Using Spheres Of Power
Ultimate Spheres of Power
Wiki Note: If you're new to Spheres of Power, we recommend reading everything on this page. This part of the site introduces the mechanics of the system and defines the various things you'll see on the class pages, including things like how you can spend your Magic Talents, what your saving throws are, how to calculate the number of Spell Points you get, and how Caster Level works with Spheres of Power. For more help, see How to Build a Spherecaster.

Note: Ultimate vs Original

Spheres of Power was originally published as a single sourcebook. After several years of additions and expansions, it was reprinted in Ultimate Spheres of Power, which is the current and primary edition of the rules. This Wiki still provides access to the old rules (through a special section as well as through tabs like the one you can see on this page) for those who want to use them. Which version of the rules you use is your choice, but we generally encourage using the Ultimate version of the rules, which include numerous changes and improvements based on playtests and years of experience. All pages that host both kinds of content display the Ultimate rules as the default.

Using The Spheres

Spheres of Power is a completely independent magic system that may be used alongside or may completely replace the core Pathfinder spell system.

Like spells, the spheres grant a magic-user the ability to accomplish great things that would otherwise be impossible. Bending fire, summoning angels, layering enchantments on an unsuspecting creature’s mind: all of this and more is possible for a master of the spheres.

Like spells, spheres require levels in a magic-using class. Using a sphere ability with a casting time of a move action or greater provokes an attack of opportunity (unless cast defensively), requires a concentration check in difficult situations, ceases to function in an antimagic field, and is subject to spell resistance if it directly targets an individual. Unlike spells, however, a caster may take multiple casting classes without necessarily dividing his power; caster levels, talents, and spell points gained from multiple magic-using classes all stack with each other.

Where the core Pathfinder magic system grants access to spells and spell levels, magic users using the Spheres of Power system (referred to as ‘casters’) use spheres and talents. There are 22 main spheres contained on this site, including Alteration, Blood, Conjuration, Creation, Dark, Death, Destruction, Divination, Enhancement, Fallen Fey, Fate, Illusion, Life, Light, Mind, Nature, Protection, Telekinesis, Time, War, Warp, and Weather. Blood and Fallen Fey were originally created as optional, additional spheres, but are included in this book.

Spheres provide a caster with a broad magical focus; for example, powers that deal with moving objects through space are contained in the Telekinesis sphere, while powers that deal with manipulating winds and rain are contained in the Weather sphere. Most spheres provide the caster with an at-will ability, which may be further refined through gaining talents associated with that sphere. Beyond the spheres themselves, there are several terms that must be explained for use with this system: Magic Talents, Caster Level, Casting Ability Modifier, Casting Time, Distances, Spell Points, Saving Throw Difficulty Class, and Magic Skill Bonus and Magic Skill Defense.

Magic Talents

As a caster gains levels, they gain magic talents. Magic talents, like feats, may be spent to allow a caster to gain new powers and abilities.

Whenever a caster gains a magic talent, they may spend it on a magic sphere. The first time a character spends a magic talent on a sphere, they gain that sphere’s base abilities. After a character possesses a base sphere, they may spend additional magic talents to gain talents specifically associated with that sphere. If a character gains a bonus sphere or talent that they already possess (such as through a class feature), they instead gain one talent of their choice from that sphere. If they would gain a package from a sphere (such as a Nature package) and they possess the sphere but not that package, they instead gain whatever talent would allow them to gain the package in question. If they possess a drawback that would forbid them gaining a package or talent, they instead use the bonus talent to buy off that drawback.

The number of magic talents a caster gains differs between classes, but all characters gain two bonus magic talents the first time they gain a level in a class with the casting class feature, regardless of which class is chosen.

Once a talent is spent, it cannot usually be changed except through retraining, which follows the same rules as retraining a feat.

If a magic talent is only gained temporarily (for example, though a class feature that grants a talent for less than 24 hours), any non-instantaneous effect created with that talent ends as soon as that talent is lost. If a temporary talent is gained for a single casting, the talent is considered to be ‘lost’ one minute after any concentration on the effect is ended.

Caster Level

Caster level is not as synonymous with class level in Spheres of Power as it is with most of the core Pathfinder spellcasting classes. Instead, it would be more appropriate to think of it as akin to base attack bonus: as a creature gains levels in a casting class, they gain caster levels at different rates depending on the class chosen. A multi-classed caster determines his total caster levels by adding together his caster levels from all his classes, similar to how base attack bonus is accumulated between all classes. A caster level of 0 is treated as if it were 1 when determining a caster’s capabilities. Some item, called implements, can grant temporary bonuses to a caster’s caster level, and are described later in the Equipment chapter.

