Sutra Magic

Sutras are sacred stories, prayers, or other lessons and expressions of the universe. They are often written on paper charms, called ofuda, in order to ward against, reveal, bind, or punish otherworldly creatures referred to as infernals (see below). Ofuda (with the proper sutras) sanctify places and can also be used as good luck charms. The power granted to an ofuda comes from the sutra written on it by its creator. The sutra is a universal truth expressed as a prayer; as such, sutras are tied to both the runes of creation and the Green.

Ofudas let sutras draw on the power of these universal forces to produce a variety of effects. It is not enough to simply know how to write a sutra to make its power work; one must also understand it and believe in its principles and in what it teaches before the power of the sutra will empower an ofuda. What’s more is that not just any believer can ind themselves with the ability to use a sutra. The power of the universe reveals itself only through the self. Even then, not many sutras can be learned or comprehended until one experiences life through the fullness of time and exposure to the world.

Sutras are used by those versed in the theological practices that gave rise to them. Over time, certain religions acquired the practice from others. In the eastern lands, these faiths are Bodhism, Taoshidaoism, Kami-do, Upanishandism, ancestor worship, animism, and shamanism. Sutras are a cosmic truth related to the Green, the power of runes, and the ch’i that lows through the world. Those who can perceive and tap into the power of the Green (druids and rangers), and their faith (clerics, inquisitors, monks, oracles and paladins) have the potential to learn sutras (see the Sutra Caster feat in the Sutra Feats section at the end of the document). Priests, monks, and other dedicated followers of the religions use sutras as a means to teach and learn the lessons of their faith. They ward off and even combat the malicious presence and activities of mischievous spirits and the antithesis of their faiths, the infernals.

Infernal creatures and spirits cannot create ofuda or cast sutras.

Infernals

Infernals are creatures not native to this world or otherwise naturally tied to it and whose presence in this world is not sanctioned by the Celestial Bureaucracy. This includes creatures that are descended from other infernals, like bakemono, but have since become native to this world. Creatures with the following types and subtypes are considered to be infernals:

  • Aberration type
  • Fey type
  • Goblinoid subtype
  • Incorporeal subtype
  • Outsider type
  • Undead type

Useful Names

Name Description
Ghohei A specially prepared staff consisting of a stick of wood with two strips of paper attached to it.
Misogi A purification ritual
Ooharai Exorcism
Ofuda Paper that carries a sutra
Norito Shinto chant
Sutra Magical prayer or invocation

Learning Sutras

To begin learning sutras, a character must irst take the Sutra Caster feat. A character may learn one sutra per two sutra caster levels, with a maximum number learned equal to twice her unenhanced Wisdom bonus (minimum of 1). The character does not learn bonus sutras due to a high ability score. The character does not automatically learn new sutras; she must ind them, understand them, and finally, commit them to memory. The exceptions to this rule are feats or special class abilities (such as the demon hunter’s and the contemplative monk’s).

Sutra Caster Level

The sutra caster level is equal to the character’s total levels in any sutra casting classes. For any levels in other classes, every 3 class levels counts as a single sutra caster level. Spellcasting classes count every 2 spellcaster levels as a single sutra caster level (see chart below). If multi-classed, then add the effective sutra caster levels from each of your classes together to determine your total effective caster level.

Table: Effective Sutra Caster Level
Character Level Sutra Caster1 Arcane Spellcaster2 Non-Spellcaster
1st 1st 1st 1st
2nd 2nd 1st 1st
3rd 3rd 2nd 1st
4th 4th 2nd 2nd
5th 5th 3rd 2nd
6th 6th 3rd 2nd
7th 7th 4th 3rd
8th 8th 4th 3rd
9th 9th 5th 3rd
10th 10th 5th 4th
11th 11th 6th 4th
12th 12th 6th 4th
13th 13th 7th 5th
14th 14th 7th 5th
15th 15th 8th 5th
16th 16th 8th 6th
17th 17th 9th 6th
18th 18th 9th 6th
19th 19th 10th 7th
20th 20th 10th 7th

1 Sutra caster classes include all classes with divine spellcasting, enlightened scholars and monks.
2 Alchemists are included with arcane spellcasters for the purpose of determining your effective sutra caster level.

Effective Spell level

The effective spell level of a sutra is bases on the character’s sutra caster level (see chart below). The Save DC is 10 + effective spell level + the character’s sutra casting ability score modifier (usually Wisdom). This is also important when casting a sutra defensively or in difficult circumstances. When adjudicating a concentration check for casting a sutra, use the effective spell level in place of the spell level when determining the Difficulty Class.

