Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 (PFRPG)

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Immerse yourself in the intricate rituals and legends of Goetian magic. Grab thick chalk, inscribe a geometric seal around yourself, and invoke the name of a terrible spirit to aid your quest. Behold! With a final intonation you seal a bargain with the spirit and a quivering surge of power emanates from deep within. Are you ready? Embark on your journey with the spirit of a shivering demon, martyred titan, lost mortal, chastised god, or stranger being still. The vestiges of thirty-two sundered souls lie at your fingertips, yours to command if you dare.

You will discover...

  • An introduction to fantasy pact-making for your campaign.
  • A new base class, the occultist, as well as an occultist archetype.
  • Archetypes for the 11 core classes.
  • Add-ons: a new cleric domain, barbarian rage powers, rogue talents, an oathbound paladin oath, and more!
  • A new type of feat to modify your pact magic, known as occult feats.
  • Binder Secrets, which are special abilities that an occultist can take in place of a feat.
  • Constellation aspects, which are like 0-level spirit powers that allow you to increase the binding DC of a spirit in order to gain an additional granted ability.
  • Most Important! 32 starter spirits from 1st through 9th level. These spirits are favorites drawn from the original Secrets of Pact Magic and Villains of Pact Magic, with 3 brand new spirits.

This 84-page guide opens gateways to perilous and exciting adventures. This is first volume of several to launch you on adventures of dangerous occult power.

For use in your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Requires the use of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, published by Paizo Publishing LLC.

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Nice Adaptation

****( )

I was a real fan of the Pact Magic mechanic when it came out in 3.5 so I was tickled to see it done in PF. Radiance House has done a very nice job with making a good adaptation and making it their own.

There are some differences so be aware.
First, the entities you bind to yourself are no longer called vestiges but spirits. Not sure why. Second, the goetia-based spirits from the original TOM are not to be found here which was the only disappointing thing for me. You have lots of spirits but they are all like they were once living creatures instead of the extreme creepy weirdness from the original TOM. I might have to convert the original vestiges to this system as I really liked them.

Anyway, there is a lot to sink your teeth into here. Volume 2 is worth getting as well as it has options for classes found outside the core book and even utilizes character background rules from the Ultimate Campaign book. I'm looking forward to rolling an occultist (the new binder class) and seeing how they play. Looks like lots of fun!


An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

The first book converting pact-magic to PFRPG is 86 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 81 pages of content, so let's check this out, but only after a short glance back:

When I bought the "Tome of Magic" for D&D 3.5, I immediately fell in love with Pact Magic - I loved the concept, the great fluff...but power-wise, it came apart. With the notable exception of some minor supplemental material in certain Dragon-APs by Paizo, I never saw any supplemental material and if you're like me and have a LOT of books, that's a big drawback. And then, when the now deceased Kobold Quarterly magazine featured a pact magic ad, I clicked on it and ordered the books in blind faith. And if there was ONE defining experience that still makes me check out unknown 3pps, it was this one: I got gorgeously-crafted, beautiful hardcover books for a very low price and they've seen a lot of use in my subsequent campaigns.

With PFRPG, we now FINALLY get the update of my favorite magic system and it's more than just a cut-copy-paste-job - in fact, we get a completely new base-class, but for those of you not familiar with the concept, here's the spin: First, binding a spirit requires drawing a seal on a free 5-foot square - depending on the spirit, you'll have to draw the seal e.g. in darkness, with blood, etc. After drawing this symbol, you perform a ceremony, which is unique for each spirit and might range from the weird to the creepy. After witnessing the manifestation of the spirit, the binder barters with it: Each spirit comes with a binding DC that is compared to a binder's binding-check. Said check is d20+ 1/2 binder's level+cha-mod. You enter a pact with the spirit regardless of whether you succeed the check, but it does have consequences: For 24 hours, the binder shares soul and body with the entity and the check determines the amount of influence the spirit exercises over the binder. Successful checks indicate e.g. that the binder can suppress potentially weird physical signs that accompany entering a pact with a spirit. Also, the spirit's personality affects your behavior and you may ignore the spirit's restrictions like "not lying", gold as a top priority, short tempers etc. Now this system thus does not only provide a magic-system, it also provides a GLORIOUS role-playing catalyst.

That out of the way, Pact Magic, fluff-wise, is also a somewhat scorned upon practice that brings out the fanatics in e.g. some clerics and has always carried the allure of the forbidden - after all, the practitioners channel spirits that are beyond mortality and often, the range of the gods. Thus, rules provided for hiding the physical signs etc. are provided. Since the forbidden aspect is partially based on an availability, other classes can wilder in the territory of Pact Magic - especially interesting for paladins, who can now vow oaths against spirits or become Templars of Spirits, who may smite those bound as well as evil and perform exorcisms.

Clerics may become occult priests, take the occult domain and even worship spirits now - though whether sanctioned or as a heresy depends on your world. Oh, detecting heretics is supplemented by 3 new spells. Pactsworn Pagan-druids modify their shape to be more pleasing to the spirit and pay for their binding with diminished spellcasting, while the monks of the empyrean friar blends martial arts with being possessed by spirits and their supernatural abilities - I had a similar character in one of my campaigns once and it rocked, so cool concept! And yes, even fighter may opt to become so-called warshades and benefit from pact magic.
Rangers get a new archetype to gain some limited pact magic-associated abilities, while rogues may select new talents to hide supernatural aspects, improve capabilities of spirits or play an untouchable, who always gets the short end of the stick, bargain-wise, but apply a skill-bonus to a whole attribute's array.

Sorcerors may chose the Ergon bloodline that has tumor-like, eye-resembling growths spawn on the body and work as eyes as well as the power to devour magic and transcend into a half-construct as per the ARG. The second bloodline, the ravaged, is closer to a more conventional pact magic/sorceror blending. Wizards may opt to take the new soul weaver archetype, who have their spellcasting prowess diminished and forsake 3 schools, but may in turn fuse pact magic and regular magic by e.g. sacrificing prepared spells into granted abilities for more flexibility. Barbarians may become totemic sages (and also get 2 rage powers) and bards soul muses. Bards also benefit from a new masterpiece to daze foes.

You may have noticed some confusing terms here, so let me elaborate: A spirit's write-up takes up at least 1 page and not for no reason - each spirit has totems, mementos that remind him/her/it of its former life that grant the binding character a +2 insight bonus on binding checks when present, +4 when all are present - researching these can, again, be a great roleplaying opportunity.

The aforementioned ceremonies can be rushed, but that makes the result be more prone to being unfavorable for the binder. Binding spirits has multiple benefits: First of which would be minor benefits - and plural is appropriate indeed - for each spirit has at least a couple of these benefits. They range from permanent boons while being bound to the spirit to abilities that can be used 1/character level to some that have a cool-down of a couple of rounds, but no other restriction. Major abilities are simply the stronger ones granted by the spirit. Beyond these, each spirit has a capstone empowerment, which only becomes available to the binder if he/she succeeds at the binding check by 10 or more, making even low-level spirits bring something new to the table. All spirits also are aligned to one of 13 eldritch constellations and almost all of aforementioned archetypes are limited in their constellation choices. Each spirit has a favored enemy and ally constellation (sometimes multiple) that can be further enhanced by feats and makes binding spirits to allied races easier/harder, respectively. Furthermore, each constellation has 4 different potential constellation benefits. Now, the binders may also opt to forego a minor ability to instead gain the service of a so-called vestigial companion (after vestiges, the name originally applied to the spirits). The spirits also are grouped by levels from 1st to 9th, following in that regard the traditional presentation.

Now, it should come as no surprise that we also get a full binding class, the Occultist, who gets 3/4 BAB-progression, d8, 4+Int skills per level, and bind multiple aspects and squeeze augmentation bonuses out of their spirits.

But what are these spirits? Well, for example, you could bind Cave Mother, she who discovered fire, General Hessant, the Patron of Lost Soldiers, a tall story come to life by enough people believing in it, N'alyia, the First Vampire, the first of the otyughs, a living curse, Loh'Moi the geometer that sought to think 4-dimensional by teleporting into his brain, ultimately to turn back time, famed Dagon (Yes, mythos-aficionados - one constellation is called Dark beyond...), a psychotic elven princess turned black unicorn, a king betrayed by any and all as well as the sworn enemy of time. And no, that were not all contained herein.

A total of 20 feats are also part of the deal to expand the options of your pact magic-casters. Interesting is also that multiple models of spirits-known are presented for the DM, putting control essentially in your hands while featuring guidelines that help maintaining balance easy.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though I noticed some minor typo-style glitches, I encountered very few and far-between, so nothing to truly complain about here. Layout adheres to a b/w-2-column standard with many of the artworks of the 3.5-version and one artwork for each seal. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, but sans nested bookmarks.

