Pactmaking

Key Terms for Pact Magic

Alignment

The spirit’s alignment. A binder gains a +2 bonus on binding checks made with spirits who share her alignment and a –2 penalty on binding checks made with spirits who oppose her alignment. Neutral characters do not take any penalties when sealing pacts with spirits due to alignment.

Binder

A character capable of sealing pacts with an occult spirit using Amateur Pactmaker† or the bind spirit class feature.

Binder Level

A binder’s total level in classes that grant the bind spirit class feature plus plus half the character’s level in classes without this feature.

Binding Check

A d20 check made to seal a pact with a spirit during Step 4 of the pactmaking process. A binding check is equal to 1d20 + 1/2 the character’s binder level + the binder’s Charisma modifier.

Binding DC

The Difficulty Class of a binding check with a specific spirit.

Constellation

A category of spirits similar to a spell’s school. Constellations represent an organization of stars on the Astral Plane that attract spirits based on their ideologies and values. In total, there are 14 constellations. Spirits without a constellation exist; they are called Starless spirits and represent spirits whose ideologies don’t match those of one of the constellations.

Exorcise

Forcibly terminating a pact with a spirit without the binder’s consent. After exorcising a spirit, its binder loses all benefits for having been bound to that spirit. Additionally, the total number of spirits that the binder can seal a pact with is reduced by 1 (minimum 0) for 24 hours.

Expel

Forcibly self-terminating a pact with a spirit. Afterward, the binder loses all benefits of being bound to that spirit and the spirit refuses to seal a pact with the binder for 24 hours.

Favored Ally

A list of creatures that the spirit likes. If a binder qualifies as a spirit’s favored ally, she gains a +2 bonus on her binding check with that spirit. Additionally, certain abilities provide additional benefits when interacting with a spirit’s favored allies.

Favored Enemy

A list of creatures that the spirit loathes. If a binder qualifies as a spirit’s favored enemy, she takes a –2 penalty on her binding check with that spirit. Additionally, certain abilities provide additional benefits when interacting with a spirit’s favored enemies.

Granted Abilities

Any supernatural powers granted to a binder via pact magic. These powers are outlined in the ‘Spirit Basics’ section.

Granted Abilities (Capstone Empowerment)

A special granted ability that modifies a spirit’s major granted ability. A binder only earns a spirit’s capstone empowerment if she beats the spirit’s binding DC by 10 or more. All spirits have one capstone empowerment per major granted ability it grants.

Granted Abilities (Major)

A powerful granted ability that becomes expended for 5 rounds after it is used. Typical spirits have one major granted ability.

Granted Abilities (Minor)

A less powerful ability that the binder can use at will or a limited number of times per day. Typical spirits have four minor granted abilities.

Knowledge Tasks

Four specific aspects of a spirit that a binder must discover before she can seal a pact with it. These aspects are outlined in the ‘Knowledge Tasks’ section.

Maximum Spirit Level

The highest-level of spirit that the binder can seal a pact with. A binder’s maximum spirit level is determined by her class level in the class that she obtained the bind spirit class feature from. When using Amateur Pactmaker†, a binder’s maximum spirit level cannot increase beyond 1st.

Pact

The ceremony, manifestation, and bartering process with an occult spirit. This process and its consequences are outlined in the ‘Performing a Pact’ section.

Pact (Good)

A pact where the binder’s binding check equals or exceeds the spirit’s binding DC. A binder in a good pact with a spirit can show or suppress the spirit’s physical sign or minor granted abilities as a move action and suffers no penalties for disobeying the spirit’s personality influence.

Pact (Poor)

A pact where the binder’s binding check does not equal or exceed the spirit’s binding DC. A binder in a poor pact must show the spirit’s physical sign and she suffers a cumulative –1 penalty on ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks and a –1 penalty to her Armor Class each time she disobeys the spirit’s personality influence. This penalty lasts 24 hours, even after the pact ends. A binder can attempt a Will save to negate the penalty (DC equals the spirit’s binding DC when the pact was made, including modifications).

Personality Influence

How a spirit demands its binder to act if the binder made a poor pact with her spirit. Disobeying a spirit’s personality influence has consequences for the binder (see poor pact). A binder in a good pact with a spirit takes no penalty for ignoring a spirit’s personality influence.

Physical Sign

The bodily change that the spirit’s presence forces upon a binder. Each spirit has its own, unique physical sign. All spirits have a passive physical sign, one that is always active on the binder, and a triggered physical sign, one that becomes active when the binder uses one of her spirit’s granted abilities. A triggered physical sign ends at the end of the turn that the granted ability was used. Binders who have made a good pact with a spirit can suppress the spirit’s physical sign (see good pact). Some granted abilities require that the spirit’s physical sign is shown in order to receive their benefits.

