Object Lessons

July 22nd, 2015

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

                Occult Adventures has opened the floodgates into the world of the strange and the unknown, but Obscure Arcana has been dabbling in such things for ages, and we’re no stranger to unusual psychic magic. One popular type of psychic magic has to do with the impressions of ourselves that we leave on the ethereal fabric of the items that we handle, and today’s spells dabble in that territory.


School illusion (glamer); Level bard 1, inquisitor 1, mesmerist 1, occultist 1, psychic 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (any object; see text)
Range personal
Target you
Duration 10 min./level

                This spell responds to the psychic imprint of the last person to handle the item that is used as a focus, prior to you, and alters your appearance to match that person’s. This functions as disguise self, except as noted here. The spell always causes you to take the appearance of the last creature to handle the object in question, other than yourself, even if that appearance would not normally be available with disguise self (for example, if the last person who used the item were more than 1 foot taller or shorter than you, or if they were a different creature type). Additionally, the spell does alter the perceived tactile (touch) and audible (sound) properties of you and your equipment, including your voice, though it provides no insights into the habits, mannerisms, or mind of the creature whose appearance you take.

                As long as you keep the focus item on your person, the spell is able to draw on the psychic imprint it holds to strengthen the illusion, increasing the saving throw DC to disbelieve the spell by +2, and increasing the bonus the spell grants on any Disguise check made to appear as the previous handler of the item to +15.

                For the purposes of this spell, handling an item includes having it in your possession for at least 1 minute, and does not necessarily require direct physical contact with the item (gloves, gauntlets, or similar articles of clothing do not prevent a character from being considered to have “handled” the item). Once you cast this spell using a given object as a focus, you can’t use that object as a focus again until someone other than you has handled the object. Any attempt to do so simply fails.


School evocation [sonic]; Level antipaladin 4, cleric/oracle 5, occultist 4, psychic 4, shaman 5, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S
Range touch and unlimited; see text
Target object touched and its owner; see text
Duration instantaneous; see text
Saving Throw Fortitude half (object) and Fortitude half, see text; Spell Resistance yes, see text

                You shatter a touched object, and send a shockwave of psychic energy through the ether to strike at the object’s owner. If the target object is attended, you must succeed on a melee touch attack. If the object has spell resistance from some source, that spell resistance applies. You inflict 1d10 points of sonic damage per caster levels to the object. The object’s hardness applies, but is treated as though it were 10 lower than it actually is for the purposes of this spell. A successful Fortitude save halves the damage.

                If the damage is not sufficient to destroy the object, the spell has no further effect. If the object is destroyed, however, then a wave of psychic energy is unleashed across the ether, following the bond between the destroyed item and its owner. In order for this aspect of the spell to function, the item must have been possessed and used, handled, or otherwise interacted with regularly by a single individual for at least one month. At the GM’s discretion, items that have been used less regularly but owned for great periods of time, or which have been owned for less time but are of great sentimental value to their owner, may also be suitable for this purpose. If more than one creature could qualify as the owner based on these criteria, and you have a particular target in mind, you can choose which one is affected. Otherwise, the one with the strongest connection to the object is affected, or, in the event that two creatures are tied for the strongest connection, the target is determined randomly from amongst them.

                The target creature is affected regardless of his distance from you and from the object, as long as he is on the same plane as the object at the time the spell is cast (if he isn’t on the same plane, the spell does not affect him). The target creature suffers the same amount of damage as the object did, but the damage is reduced by 1d10 for every 100 feet of distance between you and the target creature. A successful Fortitude save halves this damage. If the target fails this saving throw, he is also stunned for 1 round.