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Occult Locations

When it comes to occult adventures, locations themselves can be living things, serving as active participants in paranormal stories.

Loci Spirits

Loci spirits form when excess psychic energy becomes saturated with powerful positive emotional resonances.

Loci spirits typically arise in places with connections to previous miracles, benevolent guardian spirits, or good-aligned deities. Loci spirits infuse a specific area; Their psychic energy heightens the positive emotions experienced there to create a feeling of peace and protection. A loci spirit also manifests a unique ceremonial power linked specifically to the emotional energy that birthed the spirit. Except in rare circumstances, a given area can house at most one loci spirit.

Loci Spirit Rules

The emanating feelings of peace and protective warmth make a loci spirit obvious to those within its area. A loci spirit is always LG, NG, or CG in alignment and has the aura of a good outsider for the purposes of detect good and similar magic.

A loci spirit can infuse an area with a maximum radius of 5 feet — the spirit’s CR, but the actual area is usually limited by the size and shape of the area tied to the spirit’s origin.

Permanent Effects: A loci spirit generates at least one of the three following permanent effects within the area it inhabits. A loci spirit may possess an additional ongoing permanent effect, and each effect beyond the first increases the loci spirit’s CR by 1.

Energized: The DC to resist positive channeled energy within the loci spirit’s area gains a +4 sacred bonus, and the DC to resist negative energy is reduced by 4. Spell resistance does not apply to this effect.

Protective: The loci spirit’s area is warded by a magic circle against evil effect.

Sacred: Every undead creature entering the area of a loci spirit takes a —1 penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. In addition to the permanent effect, each loci spirit has a ceremonial effect that another creature can activate by performing a specific ceremonial activity. Knowledge of the appropriate ceremony to activate a loci spirit’s ceremonial effect is rare and can be a reward in its own right, but the GM can allow a creature to attempt a Knowledge (planes) or Knowledge (religion) check, as appropriate, with a DC equal to 20 + the loci spirit’s CR to gain clues about or even fully determine the details of the ceremony. The ceremony to manifest a loci spirit’s ceremonial effect requires the celebrant to perform each of the requisite skill checks detailed in the loci spirit’s stat block. When the celebrant successfully completes the ceremony, the loci spirit immediately manifests its effect.

Manifestation Type: Each loci spirit’s ceremonial effect has one of the following manifestation types.

Singular: The effect targets or affects only the celebrant.

Coterie: The effect targets all creatures in the loci spirit’s area or is potentially useful to creatures other than the celebrant (for instance, creating something that anyone could use would be a coterie manifestation).

Boon: The effect targets all creatures in the loci spirit’s area with a boon allowing affected characters to use the effect within the next 24 hours as an immediate action. A creature can benefit from only one boon from a loci spirit at a time.

After a loci spirit manifests its ceremonial effect, or after a failed ceremony, the spirit can’t manifest the effect again for another 24 hours.

Act Effect
Committing a violent act Reduces hit points by 1
Committing murder Reduces hit points by 1 for every 3 Hit Dice of the victim (minimum 1 hit point)
Casting animate dead Reduces hit points by 1 per undead created
Casting create undead or Reduces hit points by 1 per level of create greater undead spell cast
Summoning an evil outsider Reduces hit points by 1 per evil outsider summoned
Calling an evil outsider Reduces hit points by 1 per level of spell cast
Casting desecrate Reduces hit points by 2
Casting unhallow Reduces hit points by 4
Successfully performing Restores 2 hit points the loci spirit’s ceremony
Casting consecrate Restores 2 hit points (maximum once per day)
Casting hallow Restores 4 hit points

Corruption

Loci spirits can’t be damaged conventionally, but are susceptible to corruption if certain actions occur within their areas. Each loci spirit has a number of hit points equal to twice its CR, which it uses to resist corruption.

Certain particularly vile acts reduce a loci spirit’s hit points and bring it closer to corruption, while certain acts of good can restore hit points and protect the loci spirit from corruption.

If a loci spirit is reduced to 0 hit points, it becomes corrupted; thereafter, it acts as a haunt of the same CR and loses any loci spirit permanent effects. Once a loci spirit has been corrupted, its effects instead manifest as mind-affecting fear effects.

These new effects should have a similar power level to that of the ceremonial effect the loci spirit previously manifested. A corrupted loci spirit has the aura of an evil outsider for the purposes of detect evil and similar effects. Unlike a haunt, a corrupted loci spirit can’t take the tricked by hide from undead weakness, but it can take most other haunt modifiers as long as its CR remains the same. The haunt has the same number of hit points as the loci spirit originally did; these are separate from its loci spirit hit points, which remain at 0 until the loci spirit is purified.

Corrupted loci spirits can be neutralized or destroyed in the same fashion as haunts. While a corrupted loci spirit is inactive because of being neutralized, characters can use effects that restore a loci spirit’s hit points to attempt to purify it (see the table in the previous column).

For the purpose of purification, increasing the loci spirit’s hit points does not restore the haunt’s hit points.

If a character manages to restore the full hit points of the uncorrupted loci spirit, the character has purged the corruption entirely, and the loci spirit returns to its former benevolence. This could potentially occur over the course of multiple encounters with the corrupted spirit. Until then, the haunt continues to reset.

