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Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Book of Unlimited Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 193
This chapter provides you with a wide variety of unusual magical practices and character options, many of them uncommon or rare. By adding them to your game, you can expand and enrich the narrative of how magic works. The chapter is organized into the following sections.

Cathartic Magic allows a spellcaster to harness pent-up emotions to enter a state of emotional fervor, gaining special benefits from the emotion but risking emotional fallout once the fervor ends.

Elementalism has options for characters focused on elemental magic, including elementalists who focus their entire spell list on the elements, elemental stances for monks, and druid orders of flame, stone, and waves.

Flexible Preparation represents the culmination of spellcasters' research and experimentation to gain the best of both worlds between prepared spellcasting and spontaneous spellcasting.

Geomancy taps into the natural world around the spellcaster, giving them benefits depending on the terrain, even allowing the spellcaster to simulate the energies of a different terrain.

Ley Lines embody the magical veins and arteries of the multiverse, flowing with energy across worlds and planes alike and gathering at special locations called nodes. Spellcasters can learn to tap into ley lines, though doing so presents a significant gamble.

Pervasive Magic covers situations and settings where magic is everywhere, infusing the land itself with unusual effects and trickling down to every creature in the area.

Shadow Magic surrenders the piece of a spellcaster's soul that keeps out the darkness, allowing themselves to learn new magic or to gain shadowy animal companions and familiars.

Soul Seeds magically attach to a creature's soul, then grow in the breadth of their magic in a similar fashion to relics.

Soulforged Armaments bond weapons, armor, or shields to the forger's soul, allowing the soulforger to manifest their armament at a moment's notice and even bring forth an empowered true form.

Thassilonian Rune Magic divides magic into seven runes associated with the seven sins. Each runelord embodies one of the seven schools, gaining significant advantages with their school spells.

True Names allow a practitioner to learn the secrets of a being's inner nature, granting them an incredible amount of leverage to compel that creature into service.

Wellspring Magic is both a blessing and a curse: it grants a deep infusion of magic, potentially allowing the casting of many spells, but it also risks out-of-control wellspring surges if the power becomes too much to handle.

Cathartic Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 194
Some spellcasters draw their magic from the gods, while others shape it by precisely manipulating unseen energy. Still others fuel their magic with raw emotion: the cathartic mages. Their emotional magic is powerful, but raw and unpredictable.

Rarity: Uncommon

Catharsis, the process of purging pent-up emotions, places a cathartic mage in a heightened emotional state much like a barbarian's rage. Magical energy pours out, often manifesting in visible displays that cascade off the mage. This can even produce a faint echo of the released emotion within those nearby. Though it seems reasonable that the caster's pent-up emotion would be one that they normally repress, this is by no means required. A cathartic mage could be a generally happy and positive person who still enters an enhanced state as a magical wave of joy overwhelms them.

The magic of emotions is as difficult to master as emotions themselves. Practitioners of this art find themselves tired, unfocused, or in physical pain after tapping into their deepest feelings. It often takes time for these users to reclaim mastery of their own minds. Most cathartic mages find a mundane activity to help settle themselves, such as reading, needlepoint, or simple meditation.

Roleplaying

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 194
Using cathartic magic in your game invites heavy use of role-playing emotional states, which can be a challenge for some game tables. Players need to check with their GMs and other players to ensure these rules are appropriate for the game. Entering an emotional fervor doesn't mean anything a character does in that state is acceptable. As always, adding new rules doesn't excuse being rude to other players.

It's also important to keep the cathartic emotion from overshadowing the other parts of your character, as it works best as part of a well-rounded personality. It's a powerful emotion, though not your only emotion. This power can be a double-edged sword, but it doesn't have to be. It could be a fun quirk, a deep struggle, or a mysterious power your character wants to investigate.

Gamemastering

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 194
One of the reasons cathartic magic is uncommon has to do with the adjustments the GM must make to incorporate it in the game. Some situations that would normally be detrimental for PCs, like becoming controlled or critically failing at a roll, can be a trigger for powering up instead! Some emotions require a PC or NPC to be an emotional focus, making the ability largely useless if the PC is separated from that person.

Unplanned Catharsis

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 194
In the right circumstances, a GM might introduce cathartic magic into the game without a player pursuing it first. For example, if a mind-controlled bodyguard is ordered to slay someone they vowed to protect, the GM might decide they can take the Catharsis reaction from the Cathartic Mage Dedication. Like any reaction, it still poses a choice—the player could choose not to take it. If the player enjoys this mechanical reveal, they might even want to invest feats into the Cathartic Mage archetype.

Elementalism

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 198
The world is a reflection of the Elemental Planes. Fire blazes in its core, cradled and calmed in a bed of Earth. Water brings the parched soil relief, strengthening as it soothes. All this is encapsulated by Air, which breathes life into the world. Elementalism is the belief these four elements are the components used to create all matter. Thus, magic is simply the manipulation of the four elements. Understanding these elements is the essence of elementalism.

Druidic Orders

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 198
Elementalists eschew traditional magical divisions in favor of the elemental quaternity and rarely attempt a formal education. Instead, they travel Golarion, learning from the environment and elemental masters. These sojourns are referred to as pilgrimages, and the lessons learned along the way are called exposures or forms.

Druids are among the most well-known elemental masters, capable of harnessing the power of nature that exists below a mountain or flows through an ocean. Although some act as wardens to the world as a whole, most specialize into one of three orders that revere individual elements. Within these orders, as well as the storm order that focuses on air, a sizable contingent of druids devote themselves fully to elemental magic, choosing the elementalist class archetype. However, just as many druids in these orders access magic from the primal spell list normally, believing that they can still take a wider view of nature through the lens of their element.

Elementalist druids are more common in regions with strong traditions involving the cycle of elements, such as Jalmeray.

Elemental Spell List

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 203
The elementalist archetype uses this elemental spell list. It includes spells from all hardcover rulebooks up to this release with a superscript indicating the book.

You can discuss with the GM any spells from other sources you want to add to your list. As a general rule, spells with the air, earth, fire, or water trait belong on the list, including spells that add one of those traits depending on how they're cast, such as elemental zone. Spells that are general and appear on every tradition's spell list also make good candidates.

Flexible Preparation

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 208
For millennia, debate raged among magical circles as to which spellcasters have the edge: those who cast spells spontaneously from a repertoire, since they can pull out whichever of those spells they require in a pinch, or those who prepare their daily spells, since they can plan and change out their spells each day to meet their varying needs. Yet, there have also been those who dared to have it all.

Flexible spellcasters learn to prepare spells into a collection each day and can cast spells from their collection spontaneously. This combination makes such spellcasters the envy of their peers, but it comes with a significant cost. The magical power required to fuel their flexible casting draws heavily upon their magic's mental or vital essence, so they can cast far fewer spells each day. The strain manifests differently for each flexible spellcaster and varies by tradition, though it most commonly starts as a mild headache for arcane and occult spellcasters or fatigue for divine and primal spellcasters.

