Hello, everyone. A few weeks ago, a challenge was issued to third-party publishers of the Pathfinder system to make use of another third-party publisher’s material in their upcoming work. The reasoning behind the challenge was that the OGL allows for, and seems to envision, a wonderful world wherein third-party publishers all build upon and work with one another’s content to create a beautiful and intricate web of content for players which is interconnected, and where products from different publishers “play nice” with one another, but instead third-party publishers ignore each other and often produce several different approaches to the same thing, which wind up not only incompatible but in direct competition. Or something to that effect. The phrase “reinvent the wheel” came up. You can take a look at the challenge here.
We here at Necromancers of the Northwest thought that that was a cool idea, and wanted to support this vision of paradise, but were afraid that creating an actual product that was dependent on another company’s product would be received poorly, in that no one wants to buy a book only to find out they can’t use it without another, separate book (we also try pretty hard to avoid making books that require other books made by us, for the same reason. For example, even Marchen der Daemonwulf II and Spirit Warriors II, direct sequels to books we made, can be used without the original book, if necessary). So, we decided to devote a theme week of articles to it, instead, since articles are free, and you won’t feel cheated if you never get to use today’s content (or, at least, hopefully not too cheated).
We settled on a book called Sutra Magic by Rite Publishing, which produces a new approach to magic, in the form of oriental-themed sutras. As a result, every single article this week deals with sutra magic in some way, shape, or form.
For the purposes of today’s article, I wanted to address one of the biggest issues that I had with Sutra Magic, which is that, despite the fact that all you need to do to use it is take a single feat, sutra magic just isn’t all that accessible. See, your sutra caster level is based on your class, and only divine spellcasters get the full amount, with the next step down (arcane spellcasters) getting only half. Now, that’s fine for clerics and druids, and I understand that sutra magic is designed primarily with such characters in mind, but what about everyone else? The fighter? The bard? The wizard? Surely a character who devotes himself to sutras, even if he isn’t strictly a divine caster, can compete with clerics and their ilk…right? Well, they can now! With these archetypes, your bard, fighter, gunslinger, or wizard can sutra with the best of ‘em!
But first, several of the abilities included in the following archetypes reference concepts introduced in Sutra Magic by Rite Publishing. If you find yourself uncertain of what an “infernal creature” is, or what the different types of ofudas refer to, you’ll need to take a look at this book, which can be found here, for (at the time of this writing) $2.99.
New Bard Archetype
Singer of Wisdom
Rather than using his performing skills merely for entertainment or profit, the singer of wisdom gains spiritual strength through his artistic performances, and is a master of sutra magic.
Path of Song (Ex): At 1st level, the singer of wisdom gains the Sutra Caster feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Further, the singer of wisdom treats his sutra caster level as being equal to his bard level, rather than 1/2 his bard level.
This ability replaces the bardic performance class feature.
Bardic Performance (Ex):The singer of wisdom gains the following types of bardic performance:
Wisdom Worth Sharing (Su): At 3rd level, a singer of wisdom can use his performance to purify the thoughts and increase the focus of his allies. To be affected, an ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the singer of wisdom. Each affected creature gains a +2 sacred bonus to his sutra caster level and +2 sacred bonus to his Wisdom score for as long as he continues to hear the singer of wisdom’s performance. These bonuses increases by +1 for every four levels the singer of wisdom has attained beyond 3rd (to +3 at 7th, +4 at 11th, +5 at 15th, and +6 at 19th).
This performance replaces inspire competence.
Infernal Warding (Su): At 8th level, a singer of wisdom can use his performance to ward away infernal creatures. Each infernal creature within 30 feet of the singer of wisdom that can see and hear him must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the singer of Wisdom's bard level + the singer of wisdom’s Charisma modifier), or be nauseated by the wisdom of the song. Even if the saving throw is successful, the infernal creature is sickened. Either way, these effects persist for as long as the singer of wisdom continues the performance, and the infernal creature continues to be able to see and hear him.
This performance replaces dirge of doom.
New Fighter Archetype
Warrior of the Path
A warrior of the path is set apart from other fighters by his knowledge of sutra magic. He is uniquely skilled to combat and ward off the evil creatures which threaten to overrun all that is pure and good.
Bonus Feats: Whenever a warrior of the path gains a bonus feat, he may select any sutra feat for which he qualifies, in addition to the feats that he can normally select.
Path of Enlightenment (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, a warrior of the path gains the Sutra Caster feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Further, the warrior of the path treats his sutra caster level as being equal to his fighter level, rather than 1/3 his fighter level.
This ability replaces the bravery class feature.
