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Tabletop Game / Spheres of Power

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A series of Sourcebooks for 1st Edition Pathfinder by Drop Dead Studios, Spheres of Power started out as an alternate magic system that attempted to avert Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards. Rather than use Vancian Magic, it treats magic more like a Tech Tree. This prevents the Clerics, Druids, and Wizards from being all powerful, as there are only a limited amount of points to invest. It also makes a balance between the various magical classes by having magical skill (shown via caster level) be inverse to martial skill (base attack bonus); High Casters are Squishy Wizards with the best bonus to magic, but usually the worst to physical combat. Low Casters are Magic Knights with the best at martial skill and specialized magical abilities, but are far behind the curve on regular spellcasting. Meanwhile, Mid Casters get to be Jack-of-All-Stats, having equal martial and magical ability.


A successful Kickstarter campaign led to a sister book called Spheres of Might aiming to push the balance in the other direction, empowering non-magical characters to rival the versatility and world-shaping power of their spellcasting brethren, and a joint companion book called Champions of the Spheres, which is about using both systems in tandem (with characters who have access to both types of talents). Another successful Kickstarter has also allowed for an Updated Re-release called Ultimate Spheres of Power, compiling several books of the Power line into the core sourcebook along with adding the Fallen Fey & Blood spheres along with the Wraith class. New releases are ongoing, adding content ranging from Wuxia-style Supernatural Martial Arts talents to options for Magitech-themed worlds.

Another thing this system has going for it is the massive degree of flexibility that it allows in setting the power level and flavor of a campaign. All talents with story breaker potential (which exist in both the martial and magical sides of the system, mind you) are designated as Advanced or Legendary talents, with the intention that GMs can limit or disallow these talents as needed for low-powered campaigns. The GM can also pick from a number of optional secondary systems to further fine-tune things, ranging from simple rituals allowing any character access to some basic spells, to grand world-shaking incantations of the sort that a cult might spend weeks casting, to systems for creating free-range Magitech oddities and large-scale vehicles.


Magic additionally is based around a modular system of Unequal Rites that show the style in which a mage wields their magic, mechanically giving them extra spell points or special Boons for specific restrictions on their casting; the greater the restriction, the greater the benefit. One party mage might use an unwieldy casting process involving expensive components, Geometric Magic, chanting in the Language of Magic, an obvious glowing weak spot, and a funny hat, gaining boosts to their spells' power and resiliency in exchange. Another might have deep reserves of power, but become Drunk with Power and drain their life force at every use, while still another might have dangerously eldritch powers that eat away at their spirit, but be able to cast nearly undetected so long as they can hide their Mark of the Supernatural.


Drop Dead Studios also plans to expand the Sphere system into 2nd Edition Pathfinder and 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. The 5th Edition Spheres (nicknamed "5pheres") Kickstarter, which includes both Power and Might, reached its goal in less than 24 hours, and the books were released on March 3, 2021. The system is somewhat simplified because 5th Edition has fewer moving parts than Pathfinder, but the spirit is there.

A wiki with all the relevant rules can be found here for Pathfinder, and here for D&D 5e. These are both officially-supported and maintained wikis, and information is added to them approximately two weeks after each book is released.

Not to be confused with a Sphere of Power (though you could make one easily enough).

This sourcebook provides examples of:

  • Addictive Magic: A drawback, Addictive Casting. The caster has to save vs. his own magic power level whenever they spend a spell point, or get addicted to spending spell points.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • In 2019, the company released a handbook for the Bear Sphere, a magic sphere ostensibly about channeling a bear's power (and which can be played seriously), but it's mainly an excuse to make talent names out of terrible bear puns (A Step Too Fur, Unbearable Rawr) and references (Think Think Think, Smarter Than The Average Bear).
