afflictions unto yourself. You must select the Empathic Healing talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback and can only use the restore ability with the Empathic Healing talent.

Incompatible: Limited Restoration (cure/invigorate), Medicinal, Regenerate,

Unnatural Remedy

Your healing magic may be cold, eerie, harsh, or pervasive. Whenever you use cure, restore, or invigorate on a target (even yourself), they reflexively resist (even while unconscious), and must attempt a Will saving throw against the effect as if they were an unwilling target. On a success, restore is negated and any healing or temporary hit points bestowed by cure or invigorate are halved. Targets cannot choose to fail this saving throw.

Light

Flexible Lens

You cannot create a Telescope lens. You must choose a (lens) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Light Focus

Glowing Brew

You must select the Instill Glow talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Light sphere abilities through this talent.

Incompatible: Nimbus Focus, Roving Glow, Touch Of Light

Lens Focus

You cannot create glow effects.

Incompatible: Light Focus, Nimbus Focus, Roving Glow, Subtle Light, Touch Of Light

Light Focus

You cannot create lenses.

Incompatible: Flexible Lens, Lens Focus

Nimbus Focus

You may only cause your glows to shed light in a specific shape. You must select a (nimbus) talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and must always apply that (nimbus) talent to your glows. You may not select any other (nimbus) talents.

Incompatible: Glowing Brew, Lens Focus

Roving Glow

You cannot place glow effects on objects or creatures. You must select the Dancing Lights talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Glowing Brew, Lens Focus, Touch Of Light

Subtle Light

You must select the Black Light talent as the bonus talent gained from this drawback, and must use this talent on every glow you create.

Incompatible: Lens Focus

Touch Of Light

You cannot cause objects or creatures to glow as a ranged touch attack, nor create lenses at a range greater than touch. You cannot take Ranged Light, and you may only apply Solar Strike to melee attacks.

Incompatible: Glowing Brew, Lens Focus, Roving Glow

Mana

Conservationist [Mana HB]

You prize the value of mana, and hate to see it disappear. You cannot use the Spellburn option of the expunge ability. You may not utilize any ability from a talent that grants you the ability to waste, remove or burn spell points. Abilities that transfer them (such as Manathief) are still able to be used.

Exploitative Bond [Mana HB]

Your manabond clumsily ties together your magic with another’s, causing you to become susceptible to their powers, as well as obviously outlining your position. You suffer a -2 penalty to your AC and all saving throws when targeted by a creature under the effects of your manabond. You must select a (manabond) talent with this drawback.

Incompatible: Incongruent

Incongruent [Mana HB]

You lack a source of magical empathy. You cannot gain or use (manabond) talents or create manabonds, but you may still be targeted by manabonds created by other creatures.

Incompatible: Exploitive Bond, Selfish Caster

Selfish Caster [Mana HB]

Your source of magic is unstable, and interacts poorly with the mana within other spellcasters. You may not use (manipulation) talents, and may not take talents that allow you to grant spell points or talents to other creatures.

Incompatible: Incongruent

Weapon-bound [Mana HB]

Your Mana sphere talents fizzle without a physical vessel to deliver them. You may only deliver an expunge or a (manipulation) through the use of the Manasurge Strike talent. You must select the Manasurge Strike talent when you take this drawback.

Mind

Addling Brew

You must select the Instill Charm talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Mind sphere abilities through this talent.

Animal Shaman

You may affect animals with your Mind sphere effects, but not creatures of your own creature type. You must choose the Recondite Stimuli advanced talent as the bonus talent gained from this drawback, and must choose vermin with that talent.

Incompatible: Kindred Knack

Blatant Side-Effects

Your mind-affecting magic acts more like a hammer than a scalpel, and produces odd, unintended changes in your target, effectively giving your mind-affecting effects a signature, recognizable trait. Deadpan speech patterns accompanied by an echo and a change in vocabulary, strange glowing halos, curious tremors in the earth whenever the target draws near, the temporary growth of horns or antlers, or even inexplicably vibrant, sometimes swirling, eyes are just some of the traces that your magical mind-affecting effects might leave on their targets.

These side effects vanish without a trace when a target is no longer under the effect of one of your mind-affecting effects, making it incredibly obvious when you are influencing someone’s mind and when you are not. Whatever the nature of the signs, a person speaking to or observing a target so affected will recognize the creature’s signs with a DC 10 Perception check, and may know (either through personal history or a DC 10 Spellcraft check) that the target is under mental control. In addition, a DC 15 Sense Motive check will suggest mental coercion and allow someone to detect the enchantment at work, as will a DC 5 Sense Motive check for incredibly blatant mind-affecting effects (such as the Enthrall or Mind Control talents or the dominate person spell).

Empath

You do not gain the Suggestion charm. You must select a (charm) talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback.

Inward Focus [Apoc]

Source: Spheres Apocrypha: Cognition Talents

You cannot use charm effects. You may only select (cognition) talents and talents that augment them, and must select a (cognition) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Any Mind drawback that retains or affects a (charm) talent.

Kindred Knack

You may not affect creatures of your own creature type, and the Expanded Charm talent does not allow you to affect creatures of your own creature type. The bonus magic talent gained from this drawback must be the Recondite Stimuli advanced talent.

Incompatible: Animal Shaman

Lost In Translation

Your charms become language dependent effects; the targets of your (charm) talents must share a language with you in order for the charms to take effect, and the language must be properly spoken to them as part of the casting. Creatures incapable of hearing you cannot be affected by your charms. You may not select or use (cloud) talents.

Tactile Charm

The range of your Mind sphere effects such as charms and clouds decreases from close to touch. Using a charm on a target requires you to touch them first, which usually requires a melee touch attack as part of using the charm. You must select the Charming Strike talent as the bonus talent from this drawback, and can only use that talent when making melee attacks.

Nature

Holistic Brew

You must select the Instill Spirit talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Nature sphere abilities through this talent. You must possess the Limited Nature talent twice to gain this drawback.

Limited Nature

You gain only a single geomancing ability of your starting Nature package. For example, if you have the (plant) package, you gain only Entangle, Harvest, or Pummel. You must take a (geomancing) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

You may take this drawback twice. If taken twice, you cannot use geomancing powers at all, only (spirit) talents. Instead of a (geomancing) talent, you gain the Master Of Elements talent and one (spirit) talent of your choice as the bonus talents gained from this drawback.
Wiki Note: This means you don't have a base geomancing package.

Protection

Alternate Aegis

You do not gain the Deflection aegis. You must use the talent gained with this drawback to acquire an (aegis) talent.

Incompatible: Limited Protection (ward)

Aligned Protection

Choose an end of the alignment spectrum that you possess (good, evil, lawful, or chaotic). Your aegises and wards only provide protection against creatures of the opposite alignment (evil for good, lawful for chaotic, etc.). Creatures who possess your selected alignment or are neutral (those who possess neither your selected alignment nor its opposite) are not stopped by your barriers, hindered by your wards, and your aegises provide no protection against effects that originate from those creatures.

