If Believer's Boon is used to obtain the Trickery Domain, is it a Divine or Arcane SLA?


Rules Questions

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If Believer's Boon is used to obtain the Trickery Domain, is it a Divine or Arcane SLA?

Believer's Boon:

Your deity rewards you for your faithfulness.

Prerequisites: Wis 13, alignment must be within one
step of your deity’s.

Benefit: Choose one domain granted by your deity. Once per day, you can use all 1st-level domain abilities granted to clerics of that domain. You gain access to this one ability only, not the higher-level domain ability, domain spells, or additional class skills that the domain might grant, or any bonus feats that are listed under its granted powers. Your effective cleric level in regard to this ability is 1st level.

Special: You can take this feat twice. When you take it a second time, you choose another domain granted by your deity.

If you grossly violate the code of conduct required by your deity, your alignment shifts so that it is more than one step away from your deity’s, or you no longer worship your deity, you lose access to this feat. You can regain it once you atone for your misdeeds to your deity
(see the atonementspell on page 245 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook)

Trickery Domain Granted Power:
Copycat (Sp): You can create an illusory double of yourself as a move action. This double functions as a single mirror image and lasts for a number of rounds equal to your cleric level, or until the illusory duplicate is dispelled or destroyed. You can have no more than one copycat at a time. This ability does not stack with the mirror image spell. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Relevant FAQ:
Spell-Like Abilities: How do I know whether a spell-like ability is arcane or divine?

The universal monster rules for spell-like abilities states: "Some spell-like abilities duplicate spells that work differently when cast by characters of different classes. A monster's spell-like abilities are presumed to be the sorcerer/wizard versions. If the spell in question is not a sorcerer/wizard spell, then default to cleric, druid, bard, paladin, and ranger, in that order."

For spell-like abilities gained from a creature's race or type (including PC races), the same rule should apply: the creature's spell-like abilities are presumed to be the sorcerer/wizard versions. If the spell in question is not a sorcerer/wizard spell, then default to cleric, druid, bard, paladin, and ranger, in that order.

For spell-like abiities gained from a class, use the spell type (arcane or divine) of that class to determine whether the spell-like ability is arcane or divine. If the class doesn't cast spells, use the above rule for spell-like abilities from race or type.

Edit 7/15/13: Wording changed match the precedent in the universal monster rules for spell-like abilities.

Edit 9/23/13: Wording updated to clarify racial/type SLAs vs. class SLAs.

Unfortunately, this matters immensely for the Mystic Theurge. If it is arcane, than this becomes the only race indifferent way to use early entry to qualify for the arcane SLA. Following the banning of Aasimar and Tiefling in PFS, this would be the only way for PFS theurges to use arcane early entry.

Considering I'm currently nearing completion of a guide to the mystic theurge, this can change a wide array of different things in this guide, and affects over a month of work. I would love an official answer and/or debates in favor of either side.

The way I'm reading it is currently that RAW, it is an arcane SLA as it is granted by a feat, not by a class. Due to it's not being granted by a class, it defaults to the sorcerer/wizard spell it references, which is Mirror Image, and therefore arcane. However, I believe that is not how it was intended to function, as the feat requires you to worship a deity, be of an appropriate alignment in comparison to that deity, and can be denied if you violate your deity's code of conduct or stop worshipping said deity. I would love a definitive answer, though. And I welcome all debate in favor of either side, as said debate is wonderful for bringing to light other viewpoints on the subject I may not have considered.

If you are unsure, or believe that there is discrepancy between the RAW and RAI here, kindly FAQ this post and debate away.

Liberty's Edge

Angry Wiggles wrote:
If it is arcane, than this becomes the only race indifferent way to use early entry to qualify for the arcane SLA. Following the banning of Aasimar and Tiefling in PFS, this would be the only way for PFS theurges to use arcane early entry.

I do believe this is incorrect. Seems that at least one of the wizard schools grants a spell like ability that works.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

ShadowcatX wrote:
Angry Wiggles wrote:
If it is arcane, than this becomes the only race indifferent way to use early entry to qualify for the arcane SLA. Following the banning of Aasimar and Tiefling in PFS, this would be the only way for PFS theurges to use arcane early entry.
I do believe this is incorrect. Seems that at least one of the wizard schools grants a spell like ability that works.

I can assure you that this is not the case, at least not with any of the wizard schools that I have read. Many of them do indeed grant spell like abilities, but none of them are definitively second level SLAs. The Scryer school grants a third level SLA, though. If I'm wrong, and in this case I would love to be wrong, please provide an example of the school that qualifies as a second level SLA.


Nope. The Scryer gets a third level SLA, and the Manipulator gets a fourth level SLA. Removing Tieflings and Aasimar from PFS means that there's no way to get early entry on the arcane side for a Theurge in PFS. (Other than four levels of Qinggong monk, which would rather defeat the purpose.)


