Spellcrafting

Wiki Note: The use of this system requires the Spellcrafting feat (unless your GM rules otherwise).

Spellcrafting is a system that allows casters to create and use custom magical abilities that otherwise would be outside the scope of the Spheres of Power system. Unlike advanced talents, rituals, and incantations, spellcrafting does not necessarily deal with world-affecting magic (although such spells can be crafted using advanced talents), but rather allows players and GMs to customize a caster’s magic to create something truly unique.

In its simplest form, a spell is a sphere effect that has been augmented and added to with talents it otherwise could not use. Like unaugmented sphere effects, a spell has a base sphere from which its caster level and DC is derived, and often requires the expenditure of spell points.

While the rules presented below are designed to aid in spellcrafting, in the end spellcrafting is purposely left vague to encourage creativity, mystery, and wonder. Like magic items, spellcrafting is much more fun when a spell has more personality than simply being a combination of effects.

Creating a Spell

Spellcrafting is as much art as science and is a similar process as inventing spells with the core Pathfinder magic system, in that good sense and judgment are just as important to creating a balanced spell as the math itself. GMs are encouraged to adjust the casting time, spell point cost, and content of a spell if it is exploitative or disrupting of gameplay. To create a spell with spellcrafting, first choose a base sphere ability (shapeshift, glow, destructive blast, etc.) augmented by talents as normal. This base ability determines the spell’s base sphere and all associated numbers such as saving throws, spell point cost, and caster level if, as is the case with the elementalist, eliciter, or shifter, their caster level is different with different spheres. This also determines the spell’s number of targets, duration, etc.

Next, choose additional sphere abilities, talents, and other augmentations to add to the base sphere ability. You must possess every sphere and talent to be used in the created spell, and a sphere ability or talent may not be applied twice to the same spell. With every alteration made, the spell gains or loses complexity. The more complex a spell is, the greater its casting time and the more spell points it costs to use.

Every base sphere ability that is added to the spell beyond the spell’s initial base ability increases the spell’s complexity by 2. This includes destructive blasts, darkness, glow, geomancing, and other effects.

Sometimes, you may wish to add the effects of a talent independent of adding a base sphere ability. This could include adding multiple (blast type) talents to a destructive blast, applying a (light) talent to a geomancing ability, or applying a talent like Group Charm to a destructive blast to allow it to affect multiple individual targets. In each of these cases, the spell gains 1 complexity, and any spell points required by the talent are added to the spell’s spell point cost.

With GM permission, other changes to a spell may increase or decrease the complexity. This could include targeting a creature other than yourself with a (spirit) Nature ability (+1 complexity), shortening a duration from 1 hour per caster level to 10 minutes per caster level (-1 complexity), increasing a casting time by 2 steps (-1 complexity), etc.

Once you have determined a proposed spell’s complexity, compare the result to Table: Complexity. This shows how many additional spell points the spell costs to use, as well as the increase to casting time. No spell can have a negative complexity.

Table: Complexity
Complexity Cost
1 0 spell points, 1 time increase
2 1 spell point, 1 time increase
3 1 spell point, 2 time increases
4 2 spell points, 2 time increases
5 2 spell points, 3 time increases
6 3 spell points, 3 time increases
7 3 spell points, 4 time increases

Once a particular spell has been created, it may be added to through further research, but cannot be fundamentally changed except through the creation of a new spell. Creating a spell is a process similar to creating a magic item, and takes 1 day of research per talent involved, at the end of which a caster must pass a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 5 x the number of spheres and talents involved, or have their efforts wasted. A caster may only retain a number of spells in his repertoire at a time equal to his casting ability modifier. If a caster researches a spell after he has reached this limit, he must decide which of their previous spells will be lost from his memory to make room for the new spell.

A caster may augment a spell by adding more talents to it, through an additional day of research per talent, and a new Spellcraft check at the end of the process.

