Some halcyon spell questions


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm trying to figure out exactly how the halcyon spells system in the Lost Omens Character Guide works. The basic mechanic is straightforward: you gain a set of spells from the primal or arcane list that you can cast as if they were on your "native" spell list. But then there are a few complications:

1. How does the cantrip you get for the Magaambyan Attendant Dedication work? At first I thought it was a halcyon spell, but it's not called out as one like the others. Now I'm wondering if the purpose is to give rudimentary arcane or primal spellcasting even to non-spellcasters, to open up the other Magaambyan Attendant/Halcyon Speaker options. (Is it an at-will cantrip like normal?)

2. How do the halcyon spell slots you get from Halcyon Speaker feats interact with heightened spells? It sounds like a druid who has blink as a 4th level halcyon spell can prepare blink as a 6th level spell in her druid slots, as long as she can cast 6th level halcyon spells. But can she use a 6th level halcyon slot to cast it spontaneously, or is like the sorcerer's spell repertoire such that she'd need to select it also as a 6th level halcyon spell to do that?

3. The description of halcyon spells on page 101 says that you can choose whether to cast a halcyon spell as a primal or an arcane spell. Normally you would want to cast them as the tradition corresponding to your primary spellcasting class, because you'll have the best proficiencies with that tradition. (The halcyon spellcasting feats boost your other proficiency but at a delayed pace.) Am I missing something that gives you a benefit for choosing the "weaker" tradition? I thought earlier it might be the Halcyon Speaker's synergy feats, but those treat halcyon spells as both primal and arcane automatically.


1: Definitely not a halcyon spell, just a primal or arcane spell. Additionally cantrips are at will and auto heightened by definition.

2: Halcyon spells are prepared or cast just like other spells granted by your class, so what class you're using as your base makes a big difference to the answer of your question here. Druids are prepared casters so they could take Halcyon Spellcasting Adept at 14 and learn Blink. If they later took Halcyon Spellcasting Sage at 18 they'd get a 6th level halcyon slot that they could put Blink (6) in without having to learn it separately. (or either of their other 6th level halcyon spells, or heightened versions of any of their other lower halcyon spells.)

3: Most of the time you'd want to choose your tradition for the higher numbers but I can imagine times where you want to disguise your capabilities or are facing a monster that has benefits against say arcane casters or a trap with similar mechanics.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pirate Rob wrote:
2: Halcyon spells are prepared or cast just like other spells granted by your class, so what class you're using as your base makes a big difference to the answer of your question here. Druids are prepared casters so they could take Halcyon Spellcasting Adept at 14 and learn Blink. If they later took Halcyon Spellcasting Sage at 18 they'd get a 6th level halcyon slot that they could put Blink (6) in without having to learn it separately. (or either of their other 6th level halcyon spells, or heightened versions of any of their other lower halcyon spells.)

The text that's confusing me is on page 105, under Halcyon Speaker Dedication: "You can use your halcyon spell slots to spontaneously cast your halcyon spells." In other words, it sounds like eighteenth level druids with Halcyon Spellcasting Sage have:

- three 7th level druid spell slots, which work exactly as normal druid spell slots except that they can prepare halcyon spells in them (presumably including heightened versions of lower-level halcyon spells they know)
- one 7th level halcyon spell slot, which they can use to cast halcyon spells spontaneously (and can't prepare halcyon spells in--I think)

Am I reading that right?

So then the question is whether the spontaneous casting with the halcyon spell slot is limited like the sorcerer's to spells the druid knows specifically at that level.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Orithilaen wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
2: Halcyon spells are prepared or cast just like other spells granted by your class, so what class you're using as your base makes a big difference to the answer of your question here. Druids are prepared casters so they could take Halcyon Spellcasting Adept at 14 and learn Blink. If they later took Halcyon Spellcasting Sage at 18 they'd get a 6th level halcyon slot that they could put Blink (6) in without having to learn it separately. (or either of their other 6th level halcyon spells, or heightened versions of any of their other lower halcyon spells.)

