Operative Gear
Spheres of Guile

The following services and equipment are widely used or created by skilled operatives.

Adventuring Gear

The following adventuring gear includes several texts that cannot be created by Craft, but instead use another skill.
Gear Price Weight Skill to Create Creation DC
Expressive text Modifier squared * 5 sp 1/2 lbs. Artistry (literature) 10 + text’s modifier
Logic text Complexity squared * 5 sp Artistry (philosophy) Complexity
Ominous trophy 5 gp 1/2 lbs. Craft (taxidermy) 20
Performing instructions Complexity * 1 gp Artistry (choreography, literature, musical composition, or playwriting) Complexity
Phrase book 25 gp Linguistics 15
Training manual Half cost of retraining instructor 1/2 lbs. Artistry (criticism) or corresponding skill 10 + twice maximum reader level

Expressive Texts: Expressive texts are a varied category. All such texts influence their reader. If you read an expressive text for 1 hour, you experience an effect similar to a skill use. The text attempts a skill check using its modifier to affect you; your DC is calculated normally for that skill. If the check succeeds, the effect lasts for 1d12 hours + 1 point by which the check exceeds your DC. Artistry (literature) is used to create such texts as fiction and poetry, which can produce the same effects on a reader as Perform (oratory).

Logic Text: Each logic text has a Complexity, usually between 10 and 35. Reading a logic text takes 1d4 hours and allows you to retry a failed Knowledge or Lore check to infer (page 53) by succeeding at a new Knowledge check using the same skill against the text’s Complexity. The DC of the original failed Knowledge check must be equal to or lower than the text’s Complexity. If you are trained in Artistry (philosophy), you can always use that skill for this check. Each time you successfully use a logic text, permanently increase the DC for you to use the text by 5. If you ever fail, you can never use that logic text again but can use a different one (not just another copy of the same one).

Ominous Trophy: This trophy is made from part of a dead creature. While you display it prominently, it grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks and a +1 circumstance bonus to the save DC of fear effects targeting creatures of the same kind (such as demons or big cats).

Performing Instructions: Common types of performing instructions include plays (playwriting for act), compositions (for keyboard, percussion, sing, string, and wind), speeches (literature for oratory), and choreographies (for dance). A given performance might be suited to a specific use of the Perform skill, but all can be used to entertain. Each instruction has a Complexity. When you use Perform while referencing the matching performing instructions, you can take 10 on your check even when distracted and get a +2 circumstance bonus, but only if the Perform DC is equal to or lower than the Complexity.

Phrase Book: A phrase book is designed for two specific languages. Anyone who can read and speak one of the languages can consult the phrase book as a move action to get an insight bonus on a single Linguistics check to translate a simple or typical phrase and they can attempt such checks untrained. They can also consult the book to get a circumstance bonus to decipher text. The bonus is +8 for simple messages, +4 for typical messages or documents, or +2 for complex texts.

Training Manual: A training manual can serve in lieu of an instructor for one specific manner of retraining, such as gaining a specific feat or gaining ranks in a specific skill, but self-teaching with a text takes twice as long as under an instructor. Each book has a maximum level of reader that can benefit from it and its price is calculated based on the cost to retrain a reader of that level. Artistry (criticism) can be used to create any instructive text, but any Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based skill can be used for training itself or character options requiring that skill. In addition, any Artistry or Profession skill that can teach another skill can be used to write a training manual on that skill or a character option requiring that skill. The creator of a training manual must be qualified to provide the corresponding training.

Bribes and Selling Secrets

Corrupt officials often demand bribes to allow anything substantial under their watch, or might delay and frustrate actions of those who do not bribe them to the benefit of those who do. Other times a normally upstanding guard might be open to bribe to look the other way when a heroic vigilante offers them a small cut of a vanquished thief’s ill-gotten gains. The subject’s attitude and the nature of the bribe can both influence the necessary cost for a successful bribe. When multiple people with competing interests might bribe the same person, bribing the subject more richly than necessary can make it harder for a rival to bribe them later.

A bribe’s cost is usually a portion of the standard wealth of a heroic NPC of the relevant level. The wealth is listed in Chapter 14: Creating NPCs in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. If the action would impact a substantially more powerful creature (such as the ruler or their retainers depending on a bribed guard), use the highest relevant level. This price can also be used for selling secret information.

A creature might be offended by a bribe (worsening their attitude toward you) if accepting one would violate one of their motivations or might only consider bribes in a certain form (see Gifts). A Knowledge (local) or Sense Motive check or a Diplomacy check to gather information (usually around DC 10 + twice Hit Dice) can often help you find a suitable presentation.