    • In 2020, they released The Jester's Handbook, which introduced new — and, again, actually legitimately useful — talents for every sphere, combat and magical (including Bear) that were all based on bad puns, silly ideas, or both (like the new Blood sphere talent Hemo Goblin, which summons a goblin made of blood that relentlessly attacks the person whose blood it was made from for 24 hours; or the new Fencing sphere talent Expert Fence, which lets you build a "metaphorical fence" out of nothing that actually blocks attacks; or the Beastmastery legendary talent Lions and Wardrobes that lets you turn your animal companion into Sir Bearington). It also has one category of talent that doesn't yet exist (Extraordinary Talent) for a sphere that doesn't yet exist (Communication sphere), as a preview for future content.
    • In 2021, they released The Catgirl's Handbook, which featured a ton of cat-themed puns — and, yet again, actually legitimately useful abilities, to the extent that there's a chart at the end of the book that has "serious" names for some of the more awful puns (like the Nyancaller archetype for Summoner has an alternate name of "Evolutioner", and new feat "Beckon And Pspsps" is alternately just "Beckon Companion"). Many of the new abilities aren't even cat-related in terms of what they do, they just have a terrible cat pun for a name.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Averted by default, but you can take the Somatic Casting drawback up to two times in order to enforce this. The first time restricts you to light armor, the second time disallows all armor and shields.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • The base Scouting function of the Scout sphere is essentially this. Analyze an opponent to learn their strengths and weaknesses (twice per round - Knowledge as a free action, Perception as a swift action). Other Scout talents let you learn even more about Scouted targets (up to and including their game statistics), provide buffs, or eventually let you read the target's mind.
    • The Scholar class has Knacks that take advantage of Scouting even better than the Scout sphere does, giving substantial bonuses to attack rolls or certain social rolls.
    • The Studied Scout feat combines the Scout sphere ability with the base game Investigator's Study Foe ability for double analysis-awesome.
  • Barrier Warrior: The entire point of the Protection sphere.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The explicit flavor of many of the advanced martial talents, such as the Guardian sphere's talents "I Will Hear" and "I Will Come" that let a character use pure Heroic Resolve to teleport across vast distances and ultimately even planar boundaries to come to the aid of a protectorate, complete with Post-Victory Collapse afterward as the effort of defying the laws of space and time catch up with them, and potential for a full Heroic RRoD if they are forced to use it repeatedly in a short timespan.
  • Black Mage: The Elementalist, or anyone that invests into the Destruction sphere.
  • Black Magic / White Magic: Averted in most circumstances; while there are a few abilities that interact with alignment, no ability is inherently good or evil (unlike the original system).
    • There is a Hedgewitch path explicitly called "Black Magic", which lets you place curses and hexes on targets, but it likewise is not alignment-based.
    • But it's played straight by the Covenant path, whose abilities are all based around the Hedgewitch's alignment.
    • Also played straight by Holy Smite and Unholy Smite in The Destroyer's Handbook, which can only be selected by someone of the appropriate alignment and do sacred/profane damage, respectively.
    • Zig-Zagged by the Fate sphere, which both has multiple powers that depend on the caster's alignment (e.g., Hallow, Divine Force, or Enmity), and an ability that lets you ignore alignment (Villainy, which lets you use alignment-targeting abilities on a hostile target regardless of their actual alignment — e.g., Smite Evil on a neutral enemy).
  • The Blacksmith: The Blacksmith class from Spheres of Might. They're something of a Support Party Member, with persistent buffs granted through equipment maintenance and techniques for sundering enemy gear. They also make for excellent tanks due to their high hit die and using Constitution as a power stat.
  • Blood Magic: One of the default casting traditions.
  • Cast from Hit Points: While not literally, the Draining Casting drawback deals unhealable nonlethal damage to you each time you spend spell points (whether on sphere abilities or class abilities).
  • Chain Lightning: One of the shapes you can have your destructive blast be (even if it isn't lightning).
  • Curse: The main focus of the Black Magic Hedgewitch path, and a tag applied to a number of talents, primarily in the Fate sphere. Both the Fate sphere and the Death sphere have a talent simply called "Curse", though they work very differently.
  • Dispel Magic:
    • The Counterspell line of feats lets any spherecaster do this.
    • The Magekiller archetype for Reaper gets Counterspell abilities as bonus abilities as it levels up.
    • On the Spheres of Might side, Scholars can do this with the Lead or Silver martial impositions; if they have both, they can do a Greater Dispel.
