The MacGyver

The MacGyver is a first-level sample character for Champions of the Spheres, suitable for use as a PC or as an NPC. Information on its build rules, and how to adjust for different rules, is included below. This character was created by the community.

Admin's Note: That said, this is a complex character with a lot of parts at first level, and it may be challenging for a first-time player to use well. I do not recommend using this sample character unless the player and GM have the time to talk with each other and ensure they both understand how it works.

The MacGyver
Human prodigy 1
CG Medium humanoid
Init +2; Perception +5


AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3


Speed 30 ft.
Melee Battle Wrench +1 (1d4+1/x3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks finishers


Caster Level 1; MSB +1, MSD 12, Concentration +4
Tradition Artificery (Boons: Easy Focus; Drawbacks: Focus Casting (sul magicas), Wild Magic); CAM Int
Spell Points 4
Creation sphere - DC 13; Range touch, Duration Concentration or 1 minute w/ 1 sp, Talents Expanded Materials
- create 1 small object (1sp)
- destroy 1d4
- repair 1d4


Tradition Tinker (Alchemy sphere (formulae) package: Improved Alchemist's Fire, Improved Fuse Grenade; Barroom sphere; Equipment sphere: Mechanical Training); PAM Int
Alchemy sphere - DC 13, Packages formulae, Talents Improved Alchemist's Fire, Improved Fuse Grenade
- formulae (improved alchemists fire, improved fuse grenade)
Barroom sphere - DC 13
- brutal breaker (don't suffer penalties w/ improvised weapons)
- hard drinker (move action, retrieve and drink an elixir, potion, or beverage; if alcoholic gain drunk status for 2 rounds)
Equipment sphere - DC 13, Talents Mechanical Training
- discipline (proficient w/ battle wrench, and w/ all crossbows, including exotic ones such as the net launcher)
Trap sphere - DC 13, Duration 3-22 rounds or 30-220 minutes w/ 1 minute action, Talents Persistent Trap, Rapid Placement
- dart +7 ranged (1d6 or alchemical item) (standard action or move action w/ martial focus)
- snare (standard action or move action w/ martial focus, tripwire)


Str 13, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 13
Feats Extra Combat Talent x2
Skills Acrobatics +6, Bluff +4, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (engineering) +7, Perception +5, Sense Motive +5, Spellcraft +7, Use Magic Device +4; Associated Skills Craft (alchemy) +7, Craft (traps) +7
Languages common, dwarven, gnomish, undercommon
Gear battle wrench, trap bag, other equipment worth 55gp

Special Abilities

Alchemy Sphere Training in the Alchemy combat sphere teaches you how to quickly and efficiently combine volatile chemicals for new or enhanced effects.

When you gain the Alchemy sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Craft (alchemy) skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Alchemy sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Craft (alchemy) skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.

In addition, choose one of the following packages: Formulae or Poison. (Chosen: Formulae)

Alchemy: Formulae Some Alchemy talents have the (formulae) descriptor; these are improved or original versions of alchemical items you can only create once you’ve learned the talent. All formulae have a base crafting DC as noted in their descriptor, and their saving throw DCs, if any, are determined using the normal formula for combat sphere talents, using the practitioner’s ranks in Craft (alchemy) in place of their base attack bonus. The necessary ingredients for creating formulae are gathered over the course of a given day; there is no monetary cost to creating a formulae. You may craft any item whose formulae you know in 30 minutes, or 15 minutes if you have access to an alchemist’s lab or alchemist’s crafting kit, but due to the volatile nature of the enhanced formulae you cannot prepare more formulae at one time than a number equal to 1/2 your ranks in Craft (alchemy) (minimum 1) + the number of formulae talents you possess. For every 4 ranks in Craft (alchemy) you possess, you may craft 1 additional formulae as part of the same 30/15 minute time period.

Any creature affected by splash damage from an improved formulae is entitled to a Reflex save to reduce the damage by half.

Because formulae are more unstable than standard alchemical items, they expire and no longer work after 24 hours; it is relatively easy (DC 10 Appraise) to recognize the unstable and impermanent nature of these items so typically they have no monetary value; a potential buyer who fails their Appraise check assumes they are a standard item of their type (if applicable), or as a mundane item worth no more than 10 gp. In addition, the overly refined and unstable nature of formulae means that they cannot be further refined or enhanced by items such as focusing flasks or hybridization funnels. You cannot fail to craft an alchemical item you know the formulae for; failure to meet the DC instead means you create the item but at its minimum potency, without additional effects or benefits for having additional Craft (alchemy) ranks or having increased the crafting DC. When you first gain this package, you may learn any one (formulae) talent you qualify for.