Flexible spellcasting wizards—who sometimes prefer to use the more generic term for arcane spellcasters, arcanists—are more common in schools and other places that practice experimental or innovative magic, such as the Occularium in the atheist nation of Rahadoum, the Magaambya magic school in the jungle of the Mwangi Expanse, or the many academies in the arcane nation of Nex. Flexible spellcasting druids, sometimes called fey callers, use the infinite possibilities of the First World and the magical curiosity of the fey to power their flexible magic. They more commonly appear in places where the veil to the First World is thin, such as the Land of the Linnorm Kings or the River Kingdoms. Flexible spellcasting clerics, sometimes called ecclesiasts, have an unorthodox connection to their deity, allowing them flexibility in the grace they earn through their prayers. They're more commonly itinerant, rather than connected to an established church. Flexible spellcasting witches, sometimes called invokers, have more personal connections with their patrons (even though the patron is still an enigma), allowing them to adjust their magic more easily

Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 210
The natural vistas of the world are varied and beautiful, and they contain power just waiting to be tapped. From the burning sands of a desert to the freezing tundra of a taiga, from the breathless heights of the tallest peak to the claustrophobic caverns deep underground, each type of terrain holds its own wonders. Geomancy is the study of the magic within these places, and while it has much in common with the primal forces of druidism, it focuses on the specifics of the many types of terrain and how they can resonate within someone who respects those details.

To a geomancer, the world is a living tapestry of magic, woven together in different biomes and ecosystems that each interact with those around them, sometimes working together and other times at cross purposes. A novice geomancer learns to tap into that flow of magic and enhance their castings whenever their magic has a resonance with the surrounding area, but a true master can chain magic to build an artificial resonance cobbled together out of nothing more than their own power and connection to the land.

Types of Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 210
Each of the nine fundamental geomantic terrains represents a wide variety of environments and biomes. For instance, the mountain terrain applies to hilly regions, the forest terrain applies to jungles and rain forests, and the swamp terrain includes marshes and bogs. While each of these fundamental terrains isn't homogeneous and offers diverse magical secrets to a geomancer, over time, geomancers have nonetheless developed certain broad associations with each type.

Aquatic Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Rivers course, tides ebb and flow, and water shifts from ice to vapor, all while creatures grow and adapt within the depths. Casting spells in water calls for a free flow of ideas and emotions. Geomantic rituals intended to change one thing to another often take place in aquatic terrain, or in a liminal space between aquatic terrain and another type of terrain, such as a beach.

Arctic Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Icy winds carry crystalline flecks of snow that distort the horizons, and desolate nights bring undulating light shows to the black skies. An arctic environment draws a geomancer toward illusory magic that replicates the splendor and mystery of the sparkling tundras, and to long-lasting protection against the elements.

Desert Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Sandstorms rage as the sun glares down oppressive heat, only to retreat into a frigid night. Life is harsh in the desert, and only the powerful and adaptable survive; the desert's geomantic energies reflect that truth. When the environment is unforgiving, so is the geomancer, who brings forth punishing magic as merciless as trackless stone and sizzling sand.

Forest Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Forest are defined by the thick growth of plants, a canopy of green home to creatures across every stratum from the forest floor to the treetops. All forests, from those of humid ferns to frozen conifers, share growth and creation. This generative power thrives in a geomancer, coming to life in spells that spring vines and thorns or call forth ancient creatures tied to the land.

Mountain Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Mountains reach to the skies above, breathtaking and impassable. They stand ever-vigilant and seemingly outside the passage of time until, over the course of eons, even they crumble. Mountains serve as barriers and thresholds: boundaries between nations and demarcations between lush windward and arid leeward. This role leads geomancers to associate mountains with wards and barriers.

Plains Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
The vast expanse of grasslands represent limitless potential spanning off in every direction. Animals and caravans alike migrate across the plains, but humans and other sapient creatures also settle down and build farms. The openness of the plains calls for spells of the wind, plant cultivation, and fast, effortless travel. A geomancer on the plains feels the vastness within them, stretching as broad as the distant horizons.

Sky Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
The open sky is a soaring realm of freedom and exhilaration. The sky is capricious, reflecting the moods of the firmament and altering those of the creatures that live beneath; its oppressive gray or clear blue evoke different emotions. As night falls, the heavens become a star-flecked wonderland beneath the pale gaze of the moon. The sky opens the geomancer to change and uncertainty, allowing for magic to move physical forms and enchantments to sway minds.

Swamp Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Wetlands cultivate teeming life, though many of the organisms that thrive in swamps can also bring disease. Marshes, bogs, and fens have their own slightly different geomantic properties, but all envelop the geomancer, engulfing the self in gripping mud, murky water, and calls of buzzing insects. The magic of death and rebirth flourishes in the duality of the swamp.

Underground Geomancy

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 211
Places beneath the surface of the world are home to countless secrets, from the caves just under the surface to deep, dark caverns of progressively increasing mystery and alien splendor. Twisting tunnels block sight but provide ghostly echoes, revealing distant truths to those who can interpret them. Geomancers feel the pull of the mysterious knowledge held deep in the earth, tracing through the ground as surely as mineral veins. Geomancers tap into this force to learn the answers to enigmas long forgotten to those on the surface.

Ley Lines

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 214
Magical energy exists throughout the multiverse and flows within and without all aspects of reality. In places where this magical energy flows particularly strongly, it takes the form of ley lines: potent conduits of magic that flow throughout the cosmos. Magical energy travels through ley lines much like blood flows through the veins of living creatures. Ley lines transcend physical form and can be found throughout the universe, through entire worlds, and even across planes.

Rarity: Rare

Each ley line carries its own specific manifestation of magical energy. One ley line might contain the power to enhance divinations, while another forms a channel for the destructive power of fire. Regardless of a ley line's specific nature, its presence influences the world around it in subtle or overt ways.

Ley Lines in Your Game

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 214
Though magical essence permeates the multiverse, it rarely concentrates in high enough volume to form a ley line, and as such, ley lines are rare, inscrutable phenomena. Those who overtax a ley line might find that its power fades, reroutes, or even backfires—the ramifications of which can lead to interesting story explorations. In general, these rules assume that ley lines are few and far between in a setting and that one's presence holds notable significance in the game world.

Ley lines impact the world around them in considerable ways, which presents myriad narrative possibilities; for example, a wizard might build a tower on top of a ley line with magic that aids in planar research, or an entire civilization might structure their territory along a ley line to improve their wealth. Ley lines should also manifest magical side effects that relate to their nature, such as increased ambient temperatures or prevalent brushfires along a ley line attuned to fire magic. GMs should feel encouraged to explore how ley lines can affect their world.

Tapping into ley lines often provides benefits that alter spells, akin to metamagic (for example, the basic ley line on page 216 provides a choice between two metamagic effects from metamagic class feats). As such, spellcasters are the most likely to seek out and tap ley lines, but some ley lines provide benefits that any character capable of tapping into them can use; GMs should consider how an entire party can benefit from a ley line and what characters might enjoy some time in the spotlight.

A ley line might be a lasting benefit to the entire party, and discovering one could even serve as an interesting reward for them. The PCs might be encouraged to build a base of operations along a ley line or to establish a nexus at a ley line node.

Ultimately, the use of ley lines is rooted in the familiar mechanics of metamagic, meaning that they should be easy to add without complicating the game. Though they're presented as rare in this book, GMs might prefer them to be more common and are encouraged to create a unique setting featuring prevalent ley lines. Some settings might feature ley lines as common as rivers, influencing the magic and civilizations around them with the type of energy flowing through them. Consider whether the inclusion of ley lines will add or distract from to the richness of the story.

Locating Ley Lines

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 214
Ley lines are typically imperceptible by mundane means, so locating a ley line requires a magical connection of some kind (though not necessarily the ability to cast spells). Typically, ley lines' sizes correlate with their potency, with higher-level ley lines usually being wider and easier to notice—but ley lines are by nature enigmatic phenomena, and some particularly powerful ones are as thin as thread. In rare cases, ley lines might have physical manifestations that make their presence more apparent. For example, a ley line attuned to electrical energy might manifest as a constant stream of sparks and electricity arcing along the ley line's path, or a ley line suffused with positive energy might appear as a strip of overgrown and mutated plants.