Pact Magic Unbound Vol.1 is a great streamlined version of the Pact Magic-rules I've come to love and enjoy in my home-games. The thing is... I have both 3.5 hardcovers, which are now out of stock everywhere I look. And I realize these two probably have been produced at a loss - at least that would explain the stitch-binding and top-quality paper. In direct comparison, this one still just feels so...incomplete to me. While there are quite a bunch of cool spirits in here, there's a factor that made me LOVE, ADORE the original book, which is only partially present herein:

In the original, EVERY spirit had a legend, an expertly-written, sometimes, creepy, sometimes tragic, sometimes philosophic, but never boring history spanning a whole page as well as a cliff-notes version for the DM. While multiple of the spirits have retained their legends in this book, there also are several that have been omitted - for example the disturbing legend of evening star. The PFRPG-mechanics are awesome (and I hope, we'll get APG, UM and UC-support in Vol. II), the omission of the legends/cutting them down to mere paragraphs may conserve page-count, but it also detracts from what made pact magic stand out in my mind - not necessarily the mechanics, but the storytelling. The AWESOME flavor that made Pact Magic feel much more magical than regular magic.
Don't get me wrong - this is still a great offering. Its crunch is actually better, getting rid of alignment-changes etc. On the fluff-side, though, it just isn't as brilliant, as mind-boggling in its fluff as its previous incarnation and I really hope Vol. II will come with ALL legends - for more than anything else, more than the solid mechanics, it's always been the stories that, for me, defined Pact Magic.

Due to this factor, I will settle for a final verdict of 4 stars + seal of approval, for the rules are awesome - but the cut legends and the useful cliff-notes make this pdf suffer a bit. If you can, somehow hunt down the 3.5-books as well - they are worth every cent and having legends for ALL spirits makes them so much cooler.

Endzeitgeist out.


My thoughts on this!

****( )

Yasha gave a more fully detailed review outlining what's in this book, and I generally agree with it.

Here’s my thoughts on volume 1, hopefully to guide your thoughts on volume 2:

I would love to give it 5/5, but I can’t. I can’t give it 3/5, either; that would be too mean IMO, so it gets a 4/5 from me.

I should note that I thought the introduction of binders in 3.5 TOM was great. However, that had its flaws, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Things missing from volume 1:
No index.
No feat table.
No table providing a summary of what each spirit does.
Considering that there were four blank pages at the back, I thought it a shame that the above weren’t there! Such items would have been very useful!

The thing I loathed about the 3.5 TOM binder was the class fluff. The TOM introduced this amazing class, but the fluff said “everyone hates you”. Which I thought was total B.S. What makes binders so bad that everyone hates them? An evil binder is no worse than an evil sorcerer, evil cleric, and so on. A good binder isn’t evil, yet people still hated them. I loathed that fluff.
To a large extent, PMU volume 1 got rid of that rubbish, but not entirely. :-( For instance, there is no way I’d ever allow the paladin archetype, and the rogue archetype is pretty questionable to me, too.
Later on in volume 1, it talks about the level of availability of pact magic, but even at the “Pact Magic is Prominent” level, it still has the “everyone hates you” crap. What I would have preferred is that the binders (occultist etc) are treated just like any other class. You could then have had a sidebar saying something along the lines of “Pact magic is based on a theory developed in the real world Renaissance, and as such the Catholic Church was strongly against it. If you wish to introduce a flavour that binders, sorcerers, witches, etc are hunted by strong churches in particular lands, then feel free to do so. [These archetypes] are recommended if you want to use such a background, otherwise it is recommended that you do not use them if will not enhance the fun of the game.” Or better yet, Radiance House releases a compiled hardback, please have a chapter with the “everyone hates you” stuff that is optional, and take the view that the rest of the stuff is just treated normally!

The spirits. My favourites are Tyrant Cromwell, Ubro, and Serapith. It’d be good if the spirits in future books have just as much “oomph” as those. Some of the spirits just seem a bit random!!
It occurs to me, that with nine levels of spirits and thirteen constellations, there should eventually be at least 117 spirits. I’m sure it’ll be a while before we see that many, though!

Overall, I really like this book- don’t think otherwise. I just wanted to make the above points and hope that you’ll take them into consideration!

This book is well worth buying!


Pact Magic done properly

*****

Alright, Pact Magic! Being a longtime fan of the Binder from the Tome of Magic, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Print/PDF Bundle. Here goes.
Lets start with the "Binder" class, the Occultist. The Occultist is a solid conversion and update of the ToM Binder Class. There are a few small gripes though. It has lost the Soul Guardian tree of abilities, likely that Occultists can bind a variety of Spirits in order to get similar abilities instead. While I understand while those abilities didn't make it into the finished class, I still miss them.
The ultimate and penultimate abilities of the class are new, interesting and have a lot of potential for fun usage. All while being totally unique to the Occultist.
One thing that did strike me as odd is this; the level at which you max out the number of spirits you can bind. It seems arbitrary, it also essentially spells out that Occultists of level 21+ don't gain any additional spirits either. While I understand most folks don't play much past 15th level, I find this limits options a bit (especially since I am running an epic game right now).

The archetypes: interesting and a good way to introduce spirit binding into your campaign. One that does seem a bit unclear and I imagine will cause some confusion is that the Bind Spirit features don't specifically mention if the number of spirits you can bind increases or not. If it doesn't (as I read it) thats good and will keep these archetypes balanced against others. If it does (which the lack of Bind Additional Spirits as a class feature makes me think it doesn't), then these archetypes are looking overpowered. Clarity on this will likely stop arguments at the table. If the archetypes work the way I think they do, then they would be a welcome addition to the repertoire of the various PFRPG classes, at least at my table.

Constellations: This is an interesting little mechanic. Think of them as Occultist cantrips. They are customizable (always good) on which ones you select, there is a wide range of choices, and with multiple spirits bound you could end up with a wide range of little abilities that help out. Also, its optional to even try for a constellation ability while binding a spirit, so its up to the player whether to worry about it or not (also good).

Feats: The feats seem nice and balanced (nothing randomly OP) and fit with the flavor of the class. Reminiscent of the ToM feats but also some totally new and good stuff in there too.

Chapter Fiction: There is a reason this is a section! I like having chapter fiction/samples of characters like this. Its a little short story that lets you hear a narrative about a character like the one you are likely creating. Oddly though the "Pact Magic in Action" one lists someone using Spirits that aren't in the book at all. After reading it, I wanted to look those spirits up. Hopefully they make the next volume.

Spirits: I still need to look at them more in depth, but my general impression is of a job well done. They seem more comparable to other vestiges of the same level than the ToM ones did. At any given level, its more situation and circumstance that will determine which vestiges are best, not one just being flat out better. Great job on this section folks! I really like that you can increase the binding DC to get an empowerment on the main ability of the vestige. It actually will encourage players to try for them and hopefully make bad pacts (which is fun). I only saw one spirit that really gave much in the way of resistances or immunities though, and it is 9th level. Overall there are a lot of attack abilities and what seems like fewer defensive ones. I'd have to really give various selections of spirits trials in game to give a better opinion, that is just my initial impression.

Final Impression: Overall (despite a few little gripes), I love this book. Obviously, the developers knew what they were doing and actually liked the old ToM Binder class. They did the spirit of the class justice and brought it into the PFRPG system with style.


The Standard for Pact Magic and/or Binders

*****

Back around the time the Pathfinder RPG first came out, I saw some posts about a 3rd party version of Wizards of the Coast's Binder from Tome of Magic. I'd seen a number of people say that the Binder had some good ideas, but had some mechanical problems. The general consensus was that this 3rd party publication "Secrets of Pact Magic" was 'the binder, done right'.

Now, the authors of Secrets of Pact Magic have updated their book to the Pathfinder RPG. This isn't just a quick and dirty conversion, the authors have taken advantage of the innovations introduced by PFRPG to make their Pact Magic book blend seamlessly with the overall system. It's a very elegant and professionally put together system and there is something in here for pretty much every game whether or not you decide to use the new class added by this book or if you want to use an archetype for an existing class.

Bottom line, this comes highly recommended and I hope to see more such material from Radiance House.


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I'm completely with you there, design-philosophy-wise. Racial options should build on races, everything else is fluff and shouldn't fracture into requirements - It's one of my personal pet-peeves, as are races that gear a character too strongly towards a given profession, via e.g. +4 bonus to a mental attribute and two -2s on physical attributes. I hate those races. And while I'm not a fan of the ARG - at all - I really like what you've done with totems and constellations: It keeps the spirit (pardon the pun) alive while still offering better flexibility. So mechanically two thumbs up and kudos! I'm looking forward to book 2!

Cheers!


Personally, I don't mind the only brief histories for most of them. It takes a while to write materials & all.

Anywayz. Bought volume 1 both hard copy & PDF(a rare thing for me to do). It left me wanting. Definitely looking forward to volume 2.