Alchemy: Improved Alchemist's Fire (formulae) Craft DC: 20

You create a flask of alchemist’s fire that functions as a splash weapon you can use as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 ft., dealing 1d6 fire damage +1d6 per two Craft (alchemy) ranks you possess to the target of a direct hit, half that damage to targets 5 ft. away from the point of contact, and 1 point of fire splash damage per die of damage this weapon deals on a direct hit to targets 10 ft. away from the point of contact (to a maximum of half the damage dealt to the primary target). All targets closer than the furthest splash damage ring catch fire and suffer an additional 1d6 points of fire damage again on each subsequent round. Affected targets can use a full-round action to attempt to extinguish the flames before taking this additional damage with a successful Reflex save; rolling on the ground provides the target a +2 bonus on the save. Leaping into a large body of water or magically extinguishing the flames automatically smothers the fire.

You can increase the Craft DC for this weapon in increments of 10; each time you do so, the range for each damage increment increases by 5 ft. (for example, if you increase the Craft DC to 30, you would deal full damage to all targets within 5 ft. of the point of contact, half damage to all targets 10 ft. away from the point of contact, and 1 point of damage to all creatures within 15 ft.).

Alchemy: Improved Fuse Grenade (formulae) Craft DC: 25

An improved fuse grenade may be lit and thrown into an unoccupied square capable of supporting an object within 60 ft. as a standard action. 1d3 rounds after being lit, the grenade explodes, dealing 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of fire damage in a 20-foot-radius burst (Reflex halves). For every 3 ranks in Craft (alchemy) you possess, both the bludgeoning and fire damage from this item increase by an additional 1d6. You can increase the Craft DC for this item in increments of 10; each time you do so, the radius increases by 10 ft. and the Reflex save DC increases by +1.

Barroom Sphere Barroom practitioners specialize in using whatever is available to them, willing to swing table legs, chairs, and anything else as they chug down a fresh brew.

Practitioners of the Barroom sphere gain the following abilities: Brutal Breaker and Hard Drinker.

Barroom: Brutal Breaker You do not suffer any penalty when using an improvised weapon, be it ranged or melee, and may treat improvised weapons you are wielding as manufactured weapons for the purpose of being able to be targeted by spells and other effects. You may grab an unattended object within your natural reach and make an attack action with it as part of the same standard action.

Additionally, you may treat any improvised weapon made of any material with a hardness of 5 or lower (wood, glass, etc.) as having the fragile weapon special feature for the purpose of any feats or talents you possess. This does not apply to magic items, nor to creatures being used as improvised weapons.

Some talents allow you to grant a fragile weapon the broken condition in exchange for a benefit. If you apply a second such benefit to a weapon, it is destroyed. You cannot apply more than 2 benefits that break a weapon to the same weapon attack.

Note: Talents which would allow you to add the broken condition or destroy an improvised weapon cannot be used while using a creature as an improvised weapon.

Barroom: Hard Drinker Whenever you imbibe an alcoholic drink (normally a standard action), you gain the drunk status for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution modifier (creatures without a Constitution score cannot gain this status). As a move action, you may retrieve an alcoholic drink, elixir, or potion (but not extract) from your person or grab one within your natural reach and drink it, all without provoking an attack of opportunity. For every 4 points of base attack bonus you possess, the drunk status last for one additional round.

Some talents possess the (drunk) tag, requiring you to expend your drunk status to perform them. (Drunk) talents are a free action unless stated otherwise in their description.

Creation Sphere You may create and alter physical materials.

Creation: Alter Altering an object is a standard action and requires you to be touching the object to be altered. You cannot alter an animate target (such as a golem or animated object) and the object must be non-magical and unattended (not held, worn, or part of a creature’s equipment).

When you gain the Creation sphere, you may alter objects in the following ways: Repair and Destroy.

Creation: Create As a standard action, you may spend a spell point to create a non-magical, unattended object out of vegetable matter such as wood, hemp, or cotton in either your hand or an adjacent square. The object may be of equivalent size to one Small object per caster level (see chart below) and lasts as long as you continue to concentrate, to a maximum of 1 minute per caster level. When creating an object you may spend an additional spell point to allow that object to persist for 1 minute per caster level without concentration.