Circle Of Symbols

Your wards consist of circles of glowing symbols and runes with no true physicality. You cannot use the barrier ward and cannot take talents that augment barriers, such as Greater Barrier, Buttressing, Barrier Maze, or other, similar talents. You must use the bonus talent gained from this drawback to select a (ward) talent.

Incompatible: Limited Protection (aegis)

Crystalline

Your aegis abilities create a physical lattice of crystal around the creature bearing the aegis. It can not be removed without destroying it, and any part that is broken off disappears. A Spellcraft check against a DC equal to 15 + 1/2 your caster level can identify what the lattice is. This requires some means of perceiving magic (such as the Divination sphere’s divine ability). The lattice can be sundered as if it were a piece of armor. It has a hardness equal to 5 + 1 for every 4 caster levels, and hit points equal to 4 + your caster level. In addition, it provides no defense from touch attacks by incorporeal creatures or light-based attacks.

You must use the talent gained with this drawback to acquire an (aegis) talent.

Incompatible: Limited Protection (ward), Luminous, Second Skin, Shielding

Limited Protection

Choose either aegis or ward. You lose the other ability and cannot take talents that only grant or alter the lost ability.

Luminous

Your Protection sphere abilities take on the form of an aura or field of light. The light is not powerful enough to be used as a light source, but makes the presence of the protection ability obvious to anyone within 30 feet. Creatures wearing an aegis you created can not benefit from stealth, invisibility, or concealment. Effects that dispel light (such as Dark effects) dispel your Protection sphere abilities as well. You must use the bonus talent gained from this drawback to gain an (aegis) talent.

Incompatible: Crystalline, Limited Protection (ward), Second Skin, Shielding

Protected Soul

You cannot target other creatures with your aegis, only yourself. You must use the bonus talent gained from this drawback to gain an (aegis) talent.

Incompatible: Limited Protection (ward)

Protective Brew

You must select the Instill Aegis talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your aegises through this talent.

Incompatible: Limited Protection (ward)

Second Skin

Your aegis not only surrounds creatures, it enchants their skin directly. You may only apply an aegis to a creature who is wearing no armor, and wearing armor suppresses its effects. You must use the bonus talent gained from this drawback to gain an (aegis) talent.

Incompatible: Crystalline, Luminous, Limited Protection (ward), Shielding

Shielding

Your aegis takes the form of an energy shield that you use to intercept attacks. You can not create any aegis that protects a creature from the environment (such as Breathless), and creatures lose the benefit of your aegis against attacks that would bypass a shield or when they are flat-footed. You must use the bonus talent gained from this drawback to take the Shared Aegis talent.

Incompatible: Crystalline, Luminous, Second Skin

Telekinesis

Directional Control

Choose either directly towards you or directly away from you. When you affect targets with telekinesis, you can only move them in the selected direction. You cannot affect yourself and you cannot perform actions such as lifting targets or creating sustained forces unless the movement is entirely in the selected direction. You must choose Acceleration as the talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Flight, Gravity, Orbit

Flight

You can only use telekinesis to lift creatures. You must select the Flight talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback, and cannot use telekinesis unless it also uses that talent.

Incompatible: Directional Control, Gravity, Limited Telekinesis, Orbit

Gravity

You have power over gravity. You can only gain Telekinesis talents that affect gravity such as Gravity Shift, Gravity Ward, or Gravity Well, and must choose one such talent as the bonus talent gained from this drawback. You cannot use telekinesis except through one of those talents.

Incompatible: Directional Control, Limited Telekinesis, Flight, Orbit

Limited Telekinesis

You may only use your telekinesis on one type of material (water, metal, stone, etc.) chosen when you gain this drawback. If you are an armorist, you may select weapons or equipment you have made with your bound equipment and summon equipment class features as your ‘material type’. If you possess the Blood sphere and have selected ‘blood’ as your material, you may use your telekinesis abilities on creatures under the effects of your blood control.

Incompatible: Flight, Gravity

Orbit

You must choose Orbit as the bonus talent gained from this drawback. You may only use telekinesis to place objects in, remove them from, or use objects contained within your orbit.

Incompatible: Directional Control, Flight, Gravity, Passive Telekinesis

Passive Telekinesis

You possess the ability to maneuver your telekinesis in delicate ways, but find direct force difficult. You cannot use your telekinesis to perform a Bludgeon attack. You must select Telekinetic Tools as the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Flight, Gravity, Orbit

Time

Altered Time

Choose either Haste or Slow. You lose this ability. You may take this drawback twice, losing both Haste and Slow.

Personal Time

You may only affect yourself when using alter time abilities that affect creatures. You cannot gain the Ranged Time or Mass Time talents. You must select a (time) talent or Improved Haste with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Temporal Blade

Temporal Blade

You must select the Time Strike talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback. You cannot use any alter time ability except through the use of the Time Strike talent.

Incompatible: Personal Time, Temporal Brew

Temporal Brew

You must select the Instill Time talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Time sphere abilities through this talent.

Incompatible: Temporal Blade

War

Alternate Rally

You cannot use the Commanding Aid rally. You must choose a (rally) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Commando

Alternate Totem

You cannot use Totem Of War. You must choose a (totem) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Battle Manipulation, Small Unit Strategist

Battle Manipulation

You cannot create totems. You must select Eternal Vigilance with the bonus talent gained through this drawback, unless you also possess Solo Combatant, in which case any War talent you qualify for can be selected.

Incompatible: Alternate Totem, Personal Conflict, Small Unit Strategist, Squadron Elite

Commando

You cannot use rallies. You must select a (mandate) talent or a (momentum) talent with the bonus talent gained through this drawback.

Incompatible: Alternate Rally, Battle Manipulation, Solo Combatant

Personal Conflict

You can only create totems attached to creatures. You must choose Totemic Aura as the bonus talent gained from this drawback. Turning any totem you create into a fixed totem (such as through the use of the Redeployment talent) dispels it. You can create mandates and rallies normally.

You may take this drawback twice. If taken twice, you may only attach totemic auras to yourself. If taken twice, you must choose Call To Arms with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Battle Manipulation, Small Unit Strategist

Small Unit Strategist

You cannot create totems. You must select a (mandate) talent or a (momentum) talent with the bonus talent gained through this drawback.

Incompatible: Alternate Totem, Battle Manipulation, Personal Conflict

Solo Combatant

You cannot target other creatures with your rallies, only yourself. You must select Eternal Vigilance with the bonus talent gained through this drawback, unless you also possess Battle Manipulation, in which case any War talent you qualify for can be selected.

Incompatible: Commando, Squadron Elite

Squadron Elite

Your War magic only works for those in your squadron. Creatures outside your squadron cannot be affected by your totems, be rallied, use momentum, or be in mandates. When you take this drawback, you do not gain a bonus talent. Instead, you gain the Squadron Commander feat.

