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Spheres of Power

Spheres of Power is an alternative magic system that can be used alongside the standard magic system or may completely replace it, and like many optional systems is easily adapted to the third edition of the world’s oldest roleplaying game, as well as many other table-top RPGs.

For many, magic is the heart of the fantasy roleplaying experience. It’s what gives a setting its appeal, the heroes their power, and the villains their terrifying capacity for destruction. As such, the rules and capacities of magic determine what kinds of stories can be told—after all, a world where magic is reliable and divided between arcane and divine sources is different from one where magic is risky and only wielded by a select few. Likewise, a magic user who can cross dimensions at will has a very different adventuring career than one who must use a horse to travel, even at the heights of his power.

Basic Magic

This section covers the basic rules for the Spheres of Power system. Rather than gaining spells, casters choose areas of magic (spheres) they will possess mastery over, and use magic talents to further refine, empower, and develop their magical skill. This section also covers the basics for working the spheres, including caster level (the measure of a caster’s raw power, akin to the way Base Attack Bonus measures a character’s martial prowess), Magic Skill Bonus and Magic Skill Defense (a number similar to this game’s caster level, which is used for opposed checks, overcoming spell resistance, and making concentration checks), as well as rules for how these systems work when mixed with the more-familiar spell system from this game’s core magic system.

Classes

Eleven base classes and one prestige class give players and GMs a series of options designed from the ground up for use with the Spheres of Power system.

Base Classes

Armorist: The armorist binds weapons and armor to her service, creating items of vast power to fit her needs. With little need for outside equipment, an armorist can temporarily create weapons and armor for her allies and summon powerful equipment onto her own body.

Elementalist: A master of destructive magic, the elementalist can summon and control raw power in a variety of forms and can bring death to his enemies through fire, ice, lightning, and other ways.

Eliciter: Few creatures are as adept at manipulating minds as an eliciter, who can manipulate a creature’s emotions to both empower and enslave.

Fey Adept: The secret of the Fey is the mastery of illusion magic to the point of crafting reality, and the fey adepts are their mortal students. A fey adept manipulates perception and reality to a startling degree, using illusions to accomplish tangible effects.

Hedgewitch: No two hedgewitches are exactly alike, as this class excels at mixing and matching the powers of other classes through the use of its traditions. A hedgewitch could be a master of herbal magic, a dealer in forbidden arts, a charlatan, or all of the above.

Incanter: The undisputed master of magic, the incanter gains more magic talents than any other class, and is perfect for those who enjoy power and versatility in their casters.

Mageknight: When a warrior seeks to increase their power through magic, they often choose the path of the mageknight. Mageknights combine weapons and spheres to become a deadly force on the battlefield.

Shifter: Shifters use their magic to manipulate their bodies, ever-changing to suit their needs and overcome challenges. Shifters take on a variety of forms until few are sure which is their real one, if there even is such a thing.

Soul Weaver: Masters of both life and death, soul weavers are mediums, healers, necromancers, and summoners of spirits and shades. A soul weaver may either bless or curse the living and can enact powerful magic on those who fall under their sway.

Symbiat: Symbiats are masters of telepathy and telekinetics, using psionic magic to accomplish impressive feats. Symbiats use their power with a level of detail and finesse no other caster can copy, pushing their bodies to inhuman extremes or reading their opponent’s mind to stay one step ahead of its movements.

Thaumaturge: There are those who seek power down forbidden or unsafe paths, risking their bodies and souls to lift their magic to heights few would dare to tread. These are thaumaturges, and few can match their raw magical might.

Prestige Classes

Bokor: The bokor is a prestige class that combines the core Pathfinder spell system with the this system sphere system, representing those casters willing to study magic in all of its forms.

Archetypes

This section concludes with a series of archetypes designed to adapt existing core classes to the Spheres of Power system.

Advanced Magic

This section covers a series of optional magic rules, which both players and GMs can use to increase the scope of their adventures. This includes magic such as resurrection, long-distance teleportation, planar binding, and other magical feats that, depending on play style, may or may not become part of any given campaign. This magic is divided into four systems for ease of use:

Advanced Talents: These abilities function similarly to standard magic talents, but they have strict requirements and can greatly increase the scope of a base sphere’s power.