    • Technicians can likewise dispel magic with their Trapmaster line of abilities (starting out being able only to dispel magical traps, eventually becoming able to dispel all magical effects on any target). The Mythbreaker archetype for Technicians gets one fewer invention but can dispel magical effects at much lower levels than the base class.
  • Elemental Punch:
    • The Destruction sphere's destructive blast, especially with the Destructive Touch drawback, or Energy Strike plus an unarmed attack.
    • The Nature sphere also lets you do this with Nature's Weapon (Earth and Fire variants).
    • The Runesinger archetype lets you add extra damage (mostly elemental) to any attack, including unarmed attacks, once per minute (or once per round with the right feats).
    • The Elemental Might feat allows you to expend martial focus to add elemental damage to any attack, or to convert additional damage from martial sphere abilities that add damage when expending martial focus (the Berserker sphere's Brutal Strikes or the Sniper sphere's Deadly Shot, for example) into elemental damage.
  • Energy Ball: The Energy Sphere blast shape definitely qualifies, though the base destructive blast can easily be described this way.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: The Wild Magic drawback, which gives every sphere ability you use a 10% chance to act... strangely. There's detailed charts for each sphere. There's also feats that let you increase the chance of a wild magic event occurring by 50% or even to 100% in exchange for bonuses to the spell itself, reduce the chance in exchange for making the spell take longer to cast, accept Constitution penalties instead of a wild magic event, or force enemy spellcasters to unknowingly get a 50% (or higher!) chance of causing a wild magic event even if they're not normally subject to that chance. The Thaumaturge archetype Wild Mage, as its name suggests, is based entirely around this mechanic.
  • Forced Sleep: The Mind sphere's Sleep talent and Alchemy sphere's Drowsy Venom, among others.
  • Flash Step:
    • The base Warp ability lets you teleport short distance, and the Quick Teleport lets you attack immediately afterward.
    • The Athletics sphere has a legendary talent explicitly called Flash Step which lets you perform this.
    • Some Runesinger movement abilities (particularly Light) let you do this as well.
  • Geas: An advanced talent in the Fate sphere, along with Greater Geas.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Averted more than played straight, particularly on the martial side.
    • Played with: one of the Life sphere's base abilities only grants temporary hit points, while actual healing requires spending a spell point. But it's not any harder than casting, say, a full-power destructive blast.
    • Averted by the Scholar class, which can easily heal allies with their Medical Training class feature without using any magic at all (and the Doctor archetype cranks that healing up even higher), though it can only be used a limited number of times per day per person. A handful of archetypes for other classes (Acupuncturist Investigator and Fleshforger Blacksmith) get Medical Training as well.
    • Also averted by Alchemy sphere Salves, which can do something similar, albeit less frequently and less potently, but they're also one of the easiest items in the Alchemy sphere to create (and so easier to make more powerful).
    • Also averted by the Technician class, which can also heal without magic if they choose the Medical Insight gadget. While they only get a limited number of gadgets per day, it's no harder to make a medical gadget than it is to make a taser or explosive.
  • Helicopter Pack: One of the Technician's possible inventions.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A literal case in the Reaper class. They choose a favored enemy at level 1 — dragons, lycanthropes, undead, magical beasts, or aberrations with the base class; constructs or magic-users with archetypes — and then slowly gain traits, physical and mental, from that enemy type as they gain levels. At level 20, they must choose whether to fully surrender their humanity to gain the monster's type and more monstrous powers, or reassert their humanity and lose all their monstrous powers in exchange for fast healing, five feats, and immunity to certain effects. The archetypes don't get a choice: machine cultists fully become constructs whether they want to or not, magekillers become living zones of null magic.
  • Instant Runes / Power Echoes / Power Glows: Possible manifestations of the Magical Signs drawback.
  • Invisibility: One of the Illusion sphere advanced talents, with a better version being an optional ability of the Mageknight class.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: One of the abilities of the Alteration sphere, and one of the abilities of the Hedgewitch class taking the Transmuter path. And there's nothing preventing you from being a Hedgewitch with the Transmuter path and the Alteration sphere.
