The first guru, so the tales say, was a priest first, one who eventually came to doubt the true divinity of his chosen patron. Taking staff in hand, this priest traveled the world, seeking a higher truth. While pursuing this enigmatic truth, he learned many skills, training in the akashic arts with the reclusive vritra, battling bandits when they sought to accost him on the road, and always finding a way to repay the communities who fed and sheltered him, whether through teaching them one of the many techniques of healing, farming, or engineering he learned on his long travels. When the priest had grown old, and his travels grew ever shorter, he began to spread his knowledge, and his quest for truth, to students and proteges who came to him to learn what he had uncovered. Whether any guru has ever truly found a “higher truth” beyond the gods is unknown, but the quest continues to this day, with warrior-philosophers from all corners of the world traveling in search of it and spreading their knowledge along the way.

Role: The guru train in mystic monasteries learning to harness their life energy and focus their spirit to subdue their enemies without taking their lives. The guru can forge his essence into a weapon capable of disrupting an enemy’s essence, causing non-lethal damage and even disturbing their inner flow of energy so severely that they succumb to debilitating effects like blindness or exhaustion. All gurus inevitably head out into the world to test their learning and gain new experiences, shaping and defining their Philosophy.

Alignment: The guru can be of any alignment, but is typically Good. Evil creatures rarely see the value in mastering an art that leaves their enemies alive to fight another day.

Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: The Guru’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (History, Local, Nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6+ Int modifier.

Class Features

Table: The Guru
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Special Veils Essence
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Gentle touch, philosophy, stunning fist 1 1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Sunder veil, chakra bind (hands) 2 2
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Chakra disruption (hands) 2 3
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Improved essence capacity +1, philosophy 2 4
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Chakra bind (feet) 3 5
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Chakra disruption (feet) 3 6
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Seal wounds, philosophy 3 7
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Chakra bind (head) 4 8
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Chakra disruption (shoulders) 4 9
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Improved essence capacity +2, philosophy 4 10
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Chakra bind (headband) 5 11
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Chakra disruption (headband) 5 12
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Crack the shell, philosophy 5 13
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Chakra bind (neck) 6 14
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Chakra disruption (neck) 6 15
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sever the flow, philosophy 6 16
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Chakra bind (belt) 7 17
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Chakra disruption (body) 7 18
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Improved essence capacity +3, philosophy 7 19
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Chakra bind (body), immortal essence 8 20

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Gurus are proficient with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields. The guru may gain additional proficiencies based on their chosen Philosophy.

Veil Shaping

A gurus primary ability is shaping the magical power known as akasha into powerful veils, which are drawn from the guru veil list. She knows and can shape any veil from this list. The DC for a saving throw against a veil’s abilities is 10 + the number of points of essence invested in the veil + your Wisdom modifier. She can only shape a certain number of veils per day (see table below). Veils are constructs of pure magic and are suppressed while in the area of an Antimagic Field or similar phenomena.

At 1st level she also gains access to her own personal pool of essence, which can be invested into veils to increase their power. The pool of available essence is listed in the table below; the guru’s character level, as noted in the attached supplement, determines the maximum quantity of essence she can invest in any single veil. As a swift action she can reallocate her essence investments into her veils every round. A guru does not study or prepare veils in advance, but must have a good night’s rest and must meditate for one hour to prepare her veils for the day.

Gentle Touch (Su)

All gurus learn to master the art of the gentle touch, a mystical martial art that involves dealing nonlethal damage with focused bursts of essence. By investing at least 1 point of essence in this ability the guru can charge a weapon granted by his philosophy with a rarified form of akashic energy. All attacks made with that weapon deal additional damage equal to the guru’s Wisdom modifier, but all damage dealt by the guru while this ability is active is nonlethal. A character can assign essence to their gentle touch ability as a swift action. For every point of essence invested in this ability, the charged weapon deals an additional 1d4 damage. This ability only works against living targets; undead and constructs are immune to its effects.


All gurus follow a particular philosophy. Usually the tenets of this belief are passed down by guru masters in varying schools and monasteries where like-minded individuals join them to discuss ideology. Guru’s gain special benefits based on their philosophy at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th level. Many philosophy powers are activated by “burning” essence.

Essence that has been burned to activate a philosophy ability cannot be used again for any other purpose until the guru has had a chance to meditate. Essence burn recovers at a rate of 1 point of essence per minute spent in meditation. Philosophies are listed at the end of the guru’s class features.