Incompatible: Battle Manipulation, Solo Combatant

Warp

Bender

You cannot teleport, you may only bend space. You must select a (space) talent with the bonus talent gained through this drawback.

Incompatible: Inanimate Teleport, Personal Warp, Short Teleport, Splintering Teleport, Taxing Teleport

Inanimate Teleport

You cannot teleport creatures, only objects. You must select Teleport Object with the bonus talent you gain from this drawback.

Incompatible: Bender, Personal Warp

Limited Warp

You may only teleport or bend space when within an area that meets a specific condition and can only choose a destination for teleport that also matches that condition. Choose one of the following conditions or speak with your GM about finding another appropriate one: you can only teleport or bend space in areas of dim light or darkness; you can only teleport or bend space in a body of water; you can only teleport or bend space when touching fire; you can only teleport or bend space when touching a living tree.

Personal Warp

You may only target yourself with your teleport ability. You cannot gain talents that specifically target others such as Mass Teleport, Swap Placement, or Unwilling Teleport, and cannot gain a (space) talent as the talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Bender, Inanimate Teleport

Short Teleport

The range of your teleport is limited to 10 feet plus an additional 5 feet per 4 caster levels. You may not spend a spell point to increase your teleport range. If another talent would alter the range of your teleport, use the shorter of the two ranges. You cannot take Distant Teleport. You must select Emergency Teleport, Quick Teleport or Swap Placement as the bonus talent from this drawback.

Incompatible: Bender, Taxing Teleport

Splintering Teleport

Whether due to the style of your teleportation, incomplete training, or some other phenomenon, whenever you teleport a subject they suffer damage in transit. You must select Splinter with the bonus talent you gain from this drawback and must always apply its effects to your teleport.

Incompatible: Bender

Taxing Teleport

When you teleport, you must always pay a spell point to increase your teleport range, even if you are teleporting a shorter distance. You must select Distant Teleport as the bonus talent from this drawback.

Incompatible: Bender, Short Teleport

Warping Brew

You must select the Instill Teleport talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Warp sphere abilities through this talent.

Weather

Atmospheric Brew

You must select the Instill Weather talent with the bonus talent granted by this drawback, and you can only use your Weather sphere abilities through this talent. You must possess the Localized Weather drawback to select this one.

Incompatible: Limited Weather, Small Weather

Limited Weather

You may only affect one weather category: Aridity, Ash, Cold, Heat, Precipitation, Vog, or Wind. If you choose Aridity you may lower the severity of Precipitation but cannot increase it. If you choose Cold you may lower the severity of Heat but cannot increase it. If you choose Heat you may lower the severity of Cold but cannot increase it. If you choose Precipitation you may lower the severity of Aridity but cannot increase it. You cannot take talents that alter an aspect of weather you cannot affect. If the chosen category requires an additional talent to be used, you must select the appropriate talent as the bonus talent, otherwise you must select Severe Weather with the talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Atmospheric Brew, Localized Weather.

Localized Weather

You do not gain the ability to control weather and you cannot take talents that improve this ability. You must select a (shroud) or (mantle) talent with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.

Incompatible: Limited Weather, Small Weather

Personal Mantle

You cannot place your mantle on other creatures. When you take this drawback, you do not gain an additional talent. Instead, you gain the Mantled Caster feat, even if you do not meet its prerequisites.

Small Weather

The size of your weather is very limited; the maximum size area you can control weather has a close range-sized radius. You must select Focused Weather with the talent gained from this drawback.
Incompatible: Atmospheric Brew, Localized Weather


Boons

Boons are the opposite of drawbacks: instead of adding limitations and requirements to a caster’s magic, they add bonuses and benefits.

Boons are ‘purchased’ through general drawbacks; a caster must possess 2 general drawbacks for each boon gained. Any general drawbacks that have not been exchanged for a boon instead grant the caster bonus spell points, according to the table below:
Number of Drawbacks Bonus Spell Points
1 +1, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes
2 +1, +1 per 3 levels in casting classes
3 +1 per odd level in a casting class (1, 3, 5, etc.)
4 +1, +1 per 1.5 levels in a casting class (2, 3, 5, 6, etc.)
5 +1 per level in a casting class

Alien Source [S&P]

You draw your magic from an unusual location, such as technology or an alternate matrix of magic (the specifics of this source should be determined by the player and GM together). Those who do not understand the mechanics of your powers struggle to resist them. Casters take a -2 penalty on any attempts to counterspell your abilities. Spell resistance against your abilities is reduced by 2. In addition, you gain a bonus to MSD equal to half your character level against effects which would suppress your magic (such as the Spell Ward talent of the Protection sphere) and do not take the penalty to MSD from Incompatible Energies when resisting such effects. These abilities can be ignored by a caster if they possess the same Alien Source as you from this boon, the Harmonic Counter feat, or a certain magic sphere that you possess (the magic sphere is chosen by you at the time you select this boon).

Atmoturgy

Choose a weather category (Aridity, Cold, Heat, Precipitation, or Wind). While in weather of this type of severity level 3 or higher, you gain a +1 competence bonus to your caster level. At severity level 6 or higher, this bonus becomes +2.

Bound Creature

Your magic is tied to a magical creature, who shares essence and power with you.

You gain the Conjuration sphere (or the Extra Companion talent if you already possess the Conjuration sphere), and a companion who serves as the source of your power. Your companion can possess companion archetypes and gain (form) talents as a normal companion, but does not gain the extraplanar subtype; it cannot be summoned, dismissed, or banished, and costs no spell points to use. (Form) talents that require the expenditure of spell points when a companion is summoned can be activated by spending those points after you rest to regain spell points, in which case the benefit lasts until the next time you rest to regain spell points. Bound creatures cannot benefit from talents gained from implements or that you do not permanently possess.

You do not suffer a chance of failure from the Focus Casting drawback so long as your bound creature is on the same plane as you and is within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per caster level). If your bound creature dies, you suffer a chance of spell failure as outlined in the Focus Casting drawback until you gain another bound creature or bring the previous one back to life somehow. You cannot bond with a new creature for 30 days or until you gain another level, whichever comes first. A caster must possess the Focus Casting drawback to select this boon.

Deathful Magic

The closer you are to death, the more powerful your magic. While you are at half hit points or less, you gain a +1 competence bonus to your caster level. While you are at 1/4th your total hit points or less, this competence bonus increases to +2.

Draw Magic

You gain a +1 competence bonus to your caster level whenever at least 3 creatures under the effects of your sphere abilities are within 30 feet of you. This competence bonus increases to +2 if there are at least 6 such creatures within 30 feet.

Drawback Feat

You gain a (drawback) feat, chosen when this casting tradition is created.

See Also: Drawback Feats

Easy Focus

When maintaining a sphere ability through concentration, effects that normally require a standard action to concentrate on only require a move action for you. This does not decrease the sphere ability’s casting time, only the action used to maintain concentration.