  • Kamehame Hadoken:
    • The base Destruction ability, though elemental variants of the blast exist. (There's even simple rules for making your own elemental blasts, with all the elemental varieties in the book being considered just examples)
    • The Sage class has a Ki Blasting specialization, along with some abilities that would look very familiar to fans of Dragonball Z.
  • Magic Dance: While the Skilled Casting drawback is usually meant for Magic Music, Full-Contact Magic, or Geometric Magic, there's nothing stopping you from using Perform (dance) to break-dance someone back to life.
  • Magic Enhancement: The Enhancement sphere, obviously. The base ability lets you temporarily add a +1 (or higher) bonus to a piece of gear. Some other enhancements include making allies move faster, buffing their ability scores, or bringing objects to life. It also includes "enhancements" that are negative, like slowing a foe to half speed, blinding them, or making them unable to perform a specific type of action (like talking or flying).
  • Magic from Technology: Some classes in Spheres of Might are based around this. The Technician replicates many magic-like effects using technology (up to and including lasers and jetpacks), while the Scholar replicates them using chemistry and alchemy (including an infinite-use flashbang grenade that blinds targets and can be enhanced to provide other debuffs and/or deal damage similar to the traditional Fireball spell). There's also a Tech sphere that can produce effects similar to the Technician class.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: Downplayed but present among the new classes the game introduces. The Armorist and Mageknight have the best fighting skills but the worst casting abilities (though they have their own magical abilities), in contrast with the Squishy Wizard classes (Incanter, Fey Adept, and Soul Weaver) that have full casting but middling close-combat abilities. The rest of the Spheres of Power classes are either somewhere in between, or the Thaumaturge, which gets full casting and an average BAB in exchange for Crippling Overspecialization due to its limited talent allotments.
  • Magic Knight:
    • The primary theme of Champions of the Spheres, given that it is about options that allows using both the magic abilities of Spheres of Power and the martial-classed abilities of Spheres of Might without multiclassing.
    • Even in Spheres of Power, the Mage Knight and Armorist are full martial classes with magic powers. They can access the same magical spheres as other spherecasting classes, they just get fewer talents and lower base caster level. Instead, they get specialized powers for their class (which are also magic, like adding magic damage to weapon strikes, or magically creating and animating weapons).
    • "Martial" archetypes of several of the magical classes allow them either to choose between magic talents and combat talents instead of just magic talents (Martial Armorist, Martial Mageknight, and Martial Shifter) or actually give a combat talent progression in addition to and separate from their magic talent progression, usually at the cost of some other class feature (Martial Hedgewitch and Martial Elementalist).
  • Magic Music / Musical Assassin: The Skilled Casting (Perform) can let you play one of these.
  • Magic Staff: Doubles as both a weapon and Amplifier Artifact. Subverted in Ultimate Spheres of Power, where an implement can take any form, not just a staff.
    • Not technically magic, but one of the options for the Scholar class in Spheres of Might allows them to get a quarterstaff enhanced with alchemy that lets them absorb electric damage, shoot lightning, and, with an upgrade, control the weather.
  • Mana: Spell points. Worth noting that even when you have no spell points left, you can still use many base talents; you just can't augment them anymore.
    • Fey Adepts have a secondary resource called Shadow Points, used to fuel their class-specific abilities. There is a limited ability to use Shadow Points as Spell Points and vice-versa. Hedgewitches with the Umbral path also gain Shadow Points and limited Fey Adept abilities. You can also gain Shadow Points for any class by taking certain feats, dubbed Surreal feats. Fey Adept archetype Word Witch trades its Shadow Points for Word Points.
    • Other classes and feats have their own numerical resources that fuel their abilities: resolve (Conscript specialization), reserve (Sentinels), guile (Hedgewitches with the Charlatan path), and kismet (Ordained Hunters, Lucky Bastards, and anyone with a Chance feat), as well as first-party holdovers grit, panache, inspiration, and ki, which get new uses. The Sage class has a ki pool, but it's treated in all ways as spell points (including not working for abilities that normally require ki).
    • The Tech sphere uses vaguely-defined "charges" (which can be magical with the Mana Engineering Drawback) to power its devices.
