Spiritualist - Etheric Tether - Required or Optional


Rules Questions


Is the etheric tether required when the spiritualist fully manifests the phantom? Or is it an option that the spiritualist can choose at the time of full manifestation?

The reason I ask is it seems a bit powerful for a 1st level character to be able to call an incorporeal ally to search an entire dungeon for them. But the way the ability is written, it sounds like etheric tether is an additional option available for the phantom, when fully manifested, rather than being an inherent quality of the full manifestation.

Some clarification would be appreciated.


It's required. It's all limitations, not bonuses, the class assumes you're subject to the limitations when manifesting your phantom.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
It's required. It's all limitations, not bonuses, the class assumes you're subject to the limitations when manifesting your phantom.

Can you elaborate a bit more?

Here's the issue. There is a section discussing the phantom. And then there is a section discussing etheric tether. But nowhere is the latter made explicitly mandatory for the former.

I am inclined to agree with you, incidentally, but the two sections do not seem necessarily linked.

SRD wrote:

A spiritualist begins play with the aid of a powerful and versatile spirit entity called a phantom. The phantom forms a link with the spiritualist, who forever after can either harbor the creature within her consciousness or manifest it as an ectoplasmic or incorporeal entity... A spiritualist can harbor her phantom in her consciousness (see the shared consciousness class feature), ... or fully manifest it. A fully manifested phantom is treated as a summoned creature from the Ethereal Plane, except it is not sent back to the Ethereal Plane until it is reduced to a negative amount of hit points equal to or greater than its Constitution score.

A spiritualist can fully manifest her phantom through a ritual that takes 1 minute to perform... (more stuff about how that works).

Then, the spiritualist also receives a class feature called etheric tether, which acts as follows:

SRD wrote:
At 1st level, a spiritualist can force the phantom to manifest in an area around her by pushing the phantom's consciousness though the veil of ethereal essence, allowing it to fully manifest in either ectoplasmic or incorporeal form. Whenever her manifested phantom takes enough damage to send it back to the Ethereal Plane, as a reaction to the damage, the spiritualist can sacrifice any number of her hit points without using an action. Each hit point sacrificed in this way prevents 1 point of damage dealt to the phantom. This can prevent the phantom from being sent back to the Ethereal Plane... (paragraph about limitations follows).

The confusion seems to be arising from whether or not the full manifestation under the etheric tether class feature is one and the same as the full manifestation under the phantom class feature.

Again, my inclination is to say that the etheric tether IS the "full manifestation" ability of the phantom class feature, but that's not ironclad.


The text you decided for some reason to omit wrote:

This tether is limited. When the phantom is fully manifested, it and the spiritualist must remain within 50 feet of one another for the phantom's manifestation to stay stable with little to no concentration on the part of the spiritualist. The spiritualist can stretch the limited tether, but only when the phantom is in ectoplasmic form.

When a spiritualist starts her turn and her ectoplasmic phantom is more than 50 feet away from her (but closer than 100 feet), the spiritualist must concentrate on the link as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity or the ectoplasmic phantom immediately returns to the Ethereal Plane and cannot be summoned from that plane for 24 hours. This concentration can be interrupted as if it were a spell. Treat this effect's spell level as equal to 1 + 1 per 10 feet farther than 50 feet that the phantom is from the spiritualist (maximum spell level 6th). If the tether is interrupted or the check fails, the phantom immediately snaps back into the consciousness of its spiritualist master.

If the ectoplasmic phantom is ever more than 100 feet away from its spiritualist, or the incorporeal phantom is ever 50 feet away from the spiritualist or outside of line of effect from the spiritualist for more than 1 round per spiritualist level the spiritualist possesses, the tether is automatically broken; the phantom immediately returns to the Ethereal Plane and can't be summoned from that plane for 24 hours.

Etheric Tether is a limitation binding the Spiritualist and the phantom together and is always in effect while fully manifested. It's like how familiars and eidolons can't move too far away. The sacrificing of hit points to prevent damage to the phantom is optional, but the distance limit is not. Stretching the tether is only doable in ectoplasmic form, so you can't have your incorporeal phantom scout out 100 feet away; you'd have to have it Phase Lurch through obstacles if you wanted it to scout farther than 50 feet.


Yeah, that's how I'm reading it. I think the order of information is a bit confusing, as is the flavor text--a simple "fully manifest with etheric tether" line in the Phantom initial description would help clear that up. Or moving the line about the 1 minute ritual to the Etheric Tether section--as it stands, the rules about fully manifesting the phantom are in a different place from the etheric tether rules and there isn't (sorry) a direct tether between them :)

That said, I agree, and am proceeding accordingly.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Hey guys, I removed a post making personal attacks, but I thought I'd address a point of fact mentioned in the deleted post: The only part of Occult Adventures that was tight for space was the kineticist class, and I struggled with InDesign and the document itself to fit every wild talent without cutting, not with another Paizonian.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Hey guys, I removed a post making personal attacks, but I thought I'd address a point of fact mentioned in the deleted post: The only part of Occult Adventures that was tight for space was the kineticist class, and I struggled with InDesign and the document itself to fit every wild talent without cutting, not with another Paizonian.

So sorry! I didn't mean to imply a personal attack, nor to provoke someone else into making one. My "editing" after the fact was just thinking out loud to reorder the information in a way that worked for me. I think oddly and sometimes have to shuffle things so they make sense.

I hope in this case I got it right.

Paizo Employee Designer

quibblemuch wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Hey guys, I removed a post making personal attacks, but I thought I'd address a point of fact mentioned in the deleted post: The only part of Occult Adventures that was tight for space was the kineticist class, and I struggled with InDesign and the document itself to fit every wild talent without cutting, not with another Paizonian.

So sorry! I didn't mean to imply a personal attack, nor to provoke someone else into making one. My "editing" after the fact was just thinking out loud to reorder the information in a way that worked for me. I think oddly and sometimes have to shuffle things so they make sense.

I hope in this case I got it right.

Oh no, don't worry; I deleted the post with the personal attack. You're fine ^_^

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