Throw the Spellbook at 'Em!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What harm could there be from reading a book? I think we all know the answer to that, but for those that prepare their spells, damaging your foes is just one of the many options available in Pathfinder Player Companion: Arcane Anthology... And I'm going to pass on a few of these arcane secrets to you!


Illustration by Melvin Chan


Illustration by Kenneth Solis

Not all spellbooks are created equal—and I'm not talking about the handy waterproof or travel-sized versions. In Arcane Anthology, certain tomes will grant additional abilities when you prepare from them with the Ritualistic Preparation feat, like the formula book known as the Galtan Cookbook, which grants the blast finesse action for alchemists.

Oh yes, there are more options in here than just for wizards—pretty much every arcane spellcaster is going to want to grab the Arcane Anthology, for reasons such force sword, grand destiny, Last Azlanti's defending sword, and splinter spell resistance.

Force Sword

School evocation [force]; Level bloodrager 2, magus 2, occultist 2, psychic 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, spiritualist 2, witch 2

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range 0 ft.

Effect one sword-shaped weapon of force

Duration 1 minute/level

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

You create a +1 longsword of pure force sized appropriately for you that you can wield or give to another creature like any other longsword. At 8th level, the sword functions as a +2 longsword. At 13th level, it functions as a +3 longsword. A force sword cannot be attacked or harmed by physical attacks, but dispel magic, disintegrate, a sphere of annihilation, or a rod of cancellation affects it.

If a creature you attack with the sword has spell resistance, you must attempt a caster level check (1d20 + your caster level) against that spell resistance the first time the force sword strikes it. If you fail the check, the spell is dispelled. If you succeed, the weapon has its normal full effect on that creature for the duration of the spell.

In the Age of Anguish, there was one spellcaster whose name has survived even to the current Age of Lost Omens: Jatembe. Angels, gods, demons, the Ten Magic Warriors—these are the stuff of legends, and now your spellcaster can use the same legendary magic themselves. Spells like celestial healing, Jatembe's ire (which supposedly eradicated the lost city of Ird), and a number of mask-based feats help capture the glory that Old-Mage carved out of those terrible times in Golarion's past.

While this volume is called Arcane Anthology, this is not solely devoted to students of the arcane. The eldritch scoundrel archetype for rogues, not to mention the Child of Acavna and Amaznen fighter archetype, are just some of the new content within—and it's shipping to your Friendly Local Gaming Store and subscribers now.

May you succeed on your next caster level check,

Liz Courts
Community Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Kenneth Solis Melvin Chan Pathfinder Player Companion
Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Wow, who needs ghost touch weapons anymore? Just grab a couple of scrolls of this for backup.

Looks like it'll be an awesome book.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I'm happy to have a 6/9 caster Rogue.


Amaznen fighter archetype?

As in an AMAZON?


Nope. Amaznen is the (dead) Azlanti god of magic.


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This spell needs to be approved for PFS right now! Where has this spell been for almost all of my sorradin's PFS career? XD


Well, celestial healing is exactly what it sounds like, complete with a rather heavy dose of fridge evil in its material components. I forsee many conflicted Paladins.


Otagian wrote:
Well, celestial healing is exactly what it sounds like, complete with a rather heavy dose of fridge evil in its material components. I forsee many conflicted Paladins.

Wait, what? An arcane healing spell that forces a good-aligned wizard to use evil-based material components with CELESTIAL in the NAME? That...that doesn't make any damn SENSE!


Berselius wrote:
Otagian wrote:
Well, celestial healing is exactly what it sounds like, complete with a rather heavy dose of fridge evil in its material components. I forsee many conflicted Paladins.
Wait, what? An arcane healing spell that forces a good-aligned wizard to use evil-based material components with CELESTIAL in the NAME? That...that doesn't make any damn SENSE!

Hey, for all I know it's ethically sourced angel blood. I didn't ask the shady component dealer I met in Egorian.


Does celestial healing have listed component price? Otherwise, hello Eschew Materials/Sorcerer healer!


Drejk wrote:
Does celestial healing have listed component price? Otherwise, hello Eschew Materials/Sorcerer healer!

You have your choice of an expensive component or a free component.

Silver Crusade

Otagian wrote:
Well, celestial healing is exactly what it sounds like, complete with a rather heavy dose of fridge evil in its material components. I forsee many conflicted Paladins.

By that logic Infernal healing is good, because you need the blood of evil outsiders ^^


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Otagian wrote:
Well, celestial healing is exactly what it sounds like, complete with a rather heavy dose of fridge evil in its material components. I forsee many conflicted Paladins.
By that logic Infernal healing is good, because you need the blood of evil outsiders ^^

I don't think ANYONE has any real qualms about beating up devils. ;)

Also, I now have this mental image of Ye Olde Componente Shoppe having a basement with one of the various regenerating angels strung up by its heels over a bucket.