Suppress

Removing all benefits (but not penalties) of being bound to a spirit. A suppressed granted ability cannot be activated and provides no benefits to a binder. Any effects created by a suppressed granted ability immediately end when it becomes suppressed. A suppressed major granted ability is considered expended for the purposes of all abilities. A suppressed vestigial companion disappears, causing any equipment given to it to fall to the ground in its space.

Totem

A special requirement that a binder can meet during a spirit’s ceremony in order to gain a bonus on her binding check. This bonus is outlined in the ‘Spirit Basics’ section.


Binding Spirits

This section describes the process of binding spirits and explains how to read a spirit’s description.

Researching the Spirit

Before a binder can make a pact with a spirit, she must acquire four crucial pieces of information, or aspects, that allow her to pull the spirit from the Spirit Realm. These key aspects as known as Knowledge Tasks and a binder cannot attempt to seal a pact with a spirit without fulfilling all four of the spirit’s Knowledge Tasks first.

A binder cannot attempt to fulfill a Knowledge Task for a spirit whose spirit level exceeds her maximum spirit level. In order to fulfill a Knowledge Task, the binder must succeed on a Knowledge skill check against a DC of 25 + the spirit’s level; the type of Knowledge check depends upon which aspect of the spirit the binder is researching, as noted below. If the binder succeeds on this Knowledge check, she fulfills the Knowledge Task for that aspect. If she fails, the binder does not fulfill the Knowledge Task but he receives a +5 bonus on his next Knowledge check to attempt to fulfill that same Knowledge Task. This bonus stacks between multiple weeks1 so long as the binder continues to research the same aspect of the same spirit; if she begins researching a different spirit or a different aspect of the current spirit that she is researching, she loses all bonuses on Knowledge Tasks that she has accumulated for the aspect that she stopped researching.

For example, if a 1st level pactmaker attempts to fulfill Cave Mother’s constellation Knowledge Task (DC 26) with her +6 bonus on Knowledge (arcana) checks, the highest she can roll is a 26, so she will likely fail her first week of researching. On her next attempt to research Cave Mother’s constellation, however, she receives an additional +5 bonus to uncover Cave Mother’s seal, increasing her bonus to +11. If she fails again, she will receives another +5 bonus to uncover Cave Mother’s seal and will continue to do so each week until she finally fulfills Cave Mother’s Knowledge Task with a successful DC 26 check. If she finds an ancient tablet that grants her a +10 bonus on checks to fulfill Cave Mother’s personality Knowledge Tasks before completing Cave Mother’s constellation Knowledge Task, however, she could abandon her studies of Cave Mother’s constellation in order to study Cave Mother’s personality, but doing so would cause her to lose the +10 bonus that she has earned from her time spent studying Cave Mother’s constellation, even if she later returns to this Knowledge Task after discovering Cave Mother’s personality.

The binder needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to research a Knowledge Aspect. Researching a spirit requires 8 hours per level of the spirit, with a minimum of at least 8 hours. This process can be accelerated to 4 hours of work per level of the spirit by increasing the DC to research the spirit by 5.

The binder can spend up to 8 hours each day researching a Knowledge Aspect. She cannot rush the process by working longer each day, but the days need not be consecutive, and the binder can use the rest of the time as she sees fit. If the binder is out adventuring, she can devote 4 hours each day to researching a Knowledge Task, although she nets only 2 hours’ worth of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but rather during lunch, preparation, and during watches at night.

This research is typically done in a controlled environment, where distractions are at a minimum, such as a library or shrine. Work that is performed in a distracting or dangerous environment nets only half the amount of progress (just as with the adventuring binder).

Starless Spirits: Because of their enigmatic nature, it is more difficult to research information about starless spirits than spirits that belong to a constellation. Add +5 to the DC of all Knowledge checks made to fulfill a starless spirit’s Knowledge Tasks.

1: The author has noted that rather than the cumulative bonus being between weeks of failures, it should probably be for each attempt instead. Thus, one failure is a +5 bonus on the next check, two failures is +10, and so on, regardless of the time actually taken.

Knowledge Tasks

Binders must fulfill the following Knowledge Tasks in order to seal a pact with a spirit. The Knowledge skill(s) that can be used to fulfill the Knowledge Task are noted in parentheses.

Ceremony (Arcana/Religion)

Each spirit possesses a specific ceremony that must be mastered in order to attract its attention and guide it from the Spirit Realm into the binder’s seal. Fulfilling this Knowledge Task teaches the binder the spirit’s ceremony, manifestation, and totem requirements.

Constellation (Arcana/Religion)

Whether the spirit is starless, aligned to one of the twelve occult constellations, or has been consumed by the Dark Beyond, a pactmaker must know to which constellation a spirit belongs to in order to properly perform the spirit’s ceremony. Fulfilling this Knowledge Task teaches the binder the spirit’s constellation.