A character can locate a ley line with a successful Occultism check to Identify Magic, usually against a DC of 30 for a weak and minor ley line or 20 for a powerful one, but a particular line's presence might be more obvious if it has noticeable magical manifestations. A successful check reveals the location of a ley line but not its capabilities. Each ley line has at least one trait tied to a tradition of magic. To determine the effects of a ley line, a character must succeed at a check to Identify Magic based on its tradition, with a DC equal to the hard DC of the ley line's level. Finding the exact position, strength, and effects of a ley line can be extremely helpful for characters attempting to access the ley line's power.

Ley Line Nodes

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 215
Ley line nodes are the point at which multiple ley lines intersect. Incredibly rare and powerful, nodes provide those who tap into them access to all of the intersecting ley lines' abilities, and they usually produce one or more additional effects based on the combination of intersecting ley lines. A ley line node's level is equal to that of the highest-level ley line that intersects at the node. Enterprising PCs or NPCs sometimes seek out nodes as sites to perform rituals to establish ley line nexuses. Such locations are jealously guarded by those who wish to claim the nexus's power.

Using Ley Lines

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 215
While locating a ley line might be a difficult process, making use of a ley line's power is remarkably simple. Accessing the power of a ley line requires using the Tap Ley Line general skill action. The results of this action are based on the benefits and drawbacks of a ley line.

Sample Ley Lines

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 215
The following represent a number of different types of ley lines, each of which provides specific effects. GMs can use these ley lines as is or find some inspiration for new ley lines in their own games. Most ley lines are rare, but a specific ley line can be unique.

Basic Ley Line Ley Line 2

RareEvocation
Most ley lines are simply naturally occurring conduits of pure magical energy. Tapping into a basic ley line allows spellcasters to modify their spells. This ley line has the arcane, divine, occult, or primal trait as appropriate.

Benefit When you Cast a Spell, alter the spell as if you had just used your choice of either Reach Spell or Widen Spell.

Backlash The magical energy overwhelms your mind. You become stupefied 1 until the end of your next turn.

Energy Ley Line Ley Line 4

RareEvocationPrimal
Energy ley lines are attuned to a specific type of energy and enhance that energy's power. They might form where the power from an Inner Plane with immense energy (such as an Elemental Plane, the Positive Energy Plane, or the Negative Energy Plane) seeps across a planar boundary. An energy ley line can be attuned to acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, positive, negative, or sonic energy and gains the respective trait for that energy. Higher-level energy ley lines can deal greater persistent damage on the benefit and greater damage on the backlash, usually 1d8 per 4 levels.

Benefit All damage of the associated energy type you deal clings to your targets, dealing an additional 1d8 persistent damage of the ley line's energy type.

Backlash The energy rebounds, and you take 2d8 persistent damage of the ley line's energy type.

Focused Ley Line Ley Line 10

RareArcaneDivineEvocationOccultPrimal
Focused ley lines are concentrated points of magical energy which are even more potent than other ley lines. These ley lines allow users to realign their magical connections almost immediately. Higher-level focused ley lines allow users to gain their benefits more times in a single day.

Benefit You gain a Focus Point, which is separate from your focus pool and doesn't count toward the cap on your focus pool. You can gain this benefit only if you have a focus pool. If you don't use this focus point before the benefit of the ley line runs out, it's lost. You become temporarily immune to the benefits of this ley line for 24 hours.

Backlash Your entire being becomes overwhelmed with magical energy. You become stupefied 3 for 1 minute, and you can't Refocus for 1 hour.

Haunted Ley Line Ley Line 12

RareDivineNecromancyOccult
Some ley lines form at sites of significant death. This results in haunted ley lines, which allow those who tap into them to blur the line between life and death. More powerful haunted ley lines grant the benefits of a higher-level blink spell.

Benefit You're affected by blink for the duration of the ley line benefit. You can Sustain the Spell as though you had cast it, and you can choose the direction of your reappearance when you do so (you still reappear randomly at the end of your turn).

Backlash You get partially pulled into the Ethereal Plane. For 1 minute, you vanish and reappear in a random direction at the end of your turn as noted in the effects of blink, but you don't gain any of the other effects of the spell.

Specialized Ley Line Ley Line 14

RareArcane
Specialized ley lines empower specific types of magic. They most commonly come about where a practitioner of a particular type of magic has utilized their magical arts repeatedly, such as at locations of magical academies. Each specialized ley line is attuned to a specific school of magic and gains that school's trait. More powerful ones can heighten a spell multiple levels at once.

Benefit Spells you cast of the ley line's attuned school are empowered. When you Cast a Spell of that school, that spell is automatically heightened 1 level, up to a level equal to the highest spell level you can cast.

Backlash Your connection to the ley line's school of magic weakens, making it temporarily harder to manifest those spells. For 1 minute, all spells of the attuned school require one additional action to cast.

Ley Line Rituals

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 216
Those who build a stronghold on a ley line might use rituals to increase their advantage. The following rituals allow easier or more powerful benefits from ley lines.

Empower ley line, establish nexus

Pervasive Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 216
While the majority of Golarion has a substantial amount of magic, it is not ubiquitous. In other worlds, though, magic could be everywhere—a part of everyday life. Creatures on these worlds have an affinity with at least one of the magic traditions, and most are capable of at least simple spellcasting.

Rarity: Rare

GMs can use the pervasive magic rules found here to create worlds where magic flows freely (or to alter only parts of a setting to be especially high in magic; see page 222 for ideas on how to incorporate pervasive magic rules into the Lost Omens setting).

Adding magical traits to a campaign can enrich the setting and make it more memorable. Perhaps a cataclysmic, magical event turned part of the world into a barren wasteland—those desolated plains might still hold enough residual magic to apply the pervasive magic rules. Creatures and characters in an area might all have the arcane trait, or mountain lakes tied to the Elemental Plane of Water might infuse the nearby terrain and its inhabitants with primal magic. The constant efforts of secretive cults might cause occult power to leak into the sewers and tunnels beneath a bustling city.

The GM must decide when first creating a campaign if it uses the pervasive magic rules. In pervasive magic campaigns, players choose their characters' associated magic trait and can select from the pervasive magic backgrounds and feats. Because pervasive magic represents a slight power increase overall, it's recommended that if some characters in the setting have access to pervasive magic, then all characters should to maintain balance.

Tradition Traits

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 218
Every creature in a pervasive magic campaign, including PCs, has a trait associated with one of the magical traditions. Note that this trait is inherent and a circumstance of nature, independent of class choice—a character with the primal tradition trait can still study to be a wizard and cast arcane spells. See Creature Adjustments for how to adjust creature stats in areas of pervasive magic. You might see primal manticores, arcane ogres, occult gold dragons, or divine flesh golems.

Creatures (including PCs) gain the following:
  • A trait associated with one of the magic traditions: arcane, divine, occult, or primal.
  • The ability to cast a cantrip (PCs choose one upon character creation) from the tradition associated with that trait.
  • The Cast a Spell activity.
  • Proficiency rank in spell DCs and spell attack rolls with the chosen tradition equal to their class DC or their highest proficiency rank in spell DCs, whichever is higher. They can choose any mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) to be associated with their innate spells granted by pervasive magic.
  • Access to backgrounds and feats with the pervasive magic trait.

Magical Backgrounds

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
Characters in pervasive magic campaigns choose backgrounds normally, but they also have access to backgrounds that represent the influence of constant and powerful magic during their lives. Some of these backgrounds determine your innate magical trait.

Energy scarred, mystic tutor, surge investigator

Feats

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
This section presents new feats that are available only to creatures or characters from pervasive magic campaigns. All of these feats are class feats, but they can be taken by any class. When you take the feat, it gains the trait appropriate for your class.

