Pact Magic Traits And Backgrounds

Character Traits

When selecting their character traits, characters who begin play with a connection to the occult may select one of the following traits as a character trait. All rules and guidelines regarding character traits can be found in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player’s Guide.


Combat Traits

Combat traits are associated with combat prowess and ability. The combat traits presented here enhance a binder’s ability to fight with their spirits or against occult forces.

Occult Hunter

You dedicated your life to fighting the occult. You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against supernatural abilities and a +1 trait bonus on attack rolls against creatures that you have identified as being bound to a spirit using Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (planes).

Spirit Combat

You can harness the spirit’s power with brutal efficiency. You gain a +1 trait bonus on damage rolls with the granted abilities of spirits that you are currently bound to.

Weird Warrior

You have dedicated your life to fighting the unknown monstrosities of the world. You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws made against creatures that are not native to the material plane.


Faith Traits

Faith traits are associated with personal beliefs and involve worshiping spirits or a clerical entity that aims to stamp out pact magic.

Against Spirits

You are a member of a religion that finds the rituals of pact magic to be abhorrent and you are exceptional at resisting their supernatural taint. Add a +1 trait bonus on damage rolls made against creatures bound to spirits; this damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.

Favored

The spirits have quickly grow fond of you and are willing to use additional energy to meet your needs. Once per day, when you activate the major granted ability of a spirit that you have sealed a good pact with, you can increase the number of rounds that granted ability is expended for by 1 in order to gain a +1 bonus on the ability’s saving throw DC. Using this ability doesn’t require an action.

Guardian of Reality

You stand against the inhuman horrors of the Dark Beyond. This rigid determination grants you a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against supernatural abilities, or a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against the granted abilities of spirits.

Hidden Heretic

You learned the art of pact magic in a place where it was forbidden and punishable by death. As a result, you learned how to disguise the signs of your terrible secret. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Bluff checks to disguise your granted abilities as spells and on Disguise checks to hide any physical signs you have manifested.

Inheritor

Occult power is your birthright, one the spirits are more than willing to give to you. You gain a +1 trait bonus on binding checks made to seal good pacts with spirits.

Occult Whisperer

The spirits whisper ancient tales to you. Each day roll 1d10 and compare your result to the following: 1–arcana, 2–dungeoneering, 3–engineering, 4–geography, 5–history, 6–local, 7–nature, 8–nobility, 9–planes, or 10–religion. You gain a +1 trait bonus to the indicated Knowledge skill and it is a class skill for you for the day; if this skill is already a class skill, your trait bonus increases to +2 instead.


Magic Traits

The magic traits presented here represent prowess and ability with pact magic.

Astute Binder

Although you aren’t charismatic, you are able to use your intelligence or insight to seal pacts with spirits. Select Intelligence or Wisdom. You may use the selected ability modifier in place of Charisma on binding checks and when adjudicating the benefits of your granted abilities.

Living Foci

As a child, you were the focus of an occult ritual, a frightening occurrence that you did not understand. This event has caused you to become a living totem. Select 1 constellation; you receive a +2 bonus on all binding checks made to seal pacts with spirits of the chosen constellation.

Heir to the Occult

You are naturally gifted with occult powers and can use this gift to augment the pacts that you make with spirits. Once per day you can increase your binder level by +2 when using a spirit’s granted ability; this bonus does not increase the number of times each day that you may utilize a minor granted ability.

Son/Daughter of the Occult

Your conception was touched by occult power. You gain a +5 trait bonus on Knowledge checks made to fulfill Knowledge Tasks.

Tempered by the Spirits

Although normally weak and frail, the power of the occult strengthens you in ways mere medicine or divine magic cannot. While you are bound to a spirit, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Fortitude saving throws and
on Constitution checks made to stabilize.

Under the Stars

Select 1 constellation. You were born under that constellation, and as a result its powers come more naturally to you. You treat your binder level as being +1 higher for the purpose of determining the effects of granted abilities of spirits that belong to the selected constellation.


Social Traits

Social traits are associated with the quips and quirks that people possess in social settings. The social traits presented here represent how the practice of pact magic might affect an otherwise normal person.

Disturbing

Your abnormality, resulting from occult influences, disturbs others. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Intimidate checks and add a +1 trait bonus to the saving throw DC of any fear effects that you use.