Bribes Price
Discretionary (point out an open secret, let a victimless offense go with a warning) 5% to 10% of heroic NPC wealth
Plausibly deniable misconduct (telling a secret known to several others, pretending not to see something hidden) 10% to 25% of heroic NPC wealth
Risky to livelihood or reputation (pretending not to see something obvious, telling a secret discoverable to few) at least 25% to 50% of heroic NPC wealth

Skill Check: No check is required to bribe someone when the request and the practice of bribery are routine for them and the bribe is at least the listed price. Otherwise, a Diplomacy or Intimidate check is usually required to convince them to take the deal. The DC is as usual for the request but has a circumstance bonus determined by the size of the bribe relative to the demand as listed on the table. (If you are trained in Appraise, you can make an Appraise check instead of a Diplomacy check to request they accept the bribe.) A subject who routinely takes bribes but not as little as offered or not for this request reduces the DC by 5. If punishment for granting the request or accepting the bribe seems to pose a significant risk of causing them substantial long-term harm, the DC increases by 15 (or more, if punishment seems likely or severe); this increase can be reduced as low as 8 by taking precautions against them getting caught or providing convincing protections from punishment.

The subject accepts and does their best to fulfill the request on a successful check. If the check fails, the subject usually refuses the bribe outright and they might report you to the authorities (depending on their motivations, relationship to the authorities, and their attitude toward you). However, a subject who is not afraid of you might accept the bribe with no intention of carrying out the request if they are greedy. As long as the conversation takes at least 1 minute, you can attempt to sense their goal with Sense Motive when they accept (this usually uses the DC for an indirect action toward whatever their goal is).

Minimum Bribe Value Skill Check Bonus
One-tenth price (target is offended on any failed check) +1
One-third price +3
Listed price +5
Triple price +8
Ten times price +10
Thirty times price +12
A hundred times price +15


Creatures might become more friendly if you give them thoughtful gifts. Unlike a bribe, a gift comes with no expectation of an equivalent exchange. The effect on the creature’s attitude depends in part on how valuable the gift is to them. The GM should adjust the recipient’s reaction according to their personality, their motivations, and the appropriateness of the gift. Truly touching gifts might cause permanent attitude changes and need not meet any minimum value to make an impression.

A gift usually needs to be in an appropriate form to have the full effect. For example, a recipient might find a gift of cash gauche or even offensive, even if the same amount of money could be potentially used to purchase an item that would be received warmly as a thoughtful gift. Some creatures might find a gift’s presentation distasteful, in which case the effect is reduced, or even lost or replaced with a worsened attitude in extreme cases. Recognizing local customs that might limit acceptable methods of gift-giving is generally a DC 10 or 15 Knowledge (local) check. Knowing an individual’s preferences for gifts usually requires a Diplomacy check to gather information, a Knowledge check about that individual, or a Sense Motive check to get a hunch (which might also require a Bluff check to address the topic without rousing suspicion if the target is uncomfortable with the topic).

Gift Value Typical Effect
5% heroic NPC wealth of target’s level and invokes a motivation The creature’s attitude improves by one step for 1d4 days
15% heroic NPC wealth of target’s level and furthers a major motivation The creature’s attitude improves by two steps for 1d4 days, and then by one step for the following 1d4 weeks

Musical Instruments

Light musical instruments can be played with one hand. Hand-held musical instruments require two hands. Heavy instruments might be slung across the body or be entirely stationary, depending on size and weight. Structural and grand instruments are built into a building; grand instruments are exceptionally large examples of structural instruments.

The listed range is for using the instrument with the corresponding Perform skill. The listed weights are for lighter common examples of each category; each category usually includes heavier similar instruments as well—furniture-size instruments such as pianos or harpsichords might weigh hundreds of pounds.

Instrument Range Price Craft (Musical Instruments) DC Weight
Keyboard instrument, thumb piano 60 ft. 3 gp 22 1/2 lbs.
Keyboard instrument, hand-held 250 ft. 10 gp 20 3 lbs.
Keyboard instrument, heavy 500 ft. 100 gp 20 10 lbs.
Keyboard instrument, structural 1 mi. 1,500 gp 25 5 tons
Keyboard instrument, grand 10 mi. 30,000 gp 30 50 tons
Percussion instrument, light 250 ft. 1 sp 10 1/2 lbs.
Percussion instrument, hand-held 500 ft. 5 gp 12 3 lbs.
Percussion instrument, heavy 1,000 ft. 50 gp 15 25 lbs.
Percussion instrument, structural 1 mi. 800 gp 18 1,000 lbs.
Percussion instrument, grand 10 mi. 8,000 gp 22 20 tons
String instrument, hand-held open 60 ft. 3 gp 12 5 lbs.
String instrument, hand-held chambered 120 ft. 15 gp 15 2 lbs.
String instrument, heavy open 120 ft. 30 gp 12 20 lbs.
String instrument, heavy chambered 1,000 ft. 100 gp 15 8 lbs.
Wind instrument, light 500 ft. 5 sp 12
Wind instrument, medium 1,000 ft. 5 gp 12 3 lbs.
Wind instrument, heavy 1,000 ft. 50 gp 15 8 lbs.
Masterwork instrument same +100 gp 20 same