Cantrip Casting, Basic Spellcasting, Expert Spellcasting, Master Spellcasting

Creature Adjustments

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
In a world of pervasive magic, creatures gain at least one trait associated with a magical tradition. These traits reflect the creature's innate magical nature. In areas of localized pervasive magic, these traits represent the area itself.

Arcane Adjustments

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
The creature gains the arcane trait and can cast a single innate spell from the arcane spell list once per day. Use the creature's level (see the table below) to determine the spell's level. Use the spell DC and spell attack roll on the table if the creature does not already have those statistics.

Creature LevelSpell Level (Statistics)Suggested Spells
–1 to 2Cantrip (DC 15, attack +7)Daze, detect magic, shield, telekinetic projectile
3 to 41st (DC 18, attack +10)Charm, fleet step, grim tendrils, magic missile, sleep
5 to 62nd (DC 21, attack +13)Blur, invisibility, mirror image, see invisibility, spider climb
7 to 83rd (DC 23, attack +15)Blindness, fireball, haste, hypnotic pattern, lightning bolt, wall of wind
9 to 104th (DC 26, attack +18)Blink, confusion, fire shield, freedom of movement, wall of fire
11 to 125th (DC 29, attack +21)Cloak of colors, cloudkill, cone of cold, tongues
13 to 146th (DC 31, attack +23)Chain lightning, spellwrack, true seeing
15 to 167th (DC 34, attack +26)Fiery body, prismatic spray, true target
17 to 188th (DC 35, attack +27)Disappearance, horrid wilting, maze
19 to 209th (DC 38, attack +30)Meteor swarm, prismatic sphere
21 or higher10th (DC 42, attack +34)Time stop, wish

Divine Adjustments

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
The creature gains the divine trait and can cast a single innate spell from the divine spell list once per day. Use the creature's level (see the table below) to determine the spell's level. Use the spell DC and spell attack roll on the table if the creature does not already have those statistics.

Creature LevelSpell Level (Statistics)Suggested Spells
–1 to 2Cantrip (DC 15, attack +7)Detect magic, divine lance, guidance, light
3 to 41st (DC 18, attack +10)Bane, bless, heal, sanctuary
5 to 62nd (DC 21, attack +13)Death knell, restoration, silence, spiritual weapon
7 to 83rd (DC 23, attack +15)Chilling darkness, heroism, sanctified ground, searing light
9 to 104th (DC 26, attack +18)Divine wrath, spell immunity
11 to 125th (DC 29, attack +21)Abyssal plague, flame strike, sending, spiritual guardian
13 to 146th (DC 31, attack +23)Blade barrier, righteous might
15 to 167th (DC 34, attack +26)Eclipse burst, energy aegis, sunburst
17 to 188th (DC 35, attack +27)Divine aura, spiritual epidemic
19 to 209th (DC 38, attack +30)Overwhelming presence, wail of the banshee
21 or higher10th (DC 42, attack +34)Miracle, revival

Occult Adjustments

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
The creature gains the occult trait and can cast a single innate spell from the occult spell list once per day. Use the creature's level (see the table below) to determine the spell's level. Use the spell DC and spell attack roll on the table if the creature does not already have those statistics

Creature LevelSpell Level (Statistics)Suggested Spells
–1 to 2Cantrip (DC 15, attack +7)Chill touch, guidance, ghost sound, shield
3 to 41st (DC 18, attack +10)Bane, charm, fear, grim tendrils, ray of enfeeblement
5 to 62nd (DC 21, attack +13)Darkness, false life, paranoia
7 to 83rd (DC 23, attack +15)Enthrall, haste, slow
9 to 104th (DC 26, attack +18)Confusion, phantasmal killer, suggestion
11 to 125th (DC 29, attack +21)Abyssal plague, black tentacles, crushing despair
13 to 146th (DC 31, attack +23)Feeblemind, repulsion, spirit blast
15 to 167th (DC 34, attack +26)Mask of terror, visions of danger, warp mind
17 to 188th (DC 35, attack +27)Maze, mind, spirit song, uncontrollable dance
19 to 209th (DC 38, attack +30)Telepathic demand, unfathomable song
21 or higher10th (DC 42, attack +34)Alter reality, fabricated truth

Primal Adjustments

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 219
The creature gains the primal trait and can cast a single innate spell from the primal spell list once per day. Use the creature's level (see the table below) to determine the spell's level. Use the spell DC and spell attack roll on the table if the creature does not already have those statistics.

Creature LevelSpell Level (Statistics)Suggested Spells
–1 to 2Cantrip (DC 15, attack +7)Electric arc, produce flame
3 to 41st (DC 18, attack +10)Heal, jump, magic fang, pass without trace
5 to 62nd (DC 21, attack +13)Barkskin, enlarge, resist energy, shatter
7 to 83rd (DC 23, attack +15)Blindness, slow, stinking cloud
9 to 104th (DC 26, attack +18)Air walk, freedom of movement, solid fog
11 to 125th (DC 29, attack +21)Cloudkill, elemental form, wall of ice
13 to 146th (DC 31, attack +23)Baleful polymorph, field of life, tangling creepers
15 to 167th (DC 34, attack +26)Eclipse burst, regenerate, sunburst, volcanic eruption
17 to 188th (DC 35, attack +27)Earthquake, horrid wilting, punishing winds
19 to 209th (DC 38, attack +30)Nature's enmity, storm of vengeance
21 or higher10th (DC 42, attack +34)Cataclysm, primal phenomenon

Magical Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
From a city where strange lights flit from street to street, a cavern that can't be found by scrying, or a bog where illusions frolic, magical terrain can create memorable locations and challenges. This section describes several types of magical terrain that the GM can use in a pervasive magic setting. The size and location of each type of terrain is entirely up to the GM. The effects of magical terrain can be constant, or they might occur only under certain circumstances, such as a forest that becomes home to potent arcane magic only at night, or every century an eclipse on the winter solstice subjects a nearby city to ghoulish hunger.

Magical terrain fits well into pervasive magic campaigns, but can be used in any campaign as a way to help create unique and memorable encounters.

Energy Surge Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
Choose an energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, negative, positive, or sonic). Whenever a magic effect does damage of that type, it does additional damage (usually 1d6 additional damage, but the GM might increase or decrease the amount to depict stronger or weaker areas of surging energy).

Heightened Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
This type of terrain heightens spells cast within it. An area of heightened terrain could alter anything from a single spell to an entire school of magic or magical tradition. These areas vary greatly in appearance, evincing the influence of the specific type of magic heightened. Spells that match the criteria are heightened 1 level above the spell level they were cast at.

Metamagic Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
Any eligible spell cast in this terrain has a particular metamagic effect added to it—typically Reach Spell or Widen Spell. If the caster uses a metamagic action before casting a spell, that action overrides the terrain's metamagic effect. These areas usually appear fairly normal, but fountains of magical energy spring up around a caster when they begin Casting a Spell.

Occult Magic Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
In areas of occult magic, emotions run hotter, passions flare, and a mysterious intent permeates. Any creature casting an occult spell gains a +1 circumstance bonus to Will saves, Deception checks, Diplomacy checks, Intimidation checks, and Performance checks until the end of its next turn.

Primal Magic Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
In areas of primal magic, plant life is lusher, experiences are more vivid, and instincts are sharper—the land itself seems vibrant and alive. Creatures who cast a primal spell here gain a +10- foot status bonus to Speeds until the end of their next turn.

Spell-Touched Terrain

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
Spell-touched terrain is enchanted with either a permanent spell effect or cast spells periodically.