If the created object is especially large, it must begin in an adjacent square and must be completely contained within Close range.

You cannot create items that require mixing, carry special properties, or knowledge you don’t possess (alchemical items, rare herbs, the key to a lock you didn’t create, etc.). A DC 15 Appraise check reveals the object as a magical fake. Fabricated objects have a lingering magical aura that can be detected as magic, although the objects themselves aren’t magical.

While simple objects such as candles, folds of cloth, simple furniture, or basic weapons are easy to create; particularly complex objects (mechanics, crossbows, objects with moving parts) require a Craft check made against the object’s Craft DC. Failure means the object comes into being broken and unusable. You cannot create an object directly onto a target (summoning manacles onto someone’s wrists, etc.).

Creation: Destroy You deal damage to the object equal to 1d4 + 1/2 your caster level. This bypasses all hardness. An object reduced to less than half its hit points gains the broken condition.

Creation: Expanded Materials: Classic Substances When you create or alter an object, you may work with any non-harmful material with a hardness of 5 or less, including glass, ice, or leather. You may create water (3 cubic ft. equals a Small creature), but not gases or flesh. You may make objects with multiple materials, provided you can create all the materials required.

As you gain caster levels, you also gain the ability to make steadily more materials, as detailed in the table on the Creation page. Adamantine cannot be created or altered, except for the repair and destroy abilities.

Creation: Repair You may repair a damaged object, healing it a number of hit points equal to 1d4 + 1/2 your caster level. If the object has the broken condition, this condition is removed if the object is restored to at least half its original hit points. This ability cannot restore warped or transmuted items, but it can still repair damage done to such items.

Easy Focus When maintaining a sphere ability through concentration, you only need to spend a move action to maintain concentration instead of a standard action. This does not decrease the sphere ability’s casting time, only the action used to maintain concentration.

Equipment: Mechanical Training You gain proficiency with the battle wrench and with all crossbows, including exotic ones such as the net launcher. Crossbows that can be fired with one hand reduce the penalty for doing so by half.

Focus Casting Your magic requires you to use an item such as a wand, holy symbol, ring, or staff to create magic. Using magic without your focus requires you to make a concentration check (DC 20 + 1/2 the caster level) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If a focus is lost, stolen, or broken, the caster must create a new focus by securing the necessary item and spending 8 hours bonding with it. At the GM’s discretion, however, another caster’s focus may be used instead.

Inspired Sequence (Ex) Gains an insight bonus to attack, damage, and caster level equal to half their sequence length (minimum: 1).

Sequence (Ex) String together a series of actions in combat, to unlock finishers. Sequences have three parts: openers, link components, and finishers. The prodigy at 1st level has a maximum sequence length of 4 links. Any time that a prodigy begins their turn without adding a link the previous turn, they lose one link in the sequence. A sequence cannot be started before combat, and ends 1 round after there is no apparent or immediate threat.
- Openers

  • Attack: Standard action, Successfully dealing damage to a hostile creature.
  • Critical Hit: Confirm a critical hit against a hostile creature.
  • Defeat: Reduce a hostile creature with a CR equal to or greater than half your level to 0 or fewer hp.
  • Heal: Standard action, Restore hit points of an ally or remove a debilitating condition.
  • Liquid Preparation (Barroom): Standard action, Draw and imbibe an alcoholic drink, elixer, extract, formulae, or potion.
  • Maneuver: Successfully use a combat maneuver against a hostile creature.
  • Magic Save: Standard action, A hostile creatures fails a saving throw against a magic sphere effect.
  • Opening Toss (Alchemy): Standard action, Deal damage with a formulae us.
  • Trapped (Trap): A hostile creature fails a save against or takes damage from a trap the prodigy set.

- Link Components

  • Abandon Focus: Free action, expend martial focus
  • Close The Gap: Move action, move upto their speed, ending movement with a hostile creature within their threatened area. May sheath one weapon and draw another as a free action as part of this movement.
  • Counting Coup: Swift action, Make a touch attack against a creature using a wielded weapon. If successful, the attack deals no damage, but completes this (link).
  • Disengage: Move action, move upto half their speed. They don't provoke attacks of opportunity for leaving their starting squares. May sheathe one weapon and draw another as a free action as part of this movement.
  • Quaff (Barroom): Move action, Draw and imbibe an alcoholic drink, elixer, extract, formulae, or potion.
  • Poisoner (Alchemy): The prodigy applies a dose of poison to a weapon.
  • Preparation: Attack of Opportunity, choose to expend a triggered attack of opportunity without making an attack to complete this (link).
  • Save: Succeed on a save against a non-harmless effect originating from a hostile creature.
  • Swift Heal: Immediate or Swift action, restore hit points or remove a debilitating effect.
  • Steel Mind: Pass a concentration check to maintain concentration on a sphere effect when taking damage.
  • Stumbling Flow (Barroom): Free action, While (drunk), fall prone.

