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Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Book of Unlimited Magic

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.