Talismans (Ex): A warrior of the path learns new ways to shield himself against evil, as well as how to perpare omamori talismans in such a way that they he can wear more omamori than normal. Beginning at 3rd level, a warrior of the path may wear a single omamori sutra without causing it to use up a magic item slot. At 7th level, and every four levels thereafter, he can wear one additional omamori without causing it to take up a magic item slot (to a maximum of five at 19th level).
This ability replaces the armor training and armor mastery class features.
New Gunslinger Archetype
The sublime marksman is a master of combining her skill with her firearm and her ability to cast sutra magic. She is able to blend the two in order to make powerful and deadly attacks.
Path of the Gun (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, a sublime marksman gains the Sutra Caster feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. Further, the sublime marksman treats her sutra caster level as being equal to her gunslinger level, rather than 1/3 her gunslinger level.
This ability replaces gun training 1 and 2.
Bonus Feats: Whenever a sublime marksman gains a bonus feat, she may select any sutra feat for which she qualifies, in addition to the feats that she can normally select.
Gritty Insight (Ex): A sublime marksman may spend one or more grit points in order to cast any sutra she knows without expending a daily use of her sutra casting ability. For the purposes of sutras cast in this way, the sublime marksman’s sutra caster level is equal to 4 x the number of grit points spent to use the ability, to a maximum amount equal to the sublime marksman’s normal sutra caster level.
This ability replaces gun training 3 and 4.
Grit: Whenever a sublime marksman reduces an infernal creature to 0 or fewer hit points with a firearm attack, she gains 2 grit points, instead of 1. The normal restrictions for gaining grit points as a result of dealing a killing blow with a firearm apply, as normal.
This ability modifies the grit class feature.
Deeds: A sublime marksman gains the following deeds instead of some of the standard gunslinger deeds.
Blessed Weapon (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a sublime marksman with least 1 grit point can spend a move action to infuse her gun with holy power. Until the beginning of her next turn, she gains a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made against infernal creatures. Additionally, her gun is treated as a good-aligned weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 5th level, and every two levels thereafter, the bonus to damage rolls (but not attack rolls) increases by +1 (to a maximum of +10 at 19th level).
This ability replaces the pistol whip deed.
Fury of the Gun (Ex): Beginning at 19th level, a sublime marksman's bond to her weapon becomes so strong that she can imbue her will to destroy infernals into the bullets she fires. As a standard action, she may spend 2 grit points in order to immediately make a single firearm attack at her highest base attack bonus. If the attack hits, and the target is an infernal creature, it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt), or suffer 10 points of damage for each gunslinger level the sublime marksman possesses. If the target is not an infernal creature, there is no special effect, and the ability is wasted (the attack still deals normal damage). The gunslinger cannot gain any grit points as a result of using this ability, even if it reduces the target to 0 or fewer hit points. This is a death effect.
This ability replaces the death’s shot deed.
New Wizard Archetype
Sutramancers look beyond the standard, western schools of magic in order to truly understand the nature of the universe, and embrace the secrets of sutra magic, choosing a single type of ofuda in which to specialize.
Bonus Feats: Whenever a sutramancer gains a bonus feat, he may select any sutra feat for which he qualifies, in addition to the feats that he can normally select.
Sutra Studied: At 1st level, the sutramancer gains the Sutra Caster feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Further, the sutramancer treats his sutra caster level as being equal to his wizard level, rather than 1/2 his wizard level.
This ability replaces the arcane bond class feature
Sutra Understanding (Ex): The sutramancer uses his Intelligence in place of his Wisdom for the purposes of casting sutras, the maximum number of sutras he can cast per day, the maximum number of sutras he can know, the saving throw DCs of sutras that he casts, and any other effect relating to casting sutras that would normally depend on his Wisdom score.
This ability replaces the scribe scrolls class feature
Ofuda Specialization: A sutramancer can choose to specialize in one of the three types of ofuda: charm, punitive, or warding. This choice must be made at 1st level, and cannot later be changed. Each day, a sutramancer can cast one additional sutra that corresponds to the type of ofuda with which he specialized. Additionally, the sutramancer treats his sutra caster level as two higher than it actually is for the purposes of sutras of the chosen type.
A sutramancer that chooses to specialize in one type of ofuda must select one other type as his opposition ofuda, representing knowledge sacrificed in one area of sutra lore to gain mastery in another. It is more difficult for the sutramancer to cast sutras that correspond to the type of ofuda that is his opposition ofuda. Casting such a sutra uses up two of his daily uses of sutra casting. Additionally, the sutramancer treats his sutra caster level as two lower than it actually is for the purposes of sutras of the opposition type.
A sutramancer may choose not to specialize in any type of ofuda. If he does so, he does not gain any benefits or drawbacks as a result of this class feature. Like choosing an ofuda type to specialize in, this choice may not later be changed.
This ability replaces the arcane school class feature.