- Finishers

  • Adroit Momentum: Any Length, End sequence as part of making a skill check to gain bonus equal to sequence length.
  • Carpet Bombing: Any Length, Standard action, throw one formulae per link in their sequence. An individual creature cannot be affected by more than one formulae per use of this finisher.
  • Certain Strike: 3 Links, Swift action, resolve their next attack as a touch attack.
  • Doombringer: 3 Links, Swift action, make a single attack.
  • Focus: 3 Links, Free action, regain martial focus.
  • Iron Hide: Any Length, Immediate action, end sequence to gain 1 temporary hit point for a number of rounds equal to their sequence length.
  • Penetrating Magic: Any Length, as part of casting a sphere effect gain a bonus to MSB equal to your sequence length for the purpose of overcoming spell resistance.
  • Prodigy Reflexes: 3 Links, Immediate action, make an Acrobatics check in place of AC or a Reflex save.

Trap Sphere When you gain the Trap sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Craft (traps) skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Trap sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Craft (traps) skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.

Possessing this sphere grants you access to the ability to rapidly deploy temporary traps. You may make a Craft (traps) check with a DC of 5 to place a trap on any solid surface within your reach as a full-round action. This trap persists for 1 round per point that your check exceed the placement DC. The trap is placed in a 5-ft. square of your choice. For every 5 ranks in Craft (traps) you possess, you may increase this area by one 5-ft. square. All squares a trap occupies must be contiguous and you can not place two separate traps in the same squares. Entering a trap's space triggers the trap. The Perception DC to locate a trap is 10 + your Craft (traps) modifier. Trap talents that require a saving throw use your ranks in Craft (trap) instead of your base attack bonus when determining your saving throw DCs.

Traps are cobbled together from scrap, detritus in the environment, and random bits of string, springs, and other miscellany that have been assembled into easily deployed components. Any creature in possession of a trap bag is considered to have the required materials to build these temporary traps, preparing components during downtime and restocking it for negligible cost at regular intervals, though some talents may allow the use of more expensive components that must be tracked. At the GM’s discretion, some traps may be constructed from materials in the environment even without a trap bag.

You never set off your own traps unless you choose to. Creatures who you warn or who see you set a trap are aware of its location and gain a +5 circumstance bonus on Perception checks to notice the trap and Reflex saves and AC to avoid the trap. A trap may be removed as a full-round action with a Disable Device check with a DC equal to your Craft (traps) bonus +10. You always succeed on removing your own traps. You may choose to recover any expensive components or Alchemy sphere formulae used in a successfully removed trap.

If a trap is perceived, it can be targeted and destroyed by attacks without setting it off. A trap has hardness equal to your ranks in Craft (traps), AC equal to 10 + your ranks in Craft (traps), and 5 hit points + 5 hit points per 2 ranks in Craft (traps) you possess.

As long as you have martial focus, reduce the time required to set a trap from a full-round action to a standard action.

There are two basic types of temporary traps, snares and darts. A trap may only be triggered once unless otherwise noted. Trap sphere talents that allow for the use of expensive components allow for the component (alchemist fire, dose of poison, etc.) to be drawn as part of the action required to place the trap unless noted.

Trap: Darts A dart trap is constructed of spring, twine, and usually a needle or other blade. A dart targets a line originating from one corner of one of the squares it occupies determined when it is set. This line extends out to Close range (25 ft. + 5 ft. per 2 ranks of Craft (traps) you possess) and stops after one creature is hit. When triggered, make a ranged attack roll against each creature in the line until one is hit. You may substitute your ranks in Craft (traps) + your Intelligence modifier for your base attack bonus + Dexterity modifier on this roll. The dart deals 1d6 piercing damage, increasing by 1d6 when your Craft (traps) ranks reach 3 and every 2 ranks thereafter, and has a critical threat range of 20 with a x3 multiplier. Some talents allow you to modify your darts. Each trap may only benefit from one (dart) talent. Some trap talents allow you to forgo dealing damage for benefits as defined in that talent.