Permanent Spell Effects: This terrain, or all creatures in it, is affected by a certain spell. For example, all creatures in an area might be affected by blink, or any creature that attempts to jump is automatically affected by a jump spell. There might be a condition required before a creature gains the effects.

Periodic Spell Casting: The terrain itself casts spells at set intervals. These spells can affect all creatures, random creatures, or certain subcategories of creatures at the GM's discretion, and they might require a specific condition before they occur.

Shadow Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
While most types of magic are additive, arising from gaining knowledge or abilities, shadow magic is different—to touch the shadow, a spellcaster must surrender the piece of their spirit that normally keeps the darkness out. This process permanently removes the spellcaster's ability to cast spells of light and warmth but compensates them with an unmatched facility for manipulating the energies of darkness and shadow.

Rarity: Uncommon

This section has options for both spellcasters who use shadow magic and for companions that dwell in the dark.

Shadowcasters sacrifice the magic of light to bind themselves to the darkness.

Shadow companions and familiars can accompany shadowcasters or can join anyone else as shadowy compatriots. These creatures might follow one who's already traveling the path of shadow or might be strange ambassadors to someone of a more conventional stripe. Shadowdancer with companions typically choose these creatures of shadow.

Shadowcaster Origins

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 222
Shadowcasters can come from any tradition of magic, though divine or occult casters are the most likely to attempt to master the power of shadow. Their magic is most entwined with the spirit, and thus they're most easily able to understand and accept the sacrifice necessary to become a shadowcaster. Primal practitioners are rarer, often finding the power of shadow antithetical to their goals and beliefs. Arcane spellcasters are slightly more likely to use shadow magic, but it isn't uncommon for wizards to question the value of the trade, unwilling to give up the ability to manipulate the powers of light in exchange for increased facility with shadow and darkness.

Shadow Companions

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 222
Spellcasters aren't the sole purveyors of shadow magic. Some adventurers are guided on their path by companions with an inherent connection to shadow, whether or not the adventurer is a shadowcaster. Adventurers who would wield shadow should follow the guidance of such beings. Shadowcasters, as well as others who might stumble across this knowledge, have access to the shadow hound animal companion and the shade specialization option.

Shadow Familiars

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 228
Familiars bind themselves to mortals in a symbiotic relationship. Shadowcaster witches are among the most likely to obtain a familiar with the power of shadow, particularly those with the night patron. Others likely to take on shadow familiars include shadow bloodline sorcerers and darkness domain clerics.

Soul Seeds

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 229
Part magical item, part undefined mote of sentience, soul seeds are sources of magic that come to reside within a creature, granting diverse and powerful abilities. In the rare cases when a soul seed isn't already bound to a living soul, it looks like a glowing mote with a crystal-like center, often centering on a point of light.

Rarity: Rare
Soul seeds are a special type of intangible relic, though because they bind to the soul of the creature that carries them, they can't be removed from the creature they're bonded with except on that creature's death (at which point the soul seed might manifest nearby or might be lost along with the bearer). Since soul seeds aren't physical objects, they never have Interact activations.

Soul Seed Gifts

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 230
The GM should follow the same guidelines and rules for granting soul seeds as for relics. They can have any aspect or gift that a normal relic has, and their DCs, spell attack rolls, and counteract modifiers are determined identically. The following gifts are particularly appropriate for soul seeds, though they might apply to relics in the right circumstances. Dragon gifts are often connected to the souls of ancient dragons, and soul gifts are prevalent across all sorts of soul seeds.

Related Rules

Relics (Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 94)

Soulforged Armaments

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 230
Unrelenting commitment to a single purpose. Zealous compulsion to right a wrong. The inability to leave an important deed undone. These qualities have long served as primordial and potent components of magic. No starlet dropping, strand of spider's web, or poorly pronounced draconic sonnet can rival the power of belief. Tales of soulforged weapons, shields, and armor—equipment created from the tenacity of a combatant's spirit alone— have circulated throughout Golarion for centuries.

Rarity: Uncommon

Soulforged armaments can be summoned only in the service of a higher purpose or calling, such as a blade called forth to avenge a wrongful death or a shield conjured to protect one's homeland from invasion. Weaponry, shields, or armor created in this way often visually resemble the purpose they were summoned to fulfill. For example, a dagger forged from a soulbond to assassinate the high council of a tyrannical nation might bear the names or likenesses of the targets—only to see them crossed out or fade from view as each is eliminated.

Binding an Armament

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 232
You bind an armament—a weapon, shield, or suit of armor—to your soul when you select the Soulforger Dedication feat. This represents performing a special ritual to do so. You can choose an item you own to make soulforged or spontaneously manifest an item with a form drawn from your spiritual essence. In the latter case, you choose the form, selecting a mundane weapon, shield, or armor of level 1 or lower, either common or one to which you have access. An existing armament is deconstructed and then recreated with the substance of your soul binding it together, which changes the appearance to match the state of your soul. It might have a perfect surface and gleam in the faintest light if you have a noble soul or have a twisting, chaotic shape if your soul is wracked with turmoil. This appearance can change based on your actions. Most soulforgers also choose a unique name for their armament.

Traits: A soulforged armament is always magical. If it doesn't otherwise have any traits that make it magical, it gains the magical and evocation traits if it's a weapon or the magical and abjuration traits if it's a shield or armor.

Extradimensional Storage: The armament is stored in an extradimensional space when not in use, and you can Manifest it to summon it into your hands or onto your body. A soulforged armament can be Dropped, Disarmed, or otherwise removed from you, but its soulforged abilities don't function for anyone else, and you can Dismiss the manifestation to return the items to the extradimensional space no matter where the items are. If you die or choose to pass ownership of a soulforged armament to a successor, it loses any soulforged abilities; violating the spirit of the soulforged bond by selling the item tends to have disastrous results. There might be special techniques or rituals by which a determined foe can break your bond with a soulforged item, but otherwise, your ability to Dismiss and Manifest it essentially means it can't be stolen.

Essence Power: Choose one essence power for your soulforged armament. You can bring the essence power forth once per day by tapping into the armament's essence form deep in your soul; essence powers can be found here. You also choose a soulbond—a cause true to your soul that links you and your armament. Going against this cause can give your armament a soulbond corruption that hinders you even while the armament isn't manifested.

Soul Path

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 232
When you take Soulforger Dedication, you must choose a soul path—a motivation, cause, or goal that compels you to act, prompts you to undertake substantial risk, and drives you to face significant danger. Such a motivation can be limited or grand in scope but must be actionable enough to be easily linked to gameplay. For example, if your village was destroyed by the greed of wealthy nobles, you might select a soul path to protect the poor by undermining the rich, which might drive you to protect an innocent from the blade of a wealthy noble or break into a bank vault containing coins stolen from destitute villagers. Other sample soulbonds might include liberating the oppressed from the tyranny of slavery, punishing those who threaten nature or hunting and killing malevolent undead. Work with the GM to choose a soul path that fits in well with the themes of your campaign and group dynamic so that you can pursue your soul path in an interesting fashion.

Corruption

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 234
Though the supernatural link with a specific armament created by a soulbond is powerful, the sensitive nature of will—with its potential for dramatic ebb and flow— poses a threat to those who harness this power. Once you're bound to a soulforged armament, you begin to test your true devotion to your soul path.

If you behave or act in a way that directly opposes or hinders the motivation, goal, or cause declared in your soul path (regardless of whether the act involves your soulforged armaments), your spirit begins to tarnish. It's anathema for you to commit acts opposed to your soul path or to even go a long time without taking action to pursue the path. You and your GM determine when you've performed an anathematic act. In the example of protecting the poor by undermining the rich, working for a wealthy noble or directly in their interest could be anathema, as could spending a month on a distant plane far from the struggles of the oppressed. In both examples, you could find an approach to remain true and avoid the anathema. In the first case, you might use your leverage to force the noble to anonymously divest a substantial amount of their funds to feed and house the poor—or do so yourself. In the second, you might seek a similar dynamic of wealth and want among the cultures of the distant plane and work against it.