Stunning Fist (Ex)

The guru gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. For the purposes of determining how many uses of stunning fist you have available, treat your levels in the guru class as monk levels. The guru can use the stunning fist ability as part of any melee attack made using a weapon enhanced by his gentle touch ability. 1/ day as a free action, the guru can restore a single use of stunning fist by taking 3 points of essence burn. The guru can restore a use of stunning fist in this way 1 additional time per day at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

Chakra Binds

At 2nd level and every three levels thereafter you gain the ability to bind veils directly to your chakras, unlocking potent abilities. You gain the ability to bind to slots in the following order: Hands, Feet, Head, Headband, Neck, Belt, Body.

Sunder Veil (Su)

At 2nd level the guru gains the ability to shatter magical defenses with focused thrusts of essence. When making an attack while using his gentle touch ability, the guru can expend a use of his Stunning Fist ability to attempt to end one ongoing spell that has been cast on a creature or suppress the active veils of an akasha user. When you activate this ability, make one dispel check (1d20 + your guru level) and compare that to the highest level spell currently active on the opponent (DC = 11 + the spell’s caster level) or the veil the opponent currently has the most essence invested in (DC = 10 + opponent’s character level + points of essence invested). If successful, that spell ends, or the targeted veil is suppressed for a number of rounds equal to your guru level. In addition, your gentle touch ability can now be used to damage undead and deals lethal damage to such creatures.

Chakra Disruption (Su)

At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a guru gains the ability to inflict debilitating status effects on his opponent. The guru may make a single attack while using his gentle touch ability as a standard action, selecting a disruption he knows and applying it to this attack. The target suffers the chosen disruption unless they succeed on a Fortitude save equal to 10 + Wisdom Modifier + 2 per point of essence invested in the guru’s gentle touch ability. A single target cannot suffer the effects of more than one disruption at a time, though the guru can change the disruption currently inflicted on a target with subsequent successful uses of this ability. Unless otherwise noted such conditions end after a number of rounds equal to the guru’s Wisdom modifier as the afflicted creature’s body slowly reregulates itself.

At 3rd level, the guru can disrupt the flow of energy in an opponent’s hands, making them clumsy and uncoordinated; opponents affected by this disruption take a –1 penalty to all attack rolls made with their hands or equivalent limbs (for example, a dragon’s primary claw attacks). This penalty increases by 1 per point of essence invested in the gentle touch ability.

At 6th level the guru can damage the flow of essence through an enemy’s feet, slowing and hampering them. An enemy affected by this disruption has their movement reduced by 10 feet +5 feet per point of essence invested (minimum 5).

At 9th level, a guru can block the flow of energy through an enemy’s shoulders causing his movements to become slow and predictable, too weak to properly hold a shield. Enemies affected by this disruption have both their shield and Dexterity bonuses to AC each lowered by 1 (minimum 0). These penalties increase by 1 per point of essence invested.

At 12th level a guru can sever chakra connections associated with an opponent’s Headband slot, causing the opponent to be blinded for 1 round + 1 round per point of essence invested.

At 15th level the guru can disrupt the delicate chakra connections in an opponent’s head slot, causing them to be stunned for 1 round.

At 18th level the guru can almost completely block the flow of essence throughout an opponent’s body, causing them to become exhausted.

Improved Essence Capacity

The guru’s intense meditation has made him particularly talented at investing essence. At 4th, 10th and 19th level the essence capacity of all your chakra receptacles increases by 1.

Seal Wounds (Ex)

At 7th level, the guru’s talent with essence allows them to make small alterations to their own internal circulation. You gain the ability to close minor wounds you sustain by restricting the flow of blood and energy to the affected area; 1/day per class level, you can spend a move action to heal a number of hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier + 5 hit points per point of essence invested in this ability. You must choose how much essence to invest in this ability at the same time you shape your veils for the day, and you cannot reassign that essence until after an 8 hour rest.

Crack the Shell (Su)

The guru’s skill in controlling essence is now so potent that he can even damage physical objects with a touch. While using his gentle touch ability, the guru can attempt a sunder combat maneuver to sunder an item held or worn by his opponent. If the attack is successful, he deals damage to the item as normal for his gentle touch attack. This attack ignores ½ of the target’s Hardness. In addition, his gentle touch ability can now be used to damage constructs and deals lethal damage to such creatures.

