Casting Traditions
Table of Contents

Using Casting Traditions

Casting traditions are comprised of a key ability, drawbacks, boons, and magic talents, including any sphere-specific variants. Drawbacks and boons are obtained when the spherecaster gains their first level in a spherecasting class, while sphere-specific variants are only applied when you gain the sphere in question. Despite their mechanical implications, casting traditions are primarily a tool for storytelling and worldbuilding; thus, they are a Game Master tool first and a player’s tool second.

Casting traditions are designed to allow GMs free reign over the how’s and why’s of magic, allowing them to forge magic to fit the needs of their world and their players, rather than be confined to the how’s and why’s of the usual game. While this can be used to recreate the feel of traditional games (such as through traditions like Traditional Magic, Divine Petitioner, and Druidic), it can also be used to create more outlandish games and custom worlds.

If the players and the GM do not want to worry about the why’s and how’s of magic, they may simply remove all casting traditions, giving all magic users the ‘natural’ tradition by default. Or, they may allow any casting tradition contained within this book. Most often, however, the GM will want to explore casting traditions before the campaign begins, deciding what is or is not appropriate for the needs of the game.

For more information on using casting traditions to build unique worlds, see elsewhere on this site.

What is in a casting tradition?

A casting tradition contains a description of the tradition, the key ability modifier of that tradition, drawbacks, boons, and two magic spheres or talents. It may also include a number of sphere-specific variants.

The key ability modifier determines what attribute is used for your sphere DCs, spell points, spell attack rolls, and other effects. If a tradition lists a choice of attributes, this choice is made when the tradition is gained and may not be changed later.

Drawbacks apply limitations and restrictions to how you can cast, granting a combination of bonus spell points or boons in exchange.

Boons give bonuses under particular circumstances. Drawbacks and boons are described in more detail in their sections below.

Some traditions also specify that their practitioners must take specific sphere variants. These variants are listed with the required sphere in parenthesis. No bonus from such a variant is granted until the base sphere is gained.

Each casting tradition also grants its users two magical spheres or talents. Depending on the tradition, this could be two predetermined spheres or talents, or might grant a choice of spheres from a short list.

Some traditions also include granted items. These items are needed to fulfill certain drawback requirements, such as a focus or an instrument that you must play. These items are gained at 1st level in addition to your normal starting equipment.

Table: Suggested Traditions for Core Classes
Class Similar Tradition
Artificer Artificery
Bard Bardic Magic
Cleric Divine Petitioner
Druid Druidic
Paladin Divine Petitioner (Divine Crusader)
Ranger Druidic (Ranger)
Sorcerer Sorcerous Blood
Warlock Pact Magic
Wizard Traditional Magic

Creating New Casting Traditions

Casting traditions are designed to enable character concepts and to allow magic in the game world to feel unique. The casting traditions listed below cover a great many themes, but no listing could exhaustively cover all the possibilities for every player and setting. If a Game Master (or a player with Game Master permission) wishes to create a unique casting tradition, they should review the following notes and recommendations.

  • 1. Casting traditions should have a key ability modifier suitable to the theme of the tradition. Broader concepts may allow for a choice, but this is not required.
  • 2. Traditions that are focused on a particular theme should grant 2 talents from appropriate spheres. Many traditions listed below reflect broad concepts, so allow a high degree of choice, but when tailoring a tradition to a setting it is often appropriate to grant narrower selections and even to bar some spheres entirely.
  • 3. Pick a number of relevant drawbacks. These determine the limitations of the tradition’s magic, as well as many details of how the magic is produced.
  • 4. A tradition grants bonus spell points depending on the number of drawbacks taken. Alternatively, a tradition may grant boons; one boon for two drawbacks. Drawbacks used to gain a boon do not grant bonus spell points. Boons and drawbacks should make sense for the tradition; a custom tradition is not intended to be an exercise in optimizing a particular character build.
  • 5. Each casting tradition should include any starting equipment required to use the tradition, such as a musical instrument or artisan’s tools for skilled casting or a focus for focused casting.
Table: Drawbacks and Spell Points
Number of Drawbacks Bonus Spell Points
1 +1, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes
2 +1, +1 per 3 levels in casting classes
3 +1 per odd level in a casting class (1, 3, 5, etc.)
4 +1, +1 per 1.5 levels in a casting class (2, 3, 5, 6, etc.)
5 +1 per level in a casting class


Drawbacks

As detailed earlier on this page, drawbacks deal with the manner in which a spherecaster uses their magic. Do they gesture? Must they speak in a resounding voice? Do they require a special magical focus or magical component?

Some drawbacks are especially powerful; these drawbacks count as two drawbacks when determining the number of boons or bonus spell points gained. With GM permission a drawback may be removed from a tradition, but this might require special training, a quest, or some instance of breakthrough or epiphany, and the spherecaster must lose the bonus spell points or boons gained from that drawback.