Personality (History/Local)

Understanding a spirit’s personality is vital to properly performing its ceremony and to keep the spirit manifested during the pact making process. Fulfilling this Knowledge Task teaches the binder the spirit’s alignment, personality influence, favored allies, and favored enemies.

Seal (Arcana/Planes)

In order to summon a spirit from the Spirit World long enough to make a pact with it, a binder must create a vessel that can ground the spirit in the mortal world long enough to forge a pact with it. A spirit’s seal represents the its life or the events which transformed it into a spirit. Fulfilling this Knowledge Task teaches the binder the spirit’s seal.

Alternate Tasks

Research is not the only way that a binder can fulfill the Knowledge Tasks required to seal a spirit. Other common ways are noted below.

Adventuring

Ancient ruins seeped in pact magic lore sleep throughout the land, forgotten amidst the passage of time. A GM may choose to award a binder with occult knowledge not by research or practice but through study and exploration. The GM decides how much of a benefit the discovery provides to the binder: some discoveries might provide a bonus on Knowledge checks made to complete the spirit’s Knowledge Tasks while others might outright fulfill one or more Knowledge Tasks. The grandest discoveries may fulfill all of a spirit’s Knowledge Tasks simultaneously.

Gnostic Tomes

Throughout the ages, scholastic binders that stylize themselves as occult scholars have painstakingly recorded as much of the lore regarding the spirits of pact magic as possible into special books called gnostic tomes. Each gnostic tome offers all known information about a specific spirit. A binder who spends 24 uninterrupted hours studying a gnostic tome immediately fulfills all of the spirit’s Knowledge Tasks and can attempt to make a pact with a spirit.

Tutelage

An older, more experienced pactmaker can teach a binder the secrets required to summon a spirit and bind it to his soul. This process takes one day of practice and at end of the day, the binder attempts to seal a pact with this new spirit. If the binder manages to make a good pact with the new spirit, he fulfills all of its Knowledge Tasks. If he makes a poor pact with the spirit, one random Knowledge Task is completed instead.

Hiring a tutor typically costs the same amount as purchasing a new spell for a wizard’s spellbook, though this price is doubled if pact magic is rare and quadrupled if pact magic is scarce. At the GM’s decision, occult tutors may not be available for hire in a campaign setting where pact magic is rare or scarce.


Performing a Pact Ritual

Before he can bind a spirit to his soul, a binder must first summon the spirit into our world using a pact ritual. While not usually difficult or costly to perform, this ritual requires precise execution and attention to detail.

Step 1: Draw the Seal

First, the binder must create a vessel that temporarily houses the spirit, grounding it in reality. A seal acts as a spirit’s unique signature, though all seals share some common elements. A seal must be the same size as the space of the creature drawing it. For example, a Medium creature’s seal must have a 5-foot radius while a Large creature’s seal must have a 10-foot radius. Drawing a seal takes 1 minute, though you can rush this part of the binding process in 5 rounds. If you rush the drawing of a spirit’s seal, there is a 50% chance when you perform the spirit’s ceremony that the spirit will not come. If this happens, the spirit refuses to answer your summons for 1 day.

Step 2: Perform the Ceremony

Next, the binder must perform a specific ritual that summons the spirit from the Spirit Realm and guides it into the seal. A spell components pouch contains all of the reagents required to perform a spirit’s ceremony unless the ritual requires a component that costs more than 1 gp or the component could not feasibly fit within a spell components pouch. Performing a spirit’s ceremony takes 1 minute, though you can rush this part of the binding process by up to 9 rounds. If you rush your performance of a spirit’s ceremony, you suffer a cumulative –2 penalty on binding checks made with the spirit per round that you rush the ceremony by; for example, performing a spirit’s ceremony in 1 round incurs a –18 penalty on your binding checks.

Step 3: Witness the Manifestation

After the ritual is performed, the spirit appears before the binder. Each spirit has a unique manifestation. The manifestation typically takes one round, though through the distortion of reality, this may seem like a longer or shorter amount of time to the binder.

Step 4: Barter with the Spirit

Once a spirit has manifested within its seal, the binder barters with it for power while the spirit attempts to secure itself a means of influence over its mortal host. This is represented by a binding check opposed by the spirit’s binding DC. The process of bartering with a spirit takes 1 minute of continuous interaction, similar to using the Diplomacy skill. If the binder’s binding check equals or exceeds this DC, he makes a good pact with the spirit. The binder earns the spirit’s capstone empowerment if he makes a good pact with the spirit and his binding check exceeds the spirit’s binding DC by 10 or more. If he fails the check, he makes a poor pact with the spirit.

Regardless of whether or not the binder succeeds on its binding check, the spirit is bound to the binder for 1 day. During this time, the binder gains access to the spirit’s granted abilities. After the binding check is made, the seal and the spirit manifested within it disappear completely. Chalk blows away, blood seeps into the earth, scratches in the earth close themselves, and so on. After 1 day has passed, the spirit returns from whence it came and all signs and effects of its presence disappear.