All casting classes fall into one of three categories: High-Casters (wizards, sorcerers, clerics, incanters, soul weavers, fey adepts, etc.), Mid-Casters (bards, magi, inquisitors, symbiats, eliciters, etc.), and Low-Casters (paladins, rangers, armorists, mageknights, etc.). Each of these groups gain caster levels at a slightly different rate, as indicated by Table: Caster Level.

If you're playing with the fractional base bonus rules, treat low-casting as 1/2 progression, mid-casting as 3/4ths progression, and high-casting as full progression.

Table: Caster Level
Level High Caster Mid-Caster Low Caster
1 +1 0 0
2 +2 +1 +1
3 +3 +2 +1
4 +4 +3 +2
5 +5 +3 +2
6 +6 +4 +3
7 +7 +5 +3
8 +8 +6 +4
9 +9 +6 +4
10 +10 +7 +5
11 +11 +8 +5
12 +12 +9 +6
13 +13 +9 +6
14 +14 +10 +7
15 +15 +11 +7
16 +16 +12 +8
17 +17 +12 +8
18 +18 +13 +9
19 +19 +14 +9
20 +20 +15 +10

Casting Ability Modifier

Not every caster in the Spheres of Power system uses the same mental ability score when determining their magical potency. Just as with the core Pathfinder magic system, some casteres use Intelligence, some use Wisdom, and others use Charisma. In Spheres of Power, this is called their casting ability modifier (CAM). Casting ability modifiers are used to determine the difficulty class of sphere abilities, as well as the caster’s total number of spell points.

Casting ability modifier is determined by the caster’s tradition, which is explained later on the Casting Traditions page.

Spell Points

Along with gaining caster levels, casters using the Spheres of Power system also gain a spell pool, which accumulates spell points as they gain levels. Spell points are a measure of a spellcaster’s capability and are spent to increase the power of their various sphere abilities. Each caster gains a pool of spell points equal to their class level plus their casting ability modifier. Just like with caster level, a caster adds together all their levels in casting classes when determining the size of their spell pool. A caster’s spell pool refreshes once a day after roughly 8 hours of rest. These hours do not need to be consecutive.

Saving Throw Difficulty Class

Whenever a sphere ability calls for a saving throw, the difficulty class (DC) for that saving throw is equal to 10 + 1/2 the caster level + the caster’s casting ability modifier. If the targeted creature meets or exceeds this number with their saving throw, they often reduce or negate the effect. If a caster chooses to use an effect at a lower caster level than her maximum, the DC is also lowered.

Magic Skill Bonus and Magic Skill Defense

Sometimes, it is not a caster’s raw power that is important, but rather his skill and experience with magic in general. This includes concentration checks or times when a caster directly pits his magic against that of another caster. At these times, the caster’s magic skill bonus (MSB) and magic skill defense (MSD) are used to determine the outcome.

A caster’s MSB is equal to his total levels in spherecasting classes. A caster’s MSD is equal to 11 + his MSB.

Sometimes, a power or circumstance will call for a magic skill check. At this point, the caster attempting the check rolls a d20 and adds her MSB to the roll. If this equals or exceeds the target’s MSD, the check succeeds. If not, the check fails.

When a spherecaster attempts a concentration check (as called for by the Pathfinder Core Rulebook), instead of rolling a d20 and adding his caster level + his casting ability modifier, he rolls a d20 and adds his MSB + his casting ability modifier to the roll. Treat an effect’s caster level/2 as the effective spell level for this purpose. A spellcaster may always choose to manifest a magical effect at a lower caster level than his total in order to attempt a concentration check easier.

Example: When casting defensively, a spellcaster must attempt a concentration check (1d20 + caster level + Int, Wis, or Cha modifier) against a DC equal to 15 + double the spell level. In Spheres of Power, this would instead require a check equal to 1d20 + MSB + casting ability modifier, and would be against a DC equal to 15 + the caster level of the ability.

When attempting to penetrate a creature’s spell resistance, she rolls a d20 and adds her MSB to the roll. An MSB is also used when attempting to counter another caster’s magic, such as when using the Counterspell feat.

Any feat or ability that would normally call for a caster level check instead calls for a magical skill check. Any feat, trait, magic item, or other ability that normally adds to a creature’s caster level for the purposes of one of the caster level checks listed above instead adds to their MSB for that purpose.

Table: Spherecasting and Equivalent Spell Level

Sphere Caster Level Equivalent Spell Level Sphere Caster Level Equivalent Spell Level
1 0th 16 8th
2 1st 17 8th
3 1st 18 9th
4 2nd 19 9th
5 2nd 20 10th
6 3rd 21 10th
7 3rd 22 11th
8 4th 23 11th
9 4th 24 12th
10 5th 25 12th
11 5th 26 13th
12 6th 27 13th
13 6th 28 14th
14 7th 29 14th
15 7th 30 15th

If a creature gains magic or a magic-like effect from a source other than casting, their MSB and MSD are determined by their Hit Dice associated with that source (for example, their class level if the effect comes from a class, or their character level if it comes from a feat or another class-neutral source).


