The Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants (PFRPG) PDF

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Although a vast number of spells are available in the game's core rulebooks, many GMs and players have an insatiable desire for more options. In many cases it's not necessary to create new spell options from scratch, since a few minor changes to an existing spell can create something with a very different feel or impact on game play. These spell variants are based on the idea that you can make a lot of different effects with fairly minor changes to how a spell works, or by combining effects of multiple spells, or by mixing a spell and magic item or even a class ability (preferably from a class not used in the campaign).

Some spell variants are common and fairly obvious, such as having an iceball spell that is a fireball that deals cold damage. The following list of one hundred ten spell variants are slightly more complex and are designed to show how you can create new spells without too much work. One important tip is that when you base a new spell on an old one, many details—such as its school, components, duration, and often even interaction with other spells—is already determined. Similarly, you can often create spells that have entirely new themes just by changing casting time and legal targets. This last trick is often a great way to make spells appropriate for new classes.

For example it's fairly obvious a druid class shouldn't have the haste spell on its spell list, but a new spell called pack tactics that acts like haste but can be cast only on creatures of the animal type is perfect for druids. And even better, you already know it's about a 3rd-level spell, since it doesn't do anything the wizard haste spell doesn't.

Because the following are all variants of existing spells, we present only a minimal sketch of each spell. Any information not presented or mentioned is the same as the base spell the variant is built off. These spell descriptions are so short, it seems silly to list each one multiple times if it happens to appear on more than one class spell list. As a result, each spell variant lists what class and level it is designed for after its name. In cases where the spell appears at different levels for different classes, it is listed with the level of the first class to gain it. Other information such as School, [Descriptor], Casting Time, Components, Range, Area, Targets, Duration, Saving Throw, and Spell Resistance are only given if they differ from the base spell.

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***** (based on 4 ratings)

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An Excellent Spell Suppliment

*****

A short pdf packed full of goodness, the Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants adds 110 new spells to the game in quite an efficient way, by building off of spells that already exist. By both tweaking existing game spells slightly and extrapolating higher level versions of existing spells SGG is able to fill the 10 page pdf (1 page cover/intro, credits/OGL) with just the material needed to modify the existing spells.

This book provides a GM with an excellent resource for their magic using NPCs as well as for unique or custom spell ideas for player PCs to research or discover as treasure. For the price this pdf packs a lot of content. This pdf also is notable for including spells for the APG specific classes. Antipaladins, Alchemists, Inquisitors, Oracles, Summoners, and Witches are all given some love with the new spells.

The pdf itself is laid out well, easy to read, and all in all well done. The spells seem to pass the eyeball test for balance, and in play I haven't run into any problems with the spells I've used as a GM or left as treasure for the PCs. If you are a GM looking to add some spells to your game, or a player looking for balanced spell options for your character to research give this pdf a look!


Very useful spell variants

*****

This pdf is 10 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving 8 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look at this compilation of slightly modified and reskinned spells!
This selection of spells is rather interesting, as it does not necessarily add brand new, innovative spell, but rather variants of known ones. To offer an example, there is a spell called “magic mace” that works as magic missile, but has a range of touch and deals d8 instead of d4. That’s about the information you’ll get, i.e., if you want to use the variants, you’ll have to have the spells they refer to ready. While enabling this pdf in the first place, this unfortunately also can be a burden on the DM, who has to research the original spells. Interaction between referred spells can be quite complex, too, as e.g. in “Analogue”, which creates a clone and lets the clone act as a simulacrum.
It should be noted, that thankfully the new classes from the APG all get their due in this pdf, from alchemists to inquisitors to some nice exclusive Oracle-spells, they all get their due.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard and I have to commend the full-color artworks: They just rock!
I didn’t expect to see these awesome pieces in such a cheap pdf – kudos to the artists! I have to admit that I’m not that into the spell variant concept and rather enjoy having my spells all set and done so I don’t have to skim through additional books. However, this pdf offers an awesome bang-for-buck-ratio – for the low price you’ll get a lot of magic that really enriches your game. On the other hand, the nature of this pdf also limits the variations to being close to other spells. While this is restricting, at least the variants don’t pretend to be wholly new spells. While I’m somewhat loathe to rate this pdf that high due to not liking to have to look for the specific spell information, in face of the low price, awesome artwork and per se, very cool content, I’ll settle for 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.