Spirit Basics

This section describes the basic rules and terminology regarding occult spirits.

Name & Title

The spirit’s name and title is listed at the top of its entry. Some spirits bear names eerily identical to those of real historical figures while others have outlandish, almost simplistic names. A brief summary of the spirit can be found below its name.

Summoning Rules

This section describes the various rules and rituals for summoning the spirit, and explains the format of each spirit's block.

Level

All spirits are assigned a level ranging from 1st to 9th. A spirit’s level notes how difficult it is to summon and seal pacts with it; spirits with low levels are well known or actively try to seal pacts with binders while spirits with high levels are obscure or require an experienced, persuasive binder to convince them into a pact.

Alignment

Each spirit possesses an alignment that represents its world outlook or the manner in which it seeks to gratify its temporary existence when bound to a binder. A binder gains a +2 bonus on binding checks made with spirits whose alignment matches their own. For example, a Lawful Good binder gains a +2 bonus on binding checks when sealing pacts with a Lawful Good spirit. Additionally a binder takes a –2 penalty on binding checks made with spirits whose alignment opposes their own on both axes. For example, a Lawful Good binder takes a –2 penalty on binding checks made with Chaotic Evil spirits. A Neutral binder gains a +2 bonus on binding checks made with Neutral spirits but does not take a penalty on binding checks based on alignment.

Constellation

Each spirit belongs to a constellation, which is listed under its summoning rules. Although the term evokes celestial imagery, the exact connection between occult spirits isn’t well understood, and two of the fifteen constellations aren’t associated with the stars at all. Instead, most occult scholars believe that the constellations represent metaphysical themes and connections between the spirits and their mortal lives, ambitions, and personalities.

The constellations are described below. Each constellation includes its general theme, alternate names that some occult communities use for that constellation, and any constellations that it allies with or opposes. Some spirits are Starless, belonging to no constellation.

Binding DC

The spirit’s binding DC is noted here. The check is made as 1d20 + 1/2 the character’s binder level + the binder’s Charisma modifier + any other modifiers.

Totems

Totems are specific conditions that have some sort of significant meaning to a spirit. Each spirit has three totems listed under its summoning rules. Fulfilling the requirements of any one totem from among these three grants a binder a +2 bonus on his binding attempt with the spirit while fulfilling all three requirements grants the binder a +4 bonus on his binding attempt with the spirit.

Ceremony

A ritual that a binder must perform in order to guide a spirit from the Spirit Realm into a seal. See Performing a Pact Ritual.

Manifestation

The process by which a spirit appears within its seal after its ceremony is performed. Any creature can view the manifestation of a spirit within its seal within its normal, bodily limitations. A fully manifested spirit cannot harm creatures or interact with its surroundings beyond the limits of its seal, nor can it leave the confines of its seal. A spirit is able to dismiss itself from its seal whenever it pleases, ending the pact. Spirits typically do this only when no attempt to seal a pact with them is made within 1 minute of their summoning. See Performing a Pact Ritual.

Legend

Every spirit once possessed a life, whether real or imagined. A spirit’s legend is the result of countless of years of research on the nature of occult spirits. Most legends are spotty at best, and occult scholars still heavily debate even the most widely accepted occult legends. That said, a spirit’s legend often offers important clues and insight into a spirit’s nature that aids a binder during the pact making process.

Wiki Note: The legends of the spirits are considered Product Identity, and as such are not available on this site. These can be found by purchasing a copy of the Grimoire of Lost Souls (see Support the Publishers), or you and your GM can create a legend on your own as a substitute.

Granted Abilities

Granted abilities are the powers that a spirit bestows upon a binder at the conclusion of the pact making process. All granted abilities are supernatural abilities and all benefits and bonuses provided by a granted ability (such as spell-like abilities or the benefits of feats) are temporary and cannot be used to meet the prerequisites or requirements of feats, prestige classes, or similar abilities.

A granted ability that functions as a spell uses the binder’s level as its caster level; likewise, any spell-like ability that a binder gains from a granted ability uses the binder’s level as its caster level. Such granted abilities inherit the spell’s school and descriptors for the purpose of determining how it interacts with other effects; for instance, an elf is immune to sleep effects caused by a granted ability that functions as a sleep spell.

A granted ability that grants a spell effect to the binder always affects the binder, regardless of type; for example, an aasimar that seals a pact with Aza’zati can reduce her size using the smaller is better granted ability even though reduce person (which smaller is better functions as) normally cannot target outsiders.

Any references to level made by a granted ability refer to the binder’s level. A granted ability’s save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the binder’s level + his Charisma modifier. This includes any spell-like abilities that a granted ability bestows upon a binder. When a pact with a spirit ends, any active effects created by that spirit’s granted abilities also end unless noted otherwise, even if they function as a spell with a duration that would extend beyond the pact itself. Effects with a permanent or instantaneous duration, such as those created fabricate, do not end when a spirit’s granted ability ends unless noted otherwise.