Table: Effects of Sutra Caster Level
Sutra Caster Level Effective Spell Level Max Sutras Learned1
1st - 2nd 1st 1
3rd - 4th 2nd 2
5th - 6th 3rd 3
7th - 8th 4th 4
9th - 10th 5th 5
11th -12th 6th 6
13th - 14th 7th 7
15th - 16th 8th 8
17th - 18th 9th 9
19th - 20th 9th 10

1 Use this value or your unenhanced Wisdom modifier times two, whichever is lower.

Daily Sutras

A character may cast a number of sutras per day equal to her Wisdom bonus. If the character has levels in a sutra casting class, then she adds +1 for every four levels in a sutra casting class. Having the Sutra Caster feat does not make the character a spellcaster.

Ofuda

Certain faiths, notably Kami-do and certain Bodhist sects, write sutras on strips of paper, wood, cloth, or metal to create an ofuda. The ofuda holds no mystical power until a sutra is written on it. When writing a sutra onto an ofuda, it is inscribed with a series of mystic runes and symbols known as “brilliant jade script”. The brilliant jade script is only part of a sutra, the part that deines it as to what type it is; a sort of preix to a mystic formulae. When the sutra is spoken aloud at the moment the ofuda is cast, investing the power of the sutra into the ofuda, is when the mystical formulae of faith and universal truth becomes complete – awakening the true power of the sutra. Sutras written on ofuda come in three general types: charm, punitive, and warding. Omamori can also bear either the descriptor of a charm or of a warding sutra.

Charm Ofuda

Most ofuda combat the menace of infernals or evil spirits, but charms can be used for good fortune and to provide blessings to both heroes and the common folk. Charm ofudas are empowered with sutras that grant special luck, insight, or abilities to those who carry them. These ofuda are always beneficial and are carried by those who benefit from their use. They usually have a single target and seldom have area effects. The person that both bears the ofuda and is designated by name on it is always the target. These are usually, but not always, carried by someone other than the caster and activated by the bearer. Some, like the fiery pearl sutras, are only activated by the caster. The power of the sutra’s effect is determined by the effective spell level invested into the charm ofuda.

Count the sutra that is invested into the ofuda as if cast for the day when created. An individual who receives an ofuda at the time the caster casts the sutra is the only individual who can activate the ofuda from that moment on. Charm ofuda that bestow an immediate effect typically activate by burning them or activate with a spoken prayer that causes them to be consumed in a small, spontaneous combustion. Charm ofuda granted to someone else count against the caster’s daily limit. Charm ofuda always have a duration of less than 24 hours. This type of sutra will not work if the bearer is an infernal creature.

Punitive Ofuda

These ofuda punish the infernals and spirits who invade the middle kingdom by causing them damage, pain, or even inflicting special conditions. These ofuda can temporarily bind infernals or spirits as detailed in their description. Use these ofuda directly against their targets. They can have either a single target or an area effect. Punitive ofuda are empowered with sutras that have an immediate effect upon an enemy, often causing damage to their targets or otherwise acting like evocations or immediate abjuration effects. They can also have the effect of paralyzing or controlling a singular creature.

Cast punitive ofuda as a standard action to harm an opponent, usually an infernal. They take effect immediately upon being cast and thrown, when they ly towards the intended target. The paper strips resist the strongest natural winds and even circumvent obstacles in their path on their way to strike their designated target. Single target punitive ofuda require a successful ranged or melee touch attack to hit and take effect (see the description). These ofuda never have a permanent duration.

Warding Ofuda

Warding ofuda keep evil spirits and infernals from the people, places, and things that bear them. They can bind infernals to them. Less often, these ofuda might keep something bound within a person or creature. Warding ofuda can defend against the attacks of infernals and sometimes offer protection against other mystical forces. These ofuda are defensive in nature, or keep something away, or confine things within the place or object to which it is attached. Some warding sutras act immediately, while others may not be activated until the target of the warding comes into contact with it or its area of effect.

Touch the ofuda to the surface, object, or creature that will serve as the center of the area of effect. Once touched to a surface and cast, it cannot be moved until its duration expires or it is dispelled. If a creature triggers more than one warding ofuda, only the most powerful one takes effect. The others are triggered, but have no effect. Determine the most powerful by the effective spell level of the invested sutra. If the effective spell levels are the same, then the higher sutra caster level prevails. If the sutra caster levels are the same, then determine which caster has the higher sutra casting ability score (usually Wisdom). If the more powerful ofuda still cannot be determined, randomly determine which one takes effect first.