Keyboard Instruments: There exist few keyboard instruments that adventurers can bring along without creative problem-solving. The most portable is the thumb piano, which is rare or novel in many settings. The only common handheld keyboard instrument in many settings is the portative organ, although accordions might also be available. The most popular heavy keyboard instrument for adventurers is the regal (an organ that can be collapsed into a slim chest or unfolded as a full-round action). Stringed keyboard instruments have a more limited range of 60 feet (harpsichord or virginal) to 250 feet (piano). Structural keyboard instruments include the pipe organ and carillon.

Percussion Instruments: Light percussion instruments include castanets, tambourines, maracas, and handbells. Hand-held percussion instruments include hand drums and hammered instruments like dulcimers.

Heavy percussion instruments include snare drums that can be worn on the body as well as stationary drums like tympani or gongs like singing bowls. Structural percussion instruments include enormous gongs and tower bells.

String Instruments: Open string instruments lack the enclosed resonating chamber possessed by chambered ones. Hand-held string instruments include lutes (chambered) and lyres (open). Heavy string instruments include cellos (chambered) and full-size harps (open).

Wind Instruments: Light wind instruments include whistles and harmonicas. Hand-held wind instruments include horns, trumpets, and shawms. Heavy wind instruments include dulcians, bagpipes, trombones, and bassoons.


The following services are very broadly defined, and include most jobs that are not combat or magic that someone might be hired to do.

Finding Highly Trained Hirelings: More specialized hirelings are relatively rare, however, so you generally need to go to a place where there are a lot of people to find someone so highly trained. The typical minimum settlement size depends on the skill modifier you want the hireling to have. A smaller settlement or rural area might have someone suitably skilled despite being below the minimum size, though, if the locals specialize in that skill. For example, a mining village might have hirelings available with up to +19 skill modifiers for Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Profession (miner) even though that exceeds what is usually available in such a small settlement.

Service Price Minimum Settlement Size
Skilled hireling 1st level, skills +6, +5, and +4 3 sp per day Any
Skilled hireling 2nd level, skills +10, +6, and +5 5 gp per day Any
Skilled hireling 3rd level, skills +13, +10, and +7 15 gp per day Hamlet
Skilled hireling 6th level, skills +16, +13, and +10 40 gp per day Village
Skilled hireling 8th level, skills +19, +17, and +14 90 gp per day Small town
Skilled hireling 9th level, skills +22, +18, and +16 150 gp per day Large town
Skilled hireling 10th level, skills +25, +22, and +19 210 gp per day Small city
Skilled hireling 12th level, skills +28, +24, and +22 310 gp per day Large city
Skilled hireling 15th level, skills +31, +27, and +25 500 gp per day Metropolis
Skilled hireling 17th level, skills +34, +31, and +28 700 gp per day Specialized metropolis or highly specialized large city
Skill sphere use +100% per base sphere or talent Hamlet
Exceptional skill talent use +200% per talent Large town

Skilled Hirelings: Skilled hirelings perform skill tasks for you in settlements or other suitable, safe environments. A typical hireling is highly specialized in one skill, very skilled in one secondary skill used in similar circumstances, and is trained in two to six others, mostly those used in similar circumstances or using the same ability modifier. For simplicity, use the listed first modifier for their specialized skill, the second for their secondary skill, and the third modifier for their other trained skills. To calculate the price of hiring an unusual hireling, add 2 cp * their level * their skill modifier squared for their two highest skill modifiers to get their daily fee.

Hirelings with skills that are conventionally illegal, such as Disable Device or Sleight of Hand, often require contacting a black market to hire and usually cost more as a result.

Talented Hireling: A skilled hireling with a skill talent charges as a separate service (as a skilled hireling) for every distinct base skill sphere and skill talent you ask them to use. An exceptional talent costs twice as much.


The following tools are used by operatives with the Artifice sphere.
Tool Price Weight Craft Skill Craft DC
Artisan’s kit 20 gp 6 lbs. Usually blacksmithing 15
Artisan’s kit, masterwork 70 gp 6 lbs. Usually blacksmithing 20

Artisan’s Kit: This kit contains everything needed to create trinkets using the Artifice sphere and use many of its talents. It also includes a set of artisan’s tools. Each artisan’s kit is appropriate for only one Craft skill, which is the same as the artisan’s tools that come with it.

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