Any granted ability whose benefits are based on the binder’s Charisma modifier has a minimum bonus of 0 unless noted otherwise.

Granted abilities are divided into three types: major granted abilities, minor granted abilities, and capstone empowerments.

Major Granted Ability

A major granted ability is a powerful effect that becomes expended for 5 rounds after it is used. During this time, the major granted ability is unavailable and cannot be activated. Some abilities, such as the Rapid Recovery† feat, can reduce the number of rounds that a major granted ability is expended for while others, such as the empower major ability binder secret†, can increase the number of rounds that a major granted ability is expended. If you miss with an attack granted by a major granted ability, its use is expended; you cannot “hold the charge” of a major granted ability as you can with a spell with a range of touch, even if the major granted ability functions as such a spell. Multiple effects that expend a major granted ability do not stack; use the longer duration when determining how long a major granted ability is expended.

Minor Granted Ability

Minor granted abilities are less powerful than major granted abilities, but they are not expended after they are used. Some minor granted abilities can only be used a limited number of times per day. Unless noted otherwise, maintaining a granted ability that a binder has already started is a free action.

If a minor granted ability functions as a spell that requires a material component that costs more than 100 gp, the binder must provide that material component in order to use that granted ability. Likewise, if a minor granted ability grants a spell-like ability with a material component that costs more than 100 gp, the binder must provide that material component in order to cast that spell-like ability. If a minor granted ability replicates a spell or grants a spell-like ability with a material component with a varying cost, such as fabricate or raise dead, she must always supply that spell’s material component in order to use that ability, regardless of the material component’s cost.

A binder who made a good pact with a spirit can suppress any minor granted abilities that she possesses that do not require an action to activate as a move action. She can also reactivate any minor granted ability that she has suppressed in this manner as a move action as well.

Capstone Empowerments

If a binder’s binding check result exceeds the spirit’s binding DC by 10 or more and makes a good pact with the spirit, her major granted ability gains an additional benefit called a capstone empowerment. A binder with the Capstone Binder feat only needs to exceed the spirit’s binding DC by 5 or more in order to make a good pact with it.

The benefits of a capstone empowerment are always optional and the decision to apply a capstone empowerment requires no action.

Signs & Influence

A spirit’s presence leaves its mark upon the binder, whether seen or unseen. A spirit’s signs and influence are divided into four types: physical sign, personality influence, favored allies, and favored enemies.

Physical Sign

A physical sign is an aspect of the spirit’s power that manifests upon the binder’s body. Each physical sign has two aspects: one that is always seen while the physical sign is shown and one that is shown only when the binder activates one of the spirit’s granted abilities, be it a major granted ability or a minor granted ability. This second aspect is brief and does not affect or alter the binder or his environment in any way.

A binder can hide a physical sign using mundane means using Disguise or Bluff checks or magical means (such as disguise self). A physical sign is not a polymorph effect and continues to manifest itself upon the binder’s assumed form while he benefits from such an effect. A binder who has made a good pact with a spirit can show or suppress the spirit’s physical sign as a move action. A suppressed sign does not exist, so a binder does not need to make Disguise checks or Bluff checks to hide a suppressed physical sign. The Suppress Sign† feat reduces this action to a free action. A bind that has made a poor pact with a spirit cannot suppress the spirit’s physical sign.

Personality Influence

A spirit’s personality influence is the behavioral code that the spirit enforces upon a binder who is not able to assert himself over the spirit’s desires. Each time the binder fails to act in accordance to the spirit’s personality influence, she suffers a cumulative –1 penalty on ability checks, attack rolls, skill checks, saving throws, and to her AC for the rest of his pact with the spirit. This penalty stacks. The binder can attempt a Will save to prevent this penalty; the DC is equal to the spirit’s binding DC when the binder sealed his pact with the spirit. For example, the DC improves by +18 if the binder performed the spirit’s ceremony in one round.

Some personality influences require that the binder refrain from a certain action. For example, Forty-Two forbids its binder from responding or speaking unless spoken to. Such restrictions don’t apply to any of the spirit’s granted abilities; for instance, a binder can verbally present a question to Forty-Two using that spirit’s advanced computing granted ability without fear of suffering the spirit’s personality influence even though she is technically breaking the conditions set by the spirit’s personality influence. However, this doesn’t apply to granted abilities bestowed upon the binder from other spirits. For example, if a binder who sealed a poor pact with Forty-Two tries to speak to use a different spirit’s granted ability that includes verbal components without meeting one of Forty-Two’s contingencies, that binder would take a –1 penalty for breaking Forty-Two’s personality influence unless she succeeded on a Will saving throw.