Adjusting Durations

If your base ability has a duration of concentration and you are adding abilities with a duration of 1 minute per caster level or longer, reduce the spell’s cost by 1 spell point. If your base ability has a duration of 10 minutes per caster level or longer and you are adding abilities with a duration of 1 round per caster level or shorter (including concentration), increase the spell’s cost by 1 spell point and decrease the spell’s duration by one step (1 hour per caster level becomes 10 minutes per caster level, 10 minutes per caster level becomes 1 minute per caster level).

Spellbooks

If a caster possesses the Create Spell Book feat, they may write down the spells they know, as well as any spell after it is researched. Writing a spell down in a magic book takes 1 hour per sphere or talent involved in the spell and requires 1 page per sphere or talent involved in the spell.

If a caster finds a spellbook he has not created himself, he must decipher its writing through either a successful Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the spell’s complexity), a read magic spell, or the basic sense ability from the Divination sphere in order to understand it. Once a spell has been deciphered, it needn’t be deciphered again by the same caster.

If a caster possesses all of a spell’s prerequisite spheres and talents and has deciphered the writing, he may read from the spellbook and use that spell as if it were in his repertoire. This takes 2 rounds of uninterrupted reading in addition to the spell’s usual casting time. Alternately, the caster may spend an hour per page reading and practicing a deciphered spell to add that spell to his repertoire as if he had just researched it.

A caster may attempt to cast a spell from a spellbook without meeting the prerequisites, but he must pay an additional spell point for every sphere or talent not possessed (talents gained through staves or with the Circle Casting feat count when meeting a spell’s prerequisites), and suffers a cumulative 10% chance per missing prerequisite that the spell will not manifest; the caster will instead suffer a mishap chosen by the GM. A caster cannot use a spell that requires an advanced talent unless they possess that talent. Example mishaps are detailed below.

  • A surge of uncontrolled magical energy deals 3d6 points of damage to the caster.
  • Spell strikes the caster or an ally instead of the intended target, or a random target nearby if the caster was the intended recipient.
  • Spell takes effect at some random location within spell range.
  • Spell’s effect on the target is contrary to the spell’s normal effect.
  • The caster suffers some minor but bizarre effect related to the spell in some way. Most such effects should last only as long as the original spell’s duration, or 2d10 minutes for instantaneous spells.
  • Spell has delayed effect. Sometime within the next 1d12 hours, the spell activates. If the caster was the intended recipient, the spell takes effect normally. If the user was not the intended recipient, the spell goes off in the general direction of the original recipient or target, up to the spell’s maximum range, if the target has moved away.

Unlike a ritual book, a spellbook is simply a notebook detailing the theory involved in a spell’s creation, and as such, has no cost in magical components to create. Spellbooks have no market value of their own, and while they may be found, they are rarely bought and even more rarely sold.

Sample Spells

Armor of Vines

Sphere Protection
Cost 2 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Touch
Target 1 creature
Area 5 ft radius, + 5 ft per 5 caster levels
Duration 1 minute/caster level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless), Reflex negates (see below); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Prerequisites Protection (Armored Aegis), Nature (plant package, Create Plants)
Crafting Time 4 days
Effect This spell covers the target is a writhing mass of vines, which both defend and attack. The target gains an aegis that grants them a +3 armor bonus, +1 per 5 caster levels. This does not stack with any armor the creature is already wearing. Any time a creature who comes within 5 ft + 5 ft per 5 caster levels of the target, whether by its own movement or when the bearer of the armor of vines moves past it, this armor reaches out a vine in an attempt to bind that creature. Any creature affected in this manner must pass a Reflex save or become entangled. If a creature is entangled in this fashion they cannot move, although they cease to be entangled once the bearer of this aegis moves away from them. Once a target is entangled, they may end this condition through a Strength check or Escape Artist check, as detailed in the entangle ability of the Nature sphere.

Blessing of Time

Sphere Protection
Cost 2 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range touch
Target 1 creature
Duration 10 minutes/caster level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Prerequisites Protection sphere, Time sphere (Improved Haste)
Crafting Time 3 days
Effect This spell grants the target an aegis that bestows on them incredible speed. The target gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls, a +30 enhancement bonus to their movement speed (to a maximum of twice the subject’s normal speed), and a +1 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves. Whenever the target takes the full-attack action, they may make one additional attack at their highest BAB.

