[Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Power and spell-like abilities - how do they work?


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Sovereign Court

I'm creating a green hag sphere caster with 5 levels of druid. A green hag has spell-like abilities under the vancian casting system, including at-will invisibility.

How are these abilities affected by using Spheres of Power? Does the hag need to take the illusion sphere so that she can use invisibility? Or do the spell-like abilities function as normal under vancian rules?

Thanks for the advice!


They aren't.

Racial spell-likes remain, as normal. If you want to change them, that can be discussed with your GM.

That said, a green hag is not normally an available player race, so presumably you're using race creation in some capacity. You could just as easily create them with a bonus feat instead of spell-likes and use that to buy the illusion sphere.

Or, if you're just playing a green hag as is, there is no rules compliant answer to your question because you're already throwing some rules out the window to do that. Unless this is an NPC from a GM perspective, in which case that should probably be mentioned.

Sovereign Court

Omnius wrote:

They aren't.

Racial spell-likes remain, as normal. If you want to change them, that can be discussed with your GM.

That said, a green hag is not normally an available player race, so presumably you're using race creation in some capacity. You could just as easily create them with a bonus feat instead of spell-likes and use that to buy the illusion sphere.

Or, if you're just playing a green hag as is, there is no rules compliant answer to your question because you're already throwing some rules out the window to do that. Unless this is an NPC from a GM perspective, in which case that should probably be mentioned.

Sorry, I should have clarified that I am the GM, and I am creating an adversary for the group.

So things like the hag's invisibility and alter self work under the old vancian rules?


Spell-likes aren't truly Vancian, nor truly spells. Thinking of them as such really just gets in the way.

They're just abilities the monster has, and work just fine as they are, even in a game that has spheres content. A green hag can turn invisible.

Now, if you want to remove those abilities in favor of spheres, that's on you, but it's not a requirement. You're the GM. The monster rules are basically, "Futz around as you see fit."


I agree with Omnius. Personally, I almost never convert monster abilities to Spherecasting - instead, I treat their spell-like abilities as distinct magical powers that monsters just so happen to have. Otherwise, that's a whole lot of prep time spent on something that honestly doesn't make too big of a difference. "It does 8d6 in a radius because it's a fireball spell" and "it does 8d6 in a radius because I took destruction powers to create fireball-like effects" is almost always an irrelevant distinction. XD And I'd rather spend that time creating more and better content.


I'm actually more inclined to convert melee threats like, say, ye olde ogre into spheres just because that actually gives them some interesting things to do, and those sorts of creatures almost always have really boring feat choices anyways.

Just swapping out Weapon Focus: Falchion for the Warleader Sphere on one orc can make an encounter significantly more interesting.

Sovereign Court

Thanks for all the help folks. I'm running the encounter this weekend, and I'll just keep the SLA's as-is. I agree it's much easier that way.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Omnius wrote:


Just swapping out Weapon Focus: Falchion for the Warleader Sphere on one orc can make an encounter significantly more interesting.

Warleader is far and away my favorite sphere for turning push-over encounters into awesome challenges.

I was popping in to see if I had anything to add to the conversation, but it looks like Rednal and Omnius covered it really well.

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