Favored Allies and Favored Enemies

All occult spirits have preferences for some creatures over others. Some granted abilities, binder secrets, feats, and other abilities have specific effects against a spirit’s favored allies or enemies. A binder who attempts pact with a spirit that considers him a favored ally increases any totem bonus he receives for meeting the spirit’s totem requirements by 50% while a binder who attempts pacts with a spirit that considers him a favored enemy decreases any totem bonus he receives by 50%.

If the binder qualifies as a spirit’s favored ally and favored enemy simultaneously, there is no modification to his totem bonus.

Vestigial Bonds

A binder can surrender a granted ability of his spirit in order to acquire an alternate granted ability instead. The decision to trade one of a spirit’s minor granted abilities for a vestigial bond must be made when you barter with the spirit turning Step 4 of the pactmaking process. A binder is limited to one vestigial bond at a time regardless of how many spirits are bound.

Vestigial bonds are divided into two types: vestigial boons and vestigial companions.

Vestigial Boons

A vestigial boon augments the binder, his allies, or both. A vestigial boon functions as any other granted ability.

Vestigial Companions

A vestigial companion is a helpful creature that is bound to the binder via its associated spirit. Most vestigial companions function as creatures granted from specific class features, namely a wizard’s arcane bond (for familiars), a druid’s nature bond (for animal companions), or a summoner’s eidolon (for eidolons). A binder uses his binder level as his class level when determining the vestigial companion’s abilities. If a vestigial companion functions as a familiar that can only be selected by a character with the Improved Familiar feat, she cannot select that spirit’s vestigial bond ability unless his binder level is equal to or greater than the minimum arcane spellcaster level requirement that Improved Familiar requires to gain that creature as a familiar.

Some vestigial companions function as cohorts; such vestigial companions are always 0 Hit Die creatures who advance via class levels. Such companions have the following ability scores, assigned by the binder however she wishes: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. The cohort also has the standard racial traits associated with its race; alternate racial traits are not available to it. A cohort granted as a vestigial companion doesn’t have a favored class and its class levels must be allocated as indicated by its associated spirit’s vestigial bond ability.

If a vestigial companion has Hit Dice, its hit points are always average for a creature of its kind and class (if any). For instance, animal companions have 5.5 hit points per Hit Die (rounded down). In addition, vestigial companions that function as animal companions, eidolons, or cohorts doesn’t gain skill ranks like standard creatures do; instead, they possess a number of skill ranks equal to their character level in a number of skills equal to its number of skill ranks per level (based upon its creature type or class level) plus its Intelligence modifier.

Typically, a binder makes any decisions regarding what class features or feats that a vestigial companion after initially sealing her pact with the spirit; once chosen, such choices cannot be altered for the rest of the pact. At the GM’s decision, a binder may be allowed to build her vestigial companion once (the first time it is gained from that specific granted ability) and afterwards the binder summons the same vestigial companion each time.

Alternatively, the GM may preconstruct a vestigial companion, requiring all binders who summon that spirit to gain that specific vestigial companion each time the vestigial companion is gained. If a vestigial companion functions as a cohort, that companion doesn’t count as the character’s actual cohort for the purpose of the Leadership feat. Humanoid vestigial companions cannot select character traits or alternate racial traits.

When the pact ends, the vestigial companion returns from whence it came and any equipment given to it while it was summoned falls to the ground in its space. While a vestigial companion is summoned, it is forced to show its associated spirit’s physical sign for the duration of the pact. A binder that made a good pact with the vestigial companion’s associated spirit can suppress its physical sign as a full-round action, or as a swift action if she possesses the Suppress Physical Sign† feat. If a binder has a class feature that grants it a companion, such as an animal companion, an eidolon, or a familiar, it cannot gain a second creature of that kind as a vestigial companion.

For example, a binder with an animal companion cannot also gain an animal companion as a vestigial companion. Instead, the binder can choose to grant its existing companion the share granted abilities feature, as noted below. Alternatively, the binder can allow the spirit to possess her companion, warping its body to match the spirit’s vestigial companion. Effectively, you trade your companion’s type and statistics for the type and statistics of the spirit’s vestigial companion. The creature trades its statistics (those based upon its kind) for those of the vestigial companion and gains the share granted abilities feature, but its skills, hit points, feats, and memories remain unchanged. This restriction doesn’t apply to vestigial companions that function as cohorts.

For instance, a binder with a wolf animal companion cannot gain Shelassik’s vestigial companion because Shelassik’s vestigial companion is a shark that acts as an animal companion. Instead, the binder could trade devil’s grin to grant her wolf the shared granted abilities feature or she could exchange her animal companion’s wolf statistics and abilities for those of a shark, otherwise leaving the animal’s hit points, skills, feats, and ability score allocations from leveling up unchanged.