A nice pickup

*****

110 Spell Variants by Super Genius Games

This product is 10 pages long. It starts with a cover and intro. (1 pages)

110 Spells (8 pages)
This has a 110 spells that are variations of existing spells. A few examples to follow. Right now I will break the spells down by level. The spells are fairly spread out for all the classes.
0 level – 3
1st level - 18
2nd level - 18
3rd level - 17
4th level - 18
5th level - 11
6th level - 11
7th level - 6
8th level - 4
9th level – 4

Pestilence – Summon Swarm by those damaged also effected by contagion
Ooze Form – turns you into ooze
Ring of Fire – like a wall of fire in a ring about you, that moves with you.
Whiteout – Make is snow and block sight
Cavalry – Same as summon mount but can be used on others.
Rejuvenate Familiar – same as rejuvenate eidolan except for familiar.
Touch of Frailty – like touch of idiocy by effects physical stats.
Dancing Shadows – like dancing lights but in reverse.

It ends with a OGL and credits. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is mostly color and ranges from good to very good. Layout and editing was well done. There was a couple of spells I wish they would have had a bit more information about. Torchbearer, which works like dancing lights. The name suggest it holds a torch but other than saying it works like dancing lights it doesn't say. Also there is one spell listed twice. Rejuvenate Familiar is listed as a 1st level and a 4th level spell. All and all the product is very well done and the spell range from, that’s pretty neat to why didn't I think of that.

So what's my rating? Well I want to give this one a 5 but it does have the one spell listed twice and then a couple of spells could have used a little more text to explain them. So with that in mind I am going to settle for a 4.5 star. Fix the couple of minor issues and I would up it to a 5.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


A great buy


I bought this one a whim today and was extremely pleased with the content it gives. The spells are interesting and useful, and provide a lot of new options for all spellcasters. One thing I really enjoyed was the number of Antipaladin and Oracle only spells included, something the APG seemed to lack.

The only oddity can see is that the spell listed in the intro (Pack Tactics) isn't in the actual spell variants!


A short review for a good product.

****( )

I've always heard arguments of 'why can't my wizard research cure light wounds?' While most of the spell varients are clever versions of published spells (a summoner's spiritual weapon resembles his eidolon's jaws) the end result is a wonderful way to customize a character's spell list.


Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

A pack tactics version of haste. A touch of frailty variant on touch of idiocy. Small changes to a spell—an alteration in range, target, duration, casting time, damage, or so on—can greatly affect its theme, its atmosphere, and its appropriateness to different classes, giving you something with a fresh feel, but without inventing new spells from the ground up.

Although a vast number of spells are available in the game’s core rulebooks, many GMs and players have an insatiable desire for more options. In many cases it’s not necessary to create new spell options from scratch, since a few minor changes to an existing spell can create something with a very different feel or impact on game play. The 110 spell variants in The Genius Guide to 110 Variant Spells are based on the idea that you can make a lot of different effects with fairly minor changes to how a spell works, by combining effects of multiple spells, or by mixing a spell and magic item or even a class ability.

Each spell variant is presented with just enough information to make it new and different from the spell it is based on, allowing up to stuff 110 variants (spread over all levels and classes) in 8 pages (plus 1 page of cover/foreword, and 1 page of end credits).


Hmm... does it essentially make it a new spell to memorize / pray / etc? Or is there something like a metamagic feat tweak that allows you to take advantage of that variant?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Urizen wrote:
Hmm... does it essentially make it a new spell to memorize / pray / etc? Or is there something like a metamagic feat tweak that allows you to take advantage of that variant?

Each spell variant is presented on the assumption it's a new spell. In many cases it's a spell designed for a different class or power level than the original, and many create effects no existing spell can. So it wouldn't work for a rule to be added to allow casters access to all variants of one spell.