Balancing Drawbacks

While some drawbacks provide penalties directly to the caster (Extended Casting, Addictive Casting, Painful Casting, etc.), others depend on the circumstances and situation around the spherecaster, such as Verbal Casting, Material Casting, Focus Casting, etc.. These drawbacks do not penalize the caster, but instead introduce situations where they cannot effectively use magic (when silenced, empy-handed, etc.)

Some of these drawbacks raise questions about the setting that a Game Master might need to answer. Material Casting, for example, raises a lot of questions: Are materials expensive? Are they common? Will the player run out and need to spend time hunting for more? These are questions that the player and Game Master should both know the answers to, as it might affect player action throughout the game, not to mention how the world might react to the player as they use and replenish their magic.

Other drawbacks might greatly affect the actions of both players and NPCs in combat. For example, if a character takes Focus Casting, it means they now wave an item around to cast magic; this is an action many enemies will notice and try to take advantage of. If this drawback has been incorporated into the world itself (for example, all magic-users must use a wand to cast spells), then disarming an opponent’s focus would become a common combat technique that may be employed and must be guarded against. In fact, if no enemy ever attempts to destroy or take the focus from the spherecaster, it could be argued the player has gained all of the benefits of the drawback with none of the actual costs.

By discussing drawbacks with the Game Master and how they affect the setting, players can create interesting stories, memorable combats, and interesting tactics as they exploit their enemies’ weaknesses while creating backup plans for their own. All Game Masters are encouraged to discuss these issues with their players so everyone knows what to expect from their particular campaign.

List of Drawbacks

Addictive Casting

Your magic is addictive. Whenever you spend one or more spell points, you must pass a Constitution saving throw against your addiction DC (Your addiction DC is 8, + 1 for each roll you have previously made. Thus, your first roll would be a DC 8, the second a DC 9, the third a DC 10, etc.).

If you fail this save, you become Mana Addicted. While Mana Addicted, any time you have not spent a spell point within the last minute, you suffer a -1 penalty to your proficiency bonus until you spend a spell point. If you are already Mana Addicted and fail your saving throw from using spell points, the Mana Addicted penalty to proficiency increases by 1 (minimum proficiency bonus 0).

If you complete a long rest after having gone a full day without spending any spell points, you can make a Constitution saving throw against your addiction DC. If successful, your addiction DC is reduced by 2. If you succeed on 2 consecutive saves in this way, you are also no longer Mana Addicted. Addiction to magic cannot be cured through magic, but a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) can be used to give you advantage on these saving throws.

This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining the number of spell points or boons gained.

Center of Power

You have an obvious physical feature which is the source of your magical power.

Whenever you cast, any creature that is observing you can clearly tell that your magic originates from your center of power. If a critical hit is made on you, your center is disrupted, and you lose 1d4 spell points (if you have them), are unable to cast spells or use any magical sphere effects for 1 round, and automatically lose concentration. A creature can target the center of power by choosing to take disadvantage on their attack roll; if successful, you are affected as if they had made a critical hit (though no additional damage is dealt).

You cannot have both this and the Focus Casting drawback.

Charge Magic

Your magic often requires time to recharge between castings (Recharge 6). When you spend 1 or more spell points on an ability, you cannot spend any additional spell points until your magic recharges. At the start of each of your turns, roll a d6. If the roll is one of the numbers in the recharge notation, you regain the use of spell points. You also recharge when you finish a short or long rest. Your recharge value improves at 5th level (Recharge 5-6), 11th level (Recharge 4-6), and 17th level (Recharge 3-6). This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining the number of spell points gained.

Coy Caster

Your magic is a fickle thing, or perhaps you’re simply possessed of performance anxiety. Whenever you attempt to use magic while you know you’re being observed, you must make a key ability check (DC 10 + twice the number of spell points used) to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens.

Diagram Magic

In order to perform any magical effect, either you or your target must be entirely contained within the boundaries of a special diagram. Creating this diagram requires an action for every 5-foot square contained within the diagram. If either you or your target are within a functional circle, you can cast normally.

Effects that target an area may be centered within a circle even if the spherecaster is not within the circle. Otherwise, using magic without a diagram requires you to make a key ability check with a DC of 10 + twice the number of spell points used or lose the action and any spell points spent. If you are not in a functional circle and casting an effect that targets an area or multiple creatures, you must still make the casting ability check; if you fail, any spaces or creatures outside the circle are unaffected. If maintaining an effect through concentration and you begin your turn with neither you nor your target within the diagram, you must pass the key ability check or your concentration breaks.

The diagram need not be drawn with any special materials, and can be done with sprinkled salt, paint, blood, or anything else that may be on hand so long as it is clearly visible. If the diagram is disrupted (such as someone spending an action to disrupt the diagram, or through sufficient force from water, wind, etc.) then the diagram is destroyed.

This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining the number of spell points gained.

Draining Casting

Using magic saps your lifeforce. You suffer one damage and your maximum hit points are reduced by 1 for every spell point you spend in any fashion. This reduction lasts until you complete a long rest. At 11th level, the damage and hp reduction increases to 2.

Author's Note: Damage from the Draining Casting drawback does not trigger concentration checks.