Sever the Flow (Su)

At 16th level the guru’s ability to disrupt an opponent’s chakra has become so powerful that he can completely block their connection to the flow of magic. By spending a use of his Stunning Fist ability when he successfully attacks an opponent with his Gentle Touch, all magical effects currently affecting the target are disjoined as though affected by a special mage’s disjunction. That is, spells and spell-like effects are unraveled and destroyed completely (ending the effect as a dispel magic spell does), and the target must make a Will save for each veil currently shaped or lose its benefits until it can be reshaped. Unlike a standard mage’s disjunction, this ability does not affect magic items wielded or worn by the target. This effect can be resisted with a Will save equal to 10 + your Wisdom modifier + the number of points of essence invested in your Gentle Touch ability.

Immortal Essence (Su)

The guru’s mastery of the flow of essence both within himself and within his enemies has reached its ultimate peak and he can now steal a small amount of his opponent’s life force with his gentle touch. Whenever he successfully dispels an effect or suppresses a veil with his sunder veil ability, he heals a number of hit points equal to twice the amount of essence invested in his gentle touch. Whenever he successfully uses his sever the flow ability against an enemy, he draws some of their own arcane energy into himself, gaining a temporary pool of essence equal to the spell level of the highest level dispelled effect or the amount of essence invested in any suppressed veils (to a maximum of the guru’s essence capacity), whichever is greater. This essence lasts for a number of rounds equal to the guru’s Wisdom modifier and can be used to power any ability he could assign his normal essence pool to. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack; but they do overlap, allowing the guru to replenish temporary essence lost to essence burn.

List of Philosophies


The akasin believes in becoming one with the forces of righteousness, harnessing the radiance of the universe to gain powers of light and healing.

Proficiencies: bardiche, bec de corbin, falchion, glaive, greatsword, lance, longbow, ranseur, shortbow, and two-bladed sword.

Absorb Radiance (Su)

At 1st level, the akasin can spend time meditating in an area of bright light to gain a pool of temporary essence points equal to 1/2 his class level (minimum 1). The akasin must meditate for 1 minute per point of essence gained in this way. These temporary essence points are always burned first when the akasin activates his philosophy abilities, and cannot be recovered through normal meditation, nor can he ever gain more than ½ his class level in temporary essence points at any time via this ability. Whenever the akasin takes essence burn to activate an ability, he gains temporary hit points equal to 5 times the amount of essence burn taken. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute per level. In addition, the Akasin can take 1 point of essence Burn to cast veil of positive energy as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his character level.

Luminosity (Su)

At 4th level the Akasin can restore light to those who have lost it. By taking 1 point of essence burn, the Akasin can cast remove blindness/deafness as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level, but can only remove the blind condition (this has no effect on deafness). Alternatively, the Akasin can take 1 point of essence burn to fire a single potent ray of blinding energy at an enemy within 60 feet. This ray deals 1d4 damage per class level (1d6 vs. undead) and blinds the target for 1d6 rounds. A DC 10 +1/2 class level + Wisdom modifier Reflex save halves the damage and negates the blindness effect.

Lambent Blades (Su)

At 7th level the akasin can burn 1 point of essence as a swift action, transforming a wielded Philosophy weapon into a weapon of pure light. This allows it to bypass shield bonuses to armor class and ignore the first two points of any armor bonus to armor class an opponent may have as it leaks through the cracks and seams of their protective gear. This ability lasts for 2 rounds, but can be sustained as a free action taken when it would expire by taking an additional point of essence burn. This effect does not bypass bonuses granted by armor or shields with the mirrored property. When this ability is active the Akasin can spend 1 use of his Stunning Fist ability to grant the weapon the brilliant energy property for one round.

Lucent Revivification (Su)

At 10th level the akasin can restore life to the dead by inundating their body in pure, holy light. 1/day the akasin can take 5 points of essence burn to cast raise dead as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his level. The akasin must still provide the material component for raise dead or choose to accept 1 temporary negative level; this level automatically goes away after 24 hours, never becomes a permanent negative level, and cannot be overcome in any way except by waiting for the duration to expire.

Scintillant Form (Su)

At 13th level the akasin’s body has begun its transformation into a vessel of pure light. The akasin is now immune to the blinded and dazzled conditions. In addition, his body radiates a constant daylight effect (caster level equal to the akasin’s class level). This effect can be suppressed or resumed as a standard action.

Incandescent Strike (Su)

At 16th level, the akasin may make a single attack against an opponent with any weapon he wields as a standard action. When the akasin declares this attack he may take an amount of essence burn up to his class level, or however much essence he has available, whichever is less, and add 5 times that amount of damage to his attack. This damage is dealt as untyped radiant energy and is not subject to damage reduction or energy resistance.

