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Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Magic Items

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 155
Magic items come in many shapes and sizes, but that doesn't mean they're interchangeable! Each magic item is as different as the crafter who created it, and the experience of using them can be as rote and detached or as rich and detailed as you can imagine.

Creating a Magic Item

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 155
As a crafter, creating a magic item is one of the most intensely personal projects you can undertake. While every serpentine wondrous figurine might more or less resemble a knotted snake carved out of jade, what type of snake is it? And what type of jade? Ten different figurines from ten different crafters could each show a distinct artistic mark, and experts can identify the handiwork of noteworthy crafters on sight. Similarly, items activated with commands typically each have unique utterances determined by the crafter. Before setting out to create a magic item, contemplate how your personality might inhabit and shape the item created.

Investing a Magic Item

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 155
The word “preparation” means different things to different wearers of invested magic items. To some, investing a diadem of intellect may involve sitting silently with it at the beginning of the day and feeling the magical energy course through it and themselves, but others may simply pull the headband out of their rucksack, wipe it off, and give it a glance to make sure the gems aren't cracked. Still others might refuse to ever take the headband off in the first place, even while washing up or sleeping. Any of these could work! The difference between these habits isn't a matter of respect or proper vs. improper technique, it simply reflects what investiture means to the person using the item.

Activating a Magic Item

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 155
You might activate a magic item flamboyantly, pragmatically, intensely, or off-handedly, but those choices are only external manifestations of how you activate the item. A deeper question is what the act of using a magic item feels like. Does the world seem to emit a deep thrum for an instant as a third eye gemstone sinks into your brow and manifests as a tattoo? Do you experience a counter-intuitive icy coolness when a blast from a potion of dragon's breath explodes from your mouth? A wizard might have a step-by-step instruction list that they mentally follow when they use a staff of power—potentially out of habit or concerns for safety. Imagining how you interact with magic items, some of which possess world-altering power, can be a revealing window into how you view your place in the cosmos.

Fulus

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 158
These rectangular paper charms originate from the temples of Tian Xia, where priests provide them to ward a homestead or protect travelers on the road. Others use fulus in rituals, summoning spirits to aid them in cleansing evil.

Many regional variants of fulus, each of which carries a different name, exist throughout Tian Xia. The workings behind the writings remained a secret until scholars correctly deduced that the charms were, in fact, edicts that commanded magic to act in the fashion prescribed by the talisman. Deciphering these writings allowed for the creation of fulus that draw power from sources as diverse as a witch's patron, an arcane legacy, or the changing of the seasons. For the creative adventurer, this lightweight paper makes a versatile tool with many potential applications.

Fulu Rules

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 158
Fulu: Fulus are small paper charms that can be affixed to a suit of armor, a shield, a weapon, a creature, or even a structure. Some fulus are composed of multiple such charms, taking effect only once all have been affixed. Normal fulus have effects immediately once affixed, while fulu talismans have an effect only once activated. Once a fulu has been activated, it lasts for the given duration and then burns out. Unless otherwise noted, fulus expire one year after being created, reverting to mundane paper.

All fulus have the fulu and consumable traits. Fulus also have a tradition trait—either arcane, divine, occult or primal—determined by the magical tradition of its creator. For example, a fulu created by a priest would have the divine trait, whereas a witch who dabbles in fate might create a fulu with the occult trait. Some fulus also have the talisman trait, if they work similarly to talismans (such as being affixed to a suit of armor, a shield, or a weapon.

Each fulu's stat block indicates the type of item or creature it can be affixed to. Affixing or removing a fulu requires using the Affix a Fulu activity, or the Affix a Talisman action instead if the fulu is also a talisman.

Using Fulus

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 158
Beyond fulu talismans, non-talisman fulus can be affixed or removed easily, though removing a fulu causes it to immediately burn out. The paper is fragile, easily destroyed by hazards such as water, fire, or an observant enemy when either unattended or affixed to the ground or a structure. Fulus that are also talismans use the normal rules for Affixing and removing talismans instead of the action presented here.