Emotional Casting

Your magic requires heightened emotional states of mind to use. When subject to the charmed or frightened conditions, or other effects that result in a heightened emotional state (such as the hostility (charm) of the Mind sphere or the rage spell), you are unable to cast or concentrate on any magic sphere effect.

Extended Casting

Your magic takes longer to use than normal. When using a magic sphere ability that takes an action to use, you cannot move before or after casting it and cannot use a bonus action that round. Sphere effects that require a bonus action instead cost an action, and effects that require a reaction consume your bonus action for next turn. Effects with longer casting times are increased by one step (1 minute becomes 10 minutes, 10 minutes becomes 1 hour, 1 hour becomes 1 day, and times greater than 1 day are doubled). This counts as two drawbacks when determining the number of spell points gained.

You cannot have both this and the Terrain Casting drawback.

Focus Casting

Your magic requires you to use an item such as a wand, holy symbol, ring, or staff to create magic. Using sphere talents or abilities without your focus requires you to make a key ability check with a DC of 10 + twice the number of spell points used to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If a focus is lost, stolen, or broken, you must create a new focus by securing the necessary item. If you are polymorphed and your focus is absorbed into your body, you instead function as having the Center of Power drawback.

You cannot have both this and the Center of Power drawback.

Magical Signs

Your magic is accompanied by a tell-tale sign; for example, your body glows brightly, the sound of tortured souls shriek as you cast, or some other manifestation affects all creatures within 30 feet. Nearby creatures know when you are using magic, as well as the nature of the magic used (the sphere and any talents applied).

You cannot have both this and the Witch-Marked drawback.

Material Casting

Your magic requires the expenditure of specific materials: precious metals, rare components, etc. The exact nature of this material should be worked out with the GM. Using a sphere ability that costs 0 spell points requires having a component pouch readily available. Sphere abilities costing 1 or more spell points require expending materials worth 1 gold piece per spell point.

Marking Magic

A mark appears on any creature or object that you target with a sphere effect. This mark may appear as a painted glyph, a strip of rune-inscribed paper, or almost any similar manifestation, and always appears on a body part or portion of the object where it is easily visible. The mark can be easily removed; it can be rubbed away as an action (which requires an attack roll made with advantage if the creature is not willing), or fades away after being exposed to water or another solvent for one minute. Once the mark has been removed, the effect ends immediately.

Mental Focus

Your magic requires you to have a focus that is not always possible to achieve. You normally have focus, but lose it whenever you gain the charmed, frightened, incapacitated, or stunned conditions, have a critical hit made against you, or you fail a saving throw to maintain concentration. Using magic without your mental focus requires you to make a key ability saving throw with a DC of 10 + twice the number of spell points used to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. If focus is lost, the spherecaster can refocus by meditating as an action. Doing so provokes opportunity attacks from hostile creatures.

You cannot have both this and the Emotional Casting drawback.

Nature Warden

You are mystically bonded to a single notable location such as a cave, large tree, spring, or prominent stone and draw your magic from it. You must remain within a number of miles equal to your level to use your magic normally. Using magic outside this area requires you to make a saving throw with your key ability with a DC of 10 + twice the number of spell points used to produce the desired effect. Failure means time (and any spell points) are spent, but no effect happens. You can bond to a new site of the same general type with an 8 hour ritual.

Painful Magic

Your magic consumes you the more you rely on it. You must pass a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 10 + twice the number of spell points used whenever you use magic, or be poisoned for 1 round. If you use magic while poisoned, you must pass the saving throw or be incapacitated for 1 round. The poisoned condition imposed by this drawback bypasses any immunity to the poisoned condition you possess.

Point-Blank Effects

Magic sphere effects you cast cannot be cast at a range greater than touch, even if you possess the Reaching (metasphere) talent. If the magic sphere effect would have you make a ranged spell attack roll, you can make a melee spell attack roll instead.

Prepared Caster

You must prepare your magic beforehand in order to use it. After completing a long rest and regaining spell points, you must assign each of your spell points to a sphere you possess.

You cannot spend more spell points in a given sphere in a day than you have assigned to that sphere. You can assign spell points to the Universal sphere even if you do not possess this sphere, and draw from that sphere to power class features and feats that require spell points. If your spell points are drained or otherwise lost other than by casting, you can choose which sphere to draw the spell points from.

Rigorous Concentration

Your magic requires intense amounts of concentration to use. Concentrating on a sphere effect requires you to spend a bonus action each round. This drawback may be applied a second time; doing so requires you to spend an action each round to concentrate.

Skilled Casting

You must create your magic through singing, drawing, or some other activity. Choose a skill or tool proficiency. You must succeed at a check using that skill or tool to use any sphere ability. The DC of this check is 10 + twice the number of spell points used. If you fail this check, the casting is treated as if your proficiency bonus was 1 lower, or 2 lower if you fail your check by 4 or more. If this would drop your effective proficiency bonus below the number of spell points spent on the sphere ability, the casting fails completely, wasting any actions and spell points used.