Anathematic acts trigger a curse known as soulforged corruption that degrades and perverts the energies within your soulforged armament. This curse brings out a flaw inextricably tied to the armament's true essence. The corruption flaw applies to you even when your armament isn't manifested. The rules for the flaw appear in the essence power. As normal for a curse, this affliction can be removed only by effects that specifically target curses, including the methods listed in the Removing Corruption section below.

Soulforged Corruption (curse, divine, enchantment) A successful remove curse spell, rather than ending this curse, reduces its stage by 1 (to a minimum of stage 1). Level your level; Saving Throw Will save against a very hard DC of the curse's level; Stage 1 You suffer the effects of your armament's corruption flaw. If you try to manifest the armament's essence form, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check. If you fail, only the normal form manifests, and you can't try to manifest that armament's essence form again that day (1 day); Stage 2 You suffer the effects of your armament's corruption flaw, and any attempt to activate the armament's essence form fails (1 day); Stage 3 You permanently destroy your soulforged armament. You can't have a new soulforged armament until you remove the curse entirely with the purify soul path ritual (1 day).

Removing Corruption

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 234
The effects of soulforged corruption can be staved off with the Cleanse Soul Path exploration activity or cured with the purify soul path ritual.

Upgrading, Reshaping, Restoring

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 234
You might want to alter your soulbound armament by adding new runes, replacing its form with a new one, or creating a new armament after yours was destroyed. You decide whether you consider this new armament as the same armament of the same lineage or a brand-new creation with a totally different appearance and name.

Upgrading your armament works like etching or transferring runes or upgrading a permanent item from a lower-level version of the same item, whichever is appropriate to what you're doing. You or someone else can do the work, but you must leave the item manifested for the entire process. You can transfer runes off your armament as well, typically in anticipation of establishing your bond with a different item.

Reshaping your armament allows you to change the base weapon, armor, or shield into another of the same type, turning half plate armor into full plate, changing a warhammer into a longbow, and so on. If all you do is change the form while keeping the same runes and other magical properties, you can do so by spending a day in meditation. This doesn't cost any gp or extra time unless the new form is higher than level 1, or unless the difference is so vast that the GM determines it might take additional time and cost. For example, turning explorer's clothing into full plate requires the same time, expense, and Crafting check you'd need to Craft full plate since full plate is a level 2 item. Specific items can't be reshaped in this way unless the GM expressly allows it. You can't turn a flame tongue into a spiked chain, a breastplate of command into hide armor, or a sturdy shield into a darkwood shield. You can also use this day in meditation to rebind your soul to a different item in your possession. Typically, you keep the old item, its power removed, as a special keepsake or gift to a worthy successor, though attempting to disrespect the spirit of the bond by selling the item can have dire consequences. Since the essence power you chose represents the effects of the connection to your soul, the essence power typically doesn't change when you bind a new armament, though if your character's personality and connections change dramatically through the story, you and the GM might decide together to shift to a different essence power the next time you bind a new armament. If you rebind your soul to an armament that can't accommodate your current essence power, you will also need to change to a different essence power.

You can recreate a destroyed soulforged armament, or bond to a new armament if your previous one was destroyed. (If it was destroyed by soulforged corruption, you must first successfully use purify soul path.) Recreating costs the same amount of time and money as creating the item from scratch. If you already have an item with which to form a new bond, it takes 1 day in meditation, as with reshaping an armament.

Essence Powers

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 236
Your soulforged armament has an essence power you choose when you first bind it. It gains the power temporarily when you manifest its essence form. Each power has a corruption flaw that affects you if you have soulforged corruption. Essence powers that only apply to some types of armament indicate which.

A list of available essence powers can be found here.

Thassilonian Rune Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 235
The ancient empire of Thassilon was ruled by eight powerful wizards from the even older empire of Azlant. Their leader, Xin, led his seven allies, who would become his first governors and the first runelords, to a new land where they could pursue their studies and begin an empire of their own.

Rarity: Rare

Xin and the rest of the runelords focused their studies on the discernible fragments of magic's raw nature, expanding upon the use and understanding of runes from the Azlanti tradition to raise rune magic as paramount to their new empire. Xin began with relatively high-minded intentions. He focused his research on seven powerful runes that he believed represented entire schools of magic, and on associated mental schemas and mindsets that would allow a wizard to truly master those schools. Xin taught these seven mindsets as virtues corresponding to each of the seven schools of Thassilonian magic, such as confidence rooted in humility, and passion steeped in love. Later, he offered a list of seven rewards for the appropriate usage of magic from each school.

But Xin's experimentation was built on a shaky foundation. The runes offered a powerful temptation to lose control, turning virtue into vice. When humility became pride and love became lust, Xin's most powerful runelords—Xanderghul of illusion and Sorshen of enchantment—formed a secret pact with the others to overthrow Xin and create a sinful empire where each of their seven provinces was a runelord's fiefdom and there was no higher authority to prevent the wizards of each province from falling deeper and deeper into sin.

The runelords ruled Thassilon for many centuries, but nothing lasts forever, and the apocalypse known as Earthfall didn't spare Thassilon from the devastation it brought to the rest of the world. The runelords had forewarning, and each used extreme measures to survive, but due to a series of failures in their contingencies, it would be 10,000 years before they began to rise again. As the risen runelords clashed and heroes stepped in to oppose their return, time itself strained and tore, and an entire Thassilonian city, once sheltered from the passage of the eons, emerged once more into the world along with an entire populace of time-displaced citizens.

Today, New Thassilon consists of two opposing lands. While Belimarius, the runelord of abjuration, rules over a kingdom keeping to the old and sinful ways of late Thassilon, Sorshen, once the runelord of enchantment, seeks to turn over a new leaf after a millennium of depraved evil and subjugation. As she seeks redemption, so too do those in her province seek to return to the study of the original meanings of the runes, eschewing the sinful ways of the late empire. It is in Sorshen's realm of Eurythnia that the understanding of runes and rune magic has begun to expand again, a lively scholastic revolution that mixes rediscovering the lore of Thassilon's founding and catching up with relevant magical innovations from the intervening 10,000 years. The term “runelord” has begun to shift in the vernacular, since Belimarius and Sorshen are independent queens and not the governors of provinces of imperial Thassilon. At first there was some inertia; practitioners had to overcome what felt almost like blasphemy, deigning to call themselves by the same title as their godlike rulers. But before long, those following the path of Thassilonian rune magic began to adopt the moniker as their own.

These new runelords each forge their own path; some remain in New Thassilon to continue their research, while others explore this young world or even become adventurers. No matter what other motivations they might have, runelords are fascinated with advancing the study of rune magic. How deeply to engage in their magic's associated mindset is a thoroughly personal decision, and every runelord has their own perspective on the matter. It is usually best to assume nothing about a particular runelord before spending time with them to take their measure, as runelords who avoid any hint of sin don't appreciate being lumped in with those who indulge deeply, and vice versa.

The Seven Schools

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 235
The following seven schools are considered proper specializations of Thassilonian rune magic. In this paradigm, the Thassilonians considered divination magic to be something every wizard should learn but that none need take the effort to master.

