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Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Life in the Academy

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 61
In the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path, you'll have the opportunity to play characters who are students at the Magaambya, the oldest and most storied magic school in all Golarion. You'll learn new magic, advance in your studies, choose one of the five prestigious branches to join, and more. As you continue your academic career, adventure will call, but you'll never cease to be a Magaambyan, tied inextricably to the thousands upon thousands of students who came before you, stretching across eight millennia of history and tracing back to the legacy of Old-Mage Jatembe, one of the most legendary and powerful wizards in the history of Golarion.

The academia subsystem helps you express your character's academic and intellectual growth throughout your time at the Magaambya, starting as a new initiate struggling to find your place at the school to an academic powerhouse respected by all researchers in your field and beyond. You'll continue your studies alongside your adventuring career, allowing you to gain a series of useful benefits to improve your character's capabilities based on the progress of your academic work.

The Five Branches of Scholarship

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 61
Magaambyan scholars believe in many fundamental values of scholarship. Key among them are adaptability, camaraderie, imagination, knowledge, and valor. The school's faculty and lessons are divided into five branches, each emphasizing one of these values.

Cascade Bearers esteem imagination, from the dreams of the most visionary magical theorists to the innovations of creative problem-solvers of all stripes.

Emerald Boughs emphasize camaraderie, the sense of community and connection to fellow Magaambyans; they also interact with those outside the Magaambya and spread the academy's message.

Rain-Scribes value adaptability in thoughts and deeds, as well as a willingness to admit errors and learn from past mistakes.

Tempest-Sun Mages inspire valor, not only the physical courage to stand up for friends and the school, but also the intellectual courage to consider opposing viewpoints and widen one's understanding rather than staying entrenched in a single paradigm.

Uzunjati understand that knowledge lives in stories passed down through the generations and also is earned every day through personal experience.

While all Magaambyans are expected to embody these values to varying degrees, and members of the different branches work together on and off campus, every student joins one primary branch to shape their academic understanding. In addition to this choice, you'll also select a secondary branch that influences the expression of your primary branch and supplements your education. Your learning within these branches progresses from levels 1 to 20, just like your character. You can never have more levels in your primary branch than your character's level, and you can never have more levels in your secondary branch than half your character's level. When you create your character, choose a primary branch and a secondary branch; both begin at level 0.

Classes at the Magaambya are open to students of any branch, but each focuses on the values embodied by a specific branch. If your primary branch is Tempest-Sun Mages and your secondary branch is Rain-Scribes, you'll attend Tempest-Sun Mage classes to advance your level in your primary branch or Rain-Scribe classes to advance your level in your secondary branch. You don't need to create a specific course load or class schedule, since you're always choosing whether to focus on your primary or secondary branch.

Branch Skills, Lores, and Feats

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 62
Each branch has two or three associated skills, one or more subcategories of lore, and a general feat. As you gain levels in your branch, you'll gain benefits that apply to the associated skills and lore, as well as the associated general feat.

Table 1: Branches, Skills, Lores, And Feats

BranchSkillsLoreGeneral Feat
Cascade BearersArcana, Occultism, ReligionAcademia LoreCanny Acumen
Emerald BoughsDeception, Diplomacy, SocietySpecific settlement (such as Nantambu Lore)Adopted Ancestry
Rain-ScribesMedicine, Nature, SurvivalSpecific terrain (such as Forest Lore)Fleet
Tempest-Sun MagesIntimidation, PerformanceWarfare LoreToughness
UzunjatiCrafting, LoreAny LoreIncredible Initiative

Changing Branches

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 62
It's perfectly natural that a player might choose a primary or secondary branch at character creation and, after roleplaying the character for some time, decide it was the wrong branch to represent their character's personality. While your GM could create a downtime activity to allow branch retraining in place of advancing in a branch, this can wind up permanently leaving your character behind the rest of your party. Instead, work with your GM to swap out your branches. Keep in mind, the Magaambya looks extremely poorly on those who flippantly attempt to alter their branches of scholarship to gain personal power and will staunchly deny any such exploit.

Advancing Your Branch Level

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 62
Unlike your character's level, your levels in your primary and secondary branches don't advance automatically when you gain Experience Points. Instead, you advance your branches through academic achievement; early in your career, this typically happens via bookwork and exams. As a student at the Magaambya, you can use either the Study downtime activity or the Cram downtime activity to represent your accomplishments in your studies and exams, with the timing based on the academic calendar (as noted for the GM in each volume of the Adventure Path).