A spherecaster with Skilled Casting needn’t ‘perform’ their skill in order to use magic, unless they possess other drawbacks that would mimic it. For example, a spherecaster with Skilled Casting (medicine), Somatic Casting, and Focus Casting might need to be holding a healer’s kit and have their hands free to actually practice medicine to enact their magic. A caster with just Skilled Casting (medicine), however, wouldn’t require a healer’s kit or their hands free, but their magic would still require an expert knowledge of medicine to use and apply.

Somatic Casting

You must gesture to cast spells—a process that requires you to have at least 1 hand unoccupied. If you possess Focus Casting, holding a focus in your hand does not count as that hand being ‘unoccupied’.

You may select this drawback twice. If taken a second time, you use your entire body to cast your magic. You cannot cast while wearing any armor, using any shield, or while grappled or restrained.

Terrain Casting

Your magic draws upon the primal energy and nutrients of the terrain. Whenever you use a sphere ability, you must either spend an additional spell point or increase your casting time by one step (see the Extended Casting drawback), else your magic drains and corrupts the terrain around you, creating blighted terrain; additional castings increase the severity of already existing blighted terrain by 1. Casters inside blighted terrain who possess the Terrain Casting drawback are treated as having a penalty to their proficiency bonus equal to twice the blighted terrain severity; If the penalty would reduce their effective proficiency bonus below 0, they cannot use any magical sphere talents or abilities (regardless of spell point cost).

Blighted terrain is affected in different ways depending upon location (water may turn brackish or stagnant, while soil may become barren or salted, air may become putrid); regardless of location, blighted areas will generally heal naturally over time, based upon the severity of the blight.

Blighted Terrain Severity Blighted Terrain Area Blighted Terrain Duration
1 30 ft. radius 1 year
2 120 ft. radius 10 years
3 500 ft. radius 100 years
4 1 mile radius 1000 years

You cannot have both this and the Extended Casting drawback.

Author's Note: Blighted zones that overlap, but are not created while inside another zone do not increase the size of the zone; However, the blight zone severity increases where the zones overlap.

Verbal Casting

You must speak in a loud, clear voice to cast spells. Using magic alerts all hearing creatures within 60 feet to your presence and location, effectively breaking stealth. You cannot cast in an area of magical silence, or in any other situation where you are unable to speak clearly, and if you are deafened you have disadvantage on spell attack rolls and other targets have advantage on saving throws against your magic.

Wild Magic

You have a base wild magic chance of 10%. This wild magic chance does not stack with wild magic chance from other sources. See the Wild Magic section for the use of wild magic chance.

Witch-Marked

Some aspect of your characteristics is a dead giveaway about your magical nature. This could be any purely cosmetic feature that is hard to hide such as a vestigial tail (or tails), glowing eyes, an aura visible to the naked eye, or the stench of death always clinging to you. The intensity of this trait grows proportional to your power. Anyone who sees you can make an Intelligence (Arcana) check against a DC of 20 - 2x your proficiency bonus to learn your casting tradition and what spheres you possess. You also take your proficiency bonus as a penalty to any checks made to disguise your witch-mark, and using magic clearly reveals your witch-mark, breaking the disguise.

You cannot have both this and the Magical Signs drawback.



Boons

Boons are the opposite of drawbacks: instead of adding limitations and requirements to a spherecaster’s magic, they add bonuses and benefits. A spherecaster must possess 2 drawbacks for each boon gained. Drawbacks used to purchase boons in this way are not counted toward bonus spell points.

Note: Some boons allow you to treat your proficiency bonus as if it were higher under certain conditions. The total of these bonuses cannot exceed half your normal proficiency bonus for any given sphere effect. These bonuses are applied when the effect is cast and are fixed for the duration of the effect.

Aptitude

You have a virtuosity in the trade associated with your magic.

You gain proficiency in the skill or tool tied to your Skilled Casting drawback. If you already are proficient with the skill, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any check you make that uses the chosen proficiency. This does not stack with expertise (or other similar features).

A spherecaster must possess the skilled casting drawback to gain this boon.

Bound Creature

Your magic is tied to a magical creature, who shares essence and power with you.

You gain the ability to cast find familiar as a ritual, if you aren’t able to do so already. You do not require a ritual book to cast this spell as a ritual. When you cast find familiar as a ritual, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: crawling claw, imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite (additional special forms may be chosen with express GM permission). You do not suffer a chance of failure from the Focus Casting drawback so long as you are on the same plane and within 300 feet of your familiar, and your familiar is conscious.

A spherecaster must possess the focus casting drawback to gain this boon.

Deathful Magic

The closer you are to death, the more powerful your magic. When you are at half hit points or less, you treat your proficiency bonus as 1 higher for the purpose of casting your sphere effects.

Easy Focus

You have advantage on saving throws made to maintain concentration.

Empowered Abilities

Your magic grows in strength the more you use it. If your current number of spell points is 0, you treat your proficiency bonus as 1 higher for the purpose of casting your sphere effects.

Fortified Casting

You can use your Constitution as your key ability if it is higher than your usual key ability.

A spherecaster must possess the Draining Casting drawback to gain this boon.

