Spell Deck Class Feature (Cartomancer Archetype)


Rules Questions

Sovereign Court

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I'm building a witch (Cartomancer), and ran across a point of confusion with the Spell Deck ability.

The ability replaces the witch's familiar with a harrow deck, through which she communicates with her patron. The text says of the deck that "it's ability to hold spells functions identically to the way a witch's spells are granted by her familiar," and that "the cartomancer must consult her harrow deck each day to prepare her spells and cannot prepare spells that are not stored in the deck."

That's all well and good...but how does a cartomancer learn new spells? Aside from the base 2 per level, a traditional witch can have her familiar commune with another witch's familiar, or she can burn a scroll, make a concoction out of the ashes, and feed it to the familiar, right?

If the harrow deck truly functions like a traditional familiar, does that mean a cartomancer's deck can somehow commune with another witch's familiar? How on earth do you "feed" a deck of cards? Magic or not, I don't think my witch is going to want to slather a "special brew" onto her hand-painted harrow deck in the hopes of somehow learning a new spell.


I gues it can indeed talk, as for feeding just go with the tyoical inanimate object eating. Passes over he ashes, and the ashes disappear as its consumed, its been done in a lot of things before.

I like the idea of another familar holding cards and hearing its responses, but eveyone else hears half a conversation


Lay the deck on top of the scroll.
Watch the words literally slide across the scroll and into the deck.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zwordsman wrote:

I gues it can indeed talk, as for feeding just go with the tyoical inanimate object eating. Passes over he ashes, and the ashes disappear as its consumed, its been done in a lot of things before.

I like the idea of another familar holding cards and hearing its responses, but eveyone else hears half a conversation

I like the idea of sprinkling ashes onto the cards as the deck is shuffled, and the ashes just disappear between the cards as the deck is cut and split.

As for the familiar communing with the deck, I imagine something mental rather than verbal.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

yeah i like performing a minor ritual shuffling that involves burning up the scroll shuffling up the ashes into the deck.

now the tricky part is buring up the local witch's cat and shuffling up the ashes to learn spells from their familiar...

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sandbox wrote:

yeah i like performing a minor ritual shuffling that involves burning up the scroll shuffling up the ashes into the deck.

now the tricky part is buring up the local witch's cat and shuffling up the ashes to learn spells from their familiar...

Going with the traditions of "scattering" objects to tell the future (common in many cultures), I imagine the familiar cat approaching the deck and intentionally batting it off a table with a paw, scattering the cards into some mystical pattern that the witch could understand. Perhaps this somehow imbues the deck with magical knowledge. Or maybe... maybe the art of a few of the cards subtly shifts to accommodate this. A tiny black cat appears in the background of The Big Sky, or a lone tail protrudes from a bush behind The Paladin. Tiny, little things. Your deck could grow and evolve, its art manifesting the changes it has undergone as it (and its owner) grows in power.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the bonded witch share the problem:

PRD wrote:
A bonded witch's bonded item serves as a vessel for her spells and a conduit for communication with her patron. A bonded witch must commune with her bonded item each day to prepare her spells. The bonded item stores all of the spells that the bonded witch knows, and the bonded witch cannot prepare spells that are not stored within it. A bonded witch starts with the same number of spells and gains new spells the same way as a witch, and can even add spells by learning them from scrolls in the same way, but a bonded witch cannot learn spells from another bonded item.

The bolded part isn't clear at all, but it is possible that someone has explained how it work.

I will do a search.

Edit: nothing useful, but there is a greater chance of getting a FAQ answer for that as it is in a hardbound.

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