Omamori (Sutra subtype; Talisman Ofuda)

An omamori is a special subtype of ofuda that bears the enchantment written upon it for as long as the caster chooses to maintain it. Omamori means “honorable protector”. These sutra are always charm or warding ofuda. Punitive ofuda can never be an omamori. Omamori are usually held in a cloth amulet covering that encloses papers or pieces of wood with the sutra written on it. Omamori are considered magic items and count as either an amulet or ring for the purposes of determining the magic item body slot it occupies depending on where a bearer keeps it (i.e. tied to the neck, wrist, or even tied to a held or worn item). Omamori always last for 24 hours. An omamori can be maintained by the sutra caster for as many days as he desires, but he must continue to maintain it every day. He must make the decision to maintain it every morning as he regains his allotted number of sutra castings per day. The caster need not concentrate on or touch an omamori again in order for it to continue working, as long as he has maintained it and it lasts. This type of sutra will not work if the bearer is an infernal creature.

Creating an Ofuda

Creating an ofuda requires two rounds and material components in the form of paper, ink, and brush or stylus (these materials may be substituted by a resourceful character, if they are deemed suitable by the DM). A character can have a total number of ofuda prepared and/or in effect at any given time equal to either her Knowledge (Religion) or Knowledge (Runes) skill rank, whichever is higher. This means that the character need not create an ofuda each time she casts them if she has already prepared the one she wants to cast. Ofuda do not activate until the caster properly casts the sutra into the ofuda (a standard action). Additionally, the ofuda prepared do not all have to be different; any number of those sutras written by the casting character’s hand can be the same. Infernal and spirit creatures cannot create ofuda or cast sutras.

Sutra Format

Every sutra is described using a standard format. This section discusses that format, and the finer points of how sutras and the ofudas they are written on work.
Name: This is the name by which characters know the sutra.
Descriptors: First is the type of sutra. Any applicable descriptors - terms such as “sonic” or “fire” that quantify a sutra’s effect - are listed next [in brackets].
Sutra Type: Charm, Punitive, and Warding. The sutra might also be of the Talisman subtype.
Descriptors: Acid, air, cold, curse, darkness, dragon, earth, electricity, fear, ire, force, giant, language-dependent, light, mind-affecting, negative energy, metal, plant, positive energy, sonic, teleportation, truename, water, and wood.
Casting Time: The time required to cast a sutra (see below).
Range: The maximum distance from the character at which the sutra can affect its target.
Target or Targets/Effect/Area: This entry lists the number of creatures, dimensions, volume, or weight the sutra affects. The entry starts with one of three headings: “Target,” “Effect,” or “Area.” If the target of a sutra is “You,” the caster does not receive a saving throw, and spell resistance does not apply. (These sutra descriptions omit the “Saving Throw” and “Spell Resistance” parameters.)
Duration: How long the sutra lasts (see below).
Saving Throw: Whether a sutra allows a saving throw, the type of saving throw, and the effect of a successful saving throw.
Spell Resistance: Whether targets resist this sutra with spell resistance (SR), a special defensive ability.
Descriptive Text: This portion of the sutra description details what the sutra does and how it works.

Casting an Ofuda

To cast a prepared ofuda requires a standard action. The character needs to say a prayer over the ofuda and make a concentration check – provided the situation warrants it – while the caster calls upon the sutra that will empower the ofuda. Casting the sutra requires 5 components; being in the right state of mind is the mental component, reciting the sutra is the verbal component, using the ofuda is both the material and focus component, and touching it or throwing it at its target is the somatic component. Additionally, the character must concentrate to cast a sutra just as a spellcaster must concentrate during the casting of a spell. See below for details.

If the character should ever fail her concentration check, then she fails to cast the ofuda. Unsuccessfully cast sutras do not count against the remaining number the character can cast that day, but failure to cast a sutra does consume the ofuda it was written on.

Casting Time

The casting times for sutras work like a spell or spell-like ability.

Range

A sutra’s range indicates how far from the character it can reach, as deined on the “Range” line. The range works in the same manner as that of any spell or spell-like ability. A sutra with range “Touch” only requires a touch attack (see Touch Sutras below).

Aiming an Ofuda

Aiming an ofuda requires a ranged touch attack with the following exceptions. Ofudas can strike incorporeal creatures that are considered to be infernals or spirits. Unless specified otherwise, sutras cast against creatures that are not infernals or spirits do only half damage before saving throws (halved again if saving throws are successful). Non-infernal and non-spirit creatures receive a +5 bonus on saving throws against sutras. Undead with Turn Resistance that are aware of the attack can add it to their touch attack AC to dodge the ofuda; they may also add their Turn Resistance to any saving throw to resist the effects of the sutra. This represents their resistance to the divine power of the sutra as the imbalanced nature of their ki repels it.

