Apocryphal Subdomains and the domain choices of Druids.


Rules Questions

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While building a character for use in PFS, I came across the Apocryphal Subdomains from Pathfinder Player Companion: Divine Antholgy.

Apocryphal Subdomains, page 22 of PPC: Divine Anthology:
A divine spellcaster who studies an apocrypha, or who studies under a scholar well versed in such a text, can gain access to unusual subdomains associated with a deity. Whether or not the mainstream church accepts any one apocryphal text as canonical or not can vary, even within the same religion; for some believers, though, these words are as true as anything about their belief.
A domain-using PC can gain access to one of these subdomains via the following faith trait. An NPC does not need such a trait, provided that the NPC has a flavorful background that explains how he or she came in contact with the apocryphal information. Subdomains were introduced on page 86 of the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide.

Acolyte of Apocrypha (Faith): Your religious studies hinged on teachings rarely recognized by your faith. You can select one of the apocryphal subdomains detailed below, provided the subdomain is associated with your patron deity. In some cases, you can select a subdomain associated with a deity despite that deity not offering the associated domain—these exceptions are noted with an asterisk (*), and you gain domain powers and domain spells from the associated domain as usual, even though your deity normally doesn’t grant access to that domain. When selecting a subdomain associated with two domains, a priest can choose only a subdomain that modifies a domain to which he has access. All deities referenced in the following subdomains appear in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods or Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Dragon Empires Gazetteer.


Nature Bond:
Nature Bond (Ex): At 1st level, a druid forms a bond with nature. This bond can take one of two forms. The first is a close tie to the natural world, granting the druid one of the following cleric domains: Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water, or Weather. When determining the powers and bonus spells granted by this domain, the druid's effective cleric level is equal to her druid level. A druid that selects this option also receives additional domain spell slots, just like a cleric. She must prepare the spell from her domain in this slot and this spell cannot be used to cast a spell spontaneously.

Now, as a domain using character, can a druid with this trait take a apocryphal subdomain like the Alchemy Subdomain (which is normally related to the Artifice/Magic domain) as long as he worships either Brigh, Haagenti, Norgorber* (for Artifice only), Orgesh* (for Magic only), or Qi Zhong? Or does the domain choice presented in the Nature's Bond class feature override the extra choices that the trait offers?

I myself hope that the trait adds to the list, so I could make a more "unique" type of druid character for PFS. But since I'm not sure if it works this way, I turn to the forums in hope of a consensus on this particular rules-interaction.


The trait overrides deity-based restrictions, but druids don't have such a restriction to override--their domain restriction is strictly a function of their class feature.

Liberty's Edge

I think you could use the trait to access an apocryphal subdomain of Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water, or Weather, but not the others.


What you could do, though, is to go with the Nature Priest archetype - it changes your domain selection to match that of the deity you worship, so something like a Druid with the Alchemy subdomain should be possible if you worship, say, Brigh.

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@blahpers and blashimov
I already feared the answer might be this, but it could never hurt to ask. The Apocryphal Subdomains for Air, Animal, Earth, Plant and Weather do not really interest me, so I guess I'll use my trait for something else. Thank you both for your input on this.

@Pounce
I did not know about that archetype, and I think I'll concoct another character with that one. I had already settled on an Ifrit with the Feyspeaker archetype (and was planning on a level dip into something else as well). But I can use the Nature Priest archetype for yet another druid character, so thanks for bringing that one to my attention!


Pounce wrote:
What you could do, though, is to go with the Nature Priest archetype - it changes your domain selection to match that of the deity you worship, so something like a Druid with the Alchemy subdomain should be possible if you worship, say, Brigh.

Ooh, that totally works. Thanks, I'll have to remember that for next druid.

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