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

RAW, I believe it would be Arcane. If you took the feat using a class bonus feat, maaaaybe it would be based on that. Stretch in my opinion, though.

Silver Crusade

It's an SLA gained from a getting acces to a cleric and druid class feature. Did you really need to ask this question?

Liberty's Edge

You are correct, it is 3rd level, sadly. My apologies.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
It's an SLA gained from a getting acces to a cleric and druid class feature. Did you really need to ask this question?

I did indeed. I agree that it likely should be divine. However, based on the specific rulings of the text I believe that it is arcane.

This whole feat proposes a somewhat unlikely circumstance that exists outside of the boundaries set by the FAQ and I simply want a definitive answer, regardless of what that answer is.

Scarab Sages

A Tengu with Long-Nose form can qualify for 2nd level arcane, but it can only be taken at character level 3, so it delays early entry to 4th level.

Scarab Sages

There's one still left to qualify for the Arcane Side, without a boon sheet, and that's the Elven alternative racial trait, Dreamspeaker, but requires that you have a Charisma 15+ to qualify, so you're delayed a level as you'd really have to take Sorcerer rather than Wizard to make best use of your statistics.


Dreamspeaker gives dream; which is 5th level.

Imbicatus, that's a good suggestion. And taking it at level three doesn't really matter since you can't get in any earlier than fourth anyhow due to skill requirements. It's a pretty crappy feat, but at least there's still one way to get into MT at 4th in PFS.

The Exchange

I don't see as how the Believer's Boon domain SLA wouldn't be considered divine. It even says "Your effective cleric level in regard to this ability is 1st level."


Based on the fluff of the feat and that if gives you an effective cleric level I would say it absolutely gives you the SLA as a divine ability.


Ignoring the fluff and sticking with the rules (something we should try to do, especially on this forum), this is simple question. Believers Boon is not a SLA gained from a class. Therefore it defaults to arcane. This is very straightforward and not unclear in the least. The intent is pretty irrelevant to be honest, if the writer intended it to be a divine SLA, they would have said so. They didn't.


Anzyr wrote:
Ignoring the fluff and sticking with the rules (something we should try to do, especially on this forum), this is simple question. Believers Boon is not a SLA gained from a class. Therefore it defaults to arcane. This is very straightforward and not unclear in the least. The intent is pretty irrelevant to be honest, if the writer intended it to be a divine SLA, they would have said so. They didn't.

You have a cleric level for the purposes of this ability. Ergo, it functions as a cleric ability and is therefore divine.


Anzyr wrote:
Ignoring the fluff and sticking with the rules (something we should try to do, especially on this forum), this is simple question. Believers Boon is not a SLA gained from a class. Therefore it defaults to arcane. This is very straightforward and not unclear in the least. The intent is pretty irrelevant to be honest, if the writer intended it to be a divine SLA, they would have said so. They didn't.

I'm all for sticking with rules Anzyr, but the rules really cover this properly. It's the first time a feat opens up the option to have a SLA that doesn't come from a class (to my knowledge). Before these options you would gain SLA either from race or from your class.

It seems obvious that it should be divine. If you apply rules in the current form I guess you could claim that by hard RAW (and ignoring rules as intended) that it is an Arcane SLA.


It is a feat. Not a class ability. The fact that it treats you as a class for purposes of that feat is irrelevant. That isn't covered under the rules.

And it's not "hard" RAW. It's just RAW. It might look odd or funny when you start adding non-rules to the issue, but when you read the rules, its very very straightforward. RAI is a myth that confuses people. Like I said, if the SLA granted by the feat was intended to be divine, the writer would have said so. This feat's SLAs aren't any more "intended" to be divine, than an Aasimar's SLAs are "intended" to be divine.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The feat clearly states that you lose access to the feat if you violate your deity's code of conduct. I would argue that this rule relating to the feat makes the SLA granted divine.

If it was an Arcane (therefore innate) SLA, your behaviour regarding an external moral framework would have no impact. As you are beholden to an external (and, by feat description, Divine) moral code, I would find it very difficult to think of the SLA as Arcane in origin.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Ignoring the fluff and sticking with the rules (something we should try to do, especially on this forum), this is simple question. Believers Boon is not a SLA gained from a class. Therefore it defaults to arcane. This is very straightforward and not unclear in the least. The intent is pretty irrelevant to be honest, if the writer intended it to be a divine SLA, they would have said so. They didn't.
You have a cleric level for the purposes of this ability. Ergo, it functions as a cleric ability and is therefore divine.

From what I can tell, the rules only care about the source. Nothing about caster level or anything like that. Just because you have an effective cleric level, it doesn't change the fact that the sla source is not from a class.

That's my reading, at least. Source is not divine, not a divine SLA by the FAQ. I believe the FAQ had a section about source with racial abilities being what made sense and you could argue a similar vein here. Until designer intervention, I say this can of worms of SLA early entry is Arcane.