In addition to the notes mentioned above, all vestigial companions receive the share granted abilities feature, as noted below:

Share Granted Abilities (Su)

A vestigial companion gains all of the granted abilities of the spirit to which it belongs except for the granted ability traded in its description. The binder and his companion share these abilities: an expended major granted ability is expended for both master and companion uses of a granted ability activated by either creature counts against the total number of times per day that both creatures may use the granted ability.


Descriptions of the Spirit Constellations

Angel

Representing guardians, protectors, healers, and all that is righteous, angel spirits typically identify with truly good beings, especially the various races of goodly outsiders. In some communities, this constellation is named for other righteous concepts, including Agathion, Heaven, and Paladin. The Angel constellation is allied to the Scholar and Tree constellations and opposed to the Fiend constellation.

Beast

Consisting of spirits driven by instinct, beast spirits are most often denizens of the wilderness, whether they represent animals, magical beasts, or wildlings. In some communities, this constellation is named for other wild or primal concepts, including Cyclops, Monster, and Spider. The Beast constellation is allied to the Dragon and Fiend constellations and opposed to the Scholar constellation.

Dark Beyond

Dwelling in the darkest recesses of the multiverse, the Dark Beyond is simultaneously associated with all constellations and none of them, for the Dark Beyond surrounds all constellations on all sides. In some communities, this constellation is named for other alien, unknowable concepts, including Elder Sign, Great Dark, and Shadow. The Dark Beyond is allied with no other constellation and opposes all other constellations.

Dragon

The primeval dragon constellation was old when the world was young, and spirits belonging to the dragon constellation possess all of the splendor, grandeur, and awe that their namesakes possess. Most dragon spirits are heavily associated with dragons in some manner, whether they were once dragons themselves or pride themselves upon one or more draconic traits. In some communities, this constellation is named for other draconic creatures, including Drake, Linnorm, and Wyrm. The Dragon constellation is allied to the Beast and Thief constellations and opposed to the Hero constellation.

Fiend

The Fiend constellation embodies all that is corrupt and vile. Fiend spirits often despise mortals and count the most cruel and evil entities ever to exist among their number. In some communities, this constellation is named for other wicked concepts, such as Diablo, Furies, and Hellion. The Fiend constellation is allied to the Beast and Skull constellations and opposed to the Angel constellation.

Hero

Champions of belief, some binders foolishly believe that the Hero constellation is as righteous and just as the Angel constellation. But just as every argument has two sides, Hero spirits come from every race, ethnicity, and alignment. Rather, Hero spirits embody belief and as a reason, many were once mortal martyrs. In some communities, this constellation is named for specific heroic concepts, such as Guardian, Knight, and Warrior. The Hero constellation is allied to the Noble and Scholar constellations and opposed to the Dragon constellation.

Mage

Masters of magic and shapers of reality, the Mage constellation represents power and prosperity, unfettered from morality and ethics, that can be used to shape the world at its user’s whims. In some communities, this constellation is named for other mystic concepts, such as Magician, Mind, and Portal. The Mage constellation is allied to the Noble and Skull constellations and opposed to the Seer constellation.

Noble

Although many associate the Noble constellation with law and order, in truth, it is better characterized by hierarchy and has little problem adjusting itself and its ethnics to match its ultimate aims. Noble spirits represent enforcers of law and order and are powerful leaders and rulers. In some communities, this constellation is named for more specific kinds of nobility, including Crown, Emperor, and King/Queen. The Noble constellation is allied to the Hero and Mage constellations and opposed to the Thief constellation.

Seer

Said to be linked to the all-seeing eyes of the gods, the Seer constellation represents true divinity in all its forms. In some communities, this constellation is named for other ocular or prophetic concepts, including Eye, Genie, and Priest. The Seer constellation is allied to the Thief and Tree constellations and opposed to the Mage constellation.

Scholar

Spirits that belong to the Scholar constellation are united by a passion for the acquisition of knowledge and experience. In some communities, this constellation is named for other seekers of lore, including Magi, Tome, and Wiseman. The Scholar constellation is allied to the Angel and Hero constellations and opposed to the Beast constellation.

Skull

Harbingers of death, the Skull constellation embodies the cycle of life, especially the triumph and finality of death. Just as often, however, Skull spirits represent an inversion of this cycle, typically in the form of undead entities. In some communities, this constellation is named for specific, deathly concepts, including Death, Ghoul, and Lich. The Skull constellation is allied to the Fiend and Mage constellations and opposed to the Tree constellation.

Thief

Although the Thief constellation is heavily associated with charlatans and swindlers, any who dwell on the edge of society can find solace with the thief. Often chaotic in nature, thief spirits often defy order and reason in pursuit of their own agendas. In some communities, this constellation is named for other anarchic concepts, including Anarchy, Assassin, and Chaos. The Thief constellation is allied to the Dragon and Seer constellations and opposed to the Noble constellation.