Overall, I like the toning down the power in some areas & stepping it up in others. It brings a nice middle ground to Tome of Magic the Secrets of Pact Magic serieseseseses. Making pact magic variants for core classes was definitely a good way to integrate it.

I don't mind the limit of pact spirits known. I do, however, see some issues with not having clearly defined ways to research new spirits. I really hope this gets addressed in the 2nd book. It's kind of a big deal.

Contributor

InfernosReaper wrote:
Personally, I don't mind the only brief histories for most of them. It takes a while to write materials & all.

I hate to say it, but its more about page count than materials. The book came down to about five pages, and we made the call to add five more spirits over five more legends. Was it the right call? Debatable, but we have noted the demand for more of Dario's excellent Legends.

And the ones that I've written aren't too bad either, of course! ;-)

Quote:
I don't mind the limit of pact spirits known. I do, however, see some issues with not having clearly defined ways to research new spirits. I really hope this gets addressed in the 2nd book. It's kind of a big deal.

I agree that this is a big deal, and it will be addressed in Volume 2, which has a "Skills and Feats" Chapter in order to get those rules in.

As a quick preview, the basic idea is that you have to succeed at four specific "Knowledge Tasks" in order to unlock a spirit. Each Knowledge is associated with a specific aspect of the spirit; there is a Knowledge check to discover the seal, a check to discover the ceremony, so on and so forth. The first check is hard, but as you uncover more lore subsequent checks become easier as you slowly figure out what it is your looking for. The system also allows the GM to "throw you a bone," so to speak and gift you with one or more Knowledge tasks in varying ways, such as discovering an unknown spirit's seal written in blood on the floor of a forgotten house.

In addition, Volume 2 will have new magic items tailored to Pact Magic. One of them is called a Gnostic Tome, which is a somewhat expensive book that can fully teach a character all four Knowledge tasks of a specific spirit.


When is volume 2 schedule to come out?

Contributor

goldomark wrote:
When is volume 2 schedule to come out?

When the Stars Are Right.

Joking aside, Dario and I are hoping to have it done soon. We've had a few stumbling blocks, but our editor is working hard and fixing every stupid misspelling that I'm sure I accidentally put into that document!


How many preexisting spirits will be converted for this one? The biggest problem I have with implementing the current rules in my game is that there aren't really enough binding options yet (to my mind, ymmv).

Contributor

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
How many preexisting spirits will be converted for this one? The biggest problem I have with implementing the current rules in my game is that there aren't really enough binding options yet (to my mind, ymmv).

As long as nothing changes (less than 1% chance) it'll work something like this:

Volume 1: 32 Spirits
Volume 2: 31 Spirits
Volume 3: 54 Spirits + 3 Extra Spirits

My current outlines have the total number of spirits sitting at 120 by Volume 3, not including any products outside of the Pact Magic Unbound line that we release (maybe). I'm not ready to talk more about Volume 3, however.

Dario and I are still trying to figure out if we could feasibly break into the 3PP scene like some of the other publishers; if we do, all bets are off with these spirit number estimates ;-).


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Dario and I are still trying to figure out if we could feasibly break into the 3PP scene like some of the other publishers; if we do, all bets are off with these spirit number estimates ;-).

"Kickstarter pledge level X: Design your own spirit!" :)

Contributor

Baby steps, EML! Baby steps!

Shadow Lodge

Tempting, very tempting......

Liberty's Edge

I've just got into this and I must say I do enjoy the possibilities it brings. I do have a question (and may very well have more later).

When an archetype says it binds spirits as an occultist of the same level, does that include the ability to bind multiple spirits?

Edit: When an archetype says "unaligned" spirits in an area talking about choosing a constellation it means "spirit not aligned to that constellation" not "spirit without a constellation", right?

Told you I'd have more. :)

Contributor

1) No. "Bind Additional Spirits" is a class feature and not part of the binder level rules. It is similar to how many classes say, "You qualify for feats as a fighter of the same level ..." but you wouldn't expect to gain bonus feats like a fighter for having an effective fighter level.

2)You're correct. Unaligned spirits refers to spirits that are not aligned to your constellation. For example, if you were to align to the Angel constellation, then you would be barred from the Fiend constellation (its opposed constellation) and your binder level would be treated as 1/2 for all spirits that do not belong to the Angel constellation (spirits unaligned to Angel).

And this, my Facebook Group Friends, is why I came up with the title "Starless Spirits" instead of using "unaligned spirits" when talking about spirits that do not belong to a Constellation! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the Pact Magic Facebook group.

Liberty's Edge

Thank you for the answers. Good to know. I kind of thought that was how they worked, but I wanted to be sure. A couple more:

To bind a spirit you roll: 1d20 +cha + 1/2 binder level. Optional bonuses include +2 or +4 totem bonus, +1 or +2 to your totem bonus if you are a favored ally, +2 from constellation focus if you possess it for that spirit's constellation.)

Optional penalties include loosing half your totem bonus if you are the favored enemy.

Did I over look anything important there? If you are a favored ally, but you don't meet any of the totem bonus requirements, do you get to add the +1? What happens if you are the favored ally and favored enemy both do you add first then divide by half or divide by half then add? (Such as if you're a spell caster binding General Hessant, but you have the 2 ranks of profession soldier.)

Contributor

1) No, being a spirit's Favored Ally has no benefits if you do not receive a totem bonus on your binding check from said spirit. Likewise, being a Favored Enemy has no real penalty; you just reduce the bonus that having a totem would have given you.

2) Most spirits specifically exclude Favored Allies from their Favored Enemies. Since I didn't write a rule for something like that into the book, its up to your GM what happens. I would personally just have the two cancel each other out, because the alternative is that being a Favored Enemy is more important than being a Favored Ally. But totally up to your GM and how he / she wishes spirits to act in his / her campaign world.

Contributor

I am currently working on erratas and FAQs for this book. If you have any questions or you've noticed some wordage that doesn't make sense, please either post it here in this thread or post it in the FAQ Thread that I've started in the 3PP Forum.


So, Dagon's favored ally is Aberrations but his favored enemies are aquatic and *any* humanoid.

So, if you're a humanoid aberration, making you both a favored ally & a favored enemy, what happens when you use the Dagon Knows ability?

Contributor

InfernosReaper wrote:

So, Dagon's favored ally is Aberrations but his favored enemies are aquatic and *any* humanoid.

So, if you're a humanoid aberration, making you both a favored ally & a favored enemy, what happens when you use the Dagon Knows ability?

It is impossible to be of the humanoid type and the aberration type at the same time.

That said, whenever you qualify as both a favored enemy and favored ally at the same time, the two conditions cancel each other out; you receive no benefits and no penalties. This is not a rule in the book however, and as always your GM can rule otherwise as she sees fit.

Distant Scholar wrote:
Here's my question: I already own Secrets of Pact Magic and Villains of Pact Magic for 3.5, along with the Pathfinder conversion document. Why should I also buy Pact Magic Unbound?

This question was originally posted in our FAQ thread. I am answering it here to keep the focus of that thread on the FAQs.

Before I answer this question, I'm going to point you to Endzeitgeist's review of our product here.

Okay, why should you upgrade? Well, to put it bluntly the design philosophy between Secrets of Pact Magic and Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 is 100% different. Each book is a product of its time, if you catch my drift, and rather than simply updating every spirit with Dario's original conversion document, Pact Magic Unbound has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. When writing the book, the only thing I didn't write are the expanded Legends that Dario and I chose to reprint in this book. So you might get 10 pages of reprinted material if you buy the book; everything else is brand-new and remastered.

The spirits and abilities have a much more standardized system of balance. When designing the spirits, I wanted to make sure that every spirit was viable at every level of play; this was especially important because Dario and I knew we couldn't hope to get every spirit from both books updated in Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 Along this line there are no more "requirements" to bind spirits; instead it becomes easier to seal pacts with spirits as you meet certain criteria.

Instead of introducing a hundred classes, this book only offers one new class, the Occultist, and instead creates archetypes and similar options for all of the Core Classes. The Foe Reaper from Secrets of Pact Magic is now a Ranger archetype, the Soulweaver is now a Wizard archetype, and the Empyrean Monk is now a Monk archetype called the Empyrean Friar. In order to meet our goals, new archetypes were created as appropriate, including Ravaged and Ergon bloodlines for the Sorcerer, the Untouchable rogue, and the Totemic Sage barbarian. Because the majority of my designing background is for Pathfinder, I've added options that fit with all of the hardcovers that were out when this book was released; you'll find a bardic masterpiece, an Occult Domain, an Oathbound Paladin oath, and new rage powers and rogue talents.

If none of my idealistic blabbing has convinced you, all of our rules content from this book has been added to the PFSRD website; search for our class archetypes under the Radiance House publisher or simply search for terms like "occultist" or "pact magic." You can determine if this is the product for you using those samples.

