Onmyoji are the court wizards of the far east. Officially recognized by the Imperial court as legal practitioners of the arcane arts, onmyoji are traditionally both respected and feared. Onmyoji are noted for their use of folded paper spell components (origami) and their relationship to the shikigami oni. While most onmyoji are diviners or conjurers, an onmyoji wizard can follow any of the arcane schools. An onmyoji has the following class abilities.

The onmyoji is an archetype of the wizard class.


An onmyoji prepares spells each day in a manner similar to a wizard, using a spell-book. However, an onmyoji has one less spell slot per spell level a day than a wizard, including cantrips. Any spell level reduced in this way from 1 to 0 still receives bonus spells gained from the onmyoji possessing a high Intelligence score. Moreover, each spell prepared by the onmyoji, excepting cantrips, is bound up in a piece of origami (see also origami caster). If, during the day, the onmyoji loses his prepared origami spells, he is out of spells for the day, except for cantrips. When an onmyoji casts a spell, the paper holding the spell energies bursts into flames. If the spells are not used within 24 hours, the papers lose their energies.

Origami Caster

The onmyoji replaces all material components for a spell costing less than 5 gp, with folded paper. These origami arrangements are prepared by the onmyoji each morning when he prepares his spells. Moreover, each day, when preparing spells, by expending an amount of arcane materials worth 25 gp x the spell level, the onmyoji may prepare one special spell paper, using any spell he knows. This one spell is in addition to any spells he might otherwise be able to cast that day. These specially prepared spells do not lose their potency after 24 hours and can be used by any onmyoji as a standard action.

This ability replaces Scribe Scroll.

Shikigami Bond

At 1st level, an onmyoji takes a shikigami as a familiar. The oni, when it first enters the service of the wizard, is a weak example of its kind, but it grows in power alongside its master. If the shikigami is slain, the onmyoji must wait 2 weeks before summoning another one. Summoning a new shikigami requires a specialized ritual that costs 200 gp per onmyoji level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete.

This ability replaces arcane bond.

Shikigami Familiar

A shikigami is a small oni of the goblin subtype. No two shikigami look exactly alike, but all are capable spell casters and have an affinity for wizards. A shikigami who is chosen by a 1st level onmyoji is weaker than a standard CR 2 shikigami, but as the wizard increases in power, so does his familiar. Use the base statistics for a shikigami familiar, for a 1st level onmyoji’s shikigami familiar. For every 2 levels the onmyoji gains in his class, the shikigami improves as follows:

Hit Dice: As the onmyoji gains levels, the shikigami gains HD. The shikigami gains any appropriate feats or skill points when it gains HD. The shikigami has good Reflex and Will saves and fast BAB progression. For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level.

Shikigami Familiar Ability Descriptions

All shikigami familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the master’s combined level in classes that grant shikigami familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities are cumulative.

Master Class Level Natural AC HD SR Special
1st–2nd +1 1 11 see shikigami familiar, share spells
3rd–4th +2 2 12 charm person 1/day, regeneration 1 (acid, fire)
5th–6th +3 3 13 inflict moderate wounds 3/day, evasion, regeneration 2 (acid, fire), Str +2
7th–8th +4 4 14 gaseous form (3/day), Dex +2
9th–10th +5 5 15 bestow curse (1/day), improved evasion, Con +2, regeneration 3 (acid, fire)
11th–12th +6 6 16 baleful polymorph (1/day), tongues (constant), DR 5/magic, Dex +2
13th–14th +7 7 17 harm 1/day, regeneration 4 (acid, fire), scry on shikigami
15th–16th +8 8 18 break enchantment 1/day, true seeing (constant), Con +2
17th–18th +9 9 19 word of chaos 1/day, regeneration 5 (acid, fire)
19th–20th +10 10 20 earthquake 1/day, DR 10/magic

Natural AC: The shikigami familiar’s natural AC is equal to its HD.

Spell Resistance (Ex): The shikigami has a natural spell resistance equal to 10 + HD. This spell resistance does not function against spells cast by the shikigami’s master.

Spells: A shikigami has a number of spell-like powers, and as it gains HD, it continues to gain new ones.

Share Spells: The onmyoji may cast spells with a target of “You” on his shikigami familiar (as a touch spell) instead of on himself. The onmyoji may target the shikigami with such spells even if the spells do not normally affect outsiders.

Regeneration: A shikigami quickly gains the ability to regenerate and as it becomes more powerful, this ability also improves.

Evasion: When subject to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save to take half damage, the shikigami familiar takes no damage on a successful save.

Ability Increase: As the shikigami grows more powerful, its ability scores improve as described above.

Improved Evasion: When subject to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save to take half damage, the shikigami familiar takes no damage on a successful save and only half damage if the save fails.

Damage Resistance: When the shikigami has 6 HD, it gains DR 5/magic. This improves to DR 10/magic at 10 HD.

Scry on Shikigami (Sp): If the master is 13th level or higher, he may scry on his shikigami familiar (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Way of the Samurai copyright 2012, Steven D. Russell and Michael Tumey, all rights reserved; Author Jonathan McAnulty

scroll to top