Line of Effect

When thrown, an ofuda mystically lies to strike its target. The character must have a clear line of effect to any target or to any space in which she wishes to create an effect. This works the same as for any spell or spell-like ability that requires a line of effect.

Saving Throw

Most harmful sutras allow an affected creature to make a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect. The “Saving Throw” line defines the type of saving throw the sutra allows (if any) and describes how saving throws against the sutra work. This works the same as with any spell or spell-like ability and applies equally well to saving throws made for items.

Spell Resistance

Spell resistance applies to sutras, so a caster must succeed on a caster level check to overcome the spell resistance of the target creature. Sutras have an effective caster level equal to the caster’s sutra caster level.

The Sutra’s Result

Once the character knows which creatures, objects or areas are affected, and whether successful saving throws (if any) were made, she can apply the sutra results. Many sutras affect particular sorts of creatures, such as infernals.

Duration

Duration for sutras vary. They may use the same increments as spells, or they may use variable increments called Time Units (see chart below). The duration for a sutra using Time Units add the sutra’s effective spell level plus the character’s casting ability score modifier (usually Wisdom) and multiply it by the Time Unit appropriate for their sutra caster level. For example, a 7th level monk with a Wisdom modifier of +3 would cast a Grounding Charm for 6 minutes (effective spell level is 4 + 3 from the sutra casting ability score modifier times).

Casters determine some durations by effective spell level at the time the sutra is cast. Punitive sutras typically have a short or instantaneous duration. Warding and charm ofuda have a longer duration, sometimes just short of a day in length. Omamori last as long as the caster expends the required daily castings of his sutras to maintain them, though he need not concentrate on the omamori afterward.

Table: Sutra Duration
Sutra Caster Level Sutra Duration (Time Units)
1st - 6th rounds
7th - 12th minutes
13th - 18th 10 minute increments
19th - 20th hours

Touch Sutras and Holding the Charge

If the character doesn’t discharge a touch sutra on the round she casts it, she can hold the discharge (called “hold the charge”) indefinitely. If the character touches anything with her hand or an ofuda while holding a charge, the sutra discharges. If the character casts another sutra, the touch sutra dissipates. This works just like using a touch spell, except that the sutra charge is contained within the ofuda it is cast upon and not within the caster himself. It is possible to disarm the caster if it can be done without touching the ofuda directly. The creature making the disarm attempt will activate the sutra and suffer any effects generated by that sutra if they fail a disarm attempt. The caster cannot give the sutra to another to activate it. As soon as the caster releases the sutra or ofuda for any reason prior to touching it to a target, then the power contained within immediately dissipates.

Caster Level Checks

Some sutras may require the caster to overcome some force - usually another sutra, spell, or caster. Caster level checks work the same for sutra casters as they do for spellcasters. Use the sutra caster level when determining the result of a caster level check.

Concentration

Casting a sutra is similar to casting a spell, though how powerful the sutra is depends upon the sutra’s effective spell level. If the character is threatened while casting the sutra, she may cast defensively. Sutra casters suffer from the same penalties that spellcasters do when making Concentration checks. Use the effective spell level in place of spell level when determining the DC for any Concentration checks.

Truenames

Like certain spells, some sutras have special effects that occur if the caster knows the target’s truename. Other sutras require the use of the target’s truename. Anytime a sutra-caster incorporates a target’s truename, the saving throw DC (if any) for the sutra increases by +1. Furthermore, incorporating the truename of the intended target into the making of the ofuda grants a +2 insight bonus to any Concentration check made to cast the sutra. That particular ofuda can only be used against the intended target whose truename is written on it.

Counterspelling and Dispelling

Sutras cannot be counterspelled; however, sutra effects with ongoing durations can be dispelled normally using dispel magic. Use the sutra caster level as the spellcaster level for the caster level check.

Ofuda as Magic Items

Ofuda created by a sutra caster with an appropriate item creation feat (any except that ofuda can never be crafted as arms or armor) can create longer lasting effects. Creating an ofuda as a magic item does not count against the sutra caster’s daily limit of sutras. When creating ofuda with item creation feats, the following exceptions apply: Ofuda always have the x2 item creation modifier. Punitive ofuda can never be made as a constant item. Treat the sutra caster level as the spellcaster level for the purposes of creating and pricing the item. The effective spell level equals the spell level for the purposes of creating and pricing the item.