Casting Time

Most sphere abilities require a standard action to use, but there are exceptions. Certain abilities, such as metamagic feats and some drawbacks, may increase or decrease a casting time by a certain number of ‘steps’ as seen in Chart: Casting Times.

Note: Unless otherwise specified, a sphere ability cannot have a shorter casting time than a swift action, nor a longer casting time than 1 hour. Sphere effects with a casting time of a swift or immediate action do not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Chart: Casting Times
1 Hour
10 Minutes
1 Minute
1 Round
Full-Round Action
Standard Action
Move Action
Swift Action


Many sphere abilities and class powers use close, medium, and long as indicators for their range. Just as with spells, close equals 25 feet + 5 feet per 2 caster levels, medium equals 100 feet + 10 feet per caster level, and long equals 400 feet + 40 feet per caster level. Class powers use class level instead of caster level when determining their range.


Just as with casting times and distances, durations also can increase or decrease by steps, according to Chart: Durations:

Chart: Durations
1 day per caster level
1 hour per caster level
10 minutes per caster level
1 minute per caster level
1 round per caster level
concentration/1 round

Generally speaking, a duration of ‘instantaneous’ means that the effect is no longer considered magical after it is made; it cannot be dispelled after it has taken effect. Durations of instantaneous are generally considered not part of the progression of durations.


Unlike the core Pathfinder RPG magic system, it is possible to cast a sphere ability while already concentrating on another, so long as the concentration and the casting use different actions. In all other ways, concentration is the same as used in core spells.

You may not resume concentrating on an effect once you have stopped concentrating on it, even if the effect lingers or had its duration maintained through the expenditure of spell points.

Line of Sight and Line of Effect

Just as with core magic, most sphere effects require that you be able to perceive the target of your magic (they require line of sight) and that you be able to draw an unimpeded line between yourself and the target of your magic (they require line of effect). If an effect requires an attack roll, a touch attack roll, or affects an area, it may be used without line of sight by firing ‘blindly’ into space, just like any other attack or area-effect power.

Teleport from Warp sphere does not require line of effect, but still requires line of sight (except when using the Unseeing Teleport talent).

Creating a figment from the Illusion sphere, however, requires neither line of sight nor line of effect. So long as the caster can pick a distance and direction, they may create a figment at that location. If the effect has the shadow descriptor, however, its quasi-real nature means that it does require line of effect.

Casting and Observation

Using Spellcraft or Knowledge (arcana) on sphere effects is the same as on spells; use the sphere effect’s caster level/2 as its effective spell level. Unless a casting tradition dictates otherwise, casting sphere effects from stealth does not necessarily break stealth, although when making a magical attack, such as a destructive blast, ghost strike, or an attack with telekinesis, the rules for sniping apply when attempting to maintain stealth.

Watching someone cast a sphere effect does not automatically reveal their casting tradition, although some drawbacks are obvious to anyone observing (if the person is using magic by wielding a focus, using somatic or verbal components, using magical materials, possesses magical signs, etc., anyone observing them cast can easily tell). However, when identifying a magical effect or aura with Spellcraft, if the check exceeds 15 + the caster’s caster level you may also identify the target’s casting tradition including drawbacks, boons, casting ability modifier, and any other relevant information.


Some talents are tagged with the [instill], [mass], [range] or [strike] descriptors. These descriptors are referenced in certain feats and other locations, and usually share rules between them.

Additionally, in the core Pathfinder system of magic there are many descriptors tied to various spells, allowing them to be manipulated by class features, other spells and feats that function with specific descriptors. The Spheres of Power system does not assign specific descriptors due to the variable nature of its magic, although they are still treated as if they had descriptors, with the GM serving as the arbiter of which sphere effects should carry which descriptors, using the guidelines outlined below.

Certain feats that allow the use of magic with or without casting sphere effects may also have descriptors (such as surreal feats). Drawbacks may also add or remove descriptors from a casting of a sphere effect (such as the Aligned Combatant Destruction sphere drawback). For every new talent that modifies the way a sphere effect can be cast with a descriptor, the caster is considered to know an additional spell with that descriptor.

The list of descriptors are as follows:


Acid effects include any and all sphere effects that deal acid damage, create or manipulate acid, or any chemical opposites to existing acids.

Examples: The Alkali Blast Destruction talent, the create ability from Creation sphere when used to create acid.


Air effects create, manipulate air, or conjure creatures from air-dominant planes or with the air subtype.

Examples: The Air Blast Destruction talent, the (air) package of the Nature sphere, the Weather sphere when used to change the Wind severity.


Spells that draw upon the nature of chaos or conjure creatures from chaotic planes or with the chaotic subtype.