These are not, for the most part, simple swaps like iceball instead of fireball. These spells create flying castles, summon humanoid minions, and form blades of pure prismatic energy. They just do it by modifying, combining, or altering existing spells in ways to create new effects.

Liberty's Edge

No fair! My money hasn't even made it home yet! :) Seriously, since this was always a favorite trick of mine in the second edition days, I'm buying this one ASAP!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Random note: Paragraph 2 of the description above says:

"The following list of one-hundred-and-eleven spells variants"

yet the books is titled:

"The Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants"

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

jreyst wrote:

Random note: Paragraph 2 of the description above says:

"The following list of one-hundred-and-eleven spells variants"

yet the books is titled:

"The Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants"

Heh.

It should be 110. One got cut for talking back.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
It should be 110. One got cut for talking back.

Hahahaha

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
jreyst wrote:

Random note: Paragraph 2 of the description above says:

"The following list of one-hundred-and-eleven spells variants"

yet the books is titled:

"The Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants"

Heh.

It should be 110. One got cut for talking back.

Fixed

Dark Archive

Does this mean the spell wars have started? SGG and their 110 series verses Rite Publishings 101 series? :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Does this mean the spell wars have started? SGG and their 110 series verses Rite Publishings 101 series? :D

Wouldn't Rite be winning then? since 101 x 10 would be 1010 vs 110...

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Does this mean the spell wars have started? SGG and their 110 series verses Rite Publishings 101 series? :D

As cool as "The Spell Wars" sound (I'm sure I'll be adding them to the history of some home campaign of mine soon), I don't think we need to worry about it in this case. Our 110 spell variants are very short entries that show how you combine existing game elements to create new spells, and runs $3 for 10 pages that covers all levels. The Rite line is 101 full-blown spells and run $5 to $6 bucks and 25-29 pages for one spell level.

In other words, these are very different projects, and I neither intend nor desire to compete with Rite's 101 line. I like Rite's 101 line, and don't want to be taking shots at it. Indeed, I originally had 101 variants, and that sounded too much like an effort at direct competition so I added 10. (Then we cut one... eventually the question of how many to have got complicated...)

And yes I know you were being jovial, DM, but it seemed to be a fair question worth an answer. :)

Dark Archive

Yeah I was, but this is one I really want to pick up. Sadly it will have to wait at least a week. Stupid RL.


Jovial is an excellent word for the succubus.

This one is also on my want when I have more spare change list.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Vic Wertz wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


It should be 110. One got cut for talking back.
Fixed

Thanks, Vic!

Dark Sasha wrote:

Jovial is an excellent word for the succubus.

This one is also on my want when I have more spare change list.

We look forward to your patronage!

Grand Lodge

Hey Owen!

Page 2: Rejuvenate Familiar (Wiz 1/Witch1)

Page 6: Rejuvenate Familiar (Wiz 4/Witch4)

Are those supposed to read as the lesser and standard versions, lesser and greater, or standard and greater?

I presume the first, but I had to pull out the APG to make sure I wasn't going insane.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

poizen37 wrote:

Page 2: Rejuvenate Familiar (Wiz 1/Witch1)

Page 6: Rejuvenate Familiar (Wiz 4/Witch4)

Are those supposed to read as the lesser and standard versions, lesser and greater, or standard and greater?

I presume the first, but I had to pull out the APG to make sure I wasn't going insane.

Huh.

Well if this is the only mistake, that'll still be less than a 2% error rate.

Yes, the 1st level spell should be rejuvenate familiar, lesser, and build off rejuvenate eidolon, lesser. The 4th level spell should be rejuvenate familiar, and build off rejuvenate eidolon. If you wanted to add rejuvenate familiar, greater, I'd make it 6th level and and build off rejuvenate eidolon, greater.