Abjuration (Envy)

Runelords of abjuration specialize in protective magic and in suppressing all other magic to glorify their own.
Prohibited Schools evocation, necromancy; Rune Spells initial: blind ambition, advanced: competitive edge

Conjuration (Sloth)

Runelords of conjuration use their magic to create what they need as they need it, and call forth servants to do their bidding.
Prohibited Schools evocation, illusion; Rune Spells initial: efficient apport, advanced: swamp of sloth

Enchantment (Lust)

Runelords of enchantment specialize in magic that compels and controls the minds of others, often to fulfill their own needs and desires.
Prohibited Schools necromancy, transmutation; Rune Spells initial: charming touch, advanced: captivating adoration

Evocation (Wrath)

Runelords of evocation channel raw destructive energies and direct them toward all who would oppose their will.
Prohibited Schools abjuration, conjuration; Rune Spells initial: weapon surge, advanced: zeal for battle

Illusion (Pride)

Runelords of illusion use magic to create the perfect appearance and fool others through trickery, deception, and misdirection.
Prohibited Schools conjuration, transmutation; Rune Spells initial: veil of confidence, advanced: delusional pride

Necromancy (Gluttony)

Runelords of necromancy tap into their constant hunger for more power and enhancing their longevity, potentially even unto undeath.
Prohibited Schools abjuration, enchantment; Rune Spells initial: overstuff, advanced: take its course

Transmutation (Greed)

Runelords of transmutation not only transform objects to create value, but also transform and enhance their own power.
Prohibited Schools enchantment, illusion; Rune Spells initial: appearance of wealth, advanced: precious metals

True Names

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 238
The magic of true names rests on the principle that if you know someone's name, you have power over them. After all, to name a thing is to describe that thing—but to accurately describe a thing, you have to understand it, and if you understand it, you can control it.
Rarity: Rare
The older and more complicated a thing is, the more likely it has more than one name. A single person acquires many names: names they inherit, names they're given at birth, names they choose, and nicknames bequeathed by others. The magic of true names, however, postulates there's a final, secret name—a true name known to no one, or to only a few—that best represents us in all our complexity.

True names might have been assigned by the gods when the cosmos was created or generated by natural processes, and are unique like fingerprints. Most people never learn theirs, and they might not even be aware they have one, but masters of this magic spend countless hours in study divining these names, recording them in long lists, and using them to summon, command, dispel, or otherwise dominate their enemies.

The Nature of Names

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 244
For the purposes of true name magic, names are divided into three categories: public names, private names, and true names. Public names are what we call something when we don't have a more specific name. They're often just words—like “grass” or “a giraffe”—but they also include aliases and nicknames. A public name can be given without consent, which is how spellcasters who rely on names work magic on those they don't know, improvising a nickname or simply referring to the target with a noun, like “elf.”

Private names include most birth names, given names, and chosen names. They're not necessarily a secret, but at the same time not everyone knows them. They're confidential, and knowing them means you can better understand—and influence—the individual. Places, animals, and other objects can be given private names by individuals and communities. A mountain is just a mountain, but when those who live nearby see in it the image of a protective goddess and begin to call it the Stone Mother, that mountain has now gained a private name known only to this community.

A person, place, or thing might have many public or private names, but it can have only one true name, which perfectly represents its essence. Depending on their culture, individuals may not even be aware of theirs; a child who grows up in a society without knowledge of true names could live their whole life relying solely on private names and never even suspect they have a true name, let alone know what it is! But in cultures where this magic is common, most people know their true name and take steps to protect it. They keep their true name secret, revealing it only to their most trusted loved ones. An individual might first be told their true name by someone knowledgeable in magic, who finds it for them via research. But in other societies, individuals are given their true name by their soulmate, who knows this name without being told. Knowing your own true name gives you a deep, introspective insight into yourself that allows you to understand your own motivations and psychology, helping you self-actualize and avoid dissociation and anomie.

True names, by definition, encapsulate everything an individual is and has ever been. They are the essential kernel of a person, and that means they do not change. But life, magic, and the world are mysterious and unpredictable! There are a few individuals who go through an experience so transformative that they become, for all practical purposes, a different person at the end of the story than they were at the beginning—and when they change, their true name changes with them.

Learning True Names

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 244
True names can be discovered or learned in many ways. A few rare secret societies might have “namers” among their number whose sole job is to teach long lists of true names to fellow members through rote memorization and practice. But for most, the discovery of a true name is the result of extensive research—though the form that research requires is difficult to predict.

True names are sometimes found recorded in the personal diaries or grimoires of long-dead spellcasters. Organizations known for combating certain types of creatures compile lists of the few true names of their enemies they've managed to uncover. The true names of angels, demons, and similar creatures can rarely be found in prayers dedicated to that entity or in chants that protect against them. Occultists sometimes use deep meditative trances—potentially assisted by hallucinogenic drugs—to cast their minds through the cosmos and receive a true name through bizarre epiphanies. Those who serve and understand nature also know that the true name of primal and First World entities is encoded into the world itself—in tree rings, geological strata, and the pattern of snow on the ground—just waiting to be deciphered by someone who knows what to look for. For a lucky few, a true name just comes to them spontaneously as a sign they've found their soulmate. All these are examples of information that can be uncovered using the research subsystem.

Using the Research Subsystem

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 245
When finding the true name of a specific individual is key to the story and time is short, use the research subsystem. Set the level of the library equal to the level of the creature whose true name the PCs are trying to find. Consider the types of strange and fanciful libraries you might use for such a story. For instance, imagine the player characters are searching for the true name of a phistophilus (also known as a contract devil), in order to rescue an NPC from the consequences of an infernal contract. You might build an infernal library in Cheliax or some other region where knowledge of devils is common, or maybe even in Hell itself! Such a library might have guardians and traps aplenty, but also the potential to learn even more true names from the various contracts therein.

Simplified Name Research

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 245
Sometimes the GM doesn't have time to create a library or use the research subsystem, but nonetheless would like a PC to be able to research the name of a particular entity for story reasons. In that case, they can use the Learn Name downtime activity. Since the knowledge of a true name essentially puts that creature at the namer's mercy, this activity can't reveal true names by default, but it might lead to clues regarding a creature's true name.

Using True Names

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 245
Certain spells, feats, and items have the true name trait. This trait means they require you to know a creature's true name to use them. But even without these specialized abilities, knowing a creature's true name gives you certain advantages. If you know a creature's true name, you have a +2 circumstance bonus to the following checks.

Namer's Codex

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 246
Namers have hidden their special techniques, spells, and items for millennia.

Feats: Reveal True Name
Spells: Catch your name, compel true name, invoke true name
Items: True name amulet

Wellspring Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 245
Wellspring magic wells up within characters so mightily that it can overwhelm them and explode out of their control. Characters with wellsprings can recover spells throughout the day, powering through countless battles, but the overwhelming flow of magic could form a violent surge at any moment.

Rarity: Rare

Your wellspring, by definition, lies outside your full control. The inherent contradiction is that you have greater potential for power, but you can't use it exactly as you wish. Regardless of whether you see it as a boon or a curse, it demands of you a degree of surrender if you're to use your magic at all.

A magic wellspring often comes as an intrinsic part of the caster's own magic, whether granted or inherited. Characters can also receive wellsprings of magic as gifts from powerful entities or when they're released from other sources of potent magical energy. Being nearby when an artifact is destroyed or a powerful magical being dies can, rarely, leave a permanent wellspring in a character.

Choosing the wellspring mage archetype gives you the abilities related to this type of magic. This is a class archetype, chosen at 1st level as explained below. Consider what source will be most satisfying for your character, and think about how they feel when experiencing the influx of wellspring magic. Does the wellspring feel like a true part of your being? Like an unwanted outsider working its will through you? Like a problem to be solved? An aspect of yourself to come to terms with? As noted in the archetype, high-stress situations cause the wellspring magic roll. You can work with your GM to refine what sorts of situations might be high-stress for you that wouldn't be for other characters.