Rituals: Rituals allow a caster to invest time and material components to create magical effects. Rituals provide the utility of spells to a world of spheres.

Spellcrafting: Spellcrafting allows casters to create unique expressions of magic such as signature spells or other abilities outside the scope of the standard this system system.

Incantations: Similar to incantations from older roleplaying systems, this magic system allows creatures to use skill checks and strict criteria to accomplish great feats of magic, often in a campaign-centric way that adds wonder and mystery to a plot.

Player Options

Feats can be found here as well as rules for creating a caster’s tradition.

A caster’s tradition is a shorthand for the rules and regulations that are associated with a particular caster’s magic style. In the core Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, these are things akin to a wizard needing a spell book and materials to use his magic, as well as his need to gesture and speak in a magical language. Likewise, it is similar to a cleric’s need to pray to her Deity and use her holy symbol as a focus in order to cast spells. Casting traditions allow not only players to customize the why’s and how’s of their magic users, but also GMs to dictate the rules of magic in a particular world, allowing them to create settings that otherwise would not translate well to the magic rules of the core Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Magic Items

This section covers not only how to adapt Spheres of Power for the creation of pre-existing magic items, but also includes new rules for the use and creation of magic items.

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Section 15: Copyright Notice

Spheres of Power © 2014 Drop Dead Studios LLC, Author Adam Meyers

Mythic Champions of the Spheres

Vendor: Drop Dead Studios
Type: Book
Price: 4.99

Champions, your time has come! This companion book gives mythic support to characters who blend the Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might system together and includes:

  • Mythic class features for champion classes and prestige classes
  • New mythic feats
  • Powerful new mythic magical items
  • Rules for establishing and strengthening churches
  • Powers of faith for mythic characters ascending towards godhood
  • A newly-updated prestige class for truly epic casters

Mythic Champions of the Spheres completes the basic mythic trilogy for the Spheres systems, offering new powers and storytelling opportunities for characters ready to shake the world!

Note: Using some parts of this book properly requires access to content from Mythic Spheres of Power and/or Mythic Spheres of Might. This book is a companion to those tomes, not a wholly standalone product.

The Cataclysm Handbook

Vendor: Drop Dead Studios
Type: Book
Price: 4.99

There has always been something enticing about end-of-the-world stakes, and something even more fascinating which compels us to tell stories about what happens when the heroes lose. Why did everything fall apart, and who are the survivors that somehow endured the end of the world?

The Cataclysm Handbook is filled with options for apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic games, with magic that could destroy entire worlds or rebuild them. Horrifying new abilities serve as the bases for villainous or antiheroic characters, for how long can heroism last when civilization lies in ruin? Regardless of how grim or optimistic you wish to be in your world, I hope that you enjoy the myriad of options provided for such ruinous adventures.

For use with Pathfinder 1st edition and the Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might systems.

Spheres Apocrypha: Astrologian Scholar

Vendor: Drop Dead Studios
Type: Book
Price: 0.99

An astrologian is a scholar who gains power from the stars. Made for the Spheres of Might system for Pathfinder 1st edition, the astrologian invokes star signs to gain powers and adapt to the situaion around her.

Go beyond with Spheres Apocrypha!

Spheres Bestiary: Fey and Feyfolk

Vendor: Drop Dead Studios
Type: Book
Price: 4.99

Whether they be friend or foe, fey are always a welcome addition into any story, from local nuisances to miniaturized catastrophes in their own right.

This bestiary introduces a number of fey spirits from Japanese mythology, the bakemono and kappa, as well as Native American mythology, the jogoah and powerful trickster coyote spirits, and many others. Also included is more information on courts of Faerie, the fey nobles, powerful lords of their domains and the gifts they bestow upon those they bargain with or request tasks from.

For use with Pathfinder 1st edition and the Spheres of Power/Spheres of Might systems.

Spheres Apocrypha: Alchemy Poisons 2

Vendor: Drop Dead Studios
Type: Book
Price: 0.99

This apocrypha further expands the amount of options available for poisoners and workers of blighted craft that interact with the world. Whether you want to enhance your allies or debilitate your foes, there is something for you in Alchemy Poisons 2!'

For Pathfinder 1st Edition and the Spheres of Might system. Go beyond with spheres apocrypha!