Metasphere Specialist

In addition to the bonus talents granted by your casting tradition, you also gain the Metasphere package from the Universal sphere, and one additional (metasphere) talent of your choice.

Overcharge

You can overcharge your magic, giving yourself great power at the cost of your own strength. As part of casting, you treat your proficiency bonus as 1 higher for the next sphere effect you cast before the start of your next turn. Doing so increases your exhaustion level by 1. Creatures immune to exhaustion cannot benefit from this boon.

Overwhelming Power

Creatures under the effects of at least 1 of your magical sphere abilities suffer a -1 penalty to their saves against your other magical sphere abilities. This penalty increases to -2 if they are under the effects of at least 3 of your magical sphere abilities.

Physical Magic

Once your magical materials are prepared, you can give them out to others.

When you create a sphere effect that costs at least 1 spell point (but not more spell points than 1/2 your proficiency bonus) and a duration other than concentration, you can delay its effects. The sphere effect is placed into an object of your creation (a vial of liquid, a crystal, a dust, etc.), referred to hereafter as an ‘instilled object’. Creating an instilled object takes the same amount of time as it would to cast the sphere effect. The cost of the object this is instilled is considered negligible, being paid for through your Material Casting drawback.

You can target food but not an already-magical item, such as a potion.

A creature can activate the instilled object as an action, activating its power and choosing its targets if it is a ranged effect. If unused, instilled objects lose their magic and become inert after you take a long rest. You cannot place multiple effects in a single object, nor create multiple instilled objects with a single casting, even if augmented with the Mass (metasphere) talent from the Universal sphere.

A spherecaster must possess the Material Casting drawback to gain this boon.

Ritualist

You have learned a number of spells that you can cast as rituals. These spells are written in a ritual book, which you must have in hand while casting one of them. You acquire a ritual book holding two 1st-level spells of your choice. Choose a spellcasting class that has access to 9th level spells. You must choose your spells from that class’s spell list, and the spells you choose must have the ritual tag. You use your key ability modifier as your spellcasting ability for these spells. If you come across a spell in written form, such as a magical spell scroll or a wizard’s spellbook, you might be able to add it to your ritual book. The spell must be on the chosen class’s spell list, the spell’s level can be no higher than half your level (rounded up), and it must have the ritual tag. The process of copying the spell into your ritual book takes 2 hours per level of the spell, and costs 50 gp per level. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it.

A spherecaster must possess the Prepared Caster drawback to gain this boon.

Spellbook

You can attune to a ritual book or spellbook as if it were a magic item. Once per long rest you can cast a spell or ritual from the attuned item by expending a number of spell points equal to half the spell’s level, rounded up. You cannot cast a spell or a ritual in this fashion with a spell level greater than your proficiency bonus. Rituals that you cast using this boon are done so as spells, and do not take 10 minutes longer to cast than normal. You can cast from an attuned ritual book or spellbook an additional time per long rest at 5th level (twice), 11th level (thrice), and 17th level (four times).

A spherecaster must possess the Prepared Caster drawback to gain this boon.

Terrain Defiler

Whenever you increase the terrain blighted severity, you treat your proficiency bonus as 1 higher for that sphere effect. A spherecaster must possess the Terrain Casting drawback to gain this boon.

Wild Surge

As part of casting, you treat your proficiency bonus as 1 higher for the next sphere effect you cast before the start of your next turn by increasing your wild magic chance by 100% for the same period.

A spherecaster must possess the Wild Magic drawback to gain this boon.



Variant Rule

Multiple Traditions

Just like a core character might multiclass cleric and wizard, a spherecaster can possess multiple casting traditions if they so desire. To do so, they must first multiclass two different casting classes. When gaining a level in this second casting class, the spherecaster may apply that level to a new tradition.

They gain a second casting tradition, a second key ability modifier, and a second set of talents, which includes both the talents granted by this second tradition as well as any magic talents granted by the second class. Both traditions do, however, draw from the same pool of spell points. Levels gained in the first casting class adds talents to your first casting tradition, while levels gained in the second casting class adds talents to your second casting tradition.

Whenever you create a magic effect, you must choose which casting tradition to use. You only can use the drawbacks, boons, and magic talents associated with that particular tradition. Class features only apply to the casting tradition associated with that class, and bonus spell points granted by a casting tradition can only be used with magic effects generated from that tradition as well.

If you gain levels in a third or fourth casting class, you may select a third or fourth casting tradition as well, following the same rules above.



Sample Casting Traditions

Addled

Hidden within the ramblings of the mad, one word is often repeated. Some healers theorize that this word is the name of the hidden god of madness, gaining power from—and granting power to—those who surrender their minds to him. There must be some truth to this theory, because sometimes, when those with this word on their lips are displeased with their surroundings, they manifest the ability to magically change them.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 + 1 per 3 levels in casting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Mind, Illusion
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting, Verbal Casting, Wild Magic
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus
Granted Items: None

Artificery

Artificers can produce magical effects through their tools, crafting forces of magic as easily as they might craft wood, cloth, or iron.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Creation, Enhancement
Drawbacks: Focus Casting (thieves tools or any artisan’s tool), Skilled Casting (thieves tools or any artisan’s tool)
Variants: None
Boons: Aptitude
Special: If using Spheres of Might, any time you would gain a magic talent, you can instead gain a martial talent from the Tinkerer sphere.
Granted Items: Choose one from thieves’ tools or any one artisan’s tool.

