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Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Book of Unlimited Magic

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.