The text that's confusing me is on page 105, under Halcyon Speaker Dedication: "You can use your halcyon spell slots to spontaneously cast your halcyon spells." In other words, it sounds like eighteenth level druids with Halcyon Spellcasting Sage have:

- three 7th level druid spell slots, which work exactly as normal druid spell slots except that they can prepare halcyon spells in them (presumably including heightened versions of lower-level halcyon spells they know)
- one 7th level halcyon spell slot, which they can use to cast halcyon spells spontaneously (and can't prepare halcyon spells in--I think)

Am I reading that right?

So then the question is whether the spontaneous casting with the halcyon spell slot is limited like the sorcerer's to spells the druid knows specifically at that level.

You are kinda right and kinda wrong. The ability is a bit awkward and takes some time to 'grog', but once you get you'll find its actually a pretty flexible system.

So, The Halcyon caster feat chain grants you a couple of things:
1) A handful of spontaneous spell slots.
2) Knowledge of a handful of spells from a different tradition.
3) The ability to prepare spells from a different tradition.

The text doesn't do a great job of unpacking what this all means, but, basically:

(*) The feat grant you two separate pools of spell slots, which do not mix, and cannot be used interchangeably. Prepared still acts like prepared and spontaneous like spontaneous.
(*) You learn the Halcyon spells like you would any other spell. Including how they pertain to prepared/spontaneous casting type.
(*) Spontaneous casters (Don't think about sorcerers right now) need to learn several instances of the same spell, at different levels, if they want to cast that spell at that level.
(*) Prepared casters need only learn a spell at its lowest level, then have the option to prepare it at any level they can cast.
(*) Halcyon Spells work the same way. The only consideration is that you have very limited Spontaneous spell slots and very limited Halcyon spells known.
(*) If a Druid takes Heal as a 1st level Halcyon spell, they can prepare heal in any of their normal Druid spell slots. They can prepare this as they see fit, like any prepared spell.
(*) If the same Druid would like to spontaneous cast Heal, they can only do some from their 1st level Halcyon slots.
(*) If the Druid wants to Spontaneous cast Heal at a higher level, they will have learn it again (using one of those limited Halcyon spells known) at that higher level, to do so.

So a Druid wanting to drop spontaneous heals might have a Halcyon spell list like:

1st: Heal, Blah
2nd: Blah, Blah
3rd: Blah, Blah
4th: Heal, Blah
5th: Blah, Blah
6th: Blah, Blah
7th: Heal


I've been going through and trying to figure this out myself, and there's a few things to add.

> Each time you cast a halcyon spell, decide whether it is an arcane or primal spell. You can’t heighten a halcyon spell beyond your maximum spell level of halcyon spell, even if you have higher-level spell slots, and you can’t select a halcyon spell as a signature spell.

So while our Druid could go nuts with Heal, a Wizard would have to unlock Halcyon spells of fourth level before he could cast a fourth level Heal.

That said, the Wizard would still be using Intelligence and their Arcane proficiency for casting any primal halcyon spells, correct?


TheGentlemanDM wrote:
That said, the Wizard would still be using Intelligence and their Arcane proficiency for casting any primal halcyon spells, correct?

Correct. In other words you will really only use your proficiency in your secondary tradition when you cast the cantrip you get with Magaambiya Attendant (assuming you choose a cantrip of that tradition). Otherwise, you will probably use your primary tradition for all your halcyon spells.


coriolis wrote:
TheGentlemanDM wrote:
That said, the Wizard would still be using Intelligence and their Arcane proficiency for casting any primal halcyon spells, correct?
Correct. In other words you will really only use your proficiency in your secondary tradition when you cast the cantrip you get with Magaambiya Attendant (assuming you choose a cantrip of that tradition). Otherwise, you will probably use your primary tradition for all your halcyon spells.