Subtradition: Alchemy

Alchemists are artificers who distill their magic into brews or concoctions, which often require preparation beforehand. While an alchemist’s work is often expensive, a skilled alchemist can support their allies in many unique ways.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose two: Alteration, Destruction, Enhancement, Life
Drawbacks: Focus Casting (alchemist’s supplies), Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Skilled Casting (alchemist’s supplies)
Variants: None
Boons: Aptitude, Physical Magic
Special: If using Spheres of Might, any time you would gain a magic talent, you can instead gain a martial talent from the Alchemy sphere.
Granted Items: Alchemist’s supplies.

Bardic Magic

It’s often said there is power in music, and bardic magic proves this theory correct. While many musicians might use song to charm their listeners, practitioners of bardic magic might, quite literally, move mountains with their songs.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per odd level in casting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose two: Dark, Divination, Enhancement, Illusion, Light, Mind
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Performance), Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: One musical instrument worth less than 20 gp

Subtradition: Beast Charming

Music can soothe the savage beasts of the world, but the knack for doing so is a difficult and often dangerous skill to develop. For those who succeed, they find in animals a true, trusting source of companions.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per odd level in casting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Mind, any one other sphere.
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Performance), Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: Animal Shaman (requires Mind)
Boons: None
Granted Items: One musical Instrument worth less than 20 gp

Subtradition: Song-Wielder

Wish for it, sing for it, and it is yours. Born of an ancient magical lineage, song-wielders possess an inborn power to make magic through their voice, changing reality through sounds and expressions that only they truly understand. Because a song-wielder’s magic is tied to their voice, they grow in strength the longer they sing. Often, it is only when a song-wielder has sung themselves hoarse that their true power manifests.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Performance), Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Empowered Abilities
Granted Items: None

Blood Magic

One of the most dangerous forms of magic, blood magic promises great power to its practitioners, but with a price. Blood magic is difficult, lengthy, complicated, and draining, but for its practitioners the promise of insurmountable power is worth the mere price of their life force. Blood mages are constantly performing a dangerous dance, for the closer they are to death’s door, the greater their power becomes.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution or Intelligence (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose any two
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Extended Casting, Somatic Casting (2), Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Deathful Magic, Fortified Casting, Overcharge
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Demonology

Unsurprisingly, the demonology casting tradition is found almost exclusively among demonologists, evil outsiders, and fiend-worshiping spherecasters.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution or Charisma (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Mental Focus
Variants: None
Boons: Fortified Casting
Granted Items: None

Chaos Tapper

Chaos tappers channel the pure, unadulterated power of chaos through their bodies. A dangerous and often forbidden practice, chaos tapping is both painful and addictive, but it is also extremely powerful.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per odd level in spellcasting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Universal (Wild magic package), one other sphere of your choice.
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting, Magical Signs, Painful Magic, Wild Magic
Variants: None
Boons: Wild Surge
Granted Items: None

Contaminated

Somewhere in the bowels of the criminal underworld, an alchemist cracked the code of magic and created Essence. This powerful, addictive powder grants magical ability to anyone who consumes it, and can be found readily available in most black markets for anyone rich enough—and foolish enough— to seek it out.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 + 1 per 3 levels in casting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose two: Alteration, Enhancement, Destruction, Telekinesis, Time, Warp
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting, Material Casting, Wild Magic
Variants: None
Boons: Overcharge
Granted Items: None

Diagram Alchemy

Diagram alchemists do not mix chemicals and potions, but instead use diagrams drawn on the ground to empower their technique of changing one form of matter into another.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Creation, Enhancement
Drawbacks: Diagram Magic
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus
Granted Items: None

Divine Petitioner

A divine petitioner gains their magic through service and prayer to a divine source, such as a deity. A divine petitioner must pray every day to regain their spell points, petitioning not only for their magic, but specifying how they intend to use it that day. Divine petitioners do everything in the name of their deity and find it difficult to even manifest their power unless they have their holy symbol in hand.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per odd level in casting classes
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Two spheres associated with the chosen deity
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting
Variant: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: 1 wooden holy symbol

Subtradition: Divine Crusader

A divine Crusader doesn’t devote themselves to a single divine entity, but instead to a divine cause, championing and embodying something greater than themselves.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per odd level in casting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose two: Divination, Life, or Protection
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting
Variant: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: 1 wooden holy symbol

Druidic

A druid gains their magic through communion with nature and the spirits contained therein. While many casters band together for mutual study and protection, druids take this a step further, possessing their own secret language that identifies one druid to another. The hierarchy of the druids is a very sacred thing for them, and there are only so many high-level druids in the world at any one time. Indeed, a druid rising through the ranks often must claim their new title by taking it from another druid through a demonstration of superior magic.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 + 1 per 3 levels in casting classes
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose two: Alteration, Conjuration, Life, Mind, Nature, or Weather
Drawbacks: Prepared Caster, Verbal Casting
Variants: Animal Shaman (Mind)
Boons: None
Special: You gain Druidic as a bonus language
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Blighter