Blessing of Time, Greater

Sphere Protection
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time 1 round
Range Close (25 ft + 5 ft per 2 caster levels)
Target 1 creature + 1 per 2 caster levels (minimum: 2 creatures)
Duration 10 minutes/caster level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Prerequisites Protection sphere, Time sphere (Improved Haste, Ranged Time, Group Time)
Crafting Time 5 days
Effect This spell functions as blessing of time, except the aegis is granted to multiple creatures within range.

Create Creature

Sphere Creation
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Close (25 ft + 5 ft per 2 caster levels)
Duration 1 hour/caster level
Prerequisites Creation sphere (Fleshcrafting advanced talent, Expanded Materials), Enhancement sphere (Animate Object)
Crafting Time 5 days
Effect This spell creates a living creature that appears as a physical duplicate of a creature within range. You must make a Disguise check to determine the skill of the duplication. While the creature appears to be whatever it was crafted to resemble, in reality it is an animated object under your control and uses the same rules as animated objects from the Enhancement sphere. While the target has a copy of whatever equipment the duplicated creature possesses, this equipment is nonmagical and of unremarkable composition. The maximum size and materials that may be duplicated are dependent on your caster level, as described in the Creation sphere.

Earthsmash

Sphere Destruction
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time standard action
Range personal
Area 10 ft radius burst, +5 ft per 5 caster levels
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Reflex half; Spell Resistance yes
Prerequisites Destruction sphere (Force Blast, Explosive Orb)
Crafting Time 3 days
Effect You throw yourself at the ground, shaking the earth as you land. When you use this ability, you may move up to your speed in a straight line. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. When you end this movement, all targets within 10 ft of you +5 ft per 5 caster levels suffer 1d6 force damage per caster level and fall prone. A successful Reflex save halves this damage and the creature does not fall prone.

Embrace of Flame

Sphere Nature
Cost 2 spell points
Casting Time 1 round
Range Touch
Target you + 1 creature per 2 caster levels (minimum: 1)
Duration 1 minute/caster level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Prerequisites Nature sphere (Fire package, Feed on Fire), Fate (Echoing Word)
Crafting Time 5 days
Effect All creatures to be affected must be adjacent to you, or joining hands in a circle when this spell is cast. For 1 minute per caster level, every affected target gains fire resistance equal to your caster level. Whenever a target takes damage from fire, they are healed an amount equal to 1/2 the fire damage dealt, to a maximum amount equal to 1/2 the fire resistance granted by this spell (minimum: 1). Damage dealt in excess of this amount is handled normally.

Golem Prison

Sphere Creation
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Close (25 ft + 5 ft per 2 caster levels)
Target one creature
Duration concentration
Saving Throw Reflex negates; Spell Resistance no
Prerequisites Creation (Expanded Materials, Distant Creation), Enhancement (Animate Object)
Crafting Time 5 days
Effect This spell encapsulates the target’s body in a golem. The golem’s maximum size and possible material composition is based on your caster level, as detailed in the Creation sphere. If the target is unwilling, they are allowed a Reflex save to avoid being encapsulated, in which case the golem still appears but in an adjacent space.

The golem created by this spell is an animated object (see animated objects in the Appendix) and acts as you direct for as long as you concentrate. If you are inside this golem, an attack to the golem is not enough to force you to make a concentration check. If the target inside the golem is unwilling, they may generally act normally but may only target something inside the golem or the golem itself with their attacks or magic abilities. The creature to be trapped must be at least 1 size category smaller than the golem itself.

Inferno

Sphere Destruction
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Medium (100 ft + 10 ft per caster level)
Area 10 ft radius sphere, + 5 ft per 5 caster levels
Duration concentration
Saving Throw Reflex half; Spell Resistance yes
Prerequisites Destruction sphere (Fire Blast, Explosive Orb, Extended Range), Nature sphere (Fire package, Move Fire)
Crafting Time 6 days
Effect This spell creates a powerful, spherical explosion of fire, dealing 1d6 fire damage per caster level to everything within the area and setting it on fire. A successful Reflex save halves the damage and negates catching fire.