  • Mana Meter:
    • A Striker's tension pool functions like a Street Fighter super meter; moving, getting hit, and and hitting with unarmed strikes or combat maneuvers all add to it, and you can spend that tension to give yourself bonuses, extra attacks and movement, and other such goodies. It's important to note, even though it has a Mana Meter, the Striker doesn't have spell points, the Mana of the system.
  • Mind over Matter:
    • The Telekinesis sphere is this by default, though it can get refluffed as Whatevermancy with the Limited Telekinesis drawback (which only lets you affect one type of material).
    • There's a feat with this exact name that lets a Mind sphere caster ignore damage and some conditions (such as poison) for a few rounds by spending spell points.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • The Skilled Casting drawback ties your magic to a Perform, Profession, or Craft check. This is so you can do flavorful things, like Magic Music (via perform), or being able to control the weather because of how skilled a sailor you are (via Profession), or making runes to hold your magic (via Craft). However, any Perform, Profession or Craft check can be used, so you can declare your ability to summon lightning be tied to how well you can make cupcakes.
    • The Alternative-Brew, Alternative-Craft, and Alternative-Trap drawbacks in Spheres of Might work similarly for the Alchemy, Tech, and Trap spheres, substituting other skills (that the DM, not the player, chooses) for their normal Craft (Alchemy), Craft (Mechanical) and Craft (Traps) respectively. The Field Medic Martial Tradition gives you this drawback for Alchemy from the start, allowing you to make Heal checks instead of Craft (Alchemy).
    • The sphere-specific drawbacks Entertainer (for Gladiator) and Conductor (for Warleader) replace the spheres' normal associated skills (Intimidate and Diplomacy, respectively) with Perform, letting you command troops or cow enemies by dancing at them.
    • While technically intended, it's not at all obvious that the Trap sphere becomes the martial equivalent of the Destruction sphere with the Trap Wielder talent, allowing a practitioner or champion to deal damage equivalent to a base Destructive Blast with dart traps or inflict debuffs in melee range with snare traps by just creating and firing them as a standard action rather than setting them in advance.
  • Painful Transformation: The Twisted Transformation talent in the Alteration Sphere (intended to be used when transforming others, not yourself) causes this, dealing damage as the target transforms and letting you seal the target's eyes, hobble their legs, or displace their stomach so that they're constantly nauseated until they transform back. Or all three.
  • The Power of Creation: Falls mainly into the aptly-named Creation sphere, though the Illusion sphere and the Fey Adept class can make quasi-real objects with "shadowstuff".
  • Psychic Link: Achieved via the Project Thoughts and Read Thoughts talents from the Mind sphere.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Best portrayed via Draining Casting or Painful Magic.
  • The Red Mage: It's easy enough to invest equally in the Destruction and Life sphere to both harm and heal. (The Life sphere by itself can be used to deal damage with the Affliction talent, but you still need Destruction for the full range of elemental magic that the Red Mage is known for)
  • Religion Is Magic: Averted, as there is no longer the arcane/divine split inherent to the base Pathfinder system. You can flavor your magic as Arcane or Divine (or Psychic) with Casting Traditions if you wish, but there's no mechanical aspect to this.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • The legendary talents from Spheres of Might are made of this. Unlike Spheres of Power advanced talents, legendary talents aren't necessarily game-breaking, just more magical than some dungeon masters may like. How did you steal someone's polymorph spell, returning them to normal and turning you into a dragon instead? You're just that good.
    • The Youxia Handbook adds even more Rule Of Cool classes and talents to the martial side of the game. It lets you do things like damage people with acupuncture needles, deal unarmed strike damage with splash weapons, or bull rush enemies with a piece of string.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty! The authors love sneaking in references to anime, cartoons, and American comics, sometimes to the point of allowing the creation of Expy characters. This is not a complete list.
    • The example on how to use the rules to define magic is obviously a homage to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Per the creators, the Elementalist class is also explicitly a reference to Avatar.
    • The armorist base class, both in mechanics and the accompanying art, is essentially Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail.
    • The Everforge sample setting is clearly based on Furycrafting from Codex Alera.