Drawing power from the destruction of life, blighters are twisted spherecasters who reduce the land around them to a desiccated echo of its former virility. Be they worshipers of blight gods or thieves of natural magics, blighters are a hazard to living things wherever they tread.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose 2: Death, Nature or Weather
Drawbacks: Terrain Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Terrain Defiler
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Ranger

Rangers draw their power less with direct communication with nature and more from the experience and wisdom gained from living and surviving in its domains.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose 2: Enhancement, Life, Nature or Weather
Drawbacks: Skilled Casting (Herbalism kit, Nature, or Survival), Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Aptitude
Granted Items: None

Fey Magic

To the fey, magic is simply a part of life — as easy as moving an arm or getting angry. For the others who attempt to replicate this style of magic, they find that dance-like movement and heightened emotions are a prerequisite to unlocking their power.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Choose two: Dark, Illusion, Mind, Nature, or Weather
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Somatic Casting (2), Wild Magic
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus, Overcharge
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Ley-line Tapper

Ley-line Tappers draw their power from the innate mystic potential of the leylines connected to notable natural locations. Doing so takes great effort, but once the power is drawn, it is in some measure self-sustaining.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 + 1 per 6 levels in casting classes
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Nature, any other one
Drawbacks: Extended Casting, Nature Warden
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus
Granted Items: None

Lycanthrope

Curses are terrible things and lycanthropy more so than most. For some spherecasters, however, lycanthropy is the beginning of a long journey to power. These souls not only learn to control their animalistic natures, but to expand them, pulling power from their curse and turning it into a source of magic. Practitioners of this magic should beware however; curses are not trivial things, and a lycanthrope’s magic is unpredictable at best.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 + 1 per 6 levels in casting classes
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Alteration, one Alteration (genotype) talent
Drawbacks: Wild Magic
Variants: Lycanthropic (Alteration)
Boons: None
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: True Shapeshifter

True shapeshifters generally do not use magic to change their form, but rather supplement their natural shapeshifting with magic. To them, changing form is as natural as waking up in the morning.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: None
Drawbacks: None
Variants: Lycanthropic (Alteration)
Boons: None
Granted Items: None
Special: Instead of bonus magic talents, you gain the Transformation feat.

Kineticist

No one chooses to be a kineticist, it is something that is either thrust upon them by a traumatic experience or fate. Regardless of how they gained their power, all kineticists possess the ability to harness and channel destructive energy from within.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two from the Destruction sphere
Drawbacks: Charge Magic, Draining Casting, Magical Signs
Variants: None
Boons: Fortified Casting, Overcharge
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Air-Rider

For the air-rider, manipulating the wind around them is as easy as breathing. Unlike other subtraditions under kineticist, the air-rider generally doesn’t have flashy or particularly obvious magical effects that accompany their use of elemental manipulation, and instead requires a focused and still mind to use properly.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution or Charisma (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two from Nature (air geomancy)
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Mental Focus
Variants: None
Boons: Fortified Casting
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Earth-Bound

Earth-bound spherecasters can channel primal energy attuned with earth, sand, and stone. While their magic isn’t usually as flashy as the flame-blooded or water-magi, it is obvious to onlookers when they manipulate the terrain around them.

Bonus Spell Points: +1, +1 per 6 levels (1, 6, 12, etc.)
Key Ability: Constitution or Wisdom (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Destruction, Nature (earth geomancy)
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Magical Signs, Somatic Casting
Variants: Nature Bound (Destruction)
Boons: Fortified Casting
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Flame-Blooded

There exist those who bear in their blood a touch of pure fire. Details of their origin are spotty at best, but the tale is told of a tryst between a mortal woman and the elemental spirit of fire itself, granting the power of fire to all her descendants. The flame-blooded are often as brash and volatile as the element that powers their magic; to cross one is to invite a swift and deadly response.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution or Intelligence (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Destruction, Nature (fire geomancy)
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Magical Signs, Somatic Casting (2)
Variants: Nature Bound (Destruction), Limited Warp (requires fire, Warp), Focused Weather (heat, Weather)
Boons: Fortified Casting, Overcharge
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Water-Magi

There exists an order of monks who pull power from an ancient pact formed with the spirit of the moon. These water-magi are born with the power to bend water to their will, pulling it as the moon pulls the tides. Through dedicated practice, they use their movements to control this liquid and bring its power to bear against their enemies.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution or Wisdom (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Nature (water geomancy), Telekinesis
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Magical Signs, Somatic Casting (2)
Variants: Limited Creation (ice, Creation), Nature Bound (Destruction), Limited Telekinesis (water, Telekinesis), Focused Weather (precipitation, Weather)
Boons: Easy Focus, Fortified Casting
Granted Items: None