Every round, you may move this sphere up to 30 ft in any direction, including into the air. The sphere deals damage to everything it passes over, but no more than once per round. If a creature enters the area occupied by this sphere, they immediately suffer damage and risk catching fire.

The flaming sphere must remain within Medium range of the caster at all times, or it immediately vanishes, ending the spell.

Mind Freeze

Sphere Mind
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Medium (100 ft + 10 ft per caster level)
Target 1 + 1 per 2 caster levels (minimum: 2) creatures
Duration 1 minute/caster level
Saving Throw Will half; Spell Resistance yes
Prerequisites Mind sphere (Group Charm, Expanded Charm, Ranged Mind) Destruction sphere (Frost Blast)
Crafting Time 6 days
Effect This is a mind-altering effect. You cause the targets’ minds to freeze up, filling them with the sensation of bitter cold until they can think of little else. Each target suffers 1d6 frost damage per 2 caster levels and becomes staggered and confused for 1 minute per caster level. A successful Will save halves this damage and negates the staggered and confused conditions.

Minor Protection

Sphere Protection
Cost 0 spell points
Casting Time standard action
Range touch
Target one creature
Duration concentration
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Prerequisites Protection sphere
Crafting Time 1 day
Effect The target gains an aegis, granting him a +1 Deflection bonus to AC for as long as you concentrate. This bonus increases by 1 for every 5 caster levels possessed.

Shatter Mind and Body

Sphere Destruction
Cost 1 spell point
Casting Time full-round action
Range Close (25 ft + 5 ft per 2 caster levels)
Target one creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will (partial), Fortitude (partial); Spell Resistance yes
Prerequisites Destruction sphere (Frost Blast, Nether blast)
Crafting Time 3 days
Effect This spell creates a ball of swirling energy that the caster hurls as a ranged touch attack. The target suffers 1d6 points of damage per caster level, half of which is frost damage, the other half negative energy. If the target is struck, they must make both a Fortitude save and a Will save. If the target fails their Fortitude saving throw, they are staggered for 1 round. If the target fails their Will save, they are shaken for 1 round. If the target is undead, they do not suffer the negative energy damage and instead must make a Will save or be frightened for 1 round.

Violent Winds

Sphere Destruction
Cost 2 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Close (25 ft + 5 ft per 2 caster levels)
Target 1 + 1 per 2 caster levels (minimum: 2) creatures
Duration instantaneous
Prerequisites Destruction sphere (Air Blast), Fate (Echoing Word)
Crafting Time 4 days
Effect You batter your foes with great bursts of wind. You may make one ranged touch attack against a number of creatures within range, up to 1 + 1 per 2 caster levels (minimum: 2), but no more than one attack per individual creature. Each target successfully struck suffers 1d6 nonlethal damage per caster level, and is subject to a Bull Rush combat maneuver that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, and that doesn’t require you to move with the target. Use your caster level + your casting ability modifier as your CMB for this maneuver.

Water Serpent

Sphere Telekinesis
Cost 3 spell points
Casting Time full-round action
Range Close (25 ft + 5 ft per 2 caster levels)
Duration concentration
Saving Throw Reflex partial; Spell Resistance no
Prerequisites Telekinesis sphere, Nature sphere (Water package, Wave, Create Water)
Crafting Time 4 days
Effect This spell summons a large serpent-like coil of water which flies around the battlefield, striking targets. The water serpent occupies a 5 ft square, and may fly up to 30 ft per round +5 ft per 2 caster levels with perfect maneuverability. The water serpent can move freely through spaces occupied by creatures, and makes a Bull Rush attempt that does not provoke an attack of opportunity against every creature whose space it passes through. Your CMB for this Bull Rush attempt is equal to your caster level + your casting ability modifier. Each target is pushed in the direction the serpent is traveling at that time. If a creature is successfully pushed by this Bull Rush attempt, they must also pass a Reflex save or fall prone. The water serpent can strike the same target multiple times by moving through its square repeatedly. If a creature moves into the space occupied by a water serpent, they must pass a Reflex save or be subject to the serpent pushing them back with its Bull Rush as normal.

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