Positive Energy Sutras

Sutras that deal positive energy damage heal creatures with the Positive Energy Subtype.

Sutra Ability Score

Usually this is the character’s Wisdom bonus, but the inquisitor, oracle, paladin and demon hunter classes use Charisma.

Evil Descriptor Option

If a target creature has the Evil subtype, the blessed energy of the sutra burns into its vile lesh. It takes a number of points in sacred damage equal to the caster’s sutra casting ability modifier every round after the irst that a sutra affects it (such as Celestial Bindings).

Good Descriptor Option

Any Good subtype creature heals from a positive energy sutra used on it.


Sutras

Celestial Bindings

Punitive
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 sutra caster levels)
Target: one creature
Duration: 1 round/effective spell level or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: Reflex negates; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: This ofuda multiplies into many separate papers just before it strikes. As they strike, the papers grow longer, thicker, and stronger while they wrap around the target. The target is entangled and can’t move from its space (anchored). Those that fail their save must end their movement and gain the entangled condition. Entangled creatures can attempt to break free as a move action, making a Strength or Escape Artist check. The DC for this check is equal to the DC of the sutra.

This sutra has duration in rounds equal to its effective spell level.

Celestial Blades

Punitive
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 ft.
Area: cone-shaped burst
Duration: instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex half; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: The paper of the ofuda becomes as rigid as steel and multiplies into a storm of blades as the paper lies out in a 60 ft. cone to strike at the infernals within the area. The knife-like edges of the multiplying papers inflict 1d6 points of damage per effective spell level + sutra casting ability modifier to all infernals. Any creature in that makes a successful Reflex saving throw takes only half damage (Save DC is equal to 10 + effective spell level + the sutra casting ability modifier of the caster). Creatures resistant to piercing and slashing weapons are resistant to the effects of this sutra. Any characters casting this ofuda against infernal creatures on their favored enemy list can re-roll 1s and 2s when calculating damage. If the caster so chooses, the celestial blades fly around a number of allied creatures caught within the area of effect, leaving them unharmed. The caster may choose a number of allies equal to the caster’s sutra casting ability score modifier.

Celestial Flame

Punitive [Cold, Fire, Mind-affecting]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./sutra caster level)
Target: one creature
Duration: instantaneous
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: This ofuda lies towards its target, shrouded in blue flames. It burns with an icy, divine fire. The attack deals energy damage equal to 1d8 per effective spell level + sutra casting ability modifier. It forces the target to relive the memories of the pain it inflicted on others from the point of view of its victims. Because damage from this sutra counts as both fire and cold energy damage, it can overcome energy resistance to one of these energy types, but not both. This damage is also a mind-affecting effect; the damage is negated if the target is immune to mind-affecting effects. If the target has a bonus to save against mind-affecting effects, treat the bonus as damage reduction against this sutra. For example, a creature with a +2 to save against mind-affecting effects is treated as having damage reduction 2/- against this sutra.

Celestial Fury

Punitive [Electricity]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 sutra caster levels)
Area: spread (5 ft + 5 ft/5 sutra caster levels radius)
Duration: instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex half; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: This ofuda shoots up into the air above the head of the caster and explodes into a ball of divine, blue, electrical energy. The screaming thunder of the heavens strikes a number of designated targets within its radius. The maximum number of creatures within the sutra’s area of effect is equal to the caster’s sutra casting ability modifier. The radius is 5 feet plus an additional 5 feet for every 5 sutra casting levels. Those hit by this ofuda receive electrical damage equal to 1d6 per effective spell level + sutra casting ability score modifier.

Charm of Recovery

Charm [Positive energy]
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: touch
Target: one creature
Duration: 24 hours
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: This sutra increases the bearer’s rate of recovery for a single day’s rest based on the charm of recovery’s effective spell level as indicated on the table below. This sutra will heal hit points and, at higher levels, ability damage. The bearer adds the indicated bonus to his level to determine his rate of recovery when resting.