Tree

The Tree constellation embodies life, nature, and balance over all else. Tree spirits are often nurturers and guardians, but just as often they represent the wild, untamed uncertainty of the natural world. In some communities, this constellation is named for specific creatures that are associated with nature and balance, including Aeon, Dryad, and Scales. The Tree constellation is allied to the Angel and the Seer constellations and opposed to the Skull constellation.

Starless Spirits

Some spirits don’t belong to one of the thirteen constellations of pact magic. Such spirits are known as starless spirits, and they are noted as such in the spirit’s constellation entry under its summoning rules. While their lack of a constellation makes it more difficult to research a starless spirit’s Knowledge Tasks, as noted in the Researching the Spirit section, their lack of allegiance makes starless spirits invaluable to binders, especially binders normally restricted to a limited set of spirits.

A starless spirit is unaffected by class features and feats that require a character to choose a specific constellation and a binder cannot select “starless” as a constellation with any class feature or feat that requires her to select a specific constellation unless noted otherwise (such as with Constellation Focus).

A character with the tunneled lore class feature (or any class feature that functions as tunneled lore) can seal pacts with starless spirits as noted by that class feature; this doesn’t count as selecting the starless constellation with this class feature.

Spirit Politics

Although the constellation entry of the Spirit Basics section notes alliances and opposition between constellations, this aspect of the Spirit Realm has little impact on the pactmaking process for most binders. Although spirits from certain constellations don’t get along well with one another because of moral or ethical reasons, they are generally too focused on sealing pacts with binders to complete their own ends to worry about what other spirits are dwelling within their host’s soul.

Instead, where allegiances and oppositions typically come into play is with specific character building options, such as class features and feats. Although no such options appear in Pact Magic Unbound: Grimoire of Lost Souls, in the future character options may very well surface that restrict or enhance a binder’s pact with a spirit based upon these preferences.


Multiclassing

Pact magic is significantly easier than other types of training and as a result, multiclass binders function differently than other multiclass characters. The following rules govern how multiclass binders determine their binder level, maximum spirit level, and which spirits they can seal pacts with.

Binder Level

A binder’s level is equal to her total levels in all pact magic classes. A pact magic class is any class that grants the bind spirit class feature. For example, a character with two levels of pactmaker and two levels of the warbinder fighter archetype has an effective binder level of 4th.

In addition, a binder adds half of her total levels in all other classes to her binder level. For example, a character with two levels of pactmaker and two levels of fighter has an effective binder level of 3rd. This does not gain the binder any other benefits of an increased class level, such as additional spells per day for a wizard or additional pact augmentations for a pactmaker. A character with the Amateur Pactmaker† feat possesses no levels in pact magic classes, so her binder level is equal to half of her class level.

Additional Spirits

A multiclass binder may only seal a pact with one spirit at a time, even if she possesses levels in multiple pact magic classes. The only way to gain the ability to seal a pact with multiple spirits simultaneously is to gain the pactmaker’s bind additional spirit class feature, the Reserve Spirit feat, or a similar ability.

Maximum Spirit Level

A binder’s maximum spirit level is equal to the highest from among her pact magic classes. For example, a character with three levels of pactmaker and three levels of the warbinder fighter archetype has a maximum spirit level of 2nd-level because she is a 3rd-level pactmaker. Although she has an effective binder level of 6th, her levels in the warbinder archetype do not increase the binder’s maximum spirit level.

Barred Spirits or Constellations

Some class features, such as the tunneled lore class feature, can end up restricting which spirits that the pactmaker can seal pacts with. If a multiclass binder possesses levels in multiple classes that bar spirits by constellation, she must take the worse restriction.

For example, the pactmaker base class is less restrictive than the warbinder fighter archetype because the pactmaker bars no constellations while the warbinder bars all constellations save for one of the warbinder’s choice. Furthermore, the warbinder is less restrictive than the occult sadist inquisitor archetype, as the latter bars all constellations save for one, specific constellation (the fiend constellation). So, for instance, a multiclass pactmaker/warbinder would use the warbinder’s tunneled lore class feature to determine what spirits the character can seal pacts with while a multiclass warbinder/occult sadist would use the occult sadist’s lore of pain class feature. If the pactmaker has levels in a class that restricts spirits by alignment, favored ally, favored enemy, or vestigial bond, she must adhere to all of these restrictions in addition to constellations that she has barred.

Spirit Lore

All characters who gain the bind spirit class feature or the Amateur Pactmaker† feat gain the knowledge needed to summon one 1st-level spirit of the binder’s choice. A multiclass binder (or a character with Amateur Pactmaker† who later gains the bind spirit class feature) does not gain the knowledge required to summon a new 1st-level spirit each time she gains the bind spirit class feature. She completes the Knowledge Tasks of one 1st-level spirit the first time she gains either Amateur Pactmaker† or the bind spirit class feature, but subsequent classes that grant her the bind spirit class feature do not allow her to complete more Knowledge Tasks.

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