I don't normally include the same variant of greater/lesser spells, instead doing what I did with things like guardian I and note the same variant can be used to create guardian II through guardian IX. I recall deciding in this case the upper-level rejuvenate familiar spells should be a level higher than the upper-level rejuvenate eidolon spells, because wizards and witches get 4th level spells as 7th level characters, and summoners get 3rd level spells as 7th level characters, and that was a better fit for game balance. So that's why I included both versions. But I should have done a better job expressing that in the product, and it would help if I had gotten the word "lesser" in there.

Thanks for the catch!

The Exchange

When I first saw the book cover (small image on my screen, mind you) on the paizo front page, at first glance I thought it said "no spell variants"... I quickly thought, 'interesting... character archetypes without spellcasting, maybe a spell-less cleric and spell-less wiz- wait a sec...' heh.

Dark Archive

You know I just looked at the cover closely and noticed her boobs have wings.

The Exchange

Dark_Mistress wrote:
You know I just looked at the cover closely and noticed her boobs have wings.

hah, that's... different. It's either that or two bats that happen to fly at the right moment sorta mirroring each other... ok, that's a stretch.

Silver Crusade

Chiropteran support aside, this is on my to-read list for themed spells. :)


Dark_Mistress wrote:
You know I just looked at the cover closely and noticed her boobs have wings.

They appear to have distracted you from your normal promptness with a review.

@Owen: Who is the artist for the cover?

Dark Archive

Don't own it yet. Likely mid may before I can pick anything more up.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark Sasha wrote:
@Owen: Who is the artist for the cover?

I believe it's Lin Bo.


Are there spells for the upcoming Magus class?

Dark Archive

Nice if short review. :)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

4G63 wrote:

Are there spells for the upcoming Magus class?

Not in this one, we don't like to publish spells for a class until its final version is in print. (There will be magus spells in the next 110 Spell variants.) We did, however, get at least a few spells for every spellcasting class in the APG.

Dark Archive

Reviewed.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Reviewed.

Thanks for the review!

Dark Archive

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Reviewed.
Thanks for the review!

Hey do you know why the one spell got added twice? and what was suppose to be in it's place. Cause unless I miss counted, counting it meant 110. Which made me think maybe one was missing.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Hey do you know why the one spell got added twice? and what was suppose to be in it's place. Cause unless I miss counted, counting it meant 110. Which made me think maybe one was missing.

I'll look into it. The book was originally 111 spells, but I cut one, and re-counted. I may have had my count off the first time --- but I'll check.

Dark Archive

Actually that would make sense then. Perhaps you just didn't notice the once spell listed twice so cut one of the others instead. Which left it at 110 but with one of them spells listed twice.

Dark Archive

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Reviewed.
Thanks for the review!
Hey do you know why the one spell got added twice? and what was suppose to be in it's place. Cause unless I miss counted, counting it meant 110. Which made me think maybe one was missing.

Checked the review. I believe both your questions appeared earlier in the thread, but I'll repost for clarity:

Rejuvenate Familiar is not technically in there twice. One is the "lesser" version, as per the discussion further up the thread. Because it doesn't follow the typical level correlation of other spells (summon monster vs. summon minion), Owen went back and added a second one. The error is in forgetting to add the "lesser" part.

If you count those as a single spell, then the "missing" spell is most likely Pack Tactics, as several people have mentioned. It is mentioned in the preface, but makes no appearance in the actual crunch-text. Simple enough to add on your own: Druid spell, as per Haste except targets are limited to creatures of the animal type (including animal companions and mounts). By personal preference I would go so far as to include Rangers on that spell list.

Dark Archive

Ok if one is suppose to be lesser and one greater then that would make 110 spells. But the problem is there is as it sits now no difference in the spells beyond level. The text of the two spells.

rejuvenate familiar
(Sorcerer/Wizard 1, Witch 1)
As rejuvenate eidolon (Advanced Player’s Guide), except it applies to the caster’s familiar.

rejuvenate familiar
(Sorcerer/Wizard 4, Witch 4)
Target: your familiar
As rejuvenate eidolon (Advanced Player’s Guide).

Other than the first one saying it applies to the familiar and the level difference I don't see a difference in the spells. Unless there is a lesser and greater version of rejuvenate eidolon which could be. I honestly didn't check that.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Other than the first one saying it applies to the familiar and the level difference I don't see a difference in the spells. Unless there is a lesser and greater version of rejuvenate eidolon which could be. I honestly didn't check that.