I am not as interseted in the MT, but does the feat let you count as having a Domain? If so it allows Swashbuckler's to access Divine Protection... which would be wonderful.


RAW, this does not let you count as having a domain. All it does it let you use the 1st level ability of one your deity's domains.


Anzyr wrote:
RAW, this does not let you count as having a domain. All it does it let you use the 1st level ability of one your deity's domains.

... you made me sad.

Liberty's Edge

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The FAQ doesn't directly address it. The FAQ explains how to handle it for cases A..X. This is case Y. That said, I would certainly expect this to be ruled as divine if a PTB ruling were to be made.

In the interim, the standard advice on unclear rules ares in PFS are to only commit to the rules resource if you're willing to accept the worst case GM ruling. Since using this for entry to go into MT would result in an unplayable character, it's probably best to avoid it for this purpose.

If PFS admin wants to avoid the neef bat fallout that inevitably occurs whenever anyone fails to follow that standard advice, they have the option to kill the feat in the additional resource guide; doing so doesn't put them at the mercy of the design team's schedule in ever getting to a FAQ on the corner case.


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Howie23 wrote:

The FAQ doesn't directly address it. The FAQ explains how to handle it for cases A..X. This is case Y. That said, I would certainly expect this to be ruled as divine if a PTB ruling were to be made.

Thank you, I was shocked that nobody had pointed this out yet.

The spoilered FAQ explicitly state how to handle SLAs granted from Race, Type, and Class... and nothing else. This is a Feat, and is not answered by the FAQ.

So until the FAQ is cleared up, it's a rules-interpretation/extrapolation thing. If pressed for a choice, I would lean towards Divine in this case because of the deity requirement, the effective cleric level, the loss of ability when you upset your deity... It's coming from a divine source.

... Which would be great for a home game. But if you are asking for an explicit rule that definitively says one or the other, I don't think such a rule exists at the moment.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since it gives you an effective cleric level, it is divine. Yes, since the rules don't explicitly define the resolution to this specific case, people will argue differently. A RAW answer doesn't exist (there's two possible answers which contradict one another, citing two separate rules), while RAI is clearly divine. Simple.

Silver Crusade

DrakeRoberts wrote:
Howie23 wrote:

The FAQ doesn't directly address it. The FAQ explains how to handle it for cases A..X. This is case Y. That said, I would certainly expect this to be ruled as divine if a PTB ruling were to be made.

Thank you, I was shocked that nobody had pointed this out yet.

The spoilered FAQ explicitly state how to handle SLAs granted from Race, Type, and Class... and nothing else. This is a Feat, and is not answered by the FAQ.

So until the FAQ is cleared up, it's a rules-interpretation/extrapolation thing. If pressed for a choice, I would lean towards Divine in this case because of the deity requirement, the effective cleric level, the loss of ability when you upset your deity... It's coming from a divine source.

... Which would be great for a home game. But if you are asking for an explicit rule that definitively says one or the other, I don't think such a rule exists at the moment.

Wrong. The feat does not grant you an SLA. The feat grants you a class feature and the class feature grants you an SLA. Therefore, it si an SLA granted by a class. In this case, it is a divine class, therefore it is a divine SLA.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
DrakeRoberts wrote:
Howie23 wrote:

The FAQ doesn't directly address it. The FAQ explains how to handle it for cases A..X. This is case Y. That said, I would certainly expect this to be ruled as divine if a PTB ruling were to be made.

Thank you, I was shocked that nobody had pointed this out yet.

The spoilered FAQ explicitly state how to handle SLAs granted from Race, Type, and Class... and nothing else. This is a Feat, and is not answered by the FAQ.

So until the FAQ is cleared up, it's a rules-interpretation/extrapolation thing. If pressed for a choice, I would lean towards Divine in this case because of the deity requirement, the effective cleric level, the loss of ability when you upset your deity... It's coming from a divine source.

... Which would be great for a home game. But if you are asking for an explicit rule that definitively says one or the other, I don't think such a rule exists at the moment.

Wrong. The feat does not grant you an SLA. The feat grants you a class feature and the class feature grants you an SLA. Therefore, it si an SLA granted by a class. In this case, it is a divine class, therefore it is a divine SLA.

"Benefit: Choose one domain granted by your deity. Once per day, you can use all 1st-level domain abilities granted to clerics of that domain. You gain access to this one ability only, not the higher-level domain ability, domain spells, or additional class skills that the domain might grant, or any bonus feats that are listed under its granted powers. Your effective cleric level in regard to this ability is 1st level."

Eh... it gives you access to the domain abilities (one of which, in this case, is an SLA) not the "Domains" cleric class feature, which is much more involved. Still... I think this one should clearly be interpreted as divine without a catchall FAQ change on how to handle feats giving you abilities.

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