Examples: The Anarchic Form trait of the Outsider Body talent from Alteration sphere, the Hallow word from Fate sphere when used to defend against the lawful alignment.


Cold effects include any and all sphere effects that deal cold damage, create or manipulate coldness or ice, sleet or snow.

Examples: The Numbing Blast Destruction talent, the Freeze ability from the (water) package of the Nature sphere, the Energy Weapon talent of the Enhancement sphere when used to grant the frost weapon special ability.


Curse effects are already in use in the Spheres of Power system, and are appropriately tagged. They are often permanent, inhibiting effects. Curse effects cannot be dispelled by the Counterspell feat or similar abilities, but may be removed with the Break Enchantment talent of the Life sphere or similarly powerful effects.

Examples: Curse effects in spheres are properly listed in their entries, but talents such as the Curse talent of the Death sphere apply as well.


All effects that create darkness or reduce the amount of light are dark effects. Sphere effects with this descriptor can potentially be suppressed by effects with the light descriptor with a successful magic skill check.

Examples: Most effects in the Dark sphere are darkness effects, but certain feats that allow other sphere effects to create areas of darkness may also have this descriptor.


Any effect that causes immediate death or draws upon the power of a dead or dying creature is a death effect.

Examples: The Necrotic Feeding ghost strike of the Death sphere.


Any effect that bestows a disease, which includes abnormal internal conditions (such as a mental disorder or a cancer) and invasive effects such as a virus or bacteria all count as disease effects.

Examples: The Inject talent of the Blood sphere, or the Inflict Disease talent of the Death sphere.


Any sphere effect that conjures or manipulates earth, or conjures creations from earth-dominant planes or the earth subtype are earth effects.

Examples: The (earth) package of the Nature sphere or the create ability of the Creation sphere when used to create dirt or stone.


Electricity effects include any and all effects that deal electricity damage, as well as those that create plasma or manipulate electricity in some way.

Examples: The create ability of the Creation sphere when used to create electricity, or the Shocking Blast Destruction talent.


Sphere effects that create, remove or manipulate a target’s emotions all count as emotion effects. All fear effects are emotion effects.

Examples: The Calm and Hostility (charm) talents of the Mind sphere, the Fearful Darkness (darkness) talent of the Dark sphere.


Spells that draw upon the nature of evil or conjure creatures from evil planes or with the evil subtype.

Examples: The Fiendish Form trait of the Outsider Body talent of the Alteration sphere, the Align Object (word) talent of the Fate sphere when aligned to evil.


Any and all sphere effects that create, enhance or manipulate fear are fear effects. All fear effects are emotion effects.

Examples: The Fear charm of the Mind sphere, the Totem Of Doom totem of the War sphere.


Fire effects include any and all effects that deal fire damage, as well as those that create plasma or manipulate fire in some way.

Examples: The Searing Blast talent of the Destruction sphere, the (fire) package of the Nature sphere, the Weather sphere when manipulating the Heat severity.


Force effects create or manipulate magical force. Force effects affect incorporeal creatures normally (as if they were corporeal creatures).

Examples: The Force Blast (blast type) talent of Destruction sphere, the Armored Magic (aegis) talent of Protection sphere.


Spells that draw upon the nature of good or conjure creatures from good planes or with the good subtype.

Examples: The Celestial Form trait of the Outsider Body talent of the Alteration sphere, the Align Object (word) talent of the Fate sphere when aligned to good.


A language-dependent effect uses intelligible language as a medium for communication. If the target cannot hear or understand what the caster of a language-dependent effect says, the spell has no effect, even if the target fails its saving throw.

Examples: Mind sphere charms with the Lost In Translation drawback.


Spells that draw upon the nature of law or conjure creatures from lawful planes or with the lawful subtype.

Examples: The Axiomatic Form trait of the Outsider Body talent from Alteration sphere, the Hallow word from Fate sphere when used to defend against the chaotic alignment.


Light effects create significant amounts of light or attack darkness effects. Sphere effects with this descriptor can potentially be suppressed by effects with the dark descriptor with a successful magic skill check against each other.

Examples: Most effects in the Light sphere are light effects, but certain feats that allow other spheres to create areas of light may also have this descriptor.


Mind-affecting effects automatically fail on mindless creatures, but are otherwise spells that directly meddle with a creature’s mental faculties. All emotion and fear effects are mind-affecting effects.

Examples: Most effects in the Mind sphere are mind-affecting effects, but other talents such as the Classify word from Fate sphere also qualify as mind-affecting effects.


Pain effects cause unpleasant sensations without permanent physical damage; most sphere effects that deal nonlethal damage are pain effects. Creatures that are immune to effects that require a Fortitude save (such as constructs and undead) are immune to pain effects.