Truly accomplished scholars also might be able to use the Practical Research activity as a downtime activity in the field to gain additional new insights and academic advancements during adventures, as opposed to during the normal curriculum. Later volumes of the Adventure Path will note such opportunities for the GM, but if you have additional ideas for location-based research beyond those provided in the adventures themselves, the GM might reward your creativity with an additional opportunity to perform the Practical Research activity and raise your branch levels!

Even with these extra opportunities, you can't advance your primary branch level above your character's level, or your secondary branch level above half your character's level (both with a minimum of 0). If the result of any of these activities would raise a branch level past those limits, put a star next to your branch's level. The next time your character gains a level, raise that branch's level to the new limit and erase the star. This way, if you have an opportunity to advance your branch level, you don't have to wait until your character level is high enough to pursue it.

Each of these downtime activities takes a few months, as they occur over an academic semester. You might have encounters during or between these checks as the story requires.

Study

Downtime
Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 63
Requirements You are an initiate, attendant, or conversant.
You give everything you have to your studies, in keeping with your branch. Choose either your primary or secondary branch and attempt a skill check with one of the branch's associated skills against a standard DC of the branch's level.

Critical Success Incredible results! You ace every exam and cause a stir that all the instructors notice. Increase the level of the branch you chose by 2.
Success You succeed in your studies admirably. Increase the level of the branch you chose by 1.
Failure You need to work harder and try again. Your branch level remains the same.
Critical Failure You make a major mistake that requires you to perform remedial studies. The next time you would get an opportunity to attempt this activity, you must skip that opportunity to catch up.

Cram

Downtime
Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 63
Requirements You are an initiate, attendant, or conversant, and your branch level for either your primary or secondary branch is 2 or more levels below the limit.
Realizing that you're falling behind in your studies, you cram more than you probably should. You Study twice, each in a branch that satisfies the activity requirements. However, the extra studying comes at a price. Until the next time you take the Study downtime activity, you're particularly tired from all the extra hours cramming; at the start of each day of adventuring, you must succeed at a DC 8 flat check or be fatigued for that day.

Practical Research

Downtime
Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 63
Requirements You are a conversant or lore-speaker.
You identify something interesting in the field and perform special research on it. This requires an appropriate check, which the GM will describe when the opportunity arises. The results of the check vary. While they typically include all the benefits of the Study activity, some opportunities for Practical Research also offer unique benefits, such as access to new character options.

Branch Benefits

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 63
At every branch level, you gain the benefit listed in Table 2. The benefit entries below also include the branch levels at which you gain them.

Table 2: Branch Benefits by Level

LevelBenefit
1Additional Lore
2Steeped in History +1
3Dedicated Attendant
4Skill Feat (Trained)
5Branch Influence +1
6Skill Increase (Expert)
7First Branch Feat
8General Feat
9Skill Feat (Expert)
10Skill Increase (Master)
11Steeped in History +2
12Second Branch Feat
13Branch Influence +2
14Skill Increase (Master)
15Skill Feat (Master)
16Make Your Own Luck
17Branch Influence +3
18Skill Increase (Legendary)
19Skill Feat (Legendary)
20Magical Paragon

Additional Lore 1st

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 63
At 1st level in a branch, you learn more of the Magaambya's deep well of lore associated with your branch. You gain the Additional Lore feat in a Lore skill associated with the branch.

Steeped In History 2nd

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 2nd level in a branch, you learn about the history of the branch and the Magaambya in general. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Recall Knowledge about the Magaambya, the tenets or history of your branch, and members of your branch.

At 11th level, this increases to a +2 circumstance bonus.

Dedicated Attendant 3rd

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 3rd level in a branch, if you have completed your Perquisite, you have proven your commitment to a sufficient degree that your branch promotes and supports you as an affiliated attendant. The first time you reach this level in a branch, you gain the Magaambyan Attendant Dedication feat as a bonus feat (even if you haven't taken enough feats with a previous archetype to take another dedication feat).

Skill Feat 4th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 4th level in a branch, you uncover hidden techniques that grant you extra benefits from your branch's associated skills. You gain a skill feat that requires the trained rank in one the branch's associated skills.