Travel the Paths of Light (Su)

At 19th level the akasin can transport himself instantly by becoming one with the light around him. As a move action, the akasin gains the ability to travel between light sources as if by means of a teleport spell with a caster level equal to his class level. The magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least normal light.


Gurus of this philosophy believe that there is a finite amount of sin in the world and use their abilities to draw it out of others. Some sineaters do this out of an inherent desire to bring peace to those they free from sin; others believe that sins contain a dark and volatile power that they can wield to their own ends, blending the wickedness of others with their own inner energy.

Proficiencies: The sineater gains additional proficiency with the bo staff, dan bong, heavy flail, mancatcher, net, sibat, snag net, spiked chain, and tonfa. The sineater also gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat as a bonus feat and treats his unarmed strike as a philosophy weapon for all abilities.

Devour Sin (Su)

At 1st level, whenever the sineater deals nonlethal damage with his gentle touch ability or a weapon granted by this philosophy to a creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or greater, he restores 1 point of essence burn. If damage reduction or hardness reduces the damage dealt to 0, or if the target is immune to nonlethal, the sineater fails to restore any burned essence. In addition, whenever the sineater is affected by an attack that would reduce him below 0 hit points, he may, as an immediate action, take a number of points of essence burn up to his class level to negate an amount of damage from the attack equal to 5 times the amount of essence burn taken. This cannot reduce the damage below 0, and cannot be used to prevent damage dealt as ability damage or drain.

Veil of Sins (Su)

At 4th level the sineater gains increased control over his ability to sustain himself by devouring sin. As a swift action, the sineater can take 1 point of essence burn to gain DR 1/– for 1 round. This damage reduction improves by 1 for every 5 levels the sineater possesses, to a maximum of DR 5/– at 20th level.

At 8th level, the sineater can instead take 2 points of essence burn to gain Fast Healing 2, improving by 1 for every 4 class levels the sineater possesses past 8th (to a maximum of Fast Healing 5 at 20th).

At 12th level the sineater can take 3 points of essence burn to gain regeneration 3, improving by 1 for every 4 levels the sineater possesses past 12th (to a maximum of regeneration 5 at 20th level). This regeneration is suppressed for 1 round if the sineater takes damage from a weapon that shares an alignment component with him (for example, a Lawful Good sineater damaged by a lawful or good weapon would have his regeneration suppressed for 1 round).

These abilities can be sustained as a free action taken when they would expire by taking the listed amount of essence burn again, even if the sineater is unconscious.

The sineater can maintain more than one use of this ability by paying the total cost for each type of use; for example, a 16th level sineater could sustain the benefits of both DR/– and Fast Healing by taking 3 points of essence burn. He still needs to spend separate swift actions to activate these abilities.

Purify the Unclean (Su)

At 7th level the sineater gains the ability to punish beings that embody sin or sinful ideas. Before making an attack roll with a weapon currently modified by his gentle touch ability against an Aberration, Undead, or an Outsider whose alignment is at least one step different from his own, the sineater can choose to take up to 1 point of essence burn per class level as a free action to deal an additional 5 hit points of damage per point of essence burned. The sineater cannot take more essence burn than he has essence currently available when activating this ability.

Reforge the Soul (Su)

At 10th level, the sineater gains the ability to cast atonement as a spell-like ability useable 1/day. After successfully using this spell-like ability, the sineater gains a pool of temporary hit points equal to the total hit die of the creature targeted by the atonement. These hit points last for 1 hour per level.

Inescapable (Ex)

At 13th level the sineater becomes impossibly difficult to dislodge once he has begun to draw out an enemy’s sins. Whenever he hits an enemy with an unarmed strike, he is treated as having the Grab special attack. For every 2 points of essence invested in his Gentle Touch ability the maximum size category of creatures he can grapple is increased by 1 and the bonus granted by the Grab ability to start or maintain a grapple increases by +2.

Maelstrom of Sin (Su)

At 16th level the sineater can violently absorb a mass of sin from all nearby sources in a whirlwind of tainted energy. As a full round action the sineater can make a single unarmed strike against all enemies within 10 feet. The sineater must have at least 1 point of essence invested in his gentle touch to use this ability.