Embodiment

You have come to mentally embody some substance in spirit. Select some substance to which you have a mental or philosophical kinship. Magic that can only affect that substance or work through that substance can still affect you if you wish to be so affected.

This does not allow you to use talents or abilities that only affect items of a particular nature on yourself, but allows you to use abilities that could reasonably apply to you apart from a material limitation. For instance, you could not use the Nature sphere to use Elevated Nature on yourself via Embodiment (trees), but you could use Limited Telekinesis (ice) to move yourself via Embodiment (ice). Similarly, having Embodiment (trees) would allow another with Limited Warp (trees) to teleport to your location if you knew they wished to and allowed it to happen.

Empowered Abilities

Your magic grows in strength the more you use it. While your current number of spell points is half your total spell points or less, you gain a +1 competence bonus to your caster level. While your current number of spell points is 0, the competence bonus to your caster level becomes +2.

Fortified Casting

You may use your Constitution as your casting ability modifier if it is higher than your usual casting ability modifier. You must possess the Draining Casting drawback to select this boon.

Metamagic Expert

Your sphere abilities are cast with a +1 competence bonus to caster level whenever you augment it with a metamagic feat.

Overcharge

You may overcharge your magic, giving yourself great power at the cost of your own strength. Whenever you use a sphere ability, you may give yourself a +2 competence bonus to your caster level for that ability, but you become fatigued afterward. If you are already fatigued, you become exhausted. If you are exhausted, you collapse to the ground unconscious for 1d4 rounds. Creatures immune to fatigue cannot benefit from this boon.

Overwhelming Power

Creatures under the effects of at least 1 of your sphere abilities suffer a -1 penalty to their saves against your other sphere abilities. This penalty increases to -2 if they are under the effects of at least 3 of your sphere abilities.

Sanguine Empowerment

At the beginning of your turn when you take damage from an ongoing bleed effect, you gain a +1 competence bonus to your caster level until the start of your next turn.

Virtuoso

Your magic is blended into your performance making it more difficult to identify. Observers must attempt a Perception or Sense Motive check opposed by your Skilled Casting check to realize that you are even invoking magic. You must possess the Skilled Casting drawback to select this boon, and cannot possess drawbacks such as Center of Power, Magical Signs, or Witchmarked that specifically reveal the nature of your casting.

Wild Surge [WM]

As a free action, you may gain a +2 competence bonus to caster level to the next sphere effect you cast before the start of your next turn by increasing your wild magic chance by 100% for the same period.

Wild Will

Choose an environment from the ranger’s favored terrain list. Animals, vermin, and magical beasts commonly found in your selected environment are especially susceptible to your magic; your talents are treated as 2 caster levels higher when affecting these creatures. Vermin common to these environments are treated as animals with an Intelligence score of 1 for the purposes of affecting them with your mind-affecting talents.

This boon may be taken multiple times, each time using a different environmental setting.

Magic Type: Arcane, Divine, and Psychic Magic

One aspect of core magic use in Pathfinder is magic type; whether a particular casting tradition uses arcane, divine, or psychic magic. In the core magic system these serve much the same purpose as a casting tradition: individual classes may use different casting abilities and even sometimes possess their own unique drawbacks, but for the most part arcane, divine, and psychic magic represent the three major casting traditions of the core Pathfinder magic system, each with their own associated drawbacks and rules regarding learning spells, preparing spells, chances for failure, etc.

In the core Pathfinder magic system this distinction is important when determining whether or not a caster can do things such as use a spell completion item (such as a scroll), which in the core Pathfinder system requires that the caster be of the proper magic type (arcane, divine, or psychic) as well as have the spell on their class spell list. However, this distinction is not discussed in detail here as part of casting traditions because it only serves such a purpose when interacting with that very specific core magic rule; as casting traditions already cover things such as arcane spell chance failure and specific manifestation, no other benefit is gained by deciding if a casting tradition is arcane, divine, or psychic in nature.

If a GM so desires, they may completely ignore magic type, or decide that every casting tradition must be either arcane, divine, or psychic in nature (and indeed, such distinctions are listed in the ‘standard traditions’ section below for ease of reference). Alternatively, they may invent their own magic types to reflect how magic works within their world (which could include arcane, divine, psychic, occult, primal, blood, draconic, etc.), or treat each custom tradition as if it were its own separate magic type. The choice, ultimately, is up to them.

Multiple Traditions

As a variant rule, a GM may permit a player to follow two traditions (similar to creating a wizard/cleric in traditional Pathfinder). When gaining a level in casting classes beyond their 1st, the caster may apply that casting level to a new tradition.

They gain an entirely separate set of spheres, talents (including the +2 bonus talents gained from a character’s first level in casting classes), caster level, spell points, drawbacks, and boons, which are determined similarly to but completely separate from the first set. When creating a magical effect, they must choose which of these traditions (and its associated spheres, talents, spell points, etc.) they will use; they cannot use aspects of one tradition to empower the other.

Whenever the caster gains a level in casting classes, they must decide which of their traditions that casting class level will be applied to for gaining spell points, casting level, and talents.

Standard Traditions

Every core magic-using class in Pathfinder has its own casting tradition: wizards cannot use armor and must be able to speak and gesture, while clerics can wear armor but must often handle a holy symbol. When using Spheres of Power, some players and GMs may wish to keep these classical traditions, especially when using a pre-published campaign setting that assumes them.

Unless the GM says otherwise, it is reasonable to assume that a game set in a traditional tabletop RPG setting will use standard traditions. When using standard traditions, each Pathfinder class comes with the tradition listed below.

Alchemist

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Extended Casting x2, Material Casting; Transformative Brew (Alteration), Humors (Blood), Meld Into Dark and Shadowed Brew (Dark), Necromantic Concoction (Death), Shape Focus (Energy Bomb) (Destruction), Divining Concoction (Divination), Special Delivery (Enhancement), Cursed Brew and Tongue Of Ages (Fate), Glamered Brew and Obscura Mage (Illusion), Medicinal (Life), Glowing Brew (Light), Addling Brew (Mind), Holistic Brew and Limited Nature x2 (Nature), Limited Protection (aegis) and Protective Brew (Protection), Temporal Brew (Time), Warping Brew (Warp), Atmospheric Brew and Localized Weather (Weather).
Boon: +1 spell point per level gained in casting classes.

Arcanist

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per level gained in casting classes.

Bard

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels gained in casting classes.

Bloodrager

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting (alternate), Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point at 1st level, +1 per 3 levels in casting classes.

Cleric

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Aligned Combatant (Destruction), Aligned Protection (Protection)
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Druid

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Animal Shaman (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per odd level in casting classes.

Hunter

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Verbal Casting; Animal Shaman (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Inquisitor

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Magus

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per one and a half levels in casting classes.

Medium

Magic Type: Psychic
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Mesmerist

Magic Type: Psychic
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Occultist

Magic Type: Psychic
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Oracle

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawback: Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per six levels in casting classes.