    • With Throw Bash and Throwing Mastery, you can throw a shield and have it return to you.
    • Several talents in the Brute sphere are references to The Incredible Hulk (Thunderous Clap and Smash) and Juggernaut (Unstoppable).
    • Many of the Spheres talents for Vigilantes are based on Marvel characters, including the X-Men (Cloak of Despair, Light Daggers, Ocular Blast, Wind-Rider, Beastial Form, and their upgrades) and again, The Incredible Hulk (Hulking Form).
    • The Sage class is basically Shounen Protagonist: The Character Class. The Ki Blast abilities even include attacks like Dragonball Z's Special Beam Cannon and Destructo Disc (as "Piercing Beam" and "Severing Ki Disc"). Naruto's Shadow Clone Jutsu ("Ki Clone") and Luffy's stretching powers ("Rubber Ki") are also options.
    • The Mageknight archetype Divine Lariat gives up all its spellcasting powers in exchange for a Magic Lasso. (The artwork makes the inspiration clear)
    • The Investigator archetype Nightblazer is a direct reference to John Constantine.
    • The Darkness Defender archetype for Sentinel is named for and based on Darkness from Konosuba.
    • Blood Arts were inspired by Blood Blockade Battlefront.
    • The Alchemy sphere's Dynamite Throwing Form stance talent from the Youxia Handbook is based on Jackal's Nanto Bakusatsu Ken / Dynamite-Fu "style" from Fist of the North Star.
    • Several mythic items and artifacts are based on items from the Fate Series, including the Holy King's Blade (Excalibur), the Canceler (The Rule Breaker), and Marks of Command (Command Seals).
    • The Armorist archetype Collector is also based on the Fate series, in this case the character Gilgamesh. The arsenal trick Open The Gates is essentially Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon ability.
    • Another Armorst archetype, the Symbiotic Knight, is basically Venom.
    • The Harmacist archetype for Scholar has a few oblique references to GLaDOS, particularly the Deadly Nightblade knack and its neurotoxin. (Though the name is also an indirect reference to Kingdom of Loathing's Deadly Lampblade effect)
    • The Dragoon Leap talent in Athletics Sphere is a shoutout to the Dragoon class from Final Fantasy, and can be paired with talents like Diving Strike to replicate their signature ability of leaping to impossible heights and slamming down onto an enemy weapon first.
    • One can see multiple examples of Red Mages from Final Fantasy, including the Elementalist's nature as a midcaster with decent martial capabilities and its artwork consisting of a crimson clad, rapier wielding mage(with a particular resemblence to Genesis from Crisis Core) or the Prodigy and its potential to use multiple sphere effects per turn while having a jack of all trades bent. However, nowhere is it more apparent than in the new Crimson Dancer, at least aesthetically, with the crimson hat, coat and rapier. It's also not that hard to make a Red Mage given the right class and sphere combinations.
  • Simplified Spellcasting: Played with. Keeping track of spell points and a handful of talents is simple compared to keeping track of how many spells you have prepared of each level and so on and so forth compared to the base Vancian Magic; but the customization options are nearly limitless, letting you easily recreate most of the original spells and then some. For example, the classic Fireball is just base Destruction sphere + Fire Blast (type) talent + Explosive Orb (shape) talent + spending one SP to make it deal 1d6 per level (but you can also use the "parts" individually in any combination).
  • Soul Power: The Soul Weaver class, who commands spirits and can use them to conjure and empower undead.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The Explosive Orb talent, while a tad bit smaller than many others, certainly qualifies. The Energy Nova talent does something similar, but centered on the caster (who is unharmed). Ultimate Spheres of Power nerfs both abilities a bit (the removal of the Orb Expert feat likewise removes a caster level buff to Explosive Orb's area and range, while Energy Nova was folded into Sculpt Blast and now costs a spell point), but they're still both pretty potent.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: The speciality of the Armorist class, in two flavors: bound equipment, which is set once chosen and can't be easily changed, and summoned equipment, which is flexible but not as powerful. They can also conjure Instant Armor and spellcasting implements as bound or summoned equipment.