Silver Crusade

Otagian wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Otagian wrote:
Well, celestial healing is exactly what it sounds like, complete with a rather heavy dose of fridge evil in its material components. I forsee many conflicted Paladins.
By that logic Infernal healing is good, because you need the blood of evil outsiders ^^

I don't think ANYONE has any real qualms about beating up devils. ;)

Also, I now have this mental image of Ye Olde Componente Shoppe having a basement with one of the various regenerating angels strung up by its heels over a bucket.

It just requires blood from a good outsider, if you look long enough, you will find one, that will bleed for your ^^ Just look at a certain empyreal lord ...


Better yet, if you are a good-aligned aasimar, you can use your own blood. =p


I hope this solves the need for spellbooks for classes without the class feature "spellbook".


It also says OR holy water...the Celestial Healing spell component. No need for such grim/fringe components.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
FiddlersGreen wrote:
Better yet, if you are a good-aligned aasimar, you can use your own blood. =p

That depends on the exact wording of the spell component. If it is vague enough to allow an aasimar, it might allow the neutral good tiefling in our party to qualify as well.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It probably should be errata'd or at least clarified to be "1 drop of blood from an outsider with the good subtype" or something to that effect. Infernal Healing specifically calls out 1 drop of blood from a devil, not just from "an evil outsider".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Too many thoughts not to be spoilered:

I'm glad to see Aroden's Magic Army, which seems particularly potent in the Kingmaker/UC mass combat rules, but is also high level.

Last Azlanti's Defending Sword, Mass references not Last Azlanti's Defending Sword, but Aroden's Defending Sword. "This spell functions as Aroden's defending sword, except..." Presumably that is an easy enough thing to infer for fixes and PFS and the like that care about RAW.

The trait Arodenite Historian seems particularly powerful. Was that meant to be unlimited/day usage?

The trait Reassuring Advice likewise could be clarified, at least in my head, as "grant any human a +1 insight bonus on any [single] attack roll, saving throw, or skill check of his choice"?

Would the Stabbing Spell trait help Force Sword bypass SR, or does the weapon need to deal damage? Based on the wording it sounds like it would help with the Force Sword SR check since the check also happens after you strike the opponent. That's an interesting little combo.

The Nameless One feat seems to at least partially obsolete the Vigilante class... but more options is better. Hopefully the people who wanted an extra identity in feat form will be happy with it.

There's a lot of Bloodrager stuff in here. That's kind of nice to see--the class isn't just being abandoned. Enlightened Bloodrager is particularly interesting. Druid spells!

I find it ironic that Artificer's Curse doesn't function on artifacts. The vagaries of language...

Dissolution seems to have been messed up, perhaps during editing? The material components include a vial of reagents; the spell does not state how they're used or applied, but it sounds as though they might be rubbed on the object in question? Additionally, the spell does 1d0 damage to an item that attempts to reappear in a place that is no longer suitable for it, bypassing hardness. Scary!

Emblem of Greed is listed as a 6th-level Medium spell. That's... unique. If we progress the Medium's 4 levels of spellcasting out to 6 levels, they'd get access to it at level 19, unless the medium's using one of the spellcasting spirits, in which case they use the Mesmerist spell progression and would get access at 16th level. You'd have to buy a page of spell knowledge, but you could do it. Hilariously, although this looks wrong and is almost certainly wrong, I think this is actually a legal and workable spell classification. Should this be Medium 4, or not a Medium spell at all?

Fool's Gold seems like it should last longer and maybe be a 2nd level spell.

The Liquefy spell targets an object, but it's an Alchemist spell. Does this work in any way? Maybe just to allow the crafting of Oils of Liquefy?

Open Arms seems like it's firmly in the "I don't want my BBEG to explode when facing a [insert class here]" camp. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but boy, is it interesting. It seems like it should have been phrased more generally.

Holy crap, Rags to Riches is fantastic, at least for a certain type of character. Say, a Bard. It's another Alchemist spell that can't target the Alchemist, though. Am I missing something here?

Tears to Wine--wow, that's one hell of an enhancement bonus. Presumably the enhancement bonus is limited by the duration; I guess the wine just sticks around for however long wine normally would, and if you drink it at some point, you gain the benefits? Nah, that'd be instantaneous duration, most likely. So I guess the wine loses its ability to impart benefits after the duration runs out? Another alchemist one that can't target an alchemist, too. Hrm.

Foretell Failure seems like it should be at least one level lower than it actually is...

Overall, editing quality seems tighter than many past splatbooks, although not quite as good as some of the more recent editions. A lot of the value here is in the utility spells, and there are a couple of really interesting archetypes.