Mysticism

Mysticism is less about strict hierarchies and more about learning from the divine forces that empower the world. As students of the magical arts, those who follow the path of the mystic tend to have very obvious displays of magic as they channel the might of various spirits and deities.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Fate, any other one.
Drawbacks: Magical Signs, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Empowered Abilities
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Monastic

When the power of the spirit is properly cultivated through physical discipline and meditation, it can elevate itself to a form of magic. There are orders of monks who practice this form of magic, using their monastic traditions to guide their pursuit of magical awakening. Renowned for their versatility of power, casters of these monastic orders are often solitary, as the very source that gives them such great power also makes it difficult to manifest that power outside of their own bodies.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Constitution or Wisdom (whichever is higher)
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Draining Casting, Magical Signs, Point-Blank Effects, Somatic Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Fortified Casting, Metasphere Specialist
Granted Items: None

Natural

Natural spherecasters have inborn magical ability. This is the default tradition for spherecasters with no distinct tradition and for creatures that lack culture or intellect but remain capable of intuitive magic use.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: None
Variants: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: None

Pact Magic

Pact Magic focuses on forming a pact with an otherworldly patron, then summoning that patron’s servants to cast magic on the user’s behalf. Having another entity managing the power makes it easy to control, but it can be hard to resist the pull that entity has over the spherecaster’s mind.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Conjuration, any other sphere suitable to the chosen patron
Drawbacks: Addictive Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus
Granted Items: None

Psychic

For some people, magic is an expression of their will, and a little mental focus is enough to call it into being.

Bonus Spell Points: +1, +1 per 3 levels in casting classes.
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Mind, Telekinesis
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Rigorous Concentration
Variants: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: None

Runist

Runists study the first language—the language of creation itself. With this knowledge they can create magical effects by writing out the appropriate runes—a time-consuming process, but a powerful one. Runists spend their lives mastering true names and meditating on the meaning of the runes, for once a runist has mastered a rune’s essence they master that aspect of creation itself.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per level in casting classes
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two.
Drawbacks: Extended Casting, Skilled Casting (Calligrapher’s supplies), Somatic Casting (2)
Variants: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: Calligrapher’s supplies

Sorcerous Blood

For some individuals, magic is truly in the blood, and all it takes to use is a flick of the wrist and a quick chant of arcane words. Whether their magic comes from a magical ancestor such as a dragon or phoenix, being touched by wild magic, or from another source, magic comes naturally to them.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 + 1 per 3 levels in casting classes
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two suitable to the spherecaster’s heritage
Drawbacks: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Inherent Divinity

For sorcerers with inherent divinity, the magic in their blood comes from having divine ancestry. For these individuals gestures and arcane chanting are meaningless; all they need to do is simply impress their will onto the world and speak their needs, and the world itself will listen.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Two spheres associated with the deity from their ancestry
Drawbacks: Emotional Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Wild-Born

A wild-born is someone who was raised by magical creatures: the adopted children of dragons, fey beings, or other creatures of natural inborn magic. A wild-born often has a talent for magical abilities similar to their parent’s magic or develops a connection with a magical sibling, drawing their power through this familial bond.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Bound Creature
Granted Items: None

Subtradition: Wild Magic

Eschewing the studied and tamed paths of magic, possessers of wild magic create powerful effects by simply pulling more power from their souls, boosting the effect but making the result unpredictable.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Universal (Wild Magic package), one other sphere of your choice.
Drawbacks: Magical Signs, Wild Magic
Variants: None
Boons: Wild Surge
Granted Items: None

Traditional Magic

Traditional magic is the study of the natural world, including astronomy, alchemy, and ancient learning, to create magic through a combination of gestures, words, and magical components. Traditional magic is based on performing specific rites and observing various taboos, meaning its practitioners must decide each morning what magic they will use that day so they may perform the appropriate rituals. Traditional magic is the realm of academics, making it a long and grueling course of study but granting both wisdom and power in equal amounts.

Bonus Spell Points: 1 per level in casting classes
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Prepared Caster, Somatic Casting (2), Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: None
Granted Items: Pouch with 10 gp worth of material components

Subtradition: Magus

Sometimes, such as with the magus, a practitioner of traditional magic focuses on its application in combat to such an extent that they can maintain the appropriate gestures even when wearing armor, and can maintain their power even after casting themselves to exhaustion.

Bonus Spell Points: 1, +1 per 6 levels in casting classes (1, 6, 12, etc.)
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Material Casting, Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Empowered Abilities
Granted Items: Pouch with 10 gp worth of material components

Subtradition: Occultist

Instead of relying upon esoteric material components, occultists focus their magic through an implement or relic, usually a wand. Like traditional casters, their magic also necessitates meticulous gesticulation, usually requiring full range of motion, as well as verbal components such as a brief but precise arcane phrase related to the desired magical effect.

Bonus Spell Points: None
Key Ability: Intelligence
Bonus Magic Talents: Any two
Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Somatic Casting (2), Verbal Casting
Variants: None
Boons: Easy Focus, Empowered Abilities
Granted Items: A spellcasting focus



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