Examples: The Pain word of the Fate sphere, the Painful (aegis) talent of the Protection sphere.


Poison effects use poison, venom, drugs or similarly toxic substances to disrupt and damage living creatures.

Examples: The Manipulate Alchemy talent of the Blood sphere when used to manipulate poisons, the Corrosive Poison (enhance) talent of the Enhancement sphere, the Stench trait of the Odiferous talent of the Alteration sphere.


Shadow effects manipulate shadowstuff to create quasi-real effects, or manipulate matter and energy from the Shadow Plane.

Examples: The surreal line of feats largely qualify as shadow effects, as well as the Illusion sphere when used to manipulate shadowstuff.


Sonic effects transmit energy to the target through frequent oscillations of pressure through a medium (ground, air, water). Sounds that are too high or too low for the humanoid ear to detect can still transmit enough energy to cause harm, which means even deaf creatures may not always be immune to them. Any and all sphere effects that deal sonic damage are sonic effects.

Examples: The Thunder Blast talent of the Destruction sphere.


Sphere effects that manipulate water or conjure creatures from water-dominant planes or with the water or aquatic subtypes are water effects.

Examples: The Elemental Transformation talent of the Alteration sphere when used to grant the Water package, the (water) package of the Nature sphere, the Drowning Blast talent of the Destruction sphere.


You may cast sphere effects at less than your maximum caster level (to a minimum of 1), and you may cast sphere effects with a lower casting ability modifier than you possess (to a minimum of 0). Similarly, you may choose to not apply enhancements to your caster level, such as those from implements or some feats, and you may choose to reduce your magic skill bonus (to a minimum of 1) at any time. Undercasting this way may reduce DCs or other details of sphere effects. You must still meet all prerequisites for any talents or effects to cast them. For example, if you are using an advanced talent with caster level 10 as a prerequisite, you cannot undercast it below caster level 10.

Transparency Rules

Often, when utilizing the Spheres of Power system of magic with the base Pathfinder Roleplaying Game magic system or other magic system, questions arise as to how they interact, and often a GM is required to make many rulings off-the-cuff to allow them to interact, or otherwise rule they do not. This section will attempt to collect and outline rulings for how to allow the two magic systems to blend together, and serve as a guideline for rulings relating to interactions between the systems.

Caster Levels and Magic Skill Bonus

When combining Spheres of Power with the core Pathfinder magic system, whenever a caster level check is called for, such as when overcoming spell resistance, the character’s MSB can be used. Many effects in the core Pathfinder system of magic provide caster level bonuses to certain spellcasters, allowing them to enhance their bonuses on spell resistance checks, caster level checks made to dispel magic, and certain variables in spells. In the Spheres of Power system of magic, however, the various abilities that a spellcaster’s caster level refers to in the core system is split into two different attributes: a spherecaster’s caster level and their magic skill bonus. This means that by default, most effects that increase a creature’s caster level in the core system do not easily translate over the two systems.

Effects that increase a creature’s caster level in the Pathfinder system of magic can still be used, although the way it impacts a character must be deliberated by the GM. The GM should determine what sort of bonus an effect is attempting to raise, and determine whether it applies to a spherecaster’s MSB or to their caster level. As a rule of thumb, a general bonus to a spellcaster’s caster level should apply to their MSB (such as the bonus gained from having an Orange Prism ioun stone), but specific caster level bonuses to spells of a specific descriptor or school of magic should instead apply as a caster level bonus to sphere effects that have that descriptor, or belong to the sphere(s) related to that school as shown on Table: School/Sphere Equivalents (an example of which is the gnome’s alternate racial trait charming diviner which would increase a spherecaster’s caster level by 1 for the Divination sphere).

Ultimately, it should not be easy to stack several effects that increase a caster’s caster level above their level, so at a GM’s discretion, any bonus after the first bonus to a creature’s caster level may instead only apply to their magic skill bonus for that sphere. General increases to a creature’s caster level should never apply to their caster level with any sphere, and should instead increase their magic skill bonus.

Spell Slots and Spell Points

As the Spheres of Power magic system lacks any concept of spell slots, many effects that modify or rely on spells of a certain slot being spent merely do not function. To remedy that, use the following guidelines when such abilities occur:

If an ability would require a spell slot of a certain level to be spent to activate, instead the spherecaster may spend spell points based on the level of the slot to do so: Level 1-2: 1 spell point, 3-5: 2 spell points, 6-8: 3 spell points, 9: 4 spell points. If an ability does not require a specific spell slot, but instead grants a benefit based off the spell slot being cast, treat any sphere effects being cast as if they had spell levels equal to half (rounded down) the caster level of the sphere effect, as shown in Table: Spherecasting and Equivalent Spell Level. For particularly powerful effects, the GM may require that the player spend more spell points as part of the effect, spending a minimum amount of spell points for each spell level as listed above.