Affix a Fulu Single Action

Manipulate
Source Secrets of Magic pg. 158
You affix a fulu to an armor, weapon, shield, creature, or structure that's beside or in the same square as you. A creature can remove a fulu from itself or an unattended object in its reach with a single action.

Crafting a Fulu

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 158
Fulus can be created using the Crafting skill like any other magic item, and they have a batch size of four, meaning you can Craft four copies of the same fulu at a time. A fulu's script consists of symbols citing the person or place from which the fulu draws power, a symbol of command, details of the desired effect, and other formulaic elements to complete the charm. Each part is written as the crafter recites a spell mantra, with the crafter's powers and magic essences weaving into the ink and paper. As creating a fulu requires knowledge of these mantras, a fulu can't be disassembled to learn its formula like many other items—the formula for a fulu can be learned only firsthand.

Unlike most items, the ritualistic aspect of fulus' creation allows the creator to expedite the process, though doing so decreases the fulus' stability. A character with the formula for a fulu can Craft up to four fulus for their full price in a single day of downtime, rather than taking four days as normal for the Craft downtime activity. However, if they do so, the fulus only last for a month, rather than a year. This is perfect for fulus you expect to use soon after Crafting them, as in that case, there isn't much difference between a month and a year.

Related Rules

Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure (Source Core Rulebook pg. 531 2.0)

Grimoires

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 162
Spellbooks are useful tools for any magic user to write down incantations and runes of power, but where most spellbooks are nothing more than ink on parchment, grimoires have absorbed the magic of the spells within—magic that knowledgeable spellcasters can use to augment their spells.

Most grimoires can hold up to 100 spells, like any spellbook, but allow spellcasters to erase spells written by a book's previous owner in favor of spells that employ their own magical formulas. If a spellcaster wants to transfer their spells from one of their spellbooks to a grimoire, they can conduct a simple, 1-minute ritual with the two books to cause the spells to vanish from their spellbook and appear in the grimoire.

If you prepare spells (whether from your class features, like a cleric or wizard, or from a special feat or ability, like the Esoteric Polymath bard feat), you can study a grimoire during your daily preparations to enhance one or more of the spells within. Until your next daily preparations, you gain the ability to Activate the grimoire. As you've already absorbed the power from the grimoire during your daily preparations, you can Activate it even if you later lose possession of the book itself. Grimoires' benefits apply only to spells cast via spell slots—not cantrips, focus spells, or innate spells. No one can use more than one grimoire per day, nor can a grimoire be used by more than one person per day.

Related Rules

Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure (Source Core Rulebook pg. 531 2.0)

Magical Tattoos

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 164
Tattoos carry great significance for many who practice the art. Tattooing can be an intimate process loaded with meaning and emotion—an honored practice of a culture, a ceremony of supernatural importance, a permanent commitment to a cause—signifying a bit of personal decoration or self-expression, or both. Some tattoos can even instill magic into your very skin. Even more so than others, these tattoos aren't given lightly, nor should they be accepted lightly.

Tattooing is a precise art, and making magical tattoos requires developing a special rapport between the artist and their living canvas. For this reason, it can be difficult to find someone to ink a magical tattoo on your body. (Consequently, most most magical tattoos other than the ones appearing here are uncommon.) Securing such services might require a person to achieve notable deeds, become a member of a community, or prove their character and commitment to the artist.

Most magical tattooing requires the same tools as traditional methods, just using magical inks and, sometimes, magical implements, such as needles, bone tattooing rakes, or the like. Some processes, including certain traditional Varisian methods, etch the magic directly into the skin without puncturing it. The pain remains the same.

Tattooing Rules

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 164
To craft a magical tattoo, you must be able to craft magic items and have a specialty in tattooing. You can attain these requirements by taking the Tattoo Artist skill feat, or you can take both the Magical Crafting and Specialty Crafting skill feats, choosing artistry as your specialty.