As far as I know, no one who enjoyed Secrets of Pact Magic disliked this product, if that means anything to you. ;-)


As someone who's been doing pact magic characters since Tome of Magic(aka, the only part of that book that was good instead of unplayable garbage), I can safely say, that the new stuff's solid enough, though one will find'emself looking forward to the next volume. It's rare for me to buy physical copies of books, but I did so on faith & don't regret it.

Also, behold an aberrant humanoid(& from a common-enough source to have to consider)
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/psionics-unleashed/races/elan
But, yeah, just thought I'd ask on that to be sure. Some people I've played under have strange ideas of what "logic" is.

Contributor

I hear that on weird rulings, which is why I'm making the errata. For example, if you do the math, being both Favored Ally and Favored Enemy wouldn't actually cancel each other out; you'd be forced to round down and being the Favored Ally would give way to the Favored Enemy. Sort of a pessimistic view!


Alternatively, it could result is a 50/50.

Or those people destroying your stuff to obstruct your attempts to recover parts of an ancient artifact without trying to talk to you first aren't your enemies and actually trying to help you in your quest.

It's amazing how different 2 people can interpret the same thing.

Contributor

This is the current list of Errata that I am planning on sending over to Dario in roughly one week. Until then, you're free to comment on the errata and offer your insight and opinions; I will take all constructive suggestions into considerations into account when finalizing the erratas. Please quote the specific errata that you are referring to when replying.

Page 6 (Bind Spirits class feature) wrote:


— In the third sentence, change “the binder level” to “½ his or her binder level.”
» In the final sentence, change “the Charisma modifier” to “his or her Charisma modifier.”

This is an error; every other section of the book refers to the correct formula.

Page 7 (True Augmentation class feature) wrote:


— Change the final sentence to the following:
» At 20th level, an occultist augments his soul with the essence of the spirit realm. When he or she makes a good pact with a spirit, that spirit’s granted abilities continue to function within an antimagic zone unless the spell’s caster level or CR is greater than the occultist’s binder level. In addition, an occultist can ready a spirit’s major granted ability as a free action, allowing it to be used even if it was previously expended. This ability can be used once daily per spirit the occultist is bound to, to a maximum number of times each day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

The original version incorrectly referred to "exhaustion" instead of "expended." Older versions of the book referred to exhaustion until it was pointed out by a playtester that it sounded too much like the exhausted condition.

Page 9 (Tree Aspects) wrote:


— Change the second Tree aspect to the following:
» As a standard action, you create a berry that heals 1d4 points of damage when consumed. You can create a number of berries each day equal to your occultist level.
— Change the third Tree aspect to the following:
» You gain a +4 bonus to your CMD against bull rush and trip combat maneuvers for 1 round as an immediate action. Your speed is halved while you receive this benefit.

In the first change, the reference to goodberry was dropped because it was confusing. In the second change, the ability was buffed slightly and the wording was fixed to make it clearer how it worked.

Page 10 (Empower Major Ability) wrote:


— Change the second sentence under the secret’s benefit to the following:
» After empowering a major ability, it is expended for double the usual number of rounds (10 rounds for most abilities, 8 if you have a special feat or ability that reduces the number of rounds it is expended for).

This ability incorrectly referred to "exhaustion."

Page 10 (Quicken Major Ability) wrote:


— Change the parenthesized sentence to the following:
» (10 rounds for more abilities, or 8 if you have a special feat or ability that reduces the number of rounds it is expended for).

This ability incorrectly referred to "exhaustion."

Page 10 (Sage Lore) wrote:


— Change this binder secret’s benefit to the following:
» Add half of your occultist level (minimum 1) on all Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (planes) checks that you make.

No real change here except the wordage was cleaned up.

Page 12 (Rage Powers) wrote:


— Add “(Su)” after Improved Totemic Alignment and Totemic Mettle.

This ability is incorrectly labelled as an extraordinary ability.

Page 12 (Rage Powers) wrote:


— Change the names of the following rage powers:
» Change “dragon resilience totem” to “dragon totem resilience.”
» Change “dragon wings totem” to “dragon totem wings.”
» Change “intimidating glance” to “intimidating glare.”
» Change “World Serpent Unity” to “World Serpent Totem Unity.”

Correcting incorrectly referenced rage power names.

Page 13 (Constellation Alignment class feature) wrote:


— In the second sentence, change “aligned constellation” to “aligned constellations.”

Fixing pluralization.

Page 15 (Domain Mastery) wrote:


— In the final sentence, change “domain’s” to “domains’.”

Fixing incorrect grammar.

Page 15 (Last Impression) wrote:


— Replace the third and fourth sentences in the spell’s description to the following:
» You experience this information in real time and you only gain information that the creature possessed, so if it was stabbed from behind and never saw its attacker, then this spell does not reveal the attacker’s identity to you.

Cleaning up vague and awkward word usage; the spell ultimately functions with the same intention. Also needed to be shorter to make room for the following change:

Page 15 (Reveal Heresy) wrote:


— Add the following entry after the spell’s components:
» Casting Time: 1 standard action

This was incorrectly omitted from the spell's entry.

Page 16 (Constellation Alignment) wrote:


— Change this ability to the following:
» At 1st level, the pactsworn pagan aligns with either the Beast, Dragon, Scholar, Seer, or Tree constellation. The pactsworn pagan cannot seal pacts with spirits whose constellation opposes the aligned constellation. Also, the pactsworn pagan is treated as a binder of ½ his or her druid level when making binding checks with unaligned spirits.

Constellation Alignment is being streamlined; several classes had different abilities with the same name with different effects. Constellation alignment now reduces your binder level when making binding checks with unaligned spirits (spirits that don't belong to his aligned constellation). This only applies on binding checks and is a buff to many of the core class archetypes.

Page 17 (Sealed Lore) wrote:


— Change the first paragraph to the following:
» At 1st level, a warshade aligns with one constellation. The warshade cannot seal pacts with a spirit whose constellation opposes the aligned constellation. Also, a warshade is treated as a binder of ½ his or her fighter level when making binding checks with unaligned spirits.

See Constellation Alignment change.

Page 18 (Bind Spirit) wrote:


— Delete sentences 4 and 5 in the first paragraph.

The empyrean friar suffered from copy/paste syndrome with the pactsworn pagan.

Page 18 (Constellation Alignment) wrote:


— Change the final sentence of this ability to the following:
» Also, the empyrean friar is treated as a binder of ½ his or her monk level when making binding checks with unaligned spirits.

See Constellation Alignment change.

Page 18 (Favored Spirit) wrote:


— This ability should replace quivering palm.

As printed, the archetype trades timeless body twice. This was an error and Favored Spirit is intended to trade quivering palm.

Page 22 (Constellation Alignment) wrote:


— Change the third sentence in this ability to the following:
» Also, the foe reaper is treated as a binder of ½ his or her ranger level when making binding checks with unaligned spirits.

See Constellation Alignment change.

Page 22 (Favored Spirit Enemy) wrote:


— Replace the text in this ability to the following:
» A foe reaper does not select his or her favored enemies as a standard ranger does. Instead a foe reaper treats all creatures that qualify as the favored enemy of spirits that she is bound to as her favored enemy. The foe reaper’s favored enemy bonuses improve at the same rate as the standard ranger’s bonuses and this ability counts as a ranger’s favored enemy for all purposes, including feats, spells, and other prerequisites. This ability modifies the standard ranger’s favored enemy.

This ability was reworded for clarity.

Page 23 (Fuse Spirits) wrote:


— Change the first sentence of this ability to the following:
» At 13th level, a foe reaper can ready a spirit’s major granted ability as a free action by spending all of the points in his or her ki pool (minimum 3), allowing it to be used even if it was expended. This ability replaces the favored terrain gained at 13th level.

This ability was reworded for clarity. It also incorrectly referred to "exhaustion."

Page 24 (Rogue Talents) wrote:


— Replace the “(Ex)” in the fortify skill rogue talent with “(Su).”

Correcting a typo.

Page 24 (Mutable Bonus) wrote:


— In the sixth sentence, replace “Use Magical Device” with “Use Magic Device.”

Correcting a typo.

Page 29 (Capstone Binder) wrote:


—Change the Special entry to the following:
» A warshade who selects this feat gains access to a spirit’s major granted ability if he or she succeeds on its binding check by 5 or more. If a warshade exceeds the spirit’s binding check by 15 or more, he gains the spirit’s capstone empowerment. This effect replaces this feat’s usual benefit.

Reworded for clarity.

Page 30 (Extra Constellation Aspect) wrote:


— Change this feat’s benefit to the following:
» You can bind one constellation aspect to a spirit, as the occultist class feature. An occultist who selects this feat can bind one additional constellation aspect to a single spirit that he or she has sealed a good pact with of his or her choice.