I don't see that there is anything in the Halcyon Speaker that overrides the Magaamblyan Attendant Dedication Feat. Which says which casting skill and stat you use for Halcyon spells cast out of Halcyon slots...

Your own primary slots seem clear. Not so much the Halcyon slots.

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I don’t have any design team authority here, but my intent when writing “choose each time whether it’s an arcane or primal spell” was to reinforce the theme of Magaambyans blending magical traditions, and to give halcyon casters some flexibility in the event of e.g. casting a spell on something that gets bonuses against arcane magic but not primal magic.

I figure in most cases people are casting halcyon spells as whatever tradition they have the highest proficiency in!

Sovereign Court

Gortle wrote:
coriolis wrote:
TheGentlemanDM wrote:
That said, the Wizard would still be using Intelligence and their Arcane proficiency for casting any primal halcyon spells, correct?
Correct. In other words you will really only use your proficiency in your secondary tradition when you cast the cantrip you get with Magaambiya Attendant (assuming you choose a cantrip of that tradition). Otherwise, you will probably use your primary tradition for all your halcyon spells.

I don't see that there is anything in the Halcyon Speaker that overrides the Magaamblyan Attendant Dedication Feat. Which says which casting skill and stat you use for Halcyon spells cast out of Halcyon slots...

Your own primary slots seem clear. Not so much the Halcyon slots.

You need to read Magaambyan Attendant more carefully. It doesn't actually give you anything "halcyon" yet.

All it does is give you a cantrip, and proficiency in the tradition of that cantrip if you didn't already have it, with a particular ability score. (That makes it interestingly different from innate cantrips by the way.)

Then later when you get Halcyon Speaker, you can cast in two traditions but it doesn't give you training in either of them. Which wouldn't be a problem for say, a wizard or druid because they're already trained. But the archetype is open to any class, so other classes would need to be trained in either primal or arcane spells or they're going to be really lame casters. Luckily, Magaambyan Attendant made you trained in one of those traditions.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Gortle wrote:
coriolis wrote:
TheGentlemanDM wrote:
That said, the Wizard would still be using Intelligence and their Arcane proficiency for casting any primal halcyon spells, correct?
Correct. In other words you will really only use your proficiency in your secondary tradition when you cast the cantrip you get with Magaambiya Attendant (assuming you choose a cantrip of that tradition). Otherwise, you will probably use your primary tradition for all your halcyon spells.

I don't see that there is anything in the Halcyon Speaker that overrides the Magaamblyan Attendant Dedication Feat. Which says which casting skill and stat you use for Halcyon spells cast out of Halcyon slots...

Your own primary slots seem clear. Not so much the Halcyon slots.

You need to read Magaambyan Attendant more carefully. It doesn't actually give you anything "halcyon" yet.

All it does is give you a cantrip, and proficiency in the tradition of that cantrip if you didn't already have it, with a particular ability score. (That makes it interestingly different from innate cantrips by the way.)

Then later when you get Halcyon Speaker, you can cast in two traditions but it doesn't give you training in either of them. Which wouldn't be a problem for say, a wizard or druid because they're already trained. But the archetype is open to any class, so other classes would need to be trained in either primal or arcane spells or they're going to be really lame casters. Luckily, Magaambyan Attendant made you trained in one of those traditions.

I don't see that distinction. Yes "Halcyon" is not mentioned in the Magaambyan Attendant Dedication Feat, but it is mentioned in the general Magaambyan Attendant text. It can be quite subjective with multiple paragraphs, successive sentences, and even within a sentence to work out the exact correspondence between entities.

I am happy to respect and go with Andrew Mullen's intention.

I see that there is enough flexibility in the wording of in the Magaambyan Attendant Dedication Feat
If you weren’t already,
you become trained in that tradition’s spell DCs and spell attack rolls
to just use your current casting ability.

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