Crafting a Tattoo

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 164
Inking a magical tattoo onto a creature is much like etching a rune onto an item. The tattooist uses the Craft activity, and the subject must be present throughout the process. The tattooist must meet any special Craft requirements, and they can ink only one tattoo at a time. Not only does a magical tattoo not have any effect until the Craft activity is complete, but it also requires a healing period. Though this time frame can last up to a month, applying magical or alchemical healing can shorten it to as little as a day.

The Tattoo Trait

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 164
A magical tattoo has the tattoo trait. It's permanently a part of the subject's body, and reduces the number of items that creature can invest per day by 1. Each tattoo has the invested trait to indicate this limitation—a magical tattoo is like an invested item that the tattooed creature has no choice but to invest. If the tattoo loses its magic or is destroyed, it no longer reduces your investiture.

Just like a physical magic item, a magical tattoo can be counteracted by spells like dispel magic or disjunction. If destroyed, the tattoo fades from the skin.

If a creature gets a new magical tattoo when their limit on invested items has already been reduced to zero, the new tattoo's magic fails to take hold, and it becomes a non-magical tattoo instead. However, a tattooist can alter an existing tattoo when they Craft a tattoo, modifying the old one into a different magical tattoo and removing the old effect. Magical tattoos can usually be upgraded into their greater versions by having a tattooist add to or modify the existing tattoo.

Related Rules

Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure (Source Core Rulebook pg. 531 2.0)

Personal Staves

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 166
When the local shops' offerings don't quite match up with the needs of an adventuring spellcaster, they might want to make their own staff to reflect their personal brand of magic. Doing so isn't easy, and only a chosen few know the techniques to create a brand new staff.

A custom staff is always unique, and you need your GM's permission to create one and introduce it to your game.

Creating a Personal Staff

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 166
Establishing magical pathways to turn a simple piece of wood or metal into a staff is no simple matter. Without some structure to bind multiple disparate spells to a single staff, the magic would surely fail. Thus, a custom staff must always be created around a single trait. For example, an elemental trait (air, earth, fire, or water), energy trait (acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic, positive, negative, or force), alignment trait, the detection trait, the light trait, and so on. The staff and its spells must have the trait. A few traits are too broad to use, including incapacitation and the traits for spell schools and traditions. The GM might add others to this list.

Determining Level and Price

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 166
Your level sets a personal staff's maximum item level, which determines the Price and the number and level of spells the staff can have, as shown on the table below.

Table 4-2: Personal Staves

Maximum Spells
Staff LevelPriceCantrip1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th
5160 gp12
7250 gp122
9700 gp1222
111,400 gp12222
133,000 gp122222
156,500 gp1222222
1715,000 gp12222222
1940,000 gp122222222

Picking Your Spells

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 166
Once you've decided the trait, choose the spells to inscribe. They must share the trait you chose for the staff. For instance, your undine sorcerer might create a deep sea staff themed around the water trait, inscribing it with spells such as create water and hydraulic push. You can inscribe a number of common spells on the staff depending on its level, as shown on the table above. You can place the same spell into the staff at multiple levels to provide heightened versions, though doing so uses up one of your picks for that spell level. You can add a spell you can't cast to a staff by supplying a casting of it via another caster or by using Trick Magic Item; however, since you can cast a spell from a staff only if it's on your spell list, this option isn't useful for most characters.

Example

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 166
Lini, a 15th-level druid, wants to create a staff to interact with the plants she encounters. She chooses the plant trait to represent that theme. Next, she selects some common spells for the staff, starting with one cantrip and adding one or two spells at each level, up to the staff's maximum spell level. To build a 15th-level staff with 6th-level spells, she selects the following combination of spells:

Cantrip: tanglefoot
1st: protector tree, shillelagh
2nd: entangle, shape wood
3rd: tree shape, wall of thorns
4th: barkskin, speak with plants
5th: plant form, wall of thorns
6th: nature's reprisal, plant form

Note that some of these spells are duplicates of lower-level spells, which can be a great way to fill in levels if new spells don't appeal to you. It's usually best to choose a spell for one of these slots that has an extra benefit when heightened (such as plant form giving you better statistics), but even if you don't find a spell with such a benefit, it's worth filling every open slot.