As written, anyone is allowed to take this feat but only occultists (and rogues with the Constellation Aspect talent) actually benefited from it. This was fixed to allow intended usage.

Page 30 (Flexible Pactmaking) wrote:


— Add the following sentence to the end of the reduce benefit:
» After the spirit leaves, it refuses to answer your summons for 24 hours.

Added to prevent abuse.

Page 31 (Opportune Ability) wrote:


— Change the final sentence of this feat’s benefit to the following:
» Using a major granted ability in this way expends it.

This ability incorrectly referred to "exhaustion."

Page 31 (Rapid Recovery) wrote:


— Change the feat’s benefit to the following:
» While bound to a spirit, reduce the number of rounds that the spirit’s granted abilities are expended for by 1 round, down to 4 rounds for most abilities. This feat does not reduce an ability’s expenditure if it is expended by any means other than using it, such as through disruption (see Exorcise Spirits, above) or by expending them to power another feat or ability (such as the Furious Strike feat).

This ability incorrectly referred to exhaustion.

Page 31 (Rapid Reweaving) wrote:


— Change the feat’s benefit to the following:
» You can apply the Rapid Recovery feat to major rewoven spells as if they were the spirit’s major granted ability. Like Rapid Recovery this feat does not reduce the number of rounds a rewoven spell is expended for if it is expended by means other than using it.
— Change the feat’s normal entry to the following:
» You cannot reduce the number of rounds that a rewoven spell is expended for.

This ability incorrectly referred to "exhaustion".

Page 43 (Index of Spirits) wrote:


— Change Cave Mother’s title to “Sorceress of Secrets.”

Typo.

Page 48 (Capstone Empowerment) wrote:


— Remove the first sentence.

In a previous build, you were immune to Sevnoir's Major Granted Ability for 24 hours if you succeeded on your Will save. This sentence is vestigial for this reason.

Page 48 (Blood Hunt) wrote:


— Change the first sentence to the following:
» You can charge double the normal distance and gain the benefits of the Run feat.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 48 (Feast on Fear) wrote:


— In the first sentence, change “you are healed a number of hit point damage” to “you heal a number of hit points of damage.”

Typo.

Page 51 (Peerless Archer) wrote:


— Change this ability to the following:
» You gain proficiency with longbows and shortbows as well as the benefits of the Precise Shot feat for the duration of the pact.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 52 (Savage Attacks) wrote:


— Change this ability to the following:
» You gain the benefits of the Power Attack and Vital Strike feats for the duration of the pact.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 54 (Paint Reality) wrote:


— Change the third sentence to the following:
» Your paintings last until your pact with Muse Istago ends or until they are dismissed as a free action. You may only have one painting active at once.

Minor granted abilities lasting for 24 hours "or the duration of the pact" was confusing when combined with the reduce effect of Flexible Pactmaking. All such granted abilities were errata'd to only last for the duration of the pact in order to align with their intended function.

Page 58 (Summoning Rules) wrote:


— Remove the extra parenthesis at the end of the second totem.

Typo.

Page 58 (Shrink) wrote:


— Change the spell reference from “shrink object” to “shrink item.”

Typo.

Page 58 (Capstone Empowerment wrote:


— Remove the words “24 hours or” from this entry.

Minor granted abilities lasting for 24 hours "or the duration of the pact" was confusing when combined with the reduce effect of Flexible Pactmaking. All such granted abilities were errata'd to only last for the duration of the pact in order to align with their intended function.

Page 59 (Awesome Blow) wrote:


— Change this entry to the following:
» You gain the benefits of the Awesome Blow feat for the duration of the pact. See the feats section in PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME BESTIARY.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 61 (Rebuke Undead) wrote:


— Replace this entry to the following:
» You gain the benefits of the Command Undead feat. You do not need to expend uses of channel energy to use this ability and your cleric level is equal to your binder level when using it. This benefit stacks with any cleric levels you possess, up to your character level. If an undead succeeds on its Will save against this ability, it is immune to it for 24 hours.

Cleaned up for clarity and because spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 61 (Undying) wrote:


— Change this entry to the following:
» You gain the benefits of the Diehard feat except you are not staggered or disabled when using this ability. Furthermore, strenuous activity while at 0 or fewer hit points does not cause you to suffer hit point damage and you do not die until your negative hit points equal double your Constitution score.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 62 (Geometrical Agility) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» When you teleport using geometrical step, dimension door, or a similar ability, you can still take a standard action during your turn. Furthermore, you provide flanking from the square you started in and the square you end in when using these abilities until the end of the turn. You can flank an opponent with only yourself using this ability.

This ability had several typos and was also edited for clarity; it should not function any differently than it did before.

Page 62 (Geometrical Step) wrote:


— Replace dimensional door with dimension door.

Typo.

Page 64 (Inspire Courage) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» You gain the ability to inspire courage in your allies as if you were a bard of ½ your binder level. This benefit stacks with any bard levels you possess. You have a number of daily rounds of inspire courage equal to your binder level + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1); if you possess the inspire courage class feature, add ½ your binder level to the total number of rounds of bardic performance that you possess instead. These rounds can only be spent on inspire courage.

Added a line about what happens if you already possesses inspire courage.

Page 65 (Delay Harm) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» You can delay the onset of a single attack, spell, or similar harmful effect for 1 round as an immediate action. This ability can delay the onset of poison, damage dealt by a weapon, or all effects of a spell, including death effects. If the effect being delayed by this ability affects multiple targets, it is delayed only for you. When this round has ended, the effect cannot be dispelled, reduced, or otherwise prevented. After using this ability, it becomes expended for 5 rounds.

Edited for clarity.

Page 67 (Granted Abilities) wrote:


— Dark Blood’s minor granted abilities have been shuffled into the following order: Disguise Granted Abilities, Rakshasa’s Rage, Read Mind, Silver Tongue.

Formatting error.

Page 67 (Rakshasa’s Rage) wrote:


— Change the final sentence to the following:
» These rounds do not need to be used consecutively.

Accidental omission.

Page 68 (Telepathic Bond) wrote:


— Change the final sentence to the following:
» Once established, the bond remains until your pact with Vodavox ends.

Minor granted abilities lasting for 24 hours "or the duration of the pact" was confusing when combined with the reduce effect of Flexible Pactmaking. All such granted abilities were errata'd to only last for the duration of the pact in order to align with their intended function.

Page 69 (Time Trick) wrote:


— In the final sentence, replace exhausted with expended.

Accidentally refers to "exhausted."

Page 70 (Song of Rising Barriers) wrote:


—Replace wall of water with wall of ice.

This spell is a 3PP spell and the intent was to stick with material from Paizo Publishing for this book. This was totally my bad, and if GMs want to continue to allow Wall of Water, that's okay by my book.

Page 73 (Granted Abilities) wrote:


— Mare Loviatha’s minor granted abilities have been shuffled into the following order: Burden of Guild, Dark Horn, Mare’s Whispers, Mounted Prowess.

Formatting error.

Page 73 (Mounted Prowess) wrote:


— Replace the entry with the following:
» You gain the benefits of the Mounted Combat and Mounted Archery feats.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 75 (Aging Touch) wrote:


— Replace “youth simple template” with “young simple template.”

Typo.

Page 75 (Vestigial Companion) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» You gain the summon shadow class feature. Use your binder level as your shadowdancer level to determine the shadow’s abilities. This ability replaces shadow conjuration.

This ability does not correctly adhere to the structure set by other Vestigial Companions. It functions exactly as it does currently.

Page 76 (Fuse Flesh) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» As a standard action, you can fuse the flesh of a creature within 30 feet, forcing it to make a Fortitude save and a Will save. On a failed Fortitude save, the creature suffers 1d6 points of ability damage to its Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution and becomes entangled. On a failed Will save, the creature suffers 1d6 points of ability damage to its Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma and becomes confused. These conditions last for 1d4 rounds. ability using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds.

This granted ability was missing its range and the conditions were missing their duration. In addition, the ability was a little confusing as it was so it was rewritten for clarity. Finally, the "permanent except for break enchantment" was removed, partially to make it less irritating for players to fight Portenta and partially to make room for the other changes listed above (Portenta is a very tight spirit currently).

Page 76 (Capstone Empowerment) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» A creature that fails a saving throw against fuse flesh suffers ability damage to two ability scores of the appropriate type.

Simplified to make more room for the above changes.

Page 76 (Spirit Step) wrote:


— Replace “ethereal” with “incorporeal.”

Typo.

Page 76 (True Sight) wrote:


— In the first sentence, replace “illusion” with “illusions.”

Typo.

Page 77 (Split the Twins) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» You can create a double of yourself as a standard action, granting you two turns during each of your turns. Your depletable resources, such as spells per day, hit points, and ability scores, are shared between you and your double and your double has a quasi-real version of any weapons or armor that you are also wearing that cannot leave the double’s possession. You cannot use this ability while you are fatigued or exhausted and your double vanishes after 1d4 rounds. After using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds and you are exhausted for 1 minute.