At 9th level, you gain an additional skill feat that requires the expert or trained rank in one the branch's associated skills; at 15th level, you gain an additional skill feat that requires master or lower rank in one of the branch's associated skills; and at 19th level, you gain an additional skill feat that requires legendary or lower rank in one of the branch's associated skills. For any of these skill feats, you can select a variable skill feat, such as Automatic Knowledge or Assurance, as long as you do so for an associated skill.

Branch Influence 5th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 5th level in a branch, you gain greater influence, making it easier to collaborate, hoodwink, or browbeat members of that branch. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus on Deception, Diplomacy, Intimidation, and Performance checks to interact with members of the branch.

At 13th level, this increases to a +2 circumstance bonus, and at 17th level, it increases again to a +3 circumstance bonus.

Skill Increase 6th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 6th level in a branch, and every 4 levels thereafter, your studies lead you to deeper understanding of your branch's associated skills, causing you to gain an additional skill increase that you can use to raise one of the branch's associated skills, up to a maximum of expert.

At 10th branch level or higher, you can use these skill increases to become a master in a skill in which you're already an expert. At 18th level, you can use this skill increase to become legendary in a skill in which you're already a master. For Uzunjati, who have Lore as an associated skill, you gain the Additional Lore feat when you choose to improve Lore, instead of gaining a single skill increase to a Lore.

Branch Feat 7th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 7th level in a branch, you become so immersed in your branch's secrets that you gain access to special training only offered to other members of your branch. You gain the 6th-level Magaambyan attendant archetype feat requiring affiliation with your branch (such as Uzunjati Storytelling for the Uzunjati). You must still meet any skill prerequisites the feat has. If you already have that feat, you gain an additional 6th-level class feat (even if your branch's feat was not a class feat).

At 12th level, you also gain the 10th-level Magaambyan attendant archetype feat requiring affiliation with the branch (such as Tempest-Sun Shielding for the Tempest-Sun Mages). If you already have that feat, you gain an additional 10th-level class feat (even if your branch's feat was not a class feat).

General Feat 8th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 64
At 8th level in a branch, your understanding of your branch's traditions improves your general capabilities, stretching beyond your studies in specific skills. You gain the general feat associated with the branch. If you already have that general feat, you gain a 1st-level general feat of your choice instead.

Make Your Own Luck 16th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 65
At 16th level in a branch, you're so accomplished with your branch's associated skills that you make your own luck. Once per day, you can reroll a skill check with one of those skills and take the new result. This is a fortune effect.

Magical Paragon 20th

Source Pathfinder #169: Kindled Magic pg. 65
At 20th level in a branch, you embody the branch so completely that you gain a unique special ability depending on your branch. Many of these abilities build upon Magaambyan attendant archetype feats you have gained.

Cascade Bearers: Nothing is beyond your imagination. Once per day, you can cast any common 7th-level spell from the arcane, divine, occult, or primal spell lists without expending a spell slot. When you do, you use your spellcasting proficiency for your halcyon spells.

Emerald Boughs: You can stretch your hideaway well beyond the original intended usage, creating a special extradimensional abode in which to rest with your allies, host visiting diplomats, and more. At any time, you can spend 1 minute to enter and expand your hideaway into a magnificent mansion; it remains in this form until you leave, at which point it expels all remaining guests and becomes a normal hideaway as Emerald Boughs Hideaway until you spend another minute to enter and expand your hideaway again.

Rain-Scribes: You can adapt to almost any situation. You can survive in severe and extreme cold and heat without taking damage. You move at full Speed through difficult terrain and greater difficult terrain, and take no damage from hazardous terrain. When using Rain-Scribe Mobility, you clear the effects of all three types of terrain from the spaces you enter for 1 round.

Tempest-Sun Mages: You have the courage and magic to protect all your allies from harm. When you use Tempest-Sun Shielding, you can choose to reduce the triggering damage to you and all allies within 30 feet by four times the spell level, rather than reducing the triggering damage to you or a single ally by four times the spell level.

Uzunjati: You know a surprising number of stories, and you weave them all together into a coherent narrative. When you use Uzunjati Recollection, you Recall Knowledge three times instead of once, each with a +2 circumstance bonus. You also gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your skill check for Uzunjati Storytelling from the captivating combined narrative.