Elements of a Loci Spirit

Loci spirits are presented in the following format.

Loci Spirit Name: The loci spirit’s name is followed by its CR.

XP: This is the amount of XP to award the PCs for surviving the loci spirit’s corrupted form, as determined by the spirit’s CR. At the GM’s discretion, characters who intentionally corrupt a loci spirit in pursuit of their goals may receive this amount of XP for doing so.

Alignment, Permanent Effects, Manifestation Type, and Area: This line gives the loci spirit’s alignment, its permanent effects and manifestation type, and the dimensions of the area it infuses (up to 5 feet per caster level).

Caster Level: This is the loci spirit’s effective caster level for the purposes of dispelling any ongoing effects with dispel magic, and for determining the results of spell effects it creates.

hp: This lists the loci spirit’s effective hit points for the purposes of resolving corruption. A loci spirit’s number of hit points is equal to twice the spirit’s CR.

Weakness: Any weaknesses the loci spirit has, such as being susceptible to corruption or hard to heal, are listed here.

Ceremony: These are the skill checks that must be performed in order for the loci spirit to manifest its ceremonial effect.

Effect: This entry details the ceremonial effect of the loci spirit, and includes a description of how the loci spirit manifests.

Corruption Effect: This entry gives a brief description of what the loci spirit’s effects become if it is corrupted.

Creating a Loci Spirit

To make your own loci spirit like the examples below, follow these steps.

Step 1—Determine Base CR: A loci spirit’s base CR is equal to 1 + the level of the spell it duplicates.

Step 2—Determine Actual CR: Select the elements you want the loci spirit to have and add up the adjustments to its CR to arrive at the loci spirit’s final CR (see Table 6—1: CR Modifiers for Loci Spirits).

Step 3—Determine Caster Level: A loci spirit’s caster level is equal to its CR.

Step 4—Determine Hit Points: A loci spirit’s hit points are equal to twice its CR.

Step 5—Determine Ceremony DC: The ceremony check DC is equal to 20 + the loci spirit’s CR.

Step 6—Save DCs: If a loci spirit’s ceremonial effect allows a saving throw to resist or negate the effect, the save DC is equal to 10 + the level of the spell + the ability modifier of the minimum ability score needed to cast that level of spell. Normally, the ceremonial effect is harmless and thus applies only if a creature voluntarily wishes to resist or negate the effect.

Step 7—Determine Corruption Effect, Attack, and Save DCs: A corrupted loci spirit manifests a mind-affecting fear effect with the same spell level as its unique effect. A corrupted loci spirit’s attack bonus (if needed) is usually equal to its CR.

Sample Loci Spirits

Table: CR Modifiers for Loci Spirits
Feature Type CR Modifier
Ceremony requires
more than 1 skill check
+1 for each
additional skill check
Permanent effects +1 for each additional permanent
effect beyond the first
Singular —1
Coterie 0
Boon +1
Hard to heal1 —1
Susceptible
to corruption2
—1

1 Loci spirits that are hard to heal gain only half the normal amount of hit points from effects that restore hit points.

2 Loci spirits that are susceptible to corruption lose twice the amount of hit points from corrupting actions.

Benevolent Priest CR 5

XP 1,600 Alignment Neutral good protective coterie loci spirit (10-ft.-by-10-ft. room)
Caster Level 5th
hp 10; Ceremony Knowledge (religion) DC 25, Survival DC 25
Effect When the celebrant performs the appropriate offering of twigs and berries, the loci spirit manifests as a ghostly, rotund man in clerical garb bearing trays of food, which he offers to the celebrant and its allies, as the create food and water spell.
Corruption Effect Create food and water becomes contagion (DC 14).

Ghostly Warriors CR 5

XP 1,600 LG sacred boon loci spirit (5-ft. radius centered on the shrine)
Caster Level 5th
hp 10
Ceremony Diplomacy DC 25, Perform (oratory) DC 25
Effect Invoking the ceremony with pomp and vigor rouses a cadre of ghostly figures in ancient armor that kneel before all creatures in the loci spirit’s area of effect and present their weapons, granting a boon of align weapon (each recipient’s choice of lawful or good only).
Corruption Effect Align weapon becomes shatter (DC 13).

Hero’s Call CR 4

XP 1,200 CG energized singular loci spirit (15-ft. radius centered on the hero’s statue) Caster Level 4th hp 8; Ceremony Knowledge (history) DC 24, Perform (oratory) DC 24
Effect The celebrant entreats the brave hero from the ancient past, recalling the hero’s great deeds and requesting some of the hero’s strength for the celebrant’s own quest. If the ceremony is successful, the hero’s statue seems to raise its sword in a salute, and the celebrant gains the benefit of a heroism spell.
Corruption Effect Heroism becomes scare (DC 13).

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: John Bennett, Logan Bonner, Robert Brookes, Jason Bulmahn, Ross Byers, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Thurston Hillman, Eric Hindley, Brandon Hodge, Ben McFarland, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Thomas M. Reid, Alex Riggs, Robert Schwalb, Mark Seifter, Russ Taylor, and Steve Townshend.