Crafting the Staff

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 166
Once you've themed and designed your staff, you can craft it with the following the guidelines, along with previously established rules for crafting magical items. As with normal staves, one casting of all listed levels of all spells in the staff must be provided during Crafting.

Choose a magical school for your staff from among the schools the spells on it have. Pick the one that best reflects the spells, usually the one most shared among them. You can optionally give your staff a trait for one magic tradition, instead of the magical trait, if the staff is fully steeped in that tradition and contains spells only from that tradition's spell list.

You still need to Craft the staff. If you're not good at Crafting, you can have somebody use the Craft activity for you, but you must be present the whole time. Since the creation of a custom staff is rare, you and the GM might decide to have a special quest for esoteric ingredients and methods as part of the story.

Example

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 167
Lini selected mostly transmutation spells for her staff, so she chooses the transmutation trait. She could give it the primal trait, but choses to keep it open with the magical trait, much like the verdant staff in the Core Rulebook.

To Craft the staff, Lini follows the normal rules. She provides 3,250 gp in raw materials, spends 4 days at work, and attempts a Crafting check. Each day she works on it, she prepares the spells she needs to put into the staff given its Craft Requirements.

Naming the Staff

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 167
When your staff is complete, give it a name—though skeptics might sneer, spellcasters believe that naming a staff upon creation will help it attune to its new master.

Example

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 167
Lini christens her new creation Lini's Leafstick!

Revising the Staff

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 167
As you level up, your staff will get less useful unless you upgrade it. You might also want to make revisions as you play if you come to dislike the spells you chose.

To change spells already in the staff, use the Craft activity with a Price equal to 1/10th the staff's Price. You can swap out any of the spells in the staff when you finish. The new spells have to have the staff's chosen trait and be an appropriate level, just as though you were choosing them when initially making the staff, and you must provide castings of them.

Upgrading the staff is similar to upgrading an item to a higher-level version. Decide the staff's new level. Pay the difference in Price, pick the new spells, and use Craft for the upgrade. You must supply castings of the new spells. Upgrading doesn't let you switch any of the spells you'd previously chosen.

Related Rules

Staves (Source Core Rulebook pg. 592 2.0)

Spell Catalysts

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 168
The divergent magical practices of Golarion mean there's no one way to cast a spell. Whether out of competitiveness or a desire to personalize their spellwork, many magic users have added or substituted material components beyond the conventional.
Items with the catalyst trait are consumable material spell components that alter or magnify specific spells. Activating a catalyst is part of Casting the Spell. The catalyst might increase the number of actions required to Cast the Spell, as indicated in the catalyst's Activate entry. Additionally, the spell gains material components if it didn't have them already or adds the catalyst to its existing components. Because the catalyst becomes part of the material components, you can draw the catalyst as part of Casting the Spell.

Related Rules

Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure (Source Core Rulebook pg. 531 2.0)

Spellhearts

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 170
Spellhearts are made from the same basic materials as talismans, though their complex construction—magically iterated around the concept of a single kind of spell—gives them a variety of additional powers and means they persist rather than burning out when used.

Unlike talismans, a spellheart can be used repeatedly, and doesn't burn out after use. Each spellheart can be attached to different items, giving a benefit depending on your choice, which means you can plan ahead in facing expected dangers. They have the spellheart trait.

Spellheart: Spellhearts are permanent items that work similarly to talismans. You affix a spellheart using the Affix a Spellheart activity, which is otherwise identical to Affix a Talisman. The limit of one talisman per item remains—an item can have one spellheart or one talisman, not both. When casting a cantrip from a spellheart, you can use your own spell attack roll or spell DC if it's higher. Crafting a spellheart requires the spells the spellheart can cast. For example, a major five-feather wreath requires air walk, gale blast, and wall of wind.

Related Rules

Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure (Source Core Rulebook pg. 531 2.0)