Effective Spell Level Rate of Recovery
1 Add Constitution modifier (if any)
2 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 3
3 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 6
4 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 9
5 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 12
6 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 15; heal 1 point of ability damage
7 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 20; heal 2 points of ability damage
8 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 25; heal 3 points of ability damage
9 Add Constitution modifier (if any) + 30; heal 4 points of ability damage

Fiery Pearl of the Perceptive

Charm [Light]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: personal
Target: you
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: Also, known as the “Pearl of Wisdom”, this ofuda transforms into a fiery pearl that loats near the head of the caster, always moving with the creator. It grants the caster the abilities of the Sense the Unseen feat. Furthermore, it casts a blue light in the equivalent radius of a torch (20 feet). At higher caster levels, this sutra grants the caster additional abilities as indicated on the table below. These abilities are cumulative. Treat see invisibility as a spellcaster of the sutra caster level. Also granted is a temporary insight bonus to Wisdom that can be gained by higher level casters (this bonus is non-cumulative – i.e. grant the higher bonus rather than adding them together).

This sutra has a duration measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier.

Sutra Caster Level Ability Granted
1st - 5th Blind-Fight feat, 20 ft. radius light
6th - 20th see invisibility
11th - 15th +2 enhancement bonus to Wisdom
16th - 20th +4 enhancement bonus to Wisdom

Fiery Pearl of Truth

Charm [Light]
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: personal
Target: you
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: This ofuda transforms into a fiery pearl that floats near the head of the caster, always remaining the same distance and moving with the caster, granting the caster the abilities of the see invisibility spell as a spellcaster of her sutra caster level. Furthermore, it casts light as per the daylight spell for the equivalent radius of a torch (20 feet).

This sutra has a duration measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier.

Fire Charm

Charm [Fire]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: touch
Target: one creature
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: The paper of this ofuda sticks to the body of the bearer to provide protection against fire. This charm bestows 5 points of fire resistance, +1 additional point of fire resistance for every sutra caster level. Fire charms created by characters with a sutra caster level of 20th or higher provide immunity to fire.

This sutra has a duration measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier.

Flames of Jade

Punitive [Positive energy]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./sutra caster level)
Target: one creature
Duration: instantaneous
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: Enchant the ofuda with this sutra. It lies toward its target shrouded in the jade-green lames of the Green, burning with the pain of overlowing life. This attack deals positive energy damage to its target equal to 1d8 per effective spell level + sutra casting ability modifier. Reroll all 1s and 2s rolled for damage against undead.

Ghostflame Retribution

Warding [Fire, Incorporeal, Positive energy]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: see text
Target: see text
Duration: 1 round/effective spell level or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: Relex half; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: During the duration of this sutra, if struck by a creature in melee, ghostly green lames shoot out from the point of impact to envelop the attacking creature with the power of the Green. The green lame burns the creature with intense, positive energy that deals 1d6 ire and positive energy damage per effective spell level + sutra casting ability score modifier. Any enemies within 5 feet of the discharge suffer ire and positive energy damage equal to the caster’s sutra casting ability score modifier. These lames inlict this damage through obstacles and cover without damaging nonliving materials or constructs. Reroll all 1s and 2s rolled for damage against undead. Any creature that is not an infernal or a spirit suffers only half damage (minimum 1), whether they are the primary or secondary targets of this sutra. Because damage from this sutra counts as both ire and positive energy damage, it can overcome energy resistance to one of these energy types, but not both.

This sutra has a duration in rounds equal to its effective spell level.

Good Joss

Charm [Positive energy]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: touch
Target: one creature
Duration: 1 round/effective spell level or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: The bearer of this sutra receives a +1 luck bonus with an additional +1 per 5 sutra caster levels. At the time the ofuda is crafted, determine one type of d20 roll. Apply the bonus to those rolls. The bonus can be applied to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, or ability checks. Unlike other ofuda, this one can be activated only by the bearer; even if the bearer is not a sutra caster. Activating this sutra requires a standard action by the bearer.

This sutra has a duration in rounds equal to its effective spell level.

Grounding Charm

Punitive
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: touch Target: one creature (see below)
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: When the caster touches the paper of the ofuda to the target, the ofuda holds the target immobile as though he were affected by paralysis. This sutra is a paralysis effect that uses positive energy to ground outsider and undead targets in one place. At 10th level, it affects any goblinoid or fey creature. At 19th level, the sutra can affect any creature.

Duration for this sutra is measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier; though target creatures are entitled to a new save every hour.

Heaven’s Fury

Punitive [Electricity]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./sutra caster level)
Area: line 5 feet wide, 10 feet long per sutra caster level
Duration: instantaneous
Saving Throw: Relex half; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: This ofuda lies at its targets with the divine scream of thunderous wrath. The ofuda turns into a bolt of lightning. All creatures within the line of its attack receive electric damage equal to 1d6 per effective spell level + sutra casting ability modifier.