There are. Three versions, in fact. The mistake is that my first-level Rejuvenate familiar should be "lesser rejuvenate familiar" and work off "lesser rejuvenate eidolon."

Dark Archive

Dark_Mistress wrote:

Ok if one is suppose to be lesser and one greater then that would make 110 spells. But the problem is there is as it sits now no difference in the spells beyond level. The text of the two spells.

rejuvenate familiar
(Sorcerer/Wizard 1, Witch 1)
As rejuvenate eidolon (Advanced Player’s Guide), except it applies to the caster’s familiar.

rejuvenate familiar
(Sorcerer/Wizard 4, Witch 4)
Target: your familiar
As rejuvenate eidolon (Advanced Player’s Guide).

Other than the first one saying it applies to the familiar and the level difference I don't see a difference in the spells. Unless there is a lesser and greater version of rejuvenate eidolon which could be. I honestly didn't check that.

There is actually three (std, lesser, greater). The variants in the pdf are meant to be the lesser and standard version, respectively. It caused me no end of consternation until I figured it out.

EDIT: Ninja'd!

Dark Archive

Ok that makes more sense, then you might want to also make sure you fix which spell it says it is like as well when you add lesser etc to the main name. :)


Reviewed here and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Thanks for the review!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

summon minion says it summons an npc of cr "at least 1 lower" than the corresponding summon monster spell, but summoned monster cr's aren't the same for every creature on a particular summoned monster list. for example, summon monster 4 can summon a hell hound (cr 3), a hound archone (cr 4), or a brown bear (cr 5). so what cr npc can summon minion 4 summon? 2? 3? 4? something else?

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

messy wrote:
summon minion says it summons an npc of cr "at least 1 lower" than the corresponding summon monster spell, but summoned monster cr's aren't the same for every creature on a particular summoned monster list. for example, summon monster 4 can summon a hell hound (cr 3), a hound archone (cr 4), or a brown bear (cr 5). so what cr npc can summon minion 4 summon? 2? 3? 4? something else?

CR 2 -- at least 1 cr lower than the lowest-cr thing the spell can summon.

That could, I admit, have been written more clearly.

A simpler way to run it would be to say it summons an NPC two crs lower than the level of the summoning spell -- (with CR 1/2 for summon minion 2, and CR 1/3 for summon minion 1).

I'd have written it that way at the time, if I had thought of it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

CR 2 -- at least 1 cr lower than the lowest-cr thing the spell can summon.

That could, I admit, have been written more clearly.

A simpler way to run it would be to say it summons an NPC two crs lower than the level of the summoning spell -- (with CR 1/2 for summon minion 2, and CR 1/3 for summon minion 1).

I'd have written it that way at the time, if I had thought of it.

thank you, sir, for the clarification.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

messy wrote:
thank you, sir, for the clarification.

Thanks for the question! Questions both prove people are actually looking at using the material, and provide answers for other folks who may have run into the same problem and not gone to the trouble of seeing if a clarification could be offered. :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

do creatures summoned by summon minion have a template (like summon monster)?

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

No.
I have never actually had an issue with the magic just summoning someone or something, so I don't feel the need to complicate things by slapping outsider templates on stuff.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

No.

I have never actually had an issue with the magic just summoning someone or something, so I don't feel the need to complicate things by slapping outsider templates on stuff.

thank you, again.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Many thanks to idilippy for the review!


Who would take damage from a Scourge cast by a true neutral oracle? It could be read as either any non-neutral or nobody at all. As Neutral has no opposed alignment, this spell has one big gray area in the middle of the alignment chart.

Paizo Employee Contributor

No one would take damage. I recommend not selecting that spell as a true neutral oracle!


Owen,

With the Animate Construct Spell. Can you give a run down on the parameters of the spell insofar as number of HD able to be animated in a single casting. Do these create "simple animate objects" or can actual construct monsters be animated as well?

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