  • Squishy Wizard: There's many Spheres of Power classes that don't get armor options by default, including Incanter, Fey Adept, Soul Weaver, and Symbiat, but Spheres of Might adds a non-magical squishy wizard: the Scholar, who has the same low hit points and base attack attack bonus as the full spellcasting classes, and whose main class abilities are small single-target explosives called flashbangs that can be created at will (and enhanced with other abilities) and non-magical healing skills. Like all Might classes, they can wear light armor by default and can get heavier armor proficiencies through talents, but with their low HP and lack of class-based defenses, they're better off at range. That said, with the right Knacks, the Scholar can also learn magic talents, subverting the subversion.
  • Summon Magic: The whole point of the Conjuration Sphere, which summons companions similar to summoner eidolons to fight alongside the caster. The Leadership and Beastmastery spheres are (per Word of God) intended as non-magical equivalents in the Spheres of Might system, though Tech sphere drones can also be used as non-magical equivalents.
  • Summon to Hand:
    • The main shtick of the Armorist, who can summon any weapon or piece of armor out of thin air.
    • To a lesser extent, the Armiger from Spheres of Might, who can swap weapons in and out instantly.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: The Open Hand, Boxing, Brute, and Wrestling spheres in Spheres of Might, particularly the legendary talents. Want to knock someone 30' into the air, jump after them, and slam them back down? Want to literally dispel magic with a bearhug? Want to clap your hands and create a shockwave? Want to punch someone so hard that their soul leaves their body? These spheres can let you do that.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Definitely in the realm of the Divination sphere, but a talent in Scout also lets you detect when you're being scried upon.
  • The Symbiote:
    • The Symbiat class, as its name suggests, has a psionic aberration riding in their mind, boosting their psychic powers. Archetypes of the class alter the nature of the alien being (including having it be a demon or parasitic vermin) and their relationship.
    • The Symbiotic Knight archetype for Armorist lets the character form armor and weapons out of the parasitic ooze they've bonded with.
  • Tornado Move: An Air Blast with the Energy Aura shape can do this for you, or a Gale Blast can do this to an opponent.
  • Trap Master: The Trap sphere allows you to make dart and snare traps out of random scraps.
  • Unequal Rites: Can be shown in-universe via different casting traditions.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: One purview of the Alteration sphere.
    • The drawback for your transformations only affecting yourself is called "Lycanthropic"... regardless of whether or not you're a werewolf.
    • There's also a feat called Transformation, which lets you pick almost any Alteration base form (fluffed as any animal - or plant creature - you want) and turn into it at will, even if you don't have the Alteration sphere. Hybrid Transformation is an upgrade.
      • Subverted by the Eternal Transformation feat, which lets you change your character's form permanently, though mechanically they're still considered their original species.
    • The Shifter class, as its name suggests, is entirely based around this. (Not to be confused with the first-party class of the same name, which is also based around this)
  • White Mage: This is what the Life sphere is all about. The basic abilities let you give temporary hit points (for free), heal a target (costs a spell point), or remove status ailments (also costs a spell point), and other talents improve those abilities or add even more healing options. Soul Weavers can specialize in this sphere.
  • Wild Magic: A possible drawback. It gives every sphere ability you use a 10% chance to have some random effect (with detailed charts for each Sphere).
  • Words Can Break My Bones: In addition to the general Verbal Casting drawback (which requires that you speak loudly and clearly in order to cast spells), The Fate sphere has a category of talents explicitly called (word), and the Fey Adept archetype Word Witch gives up the base class's ability to manipulate shadowstuff for the ability to literally turn words like "Fire" and "Lightning" into blasts of the corresponding element. (Oddly, the Word Witch has no particular affinity for (word) talents other than being full casters)
  • Wrong Context Magic: Possible to pull off if a caster has a vastly different casting tradition from what is standard in-universe. One of the boons (that you can pick if you make a custom casting tradition) is outright called Alien Source, which makes your spells harder to counter, overcome, and resist due to not following the "normal" laws of magic.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: The Skilled Casting drawback has you use a Perform, Profession, or Craft check to use your magic, so you can design a character that uses Perform (acting) to literally mime invisible walls into being.


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