Paper Armor

Warding
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: personal
Target: you
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: The paper of the ofuda grows to wrap around the body of the caster to provide armor. The character gains Damage Reduction 1/- with an additional +1/- per 3 sutra caster levels against infernals. Against non-infernals, the bearer of the ofuda gains Damage Reduction 1/- plus 1/ per 6/- sutra caster levels. Duration for this sutra is measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level plus the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier.

Paper Shields

Warding
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: personal
Target: you
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Descriptive Text: The paper of the ofuda multiplies. The individual sheets hover about the caster to act as miniature shields that protect the caster against ranged attacks. This ofuda grants a delection bonus to AC of +1 against ranged attacks with an additional +1 granted for every four caster levels. Against melee attacks, this sutra grants a delection bonus to AC of +1 with an additional +1 per every eight caster levels.

Duration for this sutra is measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier.

Roar of Heaven

Punitive [Sonic]
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 sutra caster levels)
Target: one creature per point of sutra caster ability score modifier
Area: spread (5 ft + 5 ft/5 sutra caster levels radius)
Duration: instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude half; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: This ofuda disappears with the screaming thunder of the heavens and generates a shockwave that strikes all designated targets within its radius. The radius is 5 feet plus an additional 5 feet for every 5 sutra caster levels the character has. Those hit by this ofuda receive 1d6 sonic damage per effective spell level. Furthermore, all targets are knocked back 5 ft. for each point of the caster’s sutra casting ability modifier and knocked prone. With a successful Fortitude save, targets are not knocked prone or knocked back. If a target is knocked back further than it can be moved, then it suffers 1d4 points of impact damage for each 5 ft. increment it could not move.

Targeting Ofuda

Warding
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: long (400 ft. + 40 ft. per sutra caster level)
Target: one creature
Duration: 1 round per effective spell level
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: The ofuda lies off and attaches to the target to actually help guide attacks on the target with magical ch’i energy. It grants a +1 insight bonus to attack to any creature attacking the target of this ofuda. Against infernals, attackers gain an additional +1 for every four sutra caster levels. Against other creatures, attackers gain an additional +1 for every eight sutra caster levels. This sutra is only half as effective against any non-infernal creature targeted by this sutra (minimum attack bonus of +1). This sutra lasts for a number of rounds equal to its effective spell level; the caster may voluntarily dismiss it as a free action.

Ward Against the Infernal

Warding
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: see text
Area: see text
Duration: 1 time unit/(effective spell level + ability modifier) or discharged (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: yes
Descriptive Text: The ofuda glows a deep red whenever an infernal approaches within 30 ft. of the ofuda. The power of the sutra holds any infernal at bay as long as the creature has less hit dice than the caster’s character level. The caster need not hold the ofuda after activation, unless he does not have a Charisma bonus. He must remain within 30’ from the ofuda, or it will immediately cease working. Infernals affected by this sutra cannot approach the ofuda and must stay outside their Reach.

Duration for this sutra is measured in Time Units equal to the effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra ability modifier. For example, a 7th level contemplative monk with a Wisdom bonus of +3 that casts this sutra would cast it for 6 minutes (effective spell level is 4 + 3 from the sutra casting ability score modifier).


Creating New Sutras

If a DM or player wishes to create a new sutra for an ofuda, three key points to remember when creating sutras is that they should be primarily useful against infernals and spirits, all sutras should be made to be useful at all levels, and that it should be equivalent in power to spells of its effective spell level. Scaling the damage, duration and its primary effects are the primary means of accomplishing this.

The first step is to decide its type: punitive, charm, or warding. Warding ofuda are usually meant to be set up for use later – a trap or a defensive ield or ability. These are almost never offensive. Punitive ofuda are always offensive and take effect right away, usually targeting only creatures; specifically infernals and/or spirits. The effectiveness and general power level of a sutra is based on the effective spell level that is derived from the sutra caster level of its caster. The effective caster level is often used to determine one aspect of the sutra’s variables at the time of casting; usually damage or duration. Other variables are decided by the sutra caster level of its caster and/or the caster’s sutra ability modifier.

Damage

If the sutra inflicts damage, how much damage the sutra causes should always be the variable determined by the effective spell level.

Charm ofuda never inlict damage.

Punitive ofuda that target a speciic target with a melee touch attack should inlict damage equal to 1d8 per effective spell level + sutra ability modifier. Punitive ofuda that target a speciic target with a ranged touch attack inlict damage equal to 1d6 per effective spell level + sutra ability modifier. Punitive ofuda that inlict damage to all targets within an area, but allow a saving throw for partial damage should inlict damage equal to 1d8 per effective spell level + sutra ability modifier. Punitive ofuda that inlict damage to all targets within an area, but do not allow a saving throw for partial damage should inlict damage equal to 1d4 per effective spell level + sutra ability score modifier.