Paladin

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Aligned Combatant (Destruction), Aligned Protection (Protection)
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Psychic

Magic Type: Psychic
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Ranger

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Animal Shaman (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Shaman

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Skald

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Sorcerer

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Spiritualist

Magic Type: Psychic
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Summoner

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Warpriest

Magic Type: Divine
Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Aligned Combatant (Destruction), Aligned Protection (Protection)
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Witch

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Wizard

Magic Type: Arcane
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per level in casting classes.


Custom Traditions

By combining drawbacks and boons, a truly unique casting tradition can be created and used to breathe life into a setting or concept. It is also entirely possible for a player to ask a GM if he can create his own custom tradition to reflect a particular character concept; however, it must be remembered that custom casting traditions are a GM tool first and a player tool second.

Example: Jake the GM is creating a campaign centered around the conflict between four groups of magic users; wizards (who use the Traditional Magic tradition), clerics (who use the Divine Petitioner tradition), druids (who use the Druidic tradition), and cultists (who use the Blood Magic tradition). He informs the players that they are free to use whatever classes they wish, but that their character should pick one of those four traditions to use. One of the players approaches the GM and asks if they can use a custom tradition; their character is an alchemist who gains power by ingesting custom brews, transforming into a magical alter-ego not unlike Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After thinking it over, the GM decides this is awesome and agrees, telling the player that his tradition will be considered a subset of the Traditional Magic tradition and will count as Traditional Magic for all purposes.

Sample Custom Casting Traditions

Addled

Hidden within the ramblings of the insane, one word is often repeated. Some healers theorize that this word is the name of the hidden god of madness, gaining power from—and granting power to—those who surrender their minds to him. There must be some truth to this theory, because sometimes, when those with this word on their lips are displeased with their surroundings, they possess the ability to change them.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Addictive Magic, Verbal Casting, Wild Magic
Boons: Easy Focus, +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes.

Apothecary

Apothecaries are masters of tinctures and tonics, who are capable of turning mere bottles of water or pinches of salt into potions and magic powders. Unlike the academic alchemists of the larger cities, apothecaries usually set up shop in country towns, learning as much from experimentation and tradition as they do from their teachers.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Skilled Casting (Craft (alchemy) or Profession (apothecary)); Special Delivery (Enhancement)
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per six levels in casting classes.

Artificery

Artificers construct magical implements (known as an artificer’s focus) to direct and control their magic. Each sphere they know requires a different focus, and foci can be created by spending 8 hours in a magic lab or alchemist’s lab. While somewhat unstable, these items make directing power easy.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Focus Casting (artificer’s focus), Wild Magic
Boon: Easy Focus

Bardic Magic

Bardic magic is a holistic style of magic that transforms the natural magic of music into powerful magical force. While rather physically demanding, those who have trained in bardic magic often have more power at their call than others.

Masterpieces: A practioner of bardic magic using the Spheres of Power system may spend magic talents instead of feats to gain bardic masterpieces.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Perform (any)), Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Beast Charming

It is often said that music can soothe the savage beasts of the world, but the knack for doing so is a difficult, and often dangerous, skill to develop. Many practitioners develop specialties that cause them to become more comfortable with certain kinds of animals, but whether they choose to catch rats, charm snakes, or divert locusts from crops the ability to pacify, guide, or otherwise enchant animals remains the same.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Perform (any)), Somatic Casting x2; Animal Shaman (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Blighter [Cata. HB]

Drawing power from the destruction of life, blighters are twisted divine casters who reduce the land around them to a desiccated echo of its former virility. Be they worshipers of blight gods or thieves of natural magics, blighters are a hazard to living things wherever they tread.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Charged Spells, Terrain Casting, Verbal Casting
Boons: Drawback Feat (Charged Despoilation), +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Bloodletting

Casters of the bloodletting tradition use their ornate ritual knife to make precise incisions, drawing forth trickles of blood that is smeared, thrown, or otherwise manipulated to cast their spells. Casters of this tradition usually use the Blood Price optional ritual pricing.

Casting Ability Modifier: Constitution
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Focus Casting (ritual knife), Magical Signs, Painful Magic, Somatic Casting
Boons: Fortified Casting, Sanguine Empowerment, +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes.

Blood Magic

One of the most dangerous forms of magic, blood magic, promises great power to its practitioners, but with a price. Blood magic is difficult, lengthy, complicated, and draining, but for its practitioners the promise of insurmountable power is worth the mere price of their life force. Blood mages are constantly performing a dangerous dance, for the closer they are to death’s door, the greater their power.

Casting Ability Modifier: Constitution
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Extended Casting, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boons: Deathful Magic, Fortified Casting, Overcharge

Bonneteur

This method of fast talking con artistry has been developed to the point where it is undeniably supernatural in nature. A tradition closely guarded by many thieves guilds until they can monopolize a region, it has nevertheless spilled out into the world. Only a small number of true magicians employ this style, but rogues, bards, and other dabblers in mental magic will often focus their studies on this magical tradition.

The fast-talking and wild gesticulating arm movements are similar enough to the actions of street hawkers that the magic can often go unnoticed by those who are not expecting it, and its effectiveness at the negotiating table makes the draining effect on the caster’s psyche worth the trouble.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting; Lost In Translation (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Caffiend [Jester's HB]

Caffiends are an odd blend of addicts and savants who draw strength from their love of coffee, tea, or other caffeine-laden drinks.
Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting (coffee or tea), Rigorous Concentrating, Witchmarked (scent of coffee or tea).
Boons: +1 spell point per odd level in a casting class.

Cartomancy

Most commonly practiced by itinerant fortune-tellers, cartomancy is the art of divining by cards. Many casters extend this to manipulating the myths the cards symbolize to empower themselves and others.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Extended Casting, Focus Casting (deck of cards), Skilled Casting (Profession (fortuneteller)); Limited Divination (sense) (Divination), Sanctified and Tongue Of Ages (Fate)
Boons: Easy Focus, +1 spell point, +1 per six levels in casting classes.