If a class, feat or similar requires the spellcaster to be able to cast spells of a certain level, the spherecaster is considered to be able to do so as long as their caster level is at least twice the spell level required, as shown in Table: Spherecasting and Equivalent Spell Level.

Temporary increases to caster levels, as well as increases gained from items, never count towards a creature’s maximum spell level they can cast. However, features gained from class abilities may, although only with the sphere effects that the class feature enhances. For example, a 5th level incanter with the Mind specialization ability would have a caster level of 6 for the Mind sphere, allowing them to be treated as if they can cast 3rd level enchantment spells, or 3rd level spells with the mind-affecting, emotion or fear descriptors depending on which talents they know.

Spheres and Schools

As the Spheres of Power system of magic does not utilize spell schools, and instead utilizes spheres as a distinction, many effects do not properly translate over. Many sphere effects could easily be considered to be part of multiple schools, and the GM should decide if this is fine for certain effects that enhance a player’s sphere effects, or if the effect should only be treated as if they have one school (for example, the Healing Aegis (succor) talent of the Protection sphere could qualify as both abjuration or conjuration (healing)) effects that increase the caster level of spells from a certain school of magic instead increase the caster level of spheres related to that school of magic, and effects that require a certain spell slot of a school of magic to be cast or otherwise spent instead require a sphere effect to be cast from a related sphere.

Refer to the following table for which spheres or effects should qualify as a certain school or subschool.

Table: School/Sphere Equivalents
Spell School Sphere Equivalent
Abjuration Protection
Abjuration (good, evil, lawful, chaotic) Effects with an alignment descriptor that protect others, Fate sphere
Conjuration (creation) Effects that create something from nothing, Creation sphere
Conjuration (healing) Effects that heal others directly, Life sphere
Conjuration (teleportation) Effects that instantly relocate creatures or objects, Warp
Conjuration (calling, summoning) Conjuration (and the Calling advanced talent)
Evocation1 Various1
Enchantment Mind
Illusion Illusion
Necromancy Death, Blood
Transmutation Enhancement, Fallen Fey2, Weather
Transmutation (polymorph) Alteration
Transmutation (earth, air, fire, water) Nature’s specific packages

1: Evocation includes many different types of spells. Light spells would fall under the Light sphere, as well as most sphere effects with the light descriptor. Darkness spells would fall under the Dark sphere and most sphere effects with the dark descriptor. Many other sphere effects could qualify as evocation as well; generally, any spell or effect that conjures a magical effect that deals damage temporarily should fall under evocation (notably, most of the Destruction sphere, but even the Weather, Mind or Creation sphere could as well). GM’s should use their own good judgement to determine which sphere effect would qualify as an evocation school effect.
2: The Fallen Fey spheres includes various effects that could qualify as either the base transmutation school without a subschool, or as the polymorph subschool. The GM is the final arbiter of which talents and effects qualify as which.

Special: It's possible that a GM will feel that a sphere effect matches multiple spell schools. In cases like these, a character should only be able to apply the best school-based boost. For example, if the GM decides that a Weather effect is both Evocation and Transmutation, it could receive boosts that affect magic from one of those schools, but not boosts to both. The GM should also pick a 'main' spell school for the purpose of defenses and other abilities (such as bonuses to saving throws against Evocation effects).

Spells Known and Magical Talents

Certain classes, feats and other features require a spellcaster to know a certain number of spells of a certain descriptor or school. In situations like these, consider each unique magical talent that the spherecaster knows that can be used in a way that qualifies under a descriptor or school of magic as if they were one individual spell each that the spherecaster knew. For example, the Electric Blast and the Shock Blast talents of the Destruction sphere, albeit similar, would each count as a spell known under the evocation school of magic, as well as both being electric descriptor spells, as would talents such as blast shapes to one who already possesses either of these aforementioned talents.

Other Considerations/FAQ

This section includes some additional definitions and references, as well as general rules and explanations from the authors.

Ability Burn

Ability burn functions as ability score damage, but may not be removed by any means other than 8 hours of resting, which removes all burn.


Battered is a condition introduced in Spheres of Might. Certain options included in this system deal with this condition, and as such it is reprinted below.

Battered (condition): Heavy blows have left a creature with this condition vulnerable to further attacks, imposing a -2 penalty to the creature’s CMD and preventing them from taking attacks of opportunity provoked by a creature performing a combat maneuver. Some talents have different effects or activation times against battered creatures. The battered condition can be removed by taking the total defense action, or through the restore ability of the Life sphere, the lesser restoration spell, or similar effects. When inflicting the battered condition on a target that is already battered, the rounds stack when determining duration.