Using Wellspring Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 248
Wellspring magic is most often appropriate for oracles who struggle to handle seemingly endless magic sent from the gods unasked, and for sorcerers with exceptional raw power but not exceptional discipline. More rarely, a particularly interested muse might give a bard a wellspring of irresistible creative energy in exchange for using it to humiliate or cast down a rival fey lord at exceptional personal risk. Summoners very rarely experience wellsprings because of the nature of their link to their eidolon, but when they do, the wellspring is most often connected to a magical essence associated with the eidolon. When sent by an entity such as a god, this power is generally an ambitious gamble to further one or more far-reaching schemes.

Multiclass Variant

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 248
As a variant, a GM can consider applying wellspring magic to characters with the oracle or sorcerer multiclass dedication to represent struggling to control their new powers. If used this way, you might allow players who wish to represent their character mastering the surging power to remove the wellspring mage archetype when they gain an appropriate level without retraining.

Areas of Wellspring Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 248
A GM might implement wellspring magic in areas where there is an overload of magic or where magic is unstable. When using it in this way, you can apply chosen effects of the wellspring mage archetype to all spellcasters in the area, or even give the archetype to spellcasters in the area as a temporary free archetype.

The ravaged Mana Wastes might be a good place to use this style of wellspring magic. For other planes, the extraplanar First World, home of the fey, and the chaotic Maelstrom are excellent candidates.

Wellspring Surges

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 250
When your wellspring magic goes out of control, it becomes a wellspring surge. Typically, this happens when you fail the flat check from wellspring magic, but other wellspring mage feats have effects that sometimes cause you to generate a wellspring surge, or might even cause your foes to do so.

Roll 1d20 and use Table 5–2: Wellspring Surges below to determine the surge's effect. If the effect calls for a damage type, the GM chooses the type based on the types of spells you know or your current location. The wellspring surge uses your spell DC. You have no control over the way your wellspring surge manifests. You are the point of origin for your wellspring surges, and you are not excluded from their effects. If you force a foe to generate a surge, they are the origin point of that surge instead.

If your wellspring was granted by a being like a god or muse, the entity's intentions might sometimes alter the results of wellspring surges, or move the point of origin for an area to any point within 30 feet if the GM determines this fits the situation. For example, instead of uncontrolled damage, the entity might choose to damage only creatures opposing its plan, even if they are your allies.

A wellspring surge always has the trait of your magical tradition, plus any traits that appear in parentheses at the end of the surge's effects.

Table 5-2: Wellspring Surges

d20Effect
1Energy Unleashed (evocation) Raw energy deals 2d6 damage per spell level of the surge (basic Reflex save) in a 10-foot burst.
2Positive Energy Expulsion (healing, necromancy, positive) Positive energy explodes outward, healing living creatures for 1d8 Hit Points per spell level of the surge in a 20-foot burst. Undead creatures instead take the same amount of positive damage, with a basic Will save.
3Mass Siphon (transmutation) Creatures and objects within a 30-foot emanation become nearly weightless until the end of your next turn. Nearly weightless creatures can Climb at their land Speed and can Leap as far upward as they could normally Leap horizontally.
4Magical Nemesis (conjuration, teleportation) A random creature connected to your magic (or inimical to it) appears within 60 feet. The creature should be of a level approximately equal to the level of an animal summoned by summon animal of the spell level, although it can be of any type. The GM determines the specific creature. The creature is unfriendly to you and friendly to your apparent enemies. After 1 minute, the creature can choose either to return where it came from or to remain. It is not summoned or a minion.
5Monstrous Transformation (mental, morph, transmutation) Your head and arms transform into an exaggerated imitation of a creature connected to your magic for 1 minute. The GM determines the creature. You gain a status bonus to weapon and unarmed damage rolls equal to the spell level. At the start of each of your turns while you are transformed, you must succeed at a Will saving throw or be confused until the start of your next turn. On a critical success, you can choose to end the effect entirely, also losing the status bonus.
6Sudden Gale (air, evocation) Weather in a 40-foot emanation is disturbed. Strong winds blow in a random direction for 1 minute. Each creature that starts its turn in the area must succeed at a Fortitude save or fall prone (and be pushed 10 feet on a critical failure), and you must succeed at this save immediately after the surge. Any movement against the wind is difficult terrain, or greater difficult terrain while flying.
7Tremor (earth, evocation) The earth trembles in a 40-foot emanation. Each creature on a surface must immediately succeed at a Fortitude save or fall prone. The surface then becomes difficult terrain for 1 minute.
8Oppressive Voice (divination, mental, nonlethal) The voice of your muse, your deity, an ancestor, or another appropriate entity suddenly overwhelms your mind. You must attempt a Will saving throw. You take 1d4 mental damage per spell level with a basic Will save. On a failure, you're also stunned 1 (stunned 2 on a critical failure).
9Trinket Squall (illusion) Visual illusions of objects related to your magic fall like rain throughout a 40-foot burst for 1 minute, giving concealment in the area. Creatures can attempt to disbelieve this illusion.
10Antimagic Eruption (abjuration) The surge attempts to counteract a random spell active on you and on each creature within a 10-foot burst.
11Mental Broadcast (detection, divination, mental) For 1 minute, everyone within 30 feet of you can hear your surface thoughts.
12Verdant Clutch (conjuration, plant) Plants and vines grow from all surfaces within 20 feet, causing all creatures in the area to be immobilized unless they succeed at a Reflex save. The Escape DC is equal to the spell DC.
13Tinge of Terror (emotion, enchantment, fear, mental) All creatures within 20 feet are affected by powerful fright. They attempt a Will save, becoming frightened 1 on a failure or frightened 2 on a critical failure.
14Strike up the Band (auditory, illusion) For 1 minute, you are followed by orchestral theme music tied to the emotional content of the actions you're performing. This grants you a +2 status bonus to Diplomacy, Intimidation, and Performance checks, a –2 status penalty to Deception checks, and makes certain uses of Stealth virtually impossible. It might have other effects as the GM sees fit.
15Life Sap (necromancy) The surge drains your life force and strength. You become drained 1 and doomed 1, and you are enfeebled 2 for 1 minute.
16Ablative Barrier (abjuration) Energy forms a protective barrier that ablates slowly as creatures in the area take damage. All creatures in a 40-foot burst gain resistance to all damage equal to double the surge's spell level for up to 1 minute. Whenever a creature applies this resistance, the resistance for all affected creatures reduces by 1. The effect ends for all creatures when it reduces to 0.
17Luminous Pests (illusion, visual) Numerous tiny flying creatures formed of bright colorful light, such as bats or hummingbirds, emerge from you, flying in a 30-foot cone. You and all creatures in the cone must succeed at a Will save or be dazzled for 1 minute, or blinded for 1 round and then dazzled for 1 minute on a critical failure.
18Emotional Turmoil (emotion, enchantment, mental) A swirl of conflicting emotions overwhelm you from the surging magic. For 1 minute, attempt a DC 11 flat check at the start of each of your turns. On a success, you gain a +2 status bonus to all attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks; on a failure, you take a –2 status penalty to them instead.
19Sudden Downpour (evocation, water) Water cascades from above, putting out non-magical fires in a 10-foot burst and attempting to counteract magical fires.
20Spell Surge You immediately cast any spell in your repertoire of the surge's spell level or lower (or from your prepared spells or innate spells if you don't have a repertoire but have been forced to generate a wellspring surge). You must choose a spell that takes 3 or fewer actions to cast.