Chi Tracer

Considered a subset of the monastic casting tradition, monks who train their minds as well as their body and spirit have a greater endurance for performing their techniques, though their feats of mentalism require a knowledge of an enemies’ (or allies’) pressure points and chi lines, giving them the ability to deliver crippling nerve pinches (or helpful chiropractic alterations) to impart their charms.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting x2; Lycanthropic (Alteration), Meld Into Dark (Dark), Deathful Touch (Death), Destructive Touch (Destruction), Bodily Enhancement and Personal Magics (Enhancement), Personal Fate (Fate), Personal Illusion (Illusion), Touch Of Light (Light), Regenerate (Life), Tactile Charm (Mind), Nature Spirit (Nature), Limited Protection (ward), Personal Time (Time), Solo Combatant (War), Personal Warp (Warp)
Boon: Easy Focus

Cholmic Traditionalist

A tradition that dates back to the long dead Cholmic civilization, the methods of their cultural magic have been lost to all but a few liches and fragments of old, rotten tomes. While the methods themselves are cursed by the very gods, that curse has also decayed over the years – while the magic would have originally hideously harmed the caster and the recipient, nowadays most of the curse decays into simple pain, grey light, and the noise of vast bells.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting, Magical Signs, Painful Magic, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boons: Overwhelming Power, +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Contaminated

Somewhere in the bowels of the criminal underworld, an alchemist cracked the code of magic and created Essence. This powerful, addictive powder would grant magical ability to anyone who consumed it. The crime lord who first distributed Essence sold it everywhere, eager to gain a dedicated following of addicted ‘wizards’, but he underestimated the power of the addiction— and of the addicted. The lab was destroyed as magic users descended on it to increase their supply and steal the secret of its creation. Now Essence can be found virtually anywhere people are rich enough—and foolish enough—to seek it out.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting, Material Casting, Wild Magic
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Corrupted Apostle [Cata. HB]

Sometimes, those who delve into the arts of magic find themselves drawn towards dark paths, paths which lead them to sacrifice their very humanity for promises of greater power. As their condition progresses, these corrupted apostles take on ever more alien forms.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting, Innate Curse, Unsettling Casting, Witchmarked
Boons: Drawback Feat (Witchwarped), +1 spell point, +1 per 1.5 levels in a casting class.

Defiler [Cata. HB]

Defilers are a distinct type of arcanist who have discovered how to draw magic from the environment around them. However, such incredible power destroys the caster’s surroundings, making any defiler a serious danger regardless of their intentions.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Magical Signs, Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting (2), Terrain Casting, Verbal Casting
Boons: Drawback Feat (any one Defiler feat), +1 spell point level in a casting class.

Demonology [SB:DE]

This arcane casting tradition is a subdivision of the Blood Magic casting tradition. Not surprising, the demonology casting tradition is found almost exclusively among demonologists, evil outsiders, and fiend-worshiping casters.

Classes: Sorcerers and Thaumaturges make thematic demonologists.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma (or Constitution if higher)
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Mental Focus
Boons: Fortified Casting

Note: Like the Blood Magic casting tradition, a caster with the demonology casting tradition must use the blood price alternate pricing method when using rituals.

Divine Petitioner

A divine petitioner gains their magic through service and prayer to a divine source, such as a deity. A divine petitioner must pray every day to regain their spell points, petitioning not only for their magic, but specifying how they intend to use it that day. Divine petitioners do everything in the name of their deity and find it difficult to even manifest their power unless they have their holy symbol in hand.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Aligned Combatant (Destruction), Aligned Protection (Protection)
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level they gain in casting classes.

Divine Crusader [PGtS]

While paladins and antipaladins have much in common with clerics, they gain their power directly from the Algod or Ungod rather than through a single divinity, and as such it is their zeal for their alignment that determines their power, rather than priestly devotion. These beings are called divine crusaders, and use Charisma instead of Wisdom as their casting ability modifier.

While divine crusaders do not answer to any one particular divinity, they are allies of either the Gods (if Good) or the Fiends (if Evil). A divine crusader can fall (or ascend), changing their alignment and allegiance (and often class), but a divine crusader loses all access to their powers if they are Neutral.

Inquisitor [PGtS]

There are those who are directly empowered by their deity but exist outside the general priesthood; inquisitors, who are trusted by their deity to act in ways a usual divine petitioner cannot. These casters are trusted with direct divine power and do not need to pray for their magic nor hold their liege’s holy symbol, but as a countermeasure, often possess a more limited measure of their deity’s power. Inquisitors only possess the Verbal Casting drawback, and only gain +1 spell point +1 per 6 levels.

Dream Casting

Dream casters are aloof individuals often viewed as extremely odd by other types of magic users. Wielding strange implements and prone to torporic trances, dream casters typically draw their power from esoteric and poorly understood spheres such as Mind and Time. Walking the far borders of reality, dream casters are able to call upon amazing strength but do so at significant risk.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Magical Signs, Narcoleptic Casting
Boons: Overcharge, +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Druidic

A druid gains their magic through communion with nature and the spirits contained therein. While many casters band together for mutual study and protection, druids take this a step further, possessing their own secret language that identifies one druid to another. The hierarchy of the druids is a very sacred thing for them, and there are only so many high-level druids in the world at any one time. Indeed, a druid rising through the ranks often times must claim their new title by taking it from another druid through a demonstration of superior magic. A druid gains +1 spell point, +1 per three levels gained in a spellcasting class.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting; Animal Shaman (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per odd level in casting classes.

Hunter [PGtS]

Sometimes, a creature, known as a hunter, gains their powers specifically through their connection to animals, taking on animalistic components themselves. While a normal druid must meditate on druidic ever morning to determine which powers he will hold within himself, a hunter gains a more limited power, but calls upon that power without the need for preparation. A hunter loses the Prepared Caster drawback, and only gains +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels.

Elemental Shaman [Cata. HB]

Scattered across the world are emissaries of the elemental planes, shamans of immense power who serve the primordial denizens of the elemental and paraelemental planes. These elemental shamans rely upon landmarks such as canyons, volcanoes, or oases for their power, and oftentimes become lost in the mighty forces from which they draw their magic.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Area Bound, Charged Spells, Material Casting, Material Focus (Creation, chosen element), Unsettling Casting, Verbal Casting, Witchmarked
Boons: Atmoturgy, Drawback Feat (Environment Charge), +1 spell point, +1 per 2 levels in a casting class.

Fey Magic

To the fey, magic is simply a part of life - and those who study their styles often find that their emotions are a problem, but magic is stronger and easier to control.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Fey-Infused Magic, Somatic Casting, Wild Magic
Boons: Easy Focus, Overcharge

Flame-Blooded

There exist those who bear in their blood a touch of pure fire. Details of their origin are spotty at best, but the tale is told of a tryst between a mortal woman and the elemental spirit of fire itself, granting the power of fire to all her descendants. The flame-blooded are often as brash and volatile as the element that powers their magic; to cross one is to invite a swift and deadly response.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Energy Focus (fire) (Destruction), Limited Warp (requires fire) (Warp), Focused Weather (Heat) (Weather)
Boons: None

Gadgeteer

Not often thought of as a mentalist or magician (even amongst themselves), gadgeteers have a knack for constructs, magic devices, and machinery. Armed with a favored tool or set of tools (such as a specially designed burin or wrench), they tinker with clockwork and other bits of artifice to transform the world around themselves and bring mental might to bear on creatures such as golems. Teammates often dislike their magic due to suddenly having clockwork gears or strange gadgets incorporated into them, but apart from that they can bring great gifts to those they assist.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Focus Casting (artisan tools), Magical Signs, Material Casting, Rigorous Concentration, Skilled Casting (Craft (mechanical)); Unnatural Transformation (gadgets and gears) (Alteration), Elongated Summoning (Conjuration), Kindred Knack (construct) (Mind)
Boon: +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Hypnotism