Buying Casting Services [TS]

Sometimes, you may want to buy spellcasting services from NPCs, either as one-time transactions (such as for curing otherwise-permanent ailments) or repeated support (for item crafting or other long-term projects). The price for casting services is 10 gp * the caster level of the effect * the effective spell level. The effective spell level of an ability starts at 0 for caster level 1, then goes up by one at every even caster level. For example, getting an NPC to cast a caster level 6 effect costs 10 * 6 * 3, or 180 gp. Payments per-day for crafting include all of the talents an NPC knows, so player characters do not have to purchase them separately if only hiring one NPC.

Dual Sphere Feats

Some feats have the (dual sphere) tag and allow you to use effects from more than one sphere at the same time. Only the effects of one Dual Sphere feat can be applied to any given use of sphere abilities.

Hero Points

If using the hero points optional system from the Advanced Player’s Guide, add the following options to those you may choose when spending a hero point.

Empower: You can spend a hero point to gain a +2 bonus to your caster level and MSD for one sphere effect or to your MSB for one magic skill check.

Fuel: You can spend a hero point in place of a spell point to power a sphere effect, class ability, or feat.

Recover: You may spend a hero point to regain a spent spell point, kismet point, shadow point, or hypnotism use.

Identifying Spherecasters [WtD]

Prior to attempting the Knowledge check, attempt a free Spellcraft check DC 10. Succeeding at this check will allow you to determine the casting tradition category, as well as the necessary Knowledge skill required to identify the specific casting tradition of the creature (DC is equal to 10 + the challenge rating of the target). Refer to the table below:
Casting Tradition Category (Specific Tradition)1 Knowledge Skill2
Arcane (Apothecary, Artificery, Bardic Magic, Blood Magic, Chomic Traditionalist, Contaminated, Defiler, Demonology, Dragon Magic, Fey Magic, Flame-Blooded, Pact Magic, Sin Wizard, Song Wielder, Shadow Tapper, Sorcerous Blood, Traditional Magic, Water-Magi, Wild-Born, and Wizardry) Knowledge (arcane)
Divine (Blighter, Bloodletting, Corrupted Apostle, Divine Petitioner, Druidic, Elemental Shaman, Inherent Divinity, Keeper, Mysticism, Nomad Shaman, Runist, Spiritual, Ur-Priest, and Void Priest) Knowledge (religion)
Natural (Lycanthrope or None) According to creature type
Psychic (Addled, Battle Lord, Beast Charming, Bonneteur, Cartomancy, Chi Tracer, Dream Casting, Gadgeteer, Hypnotism, Ley-Line Tapper, Material Transmuter, Mind, Monastic, Scion Of The Crown, Strange Mentalist, Sword-Bound, Vitalist, and Wilder) Knowledge (planes)

1: These are merely recommendations on how to categorize specific casting traditions in the Skybourne campaign setting. If a player is using a casting tradition not listed above, GMs should work with them to determine what type of magic their casting tradition uses and why.
2: GMs may allow a different Knowledge skill be used for a specific casting tradition. For example, a player may use Knowledge (nature) with Beast Charming, Druidism, or Fey Magic casting traditions; or use Knowledge (psionics) with Hypnotism or Mind casting traditions.
3: Knowledge (psionics) is a new skill introduced in Ultimate Psionics by Dreamscarred Press.

Object Size

In the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, sizes are measured from Fine (which is far smaller than a single space) to Colossal (which takes up a 30-foot square). For most purposes, creatures and objects of Colossal size are treated the same whether they occupy a 30-foot square or are much, much larger. In Spheres of Power, however, certain abilities or effects scale differently and have scaling effects that reach far beyond 30-foot squares, and as such require sizes beyond Colossal. In Spheres of Power, a creature or object that fills a 45-foot square is considered Colossal+, a creature or object that fills a 70-foot square is considered Colossal++, and so on.

Table: Creature & Object Size beyond Colossal
Space Size
45-ft. cube Colossal+
70-ft. cube Colossal++
100-ft. cube Colossal+++
150-ft. cube Colossal++++
225-ft. cube Colossal+++++
340-ft. cube Colossal++++++
500-ft. cube Colossal+++++++

Equipment is sized for the person wearing it, and does not reflect its actual size (a Medium longsword means a longsword sized for a Medium creature, not that the longsword is itself Medium-sized). When dealing with equipment sizes such as with the Creation or Telekinesis spheres, a two-handed weapon or tower shield counts as its size, one-handed weapons and heavy shields count as one size smaller, while light weapons and light shields count as two sizes smaller. Daggers and ammunition count as 3 sizes smaller, while shuriken count as 4 sizes smaller.

Table: Weapon/Shield Sizes
Object Type Size Adjustment
Shuriken Four sizes smaller
Daggers and ammunition Three sizes smaller
Light weapons, light shields Two sizes smaller
One-handed weapons, heavy shields One size smaller
Two-handed weapons, tower shields Same size

Strike Talents And Critical Hits

Damage added by [strike] talents is extra damage, not part of a weapon's damage dice, and is not multiplied on a critical hit unless an ability allows you to multiply your extra damage.