I got a lot of confused messages about this ability, mostly because it was a lot of book keeping for a Major Granted Ability, so it was rewritten to be simpler. Effectively, it lets you take two turns during each round for 1d4 rounds but you become exhausted after using it.

Page 77 (Capstone Empowerment) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» After using split the twins, you are fatigued for 1 minute instead of exhausted.

The old capstone was invalidated with the changes made to Split the Twins.

Page 77 (Ferocious Displace) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» You gain the benefits of the Dazzling Display feat, except you can use this ability as a standard action. Alternatively, you can replace the first attack that you make during a full attack action with a Dazzling Display.

Spirits were never intended to actually give you feats for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and the like; this wording is an update to reflect the ability's intended meaning.

Page 78 (Horror from Beyond) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» This ability functions as the Turn Undead feat, except as follows. You do not need to expend uses of channel energy to use this ability and your cleric level is equal to your binder level when using it. This ability affects animals and humanoids instead of undead and a creature that succeeds on its Will save against this ability, it is immune to it for 24 hours.

Rewritten for clarity; added cleric level stacking and the note that you do not need to expend uses of channel energy.

Page 78 (Ventriloquism) wrote:


— Remove the words, “because it is not an illusion.”

Unnecessary text.

Page 78 (Vestigial Companion) wrote:


— Replace this entry with the following:
» You can transform the corpse of a creature that has been dead for no more than 1 day per binder level you possess into a vile husk of itself; this functions as simulacrum, using your binder level as the caster level. The simulacrum is formed from the dead creature, destroying the corpse. You may only possess one vile husk at a time, but you may replace a destroyed husk with a new one if it is destroyed unlike most vestigial companions. This ability replaces troll shape.

Rewritten for clarity.

Page 80 (Noble Tongue) wrote:


— Replace “Knowledge (nobility and royalty)” with “Knowledge (nobility).”

Fixed typo.

Page 80 (Vestigial Companion) wrote:


— Replace “youth template” with “young simple template.”

Fixed typo.

Page 81 (Name) wrote:


— Replace “Daemintho” with “Daeminthos.”

Fixed typo.

Page 81 (Psychic Motes) wrote:


— In the last sentence, remove “24 hours or.”

Minor granted abilities lasting for 24 hours "or the duration of the pact" was confusing when combined with the reduce effect of Flexible Pactmaking. All such granted abilities were errata'd to only last for the duration of the pact in order to align with their intended function.

Page 82 (Heartbreak) wrote:


— Replace the second sentence with the following:
» These rounds do not need to be used consecutively.

Accidental omission.

Page 82 (Vestigial Companion) wrote:


— In the first sentence, replace “resolute” with “resolute weasel.”

Accidental omission.

Contributor

I have a feeling that the change to Essek Avix's Major Granted Ability is going to need some work (its still sort of long and confusing), so I'm hoping to hear other's opinions on that.

Split the Twins, V2 wrote:
» You can create a double of yourself as a standard action, granting you two turns during each of your turns. Your depletable resources, such as spells per day, hit points, and ability scores, are shared between you and your double and your double has a quasi-real version of any weapons or armor that you are also wearing that cannot leave the double’s possession. You cannot use this ability while you are fatigued or exhausted and your double vanishes after 1d4 rounds. After using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds and you are exhausted for 1 minute.


Ah, okay, so the Split the Twins ability is now 1d4 rounds instead of 4. My GMs must never find out...

Contributor

InfernosReaper wrote:
Ah, okay, so the Split the Twins ability is now 1d4 rounds instead of 4. My GMs must never find out...

Nope. Should be 4.

Still need to think about if this is the best way to describe this ability's function.

The morale of the story is: Don't write errata at 3am.


I would write at 3 am, but that's just cause my work schedule.

Essentially, the ability makes duplicate of you that has all your capabilities, has the opposite alignment but is friendly/basically under the creator's control, shares hit points with the creator, the gear fades away after losing contact with the double, and the double uses the creator's own resources for abilities. Right? Effectively, it gives you an extra turn each round for 4 rounds... Ya would think this would be easy, but I'm at a loss for how to word it short, simple, & to the point(and only just now noticing the irony in that phrase)

Contributor

Well, the first thing that I'm thinking is that the ability doesn't really NEED to have the line about alignment. That's more flavor than game mechanics, and if we have to drop it, we drop it. Players would be encouraged to roleplay in the spirit of either the original wording or without it.

So right now, I'm thinking about changing the text to something like this:

You can create a double of yourself as a standard action, which possesses the same abilities and equipment that you do. Depletable resources, such as spells per day, hit points, and ability scores, are shared between you and your double and your double’s equipment is quasi-real and cannot leave its possession. Your double can use your granted abilities, but doing so depletes their daily uses and incurs their expenditure for you as well. After using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Well, the first thing that I'm thinking is that the ability doesn't really NEED to have the line about alignment. That's more flavor than game mechanics, and if we have to drop it, we drop it. Players would be encouraged to roleplay in the spirit of either the original wording or without it.

So right now, I'm thinking about changing the text to something like this:

You can create a double of yourself as a standard action, which possesses the same abilities and equipment that you do. Depletable resources, such as spells per day, hit points, and ability scores, are shared between you and your double and your double’s equipment is quasi-real and cannot leave its possession. Your double can use your granted abilities, but doing so depletes their daily uses and incurs their expenditure for you as well. After using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds.

If I were to write it, I imagine that I would probably re-word as thus:

"As a standard action, you create a double of yourself that possesses the same abilities (including racial features, class features, Hit Dice, etc.) and equipment (including magical gear - save that only it can use its equipment). You share your depletable resources (such as spells per day, hit points total, ability scores, daily uses of abilities, magical item charges, etc.) with your double. After you have acted on your turn, your double can act, with the same limitations and restrictions on actions as a normal creature of your type. Your double can use the same resources as you, but doing so reduces the daily uses and incurs their expenditure for you as well. After four rounds since you have activated this ability, the double ceases to exist, and you cannot use this ability again for five rounds."

It is a bit longer than what you have writen but I imagine that it clarifies better its type, exactly what it can and cannot do, and prevents abuse of utilizing magical items with uses/charges (such as a ring of wishes or any magical stave). Of course, you may want to clarify whether or not the double itself is vulnerable to spells like dispel magic or anti-magic field, if the double is actually similar to a summoned double and not a created double (akin to a conjuration [creation] spell) or a construct with a limited lifespan (four rounds).

I hope that helps with clarity/simplification.

CB out.

Contributor

Some very nice thoughts, CB!

So something like this, then?

As a standard action, you create a supernatural double of yourself that possesses the same abilities and equipment as you, including racial features, class features, Hit Dice, and magical equipment. You and your double share all depletable resources such as spells per day, hit points, ability scores, daily uses and charges of abilities and magic items, and so forth and using a major granted ability incurs its expenditure for both you and your double. Your double's items and equipment are not real and vanish if removed from its possession unless fired or thrown as part of an attack, including items it drops or is disarmed of. After you have acted during your turn, your double acts with the same limitations and restrictions of a creature of your type. Your double is a supernatural entity that exists for 4 rounds. Any effect capable of negating or suppressing a supernatural ability has an equal chance of destroying your double entirely. After using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds.


Alexander Augunas wrote:

Some very nice thoughts, CB!

So something like this, then?

As a standard action, you create a supernatural double of yourself that possesses the same abilities and equipment as you, including racial features, class features, Hit Dice, and magical equipment. You and your double share all depletable resources such as spells per day, hit points, ability scores, daily uses and charges of abilities and magic items, and so forth and using a major granted ability incurs its expenditure for both you and your double. Your double's items and equipment are not real and vanish if removed from its possession unless fired or thrown as part of an attack, including items it drops or is disarmed of. After you have acted during your turn, your double acts with the same limitations and restrictions of a creature of your type. Your double is a supernatural entity that exists for 4 rounds. Any effect capable of negating or suppressing a supernatural ability has an equal chance of destroying your double entirely. After using this ability, it is expended for 5 rounds.

It looks good to me. Up to the rest of the fine folks here to take a comb over it and see if there is a loophole that somehow snuck by. ;) I honestly cannot see anything other than an antimagic field or a dead magic field that can suppress/negate it since it is a supernatural effect.

A thought just occurred to me though. How does this ability address issues such negative energy or conditions that last beyond the four rounds? For example, let's assume that the double failed its save against an energy drain spell. After the four rounds has elapsed, does the negative levels carry over to you (similar to what happens to a synthesis summoner when his eidolon gets dismissed) or simply goes away because the original target (the double) is no longer in play? Are all "conditions" or penalties (or other modifiers, such a moral bonus that your double received from one of your allies) of any kind treated the same way?