Often unsettling and always mysterious, the art of hypnotism, sometimes called mesmerism, has its roots in the magic of the mind, but a flick of the wrist, sway of a pendulum, and penetrating stare of a master has allowed magicians of all stripes to unlock their truest potential. Wielding a specially prepared amulet, pocket watch, gemstone, or other lustrous item that can be held aloft or swayed with a practiced hand, hypnotists and those who use their methods to unlock magical power are often feared as insidious or enthralling masterminds, but can also be celebrated as entertainers and practitioners of skills that make the mysterious appear whimsical and mundane.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Extended Casting, Focus Casting, Skilled Casting (Profession (hypnotist)), Somatic Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Inherent Divinity

For some, the source of divine power does not come from without, but from within. With nothing more than a word and their will, they can impose their desires on the world.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: Easy Focus
Note: Every creature with inherent divinity expressed their divinity in a unique fashion, often associated with whatever domains they or their parent is associated with. A caster with this tradition can select and gain up to 2 sphere-specific drawbacks of their choice.

Keeper [Cata. HB]

Keepers have pledged themselves to protecting a certain domain from devastation, be it a grove, an oasis, a religious landmark, or some other important location. They draw their power directly from this place, which can unfortunately work against its preservation in dire times.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Area Bound, Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Terrain Casting, Verbal Casting
Boons: +1 spell point, +1 per level in a casting class.

Ley-line Tapper

Ley-line tappers draw their power from the innate mystic potential of the leylines connected to notable natural locations. Doing so takes great effort, but once the power is drawn, it is in some measure self-sustaining.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Area Bound, Extended Casting
Boons: Easy Focus, +1 spell point, +1 per six levels in casting classes.

Lycanthrope

Curses are terrible things and lycanthropy more so than most. For some casters, however, lycanthropy is the beginning of a long journey to power. These souls not only learn to control their animalistic natures, but to expand them, pulling power from their curse and turning it into a source of magic. Practitioners of this magic should beware however; curses are not trivial things, and a lycanthrope’s magic is unpredictable at best.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Wild Magic; Lycanthropic (Alteration)
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per six levels in casting classes.

Material Transmuter [Cata. HB]

Oftentimes viewing themselves more as scientists than mages, material transmuters use advanced diagrams and a tremendous understanding of the physical world to reshape reality around them in myriad ways.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Diagram Magic, Magical Signs, Material Casting, Somatic Casting; Material Mimic (Creation)
Boons: Forge (Creation), +1 spell point, +1 per level in a casting class.

Mind

For some people, magic is an expression of their will, and a little mental focus is enough to call it into being.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Boon: +1 spell point, +1 per three levels in casting classes.

Monastic

When the power of the spirit is properly cultivated through physical discipline and meditation, it can elevate itself to a form of magic. There are orders of monks who practice this form of magic, using their monastic traditions to guide their pursuit of magical awakening. Renowned for their versatility of power, casters of these monastic orders are often solitary, as the very source that gives them such great power also makes it difficult to manifest that power outside of their own bodies.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting x2; Lycanthropic (Alteration), Meld Into Dark (Dark), Deathful Touch (Death), Destructive Touch (Destruction), Bodily Enhancement and Personal Magics (Enhancement), Personal Fate (Fate), Personal Illusion (Illusion), Touch Of Light (Light), Regenerate (Life), Nature Spirit (Nature), Protected Soul (Protection), Personal Time (Time), Solo Combatant (War), Personal Warp (Warp)
Boon: Easy Focus

Morose Essentialist [Gravecaller's HB]

A morose essentialist possesses a grim, pensive mindset to their applications of magic, often using undead they create or the treated, preserved bones of those they respect.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting (a skull, body part, or undead creature under your control), Mental Focus, Verbal Casting
Boons: +1 spell point, +1 per six levels in casting classes.
Variable Boons: Morose essentialists gain their choice of either the Deathful Magic or Easy Focus boon.

Mysticism

Mysticism is less about strict hierarchies and more about learning from the divine forces that empower the world. As students of the magical arts, those who follow the path of the mystic tend to have very obvious displays of magic as they channel the might of various spirits and deities.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting (any), Magical Signs, Verbal Casting, Wild Magic
Boon: Empowered Abilities, Metamagic Expert

Natural

Creatures with Natural casting have innate magical abilities with no drawbacks or boons.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: None
Boon: None

Nomad Shamans

An oral magical tradition, the nomad shamans are members of nomadic tribes who have honed their connection to the natural world through ritual deprivation. Their long and harsh training is often necessary for the survival of their tribe, allowing their people to subsist in areas too harsh for normal survival.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Magical Signs, Verbal Casting; Bodily Enhancement and Restricted Enhancement (tribe members) (Enhancement), Nature Spirit (Nature)
Boon: Draw Magic

Pact Magic

Pact Magic focuses on summoning beings to cast magic on the user’s behalf. Having another entity managing the power makes it easy to control, but it can be hard to resist the pull they have over the caster…

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawback: Addictive Casting
Boon: Easy Focus

Runist

Runists study the first language—the language of creation itself. With this knowledge, they can create magical effects by writing out the appropriate runes—a time-consuming process, but a powerful one. Runists spend their lives mastering true names and meditating on the meaning of the runes, for once a runist has mastered a rune’s essence, they master that aspect of creation itself.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Extended Casting, Skilled Casting (Craft (calligraphy)), Somatic Casting x2
Boon: +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Scion Of The Crown

In a small Western kingdom, the princes and princesses are taught a unique casting tradition that draws on the symbolism of permanence through ponderous recitations of their family line back generations and straight-backed demonstrations of their authority. Throughout centuries of marriages, alliances, and usurpations, this tradition has spread throughout the land – however, competition with foreign traditions and the requirement of noble blood has left it as more of a curiosity than anything else.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Extended Casting, Focus Casting (crown or coronet), Skilled Casting (Knowledge (nobility)), Verbal Casting
Boons: Drawback feat (Careful Magic, Magical Focus), +1 spell point per six levels in casting classes.

Shadow Tapper [Cata. HB]

Shadow tappers draw upon a parallel field of magic which lies beneath the one commonly known, paying for knowledge of this arcane matrix with their willpower and humanity.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Incompatible Energies, Somatic Casting x2, Unsettling Casting, Verbal Casting
Boons: Alien Source (Dark), +1 spell point, +1 per 2 levels in casting classes.