Hollow Facade

You pretend to be “one of the crowd” in order to hide the traits about you that others would find disturbing. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks and one of those skills is always a class skill for you.

Innocent

You have an innocent demeanor and find it easy to slip through society’s cracks. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff and you can make Bluff checks to change a creature’s attitude instead of diplomacy checks as long as you attempt to make yourself appear inconspicuous and unremarkable.


Drawbacks

At character creation, a character can select a drawback in order to gain a third character trait. Every drawback listed below involves the use of pact magic. As a result, a drawback cannot be selected unless the character possesses the bind spirit class feature at character creation. If the character later loses the bind spirit class feature (such as through retraining), she must exchange the drawback for one of the following: attached (any occult relic), doubt, or paranoid. All rules and guidelines regarding drawbacks can be found in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Campaign.

Lingering Influences

Spirits are slow to relinquish their grasp over your body and mind. When you make a poor pact with a spirit, you continue to show its physical sign and suffer any influence penalties that you have accrued for 24 hours after your pact with the spirit has ended.

Occult Dependency

You drank deep from the powers of the occult and constantly thirst for more. If you go for more than 24 hours without being bound to a spirit or constellation aspect, you suffer a –4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws. Furthermore, you immediately suffer this penalty if your pact with a spirit is prematurely terminated or if the spirit’s benefits are suppressed, such as through the Expel Spirits feat, a successful exorcism, or an antimagic field.

Painful Sign

Manifesting or hiding a spirit’s physical sign is a painful ordeal for you that robs you of your stamina. You are unable to show or suppress a spirit’s sign while fatigued and showing or suppressing a spirit’s sign fatigues you for 1 minute. This condition can stack to exhaustion.

Simpleminded

Your mind is easily crushed by the will of the spirits. If you make a poor pact with a spirit, when you disobey that spirit’s personality influence you receive no Will saving throw to prevent the penalty for disobeying it.


Background Generator

Some pactmakers are born into a family that practices the esoteric arts of pact magic. More often, would-be pactmakers stumble upon pact magic due to a dangerously curious mind and a thirst for knowledge. When using the background generator (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Campaign), roll on Table: Pactmaker Backgrounds to determine which of the following events shaped your early life and set you down the path of the pactmaker.

Character traits marked with an asterisk (*) can be found in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Campaign.

Other Classes: Although this table is intended for pactmakers, at the GM’s decision characters from other classes who begin play with an archetype that grants them the bind spirit class feature may roll on Table: Pactmaker Backgrounds instead of their own class’s table to represent a deep connection to pact magic and the occult arts.

Table: Pactmaker Backgrounds
d% Result
01–10 Accidental Discovery: You performed your first pact entirely by accident using the esoteric writings of a mad pactmaker that you discovered. You gain access to the Heir to the Occult magic trait.
11–20 Cultist’s Child: You were born in a binder community and surrounded by pact magic from a early age. You gain access to the Living Foci magic trait.
21–30 Indebted: Your guardian bound a spirit onto your soul in order to save your life. Now you live in service of the spirits. You gain access to the Tempered by the Spirits magic trait.
31–40 Marked: The spirits have marked you via an auspicious birthmark that plagues your body. You gain access to the Birthmark faith trait*.
41–50 Occult Scholar: You stumbled upon spirit lore entirely by accident while in pursuit of the mysteries of the cosmos. You gain access to the Scholar of the Great Beyond faith trait*.
51–60 Relic of a Forgotten Age: You have taken it upon yourself to make a better world for yourself and others who follow the path of the spirits. You gain access to the Inheritor faith trait.
61–70 Spirit Born: You were conceived by the effects of the spirit birth† spell and owe your life to a specific spirit. You gain access to the Son/Daughter of the Occult magic trait.
71–80 Spirit Whisperer: You were born with the ability to commune with pact spirits. You gain access to the Occult Whisperer faith trait.
81–90 Stars Were Right: You were born under a peculiar celestial alignment, allowing you to hear the whispers and forbidden longings of the occult. You gain access to the Under the Stars magic trait.
91–100 Survivor: After your old life was destroyed by horrors from the Dark Beyond, you learned to use pact magic to protect reality. You gain access to the Guardian of Reality faith trait.
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