Subordinates [BTH]

A subordinate is any controlled character gained by class features, talents, feats, or other effects. This is a specific term to be used for when an ability or effect applies to all creatures under an individual character’s control, rather than all allies or a specific type of controlled character.

As a non-exhaustive list, subordinates include an animal companion, Conjuration sphere companion, eidolon, familiar, independent invention, Leadership sphere cohort, or raised undead.

Temporarily-Controlled Characters

In some circumstances, a character may control other characters for shorter periods of time. Magical compulsion effects, such as the charm person or dominate person spells or the Mind sphere Enthrall (charm) basic talent or Mind Control advanced talent, can temporarily place other creatures under a character’s control, or at the very least that character’s direct influence.

A controlled creature should only be considered a subordinate if they are under the character’s direct control and are not resisting that character’s orders. This is subject to GM discretion; player characters should generally never be considered another player character’s subordinate.

Sphere Restrictions for Subordinates

As a general rule, player-controlled subordinates should not have access to sphere abilities which grant the ability to create more creatures that would be subordinates.

Sphere Restrictions: Subordinates cannot gain the base sphere or talents from the following spheres: Beastmastery, Conjuration, Leadership, Mana, Tech.

The Mana sphere has been uniquely restricted from subordinate access due to its ability to amplify a primary character’s resources.

GMs may rule that a subordinate may take spheres or talents from a sphere which has been restricted from subordinates that do not innately grant additional subordinates. Treat this access as being similar to an advanced talent from Spheres of Power.

Examples of these limited exceptions could include: A Leadership sphere cohort gaining the Beastmastery sphere for the (ride) package.

A uniquely powerful Conjuration sphere companion gaining the Death sphere for ghost strikes, but not the reanimate ability. GMs should also review spheres whose primary focus does not grant permanent subordinates but could create temporary ones, restricting subordinate access to those talents as appropriate.

This includes the Blood sphere Extract Blood Construct, Death sphere’s reanimate, and Enhancement sphere’s Animate Objects (enhance), and the Tech sphere’s Drone and Artificial Intelligence gadgets. While a subordinate with access to the Enhancement sphere to cast enhancing effects on its master is not unreasonable, allowing a subordinate to create a large number of additional bodies through Animate Object might be.

Temporary Talents

Temporary talents, sometimes called 'flexible' talents, are talents a character gains for less than 24 hours (not including talents gained from implements). The rules for such talents are discussed in various places in the rules, but the important ones are as follows:

  • Any non-instantaneous magic effect created with a temporary talent ends when the temporary talent is lost. (Except temporary talents gained through Mythic power)
  • Temporary talents cannot be used to gain or buy off sphere-specific drawbacks.
  • Effects that have a limited number of uses (for example, lesser charms that can only be used once per target per 24 hours) do not refresh their number of uses if the talent is lost and regained before the ability would normally refresh.

In addition to these considerations, GMs are encouraged to consider the effect of flexible talents on their games. For example, in grueling combat games or high-magic games where players already have access to lots of magical options, flexible talents are simply another tool; new players could be encouraged to explore the game through options that grant temporary talents and GMs might even expand their power, removing the rule that an effect ends when the talent is lost.

However, in a low-magic game where players have few magic items, or a game that relies on intrigue or puzzles and has few combat situations per day, a GM might decide to ban options like the Spiritualism Hedgewitch path that grant temporary talents; a game can quickly become boring if one player can simply bypass problems or produce the perfect magical ability for whatever situation they are facing that day without concern for conserving resources.

Spheres of Power by Drop Dead Studios
Using Spheres of Power
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Prestige Classes
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Other Spheres
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About Advanced Magic Advanced Talents Alternate Racial Traits Casting Traditions
Incantations Magical Items Mythic Spheres Rituals
Spellcrafting Traits Wild Magic Sphere Bestiary
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Counterspell Drawback Extra General
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Proxy Racial Ritual Squadron
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Get Ultimate Spheres of Power Get the Original RulebookU
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Alteration HandbookU Conjuration HandbookU Creation HandbookU Dark HandbookU
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Spheres Apocrypha
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Other Spheres Products
Archetypes of PowerU Archetypes of Power 2 The Bear Sphere The Blood SphereU
Blood and Portents Compounds of Power The Conqueror's Handbook The Fallen Fey SphereU
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The Technomancy Sphere Treasures of the Spheres The Wraith ClassU Wild Magic
Woodfaring Adventures Worlds of Power The Youxia's Handbook Bestiary: Fey and Feyfolk
Wreckage to Deliverance Wreckage to Deliverance Player's Guide

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