Sin Wizard [Cata. HB]

Scattered among ancient tomes and strange relics are archives of an arcane tradition known as sin magic, a dangerous tradition which allows a wizard to unleash their unbridled vice upon the world. Sin magic comes in seven varieties, each tied to a deadly sin that serves as a foundation for their unique magic.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting, other drawbacks based upon chosen sin

  • Wrath: Draining Casting, Madness Mantra
  • Lust: Emotional Casting, Mental Focus
  • Pride: Center Of Power, Conscious Linked
  • Greed: Expensive Locus, Focus Casting or Galvanized Casting
  • Envy: Coy Caster, Unsettling Casting
  • Sloth: Charged Spells, Painful Magic (replaces Prepared Caster)
  • Gluttony: Addictive Casting

Boons: +1 spell point per level in casting classes, other boon based upon chosen sin.

  • Wrath: Deathful Magic
  • Lust: Draw Magic
  • Pride: Metamagic Expert
  • Greed: Empowered Abilities
  • Envy: Overwhelming Power
  • Sloth: Easy Focus
  • Gluttony: Overcharge

Song-Wielder

Born of ancient royalty, a song-wielder makes magic through the power of their voice. It is an ancient art and difficult to master, but very rewarding. Because a song-wielder’s magic is tied to their voice, they grow in strength the longer they sing. Often, it is only when a song-wielder has sung himself hoarse that his true power manifests.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Perform (sing)), Verbal Casting
Boon: Empowered Abilities

Sorcerous Blood

For some individuals, magic is truly in the blood, and all it takes to use it is a flick of the wrist and a quick chant of arcane words.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level in casting classes.

Combat Sorcery [PGtS]

Sometimes, a creature with sorcerous blood is so used to physical combat that their magic manifests in ways that are easier to control while encumbered. These casters only possess the somatic casting drawback once, and may not use shields while casting, but can wear light or medium armor. These creatures only gain +1 spell point at 1st level, +1 per 3 levels gained in casting classes.

Strange Mentalist [Cata. HB]

Certain varieties of psychic power defy normal conventions of magic, resulting in unusual mages with a distinctive presence to their abilities. Utilizing esoteric energies of this sort requires a great deal of mental stability, a vulnerability foes are quick to exploit.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Incompatible Energies, Magical Signs, Mental Focus
Boons: Alien Source (Mind sphere), +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes.

Sword-Bound

Sometimes, when a magic-user dies, a part of their spirit (called an echo) remains attached to the objects they wielded in life. This is the case with a particular ancient house, where the heir apparent inherits the house’s sword on their fifteenth birthday. Not only does this ancient sword still cut as well as the day it was forged, but it also carries the echo of the family’s founder, granting its owner access to the ancestor’s famed magical power. Wielding the sword is exhausting, but it is a small price to pay to access its magic.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Focus Casting (sword)
Boon: Fortified Casting

Traditional Magic

Traditional magic is the study of the natural world, astronomy, alchemy, and ancient learning to create magic through a combination of gestures, words, and magical components. Traditional magic is based on performing specific rites and observing various taboos, meaning its practitioners must decide each morning what magic they will use that day so they may perform the appropriate rituals. Traditional magic is the realm of academics, making it a long and grueling course of study but granting wisdom and power in equal amounts.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boon: +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Ur-Priest [Cata. HB]

Many spellcasters gather divine power through a communion with their god, but there are some who steal the might of the gods without giving anything in return. These ur-priests channel immense amounts of divine magic through their forms, magic they sometimes struggle to contain.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Verbal Casting, Wild Magic
Boons: Wild Surge, +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes.

Vitalist

Where some spellcasters learn their magical talents through their blood or through study; some unfortunate spellcasters were born with a soul intrinsically tied to magic. These people may never notice their magical powers until they grow of age, suddenly and spontaneously utilizing magic when at their healthiest- and notably feeling much more exhausted afterwards. Vitalists are spellcasters whose magical forces are tied directly with the health of their hearts, and who’s bodies serve as a physical vessel for their mana; even small disturbances such as illnesses or diseases can inhibit their magic.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Magical Signs, Unstable Storage, Vulnerable Spellcaster.
Boon: +1 spell point per odd level.

Void Priest [Cata. HB]

Sometimes, clerics extend their devotion to gods who will not listen, either because their gods are dead, unwilling to answer prayers, or in truth have never existed at all. Nonetheless, the faith of these void priests is sometimes strong enough to draw divine energies from other, unknown sources.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Unsettling Casting, Verbal Casting
Boons: +1 spell point, +1 per 1.5 levels in a casting class.

Water-Magi

There exists an order of monks who pull power from an ancient pact formed with the spirit of the moon. These water-magi are born with the power to bend water to their will, pulling it as the moon pulls the tides. Through dedicated practice, they use their movements to control this liquid and bring its power to bear against their enemies.

Casting Ability Modifier: Wisdom
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting x2; Water Wizard (Creation), Energy Focus (cold) (Destruction), Limited Telekinesis (requires water) (Telekinesis), Focused Weather (Precipitation) (Weather)
Boon: Easy Focus

Wild-Born

A wild-born is someone who was raised by magical creatures: the adopted children of dragons, fey beings, or other creatures of natural inborn magic. While being raised by such beings does not grant the adopted child their parent’s magic, a wild-born might develop a connection with a magical sibling, drawing their power through this familiar bond.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Verbal Casting
Boon: Bound Creature

Wilder [Cata. HB]

Similar to strange mentalists, wilders tap into warped energies within their mind to fuel their powers. However, a wilder’s powers operate on emotion rather than logic, becoming much more volatile as a result.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Incompatible Energies, Magical Signs, Mental Focus, Wild Magic
Boons: Alien Source (Mind sphere), Wild Surge, +1 spell point, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes.

Wizardry

Considered a subset of traditional magic, wizardry takes a lot of study, using magic wands and exotic materials to bend natural powers to the user’s will in very obvious displays of power. Wizards often carry a signature when they use magic, as it manifests in a particular color and shape that grows as they gain power to reflect their own personal styling. The path of wizardry is hard, but those who master it learn to manipulate their power with great skill, becoming masters of metamagic.

Casting Ability Modifier: Intelligence
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Magical Signs, Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting
Boons: Metamagic Expert, +1 spell point per level in casting classes.

Combat Wizardry [PGtS]

Sometimes, such as with the magus, a practitioner of wizardry focuses on its application in combat to such an extent that they become extremely proficient at using magic in armor. These casters may use magic in light armor or when using a shield without invoking a chance of arcane spell failure, but only gain +1 spell point, +3 per 2 levels (2, 3, 5, 6, etc.) from their tradition.

Witchcraft [PGtS]

A witch is very similar to a wizard, except where a wizard studies out of books, a witch studies by communing with otherworldly forces via a guiding intelligent animal called a familiar. They use their familiar as their focus instead of a book or wand. The character has no problem casting magic so long as their familiar is alive and within Long range (400 ft. + 40 ft. per caster level). If the character doesn’t belong to the witch class (or another class that grants a familiar), they gain a familiar for this purpose, but only gain +1 spell point, +1 per 1.5 levels (2, 3, 5, 6, etc.) from their tradition. This can be combined with the combat wizardry sub-division, but this only grants +1 spell point at every odd level if using a class that doesn’t grant a familiar.


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