Wages of Sin (Su)

At 19th level the sineater can draw all sin out of his opponent in a single intense burst. As a full-round action the sineater can make a single unarmed strike attack against a targeted opponent and spend a use of his Stunning Fist ability. If the targeted opponent fails a Will save against this attack (DC of 10 + essence invested in Gentle Touch + the sineater’s Wisdom Modifier) the flow of life energy through his body is torn apart as the sineater absorbs all the sin in his soul, paralyzing the target and restoring 1 point of essence burn per hit die of the target to the sineater. A successful save prevents the target from being paralyzed and the sineater from regaining burned essence, though the target still takes normal damage from the attack. This ability cannot affect the same target more than once every 24 hours.


Gurus of this philosophy believe that a person must be free to follow the direction of their own inner motivations. These gurus are often free-spirited creatures who travel wherever the wind takes them and often seek to emulate the wind in their fighting techniques, choosing weapons and techniques that twist and flow like the wind itself.

Proficiencies: bolas, flying blade, kyoketsu shoge, nine-section whip, nunchaku, rope dart, scimitar, starknife, shuriken, and whip.

Aether Ties (Su)

By taking 1 point of essence burn as a free action, a vayist can infuse the air himself around with a rarified form of essence and send it flowing across the battlefield towards a particular target. The vayist chooses one target within 60 feet and creates a bond that lasts for a number of rounds equal to the vayist’s Wisdom modifier. As long as this bond is active the targeted enemy takes a –2 penalty to all attack rolls that do not include the vayist as a target. Whenever an affected enemy misses the vayist or makes an attack that does not include him as a target, the vayist recovers 1 point of essence burn. The vayist gains a dodge bonus to his armor class and a competence bonus on reflex saving throws equal to the number of aether ties he currently has in effect against all attacks made by enemies not currently affected by this ability. The vayist can have one aether tie active at a time, plus one additional aether tie for every 5 levels he possesses, but each tie must be activated and paid for separately.

Aether Infusion (Su)

At 4th level the vayist becomes particularly adept at using essence to become one with the air around him, manipulating it to enhance his attacks and defenses and obscure him from his enemies. By taking 1 point of essence Burn as part of a ranged attack, the Vayist can increase the range increment of any ranged weapon he wields by 10 feet, plus an additional 10 feet at 13th and 19th level (to a maximum of an additional 30 feet). This effect lasts for 2 rounds, and the Vayist gains a +2 competence bonus on all attack rolls made with weapons affected by this ability. By taking 2 points of essence burn, the vayist can surround himself with a whirlwind of air that obscures him from view, protecting him as though he were affected by a blur spell for 3 rounds. By taking 4 points of essence burn, the vayist can use mirror image as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level.

Leaf on the Wind (Ex)

At 7th level the vayist has learned to keep his composure, and his feet, whenever life, or an enemy, knocks him down. By taking 1 point of essence burn, he can stand up from prone as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. He can perform this action even when it’s not his turn.

Alternatively, he can use this ability to reduce the damage from any fall as though it were 10 feet less per point of essence in his essence Pool, regardless of whether that essence is assigned to other abilities. Essence currently unavailable due to essence burn is not counted when calculating this total.

Revitalizing Breath (Su)

At 10th level, gurus of this Philosophy can breathe new life and energy into their companions. They gain breath of life as spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level useable 1/day. Using this ability causes the vayist to take 5 points of essence burn.

Breath of the East Wind (Su)

At 13th level the vayist’s ability to disperse his essence into the air around himself grants him new and potent abilities. By taking 1 point of essence burn as a swift action, the vayist can use alter winds, centered on himself, as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level. This effect always moves with the vayist.By taking 4 points of essence burn as a swift action, the Vayist can use air walk on himself as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level. This ability cannot be used to affect anyone other than the vayist. Finally, the vayist can take 5 points of essence burn as a full round action to use river of wind as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level; when the vayist uses this ability he can choose to disperse his physical form and become one with a roaring current of air, instantly transporting himself to any square within the abilities area of effect.

Roaring Gale (Su)

At 16th level, the vayist may take 4 points of essence burn as part of a full round action to make one attack against each enemy within the first range increment of a ranged Philosophy weapon he possesses. When the vayist makes an attack with a Philosophy weapon while using this ability, the weapon teleports back to his grasp immediately after the attack is resolved.

Perfect Independence (Su)

At 19th level the vayist benefits from a continuous freedom of movement effect.

Favored Class Bonuses

All Species: Gain 1/6 of an (akashic) feat or +1/5 of a Veilweaving sphere talent if they are a spherecaster. [SoA]


Sipahi [SoA]

Sphere Guru [SoA]

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