Additionally, let's assume that an opponent charged your double with a lance while mounted, and, alas, killed your double with a critical hit on a spirited charge. Since your double shares your hit points, would it be safe to assume that you die as a result (perhaps your brain hemmorrages from the magical backlash) or would you instead be unconscious at -1 and bleeding? I ask these questions because I actually do not have the product in question, so if these are already addressed within the product itself, ignore my questions, :)

CB out.


Maybe just split the HP between the original & the double? Or, does the double just have it's own HP count that equals the user's at the time this ability is activated?

Also, I'd let those conditions that he double got tagged with fade with the double. Saves on tedium.

Contributor

InfernosReaper wrote:

Maybe just split the HP between the original & the double? Or, does the double just have it's own HP count that equals the user's at the time this ability is activated?

Also, I'd let those conditions that he double got tagged with fade with the double. Saves on tedium.

Basically its supposed to be same soul, different bodies. Anything that happens to one happens to the other. That's the balancing factor. That's why it can last for 4, non-random rounds. Because if you get caught in a dragon's breath weapon while its active, you could take double damage. If your double succumbs to poison, your Con is going down. Having two characters that are forced to share every aspect can be as much of a downside as it is a boon.

The only thing that isn't "doubled" so to speak are creatures granted by class features. So if you're a summoner with the upcoming pact magic summoner archetype, your eidolon isn't getting doubled when you use this ability.

However, I need to figure out how much room we have on Essek Avix's page before doing much more with this; I need to make sure that there is still room on the page.


I see... I should probably be thinking of a good way to attach the errata to the print version for when I need to break out the physical book.


Any Update on Volume 2 yet?

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Dexion1619 wrote:
Any Update on Volume 2 yet?

The Stars are growing right.

The Hour of the Beast is at hand.
Soon the things that shouldn't will walk upon this world once again
And secrets long forgotten will consume you.


Ah... Great, Tuesday it is! Thanks! j/k


So I read this class on the PFSRD, and I liked what I saw so much that I immediately bought a copy :)

That said I do have a couple of rules questions I was hoping the devs could clear up:

1) Vestigial Companions - you share your granted abilities with most of them (both Major and Minor.) When a companion uses one of your granted abilities, do they use their Cha score and Hit Dice to set the save DC, or yours?

2) I think I read somewhere that you're planning to errata Vandrae's darkness to stop Darkvision if the light level drops to dim or lower. Is this accurate? (Currently, Darkvision is not stopped by Darkness in PF, only Deeper Darkness.)

3) Sevnoir can move-action Intimidate and has a Howl that makes enemies Shaken. However, in PF, Intimidate cannot be stacked with other fear effects, preventing you from combining these abilities. Were they intended to be used together to Frighten a foe

4) Do you have to concentrate to maintain Muse Istago's Major and Persistent Images? Or do they simply last for the duration of the pact? And how long is his Permanent Image meant to last?

5) What is the maneuverability of the flight granted by N'alyia's hybrid bat form? I went with a were-bat (average) because I think it was the closest, but the text isn't clear.

And lastly, two power questions...

6) N'alyia's charm becomes very weak over time. Any chance of upgrading it to Charm Monster, or at least Dominate Person instead of Charm Person?

7) The blasts given by Cave Mother, Aza'zati, Vodavox etc. are... pretty weak, to be perfectly honest. May I ask what the design rationale was for making them 1d4 every 2 levels? For even a normal spell that's a bit low, and when you add in the fact that these blasts have a 5-round cooldown AND allow a saving throw, it's a bit untenable. When you look at similar blasts from Tome of Magic, e.g. Amon's fire breath, you at least get d6/level even if it still has a 5 round cooldown.


On the blasts thing, they may need a boost with the Invoker(a pathfinder Warlock by Little Red Goblins. Overall, it's a decent class. Better than 3.5 warlock) being a thing that exists & the Spheres of Power(an alternative magic system that's being developed right now).

With pact abilities having cooldown & other sources that have at will damage effects with the same die progression, it would be best to just boost the damage dice of major abilities to 1 die per level.


So I'm finally getting the chance to play an Occultist in an upcoming game... Any update on volume 2?


I ordered a couple of days back but apparently failed my perception check to notice that it is on backorder.

Alexander, any idea on when more might be on the way to Paizo?

Also, any chance that the print version now includes the errata you posted up-thread on June 24th?

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Everyone on the Internet Ever wrote:
WHERE IS VOLUME 2?!?!

HERE!

Contributor

PsyrenZ wrote:
1) Vestigial Companions - you share your granted abilities with most of them (both Major and Minor.) When a companion uses one of your granted abilities, do they use their Cha score and Hit Dice to set the save DC, or yours?

Yours. Its exactly like the familiar's share spells ability, except it applies to granted abilities instead.

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2) I think I read somewhere that you're planning to errata Vandrae's darkness to stop Darkvision if the light level drops to dim or lower. Is this accurate? (Currently, Darkvision is not stopped by Darkness in PF, only Deeper Darkness.)

I'll get back to you on that; not sure off of the top of my head. That doesn't sound right, though.

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3) Sevnoir can move-action Intimidate and has a Howl that makes enemies Shaken. However, in PF, Intimidate cannot be stacked with other fear effects, preventing you from combining these abilities. Were they intended to be used together to Frighten a foe

No. One is better if you're good at skill checks, the other is a flat Will save DC that scales with your level.

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4) Do you have to concentrate to maintain Muse Istago's Major and Persistent Images? Or do they simply last for the duration of the pact? And how long is his Permanent Image meant to last?

They function exactly like the spells of the same name, but all illusions should end when your pact with Muse Istago ends. If that's not in the book, I'll plug it into the errata Dario and I are compiling.

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5) What is the maneuverability of the flight granted by N'alyia's hybrid bat form? I went with a were-bat (average) because I think it was the closest, but the text isn't clear.

If I didn't specify, use (average) because that would be a +0 bonus on Fly checks.

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6) N'alyia's charm becomes very weak over time. Any chance of upgrading it to Charm Monster, or at least Dominate Person instead of Charm Person?

Probably not, but that's an awesome idea for N'alyia's Augmented power when I finally get around to writing the rules for Mythic spirits ....

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7) The blasts given by Cave Mother, Aza'zati, Vodavox etc. are... pretty weak, to be perfectly honest. May I ask what the design rationale was for making them 1d4 every 2 levels? For even a normal spell that's a bit low, and when you add in the fact that these blasts have a 5-round cooldown AND allow a saving throw, it's a bit untenable. When you look at similar blasts from Tome of Magic, e.g. Amon's fire breath, you at least get d6/level even if it still has a 5 round cooldown.

Keep in mind that the Tome of Magic uses a different scaling than we did; Dario and I designed our spirits under a 9-level progression while Tome of Magic is an 8-level progression.

When designing the book, I wanted to make sure that occult spirits were worse than arcane magic and divine magic in some areas. Generally speaking, occult spirits aren't strong healers or area attackers. This is heavily reflected throughout the book. More than anything, its a balance issue. I wanted occultists to be a viable option for players, but I also didn't want GMs to worry about occultists replacing wizards, clerics, or any class, really. You can argue about whether or not the archetypes are too powerful, but these restrictions on spirit power keeps the occultist in a strong niche; one of supreme flexibility at the cost of specialization.


My group would make more use of this if there was Hero Lab support available. Are there any plans to do so? You could sell the relevant Hero Lab files.

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SeeleyOne wrote:
My group would make more use of this if there was Hero Lab support available. Are there any plans to do so? You could sell the relevant Hero Lab files.

HeroLab is something Dario and I would like to do, but we have no proficiency in the skills required to create those files.

Dark Archive

Hi Alex,

Thanks for your responses to the questions above, they were a big help. I may have a couple more quick questions for you as I finish up my guide. Here is one:

Serapith's Scouring Light currently does not affect undead (since it is an effect that has a fortitude save and does not affect objects.) Was this intended, and if not, are there plans to errata it to harm undead?

Dark Archive

Oh and a couple more:

2) Serapith's Wrath of Daylight blinds affected targets permanently. Will this last after his pact is concluded?

3) Can Selective Ability be used to shield allies from this effect? Currently it only works on major granted abilities, so it does not help as written, but I think it would be okay to extend Selective Ability to minor abilities as well.

4) Mare Loviatha's Burden of Guilt: what action, if any, does the target use hurting itself? Free Action, Swift Action, Move Action, Standard?

5) Jayna Warlock's Ceremony and Sign: what exactly does "void element" look like?

Contributor

Psyren wrote:
Serapith's Scouring Light currently does not affect undead (since it is an effect that has a fortitude save and does not affect objects.) Was this intended, and if not, are there plans to errata it to harm undead?

Hrm, I would have wanted it to harm undead, but you're right; as written, it certainly doesn't.