Warding ofuda only inflict damage when certain conditions are met. Warding ofuda that inlict damage upon an area should inflict damage equal to 1d6 per effective spell level + sutra ability score modifier. Warding ofuda that can inlict damage on only one, specific target should inlict damage equal to 1d8 per effective spell level + sutra ability score modifier. A higher die of damage may be used to affect only a certain type of opponent or has some other type of restriction (such as when used against infernals), but damage against other creatures should be two steps lower than that damage or even nonexistent. (For example, an area-effect attack that inlicts 1d8 against all infernals in the area of effect, but only inlicts 1d4 or just half damage against all other creatures in the area.)

Duration

If damage is not an effect, then duration is the best variable to use. If the duration should be short because the sutra would be too powerful with a long duration, then give the sutra a duration in rounds equal to its effective spell level. Otherwise, use Time Units (see above) plus the sutra caster’s ability score modifier.

Saving Throws

All saving throw Dificulty Classes to avoid or reduce the effects of a sutra are 10 + effective spell level + the sutra caster’s sutra casting ability modifier.

These are only the broadest of guidelines. Use the existing sutras as examples.


House Rules: Converting Sutra Magic to Spheres of Power

Wiki Note: These rules are in no way official, and exist solely to help bring the flavor and feel of Sutra casting to the Spheres system. You may wish to further modify them for use with your own group.

Sutras are a type of power that rest between magic talents and rituals. Each Sutra involves the use of an ofuda (a paper charm that the magical text of the Sutra appears on when used) as a material component, and otherwise follows the character's selected casting tradition. Characters who have learned Sutras are assumed to always have a supply of papers on hand to use, and indeed, many such individuals conceal a number of extra ofuda just in case.

Preparing a Sutra is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The Sutra can be cast as part of this action (and casting them at any point does provoke an attack of opportunity), or as a Standard Action at a later point if it isn't activated immediately. Typically, only certain Charm and Warding Sutra are activated at a later point, while Punitive Sutra come into effect at the same time they're prepared.

Sutras can be learned in place of a Magic Talent, and aside from that, there is no limit on the number of Sutra that can be learned. All Sutras use the caster's Casting Ability Modifier. However, since Sutra draw on several different forces in order to deal with creatures that disturb the natural order, a caster must know the Destruction, Fate, and Protection Spheres before they can learn a Sutra.

Both the Evil and Good Descriptor options are used (i.e. evil-subtype creatures take sacred damage from long-term effects, while good-subtype creatures heal from positive energy effects). Note that this applies to subtypes, not alignments.

For the purpose of effective sutra caster level (and, in turn, effective spell level), High Casters are considered Sutra Casters, Mid Casters are considered Arcane Spellcasters, and Low Casters are considered Non-Spellcasters.

The following Sutras require the use of a spell point in order to activate:
Celestial Blades
Celestial Fury
Fiery Pearl of the Perceptive
Fiery Pearl of Truth
Good Joss
Grounding Charm
Heaven's Fury
Roar of Heaven

The following Sutra do not require a spell point:
Celestial Bindings
Celestial Flame
Charm of Recovery (a given creature can only benefit once per day)
Fire Charm
Flames of Jade
Ghostflame Retribution
Paper Armor
Paper Shields
Targeting Ofuda
Ward Against the Infernal

Recommended Casting Tradition: Focus Casting (Ofuda), Magical Signs, Somatic Casting x2, Verbal Casting

Other Rules:

  • Charm and Warding Ofuda that require the use of a spell point have that point spent when they are first created. The caster does not regain the spell point until the next time they recover spell points after the Ofuda in question is used. For example, if the caster has three Charm Ofuda that cost spell points prepared, and don't use them, they would have three less than their maximum number of spell points the next morning.
  • Sutra abilities are considered a Sphere for the purpose of effects that can increase Caster Level, the save DCs of a sphere, and so on. For example, a +2 Sutra Spherestaff would provide a +2 bonus to effective caster level for all sutras and, in turn, a bonus to effective spell level.
  • Sutras do not deal half-damage (or otherwise have a reduced effect) against non-Infernals unless the sutra in question specifically says otherwise.
  • When creating new Sutras, spell point costs should be determined by the normal Sphere ability they most resemble. If something would (or probably would) cost a spell point normally, the Sutra version should also cost a spell point.
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