Fourshadow wrote:
It also says OR holy water...the Celestial Healing spell component. No need for such grim/fringe components.

Holy water does cost 25 gp making it more expensive healing than a charge from a happy stick wand of cure light wounds.

Dark Archive

Otagian wrote:
Hey, for all I know it's ethically sourced angel blood. I didn't ask the shady component dealer I met in Egorian.

"No, this angel blood was freely given, yeah, that's the ticket. Also, let me know if you need bulk, because I've got like ten pints of the stuff..."

(For my own Celestial Healing riff, I used angel tears, instead of blood, which would be even grimmer as a non-freely-given component, because you'd have to make an angel suffer anguish to get the tears.)


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Set wrote:
Otagian wrote:
Hey, for all I know it's ethically sourced angel blood. I didn't ask the shady component dealer I met in Egorian.

"No, this angel blood was freely given, yeah, that's the ticket. Also, let me know if you need bulk, because I've got like ten pints of the stuff..."

(For my own Celestial Healing riff, I used angel tears, instead of blood, which would be even grimmer as a non-freely-given component, because you'd have to make an angel suffer anguish to get the tears.)

*hands Set +1 onion of tear extraction*


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's worth noting that Celestial Healing has a much lower duration than Infernal Healing. In many cases, it isn't even worth it to get Celestial Healing in a wand in comparison to a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.


Oh, for the love of Thor, it's ONE DROP! I don't think any goodly outsider would have a problem pulling out a hangnail and squeezing a DROP or three into a couple vials for the goodly wizard who asks nicely for them because he's in an adventuring party that doesn't have a strong healer because their players don't want to play a cleric that has to pick a deity because ideal worship is banned to prevent ridiculous power gaming.

End of line...


Celestial Healing is also a lot less Wand-able, since it's only 1 round per 2 levels. But then, it also doesn't have a limitation like "can't heal wounds inflicted by silver or good".


The Beardinator wrote:

Oh, for the love of Thor, it's ONE DROP! I don't think any goodly outsider would have a problem pulling out a hangnail and squeezing a DROP or three into a couple vials for the goodly wizard who asks nicely for them because he's in an adventuring party that doesn't have a strong healer because their players don't want to play a cleric that has to pick a deity because ideal worship is banned to prevent ridiculous power gaming.

End of line...

Or, you know, just summon or look for outsider servants of Vildeis. They'd give you some of their blood readily and freely.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some interesting options in this. (Spoilered due to length)

Spoiler:
Child of Acavna and Amaznen gives another "full BAB, 4-level arcane caster;" sort of a fighter/wizard hybrid, as the bloodrager is a barbarian/sorcerer hybrid. Eldritch Armor Training is a nice touch; losing all weapon training and most of the fighter bonus feats for spellcasting is steep, but spells are generally "better" (especially since the archetype grants prepared casting from a spellbook, without a limit on the number of spells learned/copied).

The Nameless One feat chain has a lot of narrative potential, as well as some useful mechanical benefits.

Enlightened bloodrager focuses a bit more on spells than bloodline powers. It could also be used (instead of barbarian or ranger) for a melee-oriented fey.

Magaambyan initiate is a natural starting point for the Magaambyan arcanist prestige class, similar to the winter witch archetype and winter witch prestige class.

Eldritch scoundrel gives a "base class" version of the arcane trickster (at least the spells and Sneak Attack parts). It can even serve (with the feat that increases Sneak Attack dice or a one level dip in snakebite striker brawler*) as entry into arcane trickster after just four levels; you lose the energy damage versatility of wizard (Evocation/Admixture school), though.

Puppetmaster is a "mind-blowing" (heh...) hybrid bard/magus that is probably what some people wanted out of the mesmerist.

Arrowsong minstrel gives another "magical archer" variant.

*- Personally, I think I prefer the snakebite striker dip; it gives light armor proficiency (to pick up Arcane Armor Training with a feat, instead). Brawler (snakebite striker) 1/rogue (eldritch scoundrel) 4/arcane trickster 4/arcane archer 2/arcane trickster +6/rogue +3 isn't quite as good a caster (number and level of spell slots) as brawler (snakebite striker) 1/rogue 1/wizard (Evocation/Admixture school) 4/arcane trickster 6/arcane archer +2/arcane trickster +4/arcane archer +2, but has slightly higher BAB (especially early on) and Sneak Attack damage; plus, the eldritch scoundrel/arcane trickster can qualify for arcane archer after 9th level, instead of waiting until 12th.


I don't understand why they made Celestial Healing so inferior to Infernal Healing. The only benefit it seems to have over the Infernal version is that it doesn't give you an evil aura for 1 minute. I thought it was a joke when I first read the description. It's basically useless for the first few levels and not very useful afterward.

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