Flavor it as such: Serapith doesn't care about the undead because they don't have souls; they're already damned, so to speak. He's more concerned with killing humanoids because if they make the wrong choices, he believes their souls will go to the Lower Planes and fuel the demonic, daemonic, and infernal hosts.

Basically, Serapith is an Angel with the attitude of a Quipploth.

Psyren wrote:
2) Serapith's Wrath of Daylight blinds affected targets permanently. Will this last after his pact is concluded?

Yes.

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3) Can Selective Ability be used to shield allies from this effect? Currently it only works on major granted abilities, so it does not help as written, but I think it would be okay to extend Selective Ability to minor abilities as well.

As written, no, but I think that's a fine house rule.

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4) Mare Loviatha's Burden of Guilt: what action, if any, does the target use hurting itself? Free Action, Swift Action, Move Action, Standard?

I think its a standard action; it was designed with the same wordage as terrible remose, from Ultimate Magic.

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5) Jayna Warlock's Ceremony and Sign: what exactly does "void element" look like?

That's for you to decide; I see it as inky-black nothingness with fringed with purple light, personally. If you have Paizo's Dragon Empire Primer, there's an awesome picture of a Wizard casting a void spell that looks similar to what I'm describing.

Dark Archive

Excellent! Thank you so much for your responses. I definitely agree on Serapith's outlook.

I have another (hopefully last!) round of questions for you:

---

1) What type of saving throw is required for Musha'vadu's Shadow Storm? (Fort, Reflex or Will?) It says "A successful save reduces this damage by half" but doesn't appear to specify which one.

2) When the Capstone Empowerment causes the shadows to linger for 4 rounds, do they continue to damage creatures in the area, or is it simply an area of deeper darkness with no other effects?

3) Portenta's animal companion is any animal (DM's choice) and says it works as though the animal was the target of an awaken spell. But the awaken spell actually says that awakened creatures can't be animal companions anymore. Can we ignore that line in the spell for the purposes of this ability?

4) What is the activation time of Young Kiros' Fate's Whisper ability? As an unspecified supernatural ability it should be a standard action, while the sending spell it uses takes 10 minutes to cast. I think it should be a standard action so you can deliver the debuffs with it during combat.

5) How far in advance can I spend a "mote" from Daeminthos' Psychic Foresight? For example, if I got three motes in the morning, could I spend each one on a different saving throw and have my next one of each of those saves be boosted, or do I have to spend a mote before actively making a check, like an attack roll or skill check?

6) Are the psychic motes discharged after I make the check they are modifying that day? For example, if I chose "attack" and spent one mote, would only my very next attack get the bonus, or all of them that day?

7) Can the spells from Jayna's Wish be used to craft items, e.g. wands or scrolls?

---

Thanks again for all your help!

Dark Archive

Okay I lied! In addition to the above, I do have another round of questions, this time concerning the Occult Feats and Binder Secrets, whenever you have time to address:

8) What is the duration on Furious Strike? Does it last until the pact ends, until the target is dead, for 1 round, for 4-5 rounds, or something else?

9) What counts as an "attack" for Furious Strike? Could I add it to a granted ability that doesn't use an attack roll (like Aza'zati's cone or Mutaros' lightning)? And if so and I add it to an area attack, would it only do the bonus damage to one enemy, or could I designate multiple victims?

10) Concerning Pact Poltergeist: If you have multiple spirits bound, can you create multiple poltergeists or only one?

11) If you “download” a spirit into an object, does that free a slot on you to pact with a replacement? Is it possible to have 4 spirits in the Occultist and one in a poltergeist object? Or does a spirit count against your limit even while it is inside an object?

12) Can Exorcise Spirit be used on yourself to end your own pacts without taking the Expel Spirits penalty to binding checks?

13) Can Exorcise Spirit be used to send a Pact Poltergeist back? (For example, if one's influence could potentially cause problems for the party.)

14) If you form a pact by using Scribe Binder Tattoo, do you still need to carry out a spirit’s ceremony, including any items? For example, if I have Vandrae’s seal tattoed on me, do I still need to drink spider venom?

Again, thanks for all your help and happy holidays!

Contributor

Psyren wrote:
I have another (hopefully last!) round of questions for you:

Keep'em coming; an errata/update on this book is on Dario and my list of things to do.

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1) What type of saving throw is required for Musha'vadu's Shadow Storm? (Fort, Reflex or Will?) It says "A successful save reduces this damage by half" but doesn't appear to specify which one.

Like that. That's an excellent error to catch. Based on the nature of the effect, a Reflex save feels right.

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2) When the Capstone Empowerment causes the shadows to linger for 4 rounds, do they continue to damage creatures in the area, or is it simply an area of deeper darkness with no other effects?

The later. The area affected by Shadow Storm becomes an area of deeper darkness for 4 rounds.

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3) Portenta's animal companion is any animal (DM's choice) and says it works as though the animal was the target of an awaken spell. But the awaken spell actually says that awakened creatures can't be animal companions anymore. Can we ignore that line in the spell for the purposes of this ability?

Yes. Portenta's granted ability is an exception to the rule and only serves to note that your companion has a very high level of intelligence. As I mentioned in your Giant in the Playground thread, the best "flavor" to use is that while it is intelligent, the animal's very essence is still intrinsically tied to your soul, so it progresses with your level. I would roleplay the animal with a haughty, seer-like personality personally.

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4) What is the activation time of Young Kiros' Fate's Whisper ability? As an unspecified supernatural ability it should be a standard action, while the sending spell it uses takes 10 minutes to cast. I think it should be a standard action so you can deliver the debuffs with it during combat.

As a general rule, if a granted ability specifies a spell and does not specify any modifications to an aspect of that spell, it uses the spell's normal specifications. In the case of Fate's Whisper, yes. It requires 10 minutes to use. Fate's Whisper is not designed to be a combat ability; it is for ambushes and causing mayhem.

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5) How far in advance can I spend a "mote" from Daeminthos' Psychic Foresight? For example, if I got three motes in the morning, could I spend each one on a different saving throw and have my next one of each of those saves be boosted, or do I have to spend a mote before actively making a check, like an attack roll or skill check?

You spend the swift action when the roll is made and the bonus applies immediately to that roll. I'll see if I can clear up the language in the errata.

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6) Are the psychic motes discharged after I make the check they are modifying that day? For example, if I chose "attack" and spent one mote, would only my very next attack get the bonus, or all of them that day?

One roll, one mote. Think of them as ki points; ki points don't hang around after you use them. Again, I'll see if I can clean up the language.

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7) Can the spells from Jayna's Wish be used to craft items, e.g. wands or scrolls?

No. Her abilities are supernatural effects. The Magic Item crafting rules do not allow you to use supernatural abilities to fulfill a spellcasting requirement.

Contributor

Psyren wrote:
8) What is the duration on Furious Strike? Does it last until the pact ends, until the target is dead, for 1 round, for 4-5 rounds, or something else?

It should be "until the end of the round."

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9) What counts as an "attack" for Furious Strike? Could I add it to a granted ability that doesn't use an attack roll (like Aza'zati's cone or Mutaros' lightning)? And if so and I add it to an area attack, would it only do the bonus damage to one enemy, or could I designate multiple victims?

The ability is extremely unclear about that, isn't it? I'll see if I can clarify this feat better in the errata, but for now, let's say its any weapon attack or granted ability that deals hit point damage to the target. Expect this to change in the errata.

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10) Concerning Pact Poltergeist: If you have multiple spirits bound, can you create multiple poltergeists or only one?

11) If you “download” a spirit into an object, does that free a slot on you to pact with a replacement? Is it possible to have 4 spirits in the Occultist and one in a poltergeist object? Or does a spirit count against your limit even while it is inside an object?

The intent was to allow you to have as many pact poltergeists as spirits you could bind, but pact poltergeists counted against the total number of spirits that you could seal a pact with at once. For example, if I can normally bind three spirits, I could have three spirits and no poltergeists, two spirits and one poltergeist, one spirit and two poltergeists, and so on.

Currently, the wording is dubious and some interpretations are grossly overpowered. Expect this to get toned down, if only so you don't feel like you HAVE to deal with an animated object in order to be an effective occultist.

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12) Can Exorcise Spirit be used on yourself to end your own pacts without taking the Expel Spirits penalty to binding checks?

I suppose so, but that's pretty cheesy; it wouldn't fly at my table.

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13) Can Exorcise Spirit be used to send a Pact Poltergeist back? (For example, if one's influence could potentially cause problems for the party.)

Exorcising a pact poltergeist effectively destroys it.

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14) If you form a pact by using Scribe Binder Tattoo, do you still need to carry out a spirit’s ceremony, including any items? For example, if I have Vandrae’s seal tattoed on me, do I still need to drink spider venom?

Yup. The tattoo only allows you to ignore the requisite of creating a seal.

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Again, thanks for all your help and happy holidays!

Same to you!

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