You may forgo dart damage to expend an alchemical item (such as a tanglefoot bag), a thrown splash weapon (such as alchemist’s fire or acid flasks), or a dust (a potion containing a spell that affects an area) when making a dart trap to add the effects of that splash weapon to the dart. Resolve the attack verses touch AC. Items with an area of effect count their origin from the nearest corner of the struck creature’s space to the line of the dart’s effect.

You may apply injury poison to a dart as if it were a weapon after it has been set. While setting the trap, you may choose to forgo dart damage, instead expending a dose of a contact or inhaled poison as part of setting the trap. The dart then resolves its attack vs. touch AC. An inhaled poison fills its area as normal, centered on the struck creature’s square (or the first square targeted by the line, if the creature occupies more than one space).

Trap: Persistent Trap You may increase the time required to set a trap to 1 minute to increase its duration to 10 minutes per point that your check exceed the placement DC. You may only place 1 trap at a time in this manner, +1 per 4 ranks in Craft (traps). If you take this talent a second time, you may increase the set time to 10 minutes to increase duration to 1 hour per point that your check exceed the placement DC.

Trap: Rapid Placement You may expend martial focus to reduce the time required to place a trap by 1 step (10 minutes becomes 1 minute, 1 minute becomes 1 round, 1 round becomes a full-round, a full-round becomes a standard, a standard becomes a move).

Trap: Snares A snare trap is constructed from rope, wire, and similar materials. A snare targets the first creature to enter one of the squares it occupies. A creature may avoid triggering a snare with a successful Reflex save; doing so leaves the trap untriggered and makes the creature aware of the trap and able to pass through that trap’s space(s) without further risk of triggering it. Some talents grant additional types of snares. Each trap may only benefit from one (snare) talent.

An alchemical item may be rigged to a snare trap. If a creature triggers the trap, the alchemical item is activated, targeting a grid intersection adjacent to the trap chosen when it is set. If the alchemical item is a thrown splash weapon, the triggering creature is affected by the item as if it were struck directly by it. Other small items such as dyes, dusts, vials of perfume, and other items with GM permission may also be attached to a snare trap as well.

An inhaled poison may be rigged to a snare trap. If a creature triggers the trap, the first square entered (the creature’s choice if there is more than one entered simultaneously) becomes the centerpoint for the inhaled poison.

When you first gain the Trap sphere, you gain the following snare: Tripwire.

Trap: Tripwire (snare) A creature that fails its save against a tripwire snare falls prone. Once knocked prone, a creature is no longer at risk of triggering the trap in that square. This trap is not destroyed when triggered; instead the duration is reduced by 5 rounds per creature that fails its save. Running and charging creatures take a -2 penalty on their Reflex saves against this trap.

Wild Magic Your magic is not entirely stable and can result in a variety of unwanted effects. Whenever you spend a spell point, there is a 10% chance an unexpected event happens alongside your magic. Roll as if you had activated a rod of wonder. Add that effect to those you produce with your magic. At the GM’s discretion, wild magic tables, or even tables of his own creation, may be added to the possible effects your magic can create.

Point Buy Rules

20 Point Buy. If higher, raise Intelligence. If lower, reduce Strength and Charisma.

Suggested Growth

Talents after 1st level should be used to dip into as many spheres as possible. This is because at 2nd level, you gain the adaption ability which allows you to temporarily gain talents from spheres you possess, which makes focusing in a particular sphere not as productive.


This character has not traits selected.

Similarly, besides the battle wrench and trap bag, the character has no other equipment preselected. The character has 55 gp remaining to pick whatever equipment they so desire.

Playing The MacGyver

You have the tools to handle pretty much any situation, provided you have time. The Creation sphere can temporarily create any number of objects or structures. While the Alchemy and Trap spheres allow you to set combat to your own terms. With the Barroom sphere, you can utilize everyday objects as weapons should the need arise and can draw forth formulae quickly.

Tinker Tradition

Tinkers specialize in jury-rigging hazards from scraps. Be it explosives or traps, they are not to be underestimated.

  • Bonus Talents: Equipment: Mechanical Training
  • Barroom sphere
  • Variable: Tinkers gain either the Alchemy sphere (formulae) package or the Trap sphere, and an additional talent from the chosen sphere.

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