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[Pathfinder] Spheres of Power & Might Conversions


Knight in tarnished armor
Validated User
Hello everyone. As of late I've been rather enamored with a pair (trio technically) of sourcebooks by Drop Dead Studios: Spheres of Power to simulate a variety of magical practices seen in media, Spheres of Might for a variety of martial arts, and Champions of the Spheres combining both elements for new material.

I made a threat where I converted Noctis from Final Fantasy XV using the Spheres System, but over time I began writing how to adapt the books into other settings. After finishing up a blog post converting Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher, I decided to make a comprehensive thread showcasing my material. Other people are free to weigh in and make their own posts!

First, let's start out with good ol' Noctis.

After finishing the Northlands Saga 1.3 years in the making (a very satisfying adventure path I might add), I've been on an extended hiatus from the Pathfinder system. Even so, there are still some books and creative projects which fascinate me enough to briefly dive into that game if only for a curious look. Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might are two such books, an attempt at making versatile toolbox of abilities to emulate a wide variety of fighting and spellcasting styles to create the character you want.

One of the archetypes known as the Bladewalker brought up strong memories of Noctis from Final Fantasy 15, likely intentionally so. As it combines teleportation techniques with a main class built around using several weapons at once, I theorized about doing a faithful build of the Prince of Lucis.

Important Note: This stat block represents the broad area of plot where Noctis' party is on a road trip in Duscae, after the events at Leide but before his trip to Altissia. As such, he does not have many of his "end-game" abilities and equipment.

Classes: Noctis will be a 5th-level Armiger with the Bladewalker archetype, with 3 levels in Elementalist to replicate his offensive elemancy spells. He will dip 3 levels into Blacksmith for Thunderous Blows so he can sunder the natural weapons and armor of creatures, a common tactical technique in the video game.

Fighting Style: Noctis is capable of warping around the battlefield, using the sudden speed and momentum to dodge attacks and make devastating charges at enemies. Furthermore, he can manifest spectral weapons known as the royal arms which take a variety of forms, sometimes rapidly summoning several at once in a chain of flurries to assault enemies with his entire arsenal.

Noctis is primarily a melee combatant, and his wielded weapons include daggers, swords, greatswords, axes, lances, shields, katanas, tridents, firearms, and some advanced machinery such as the automatic crossbow. As his partner Prompto is better suited to using advanced machinery (and such gear would likely be replicated as magic items or Technician inventions) we'll focus on the more traditional weapons.

For Martial Tradition, Noctis will have Knightly Arts. The bonus proficiencies cover all but katanas, tridents, and firearms. As such weapons in Final Fantasy XV fall into the sword and polearm categories, we can get away with not focusing on them. He also has armor proficiency, but given he doesn't wear armor in the game we're going to reflavor his Princely Raiments into being a hybrid chain shirt/cloak of resistance.

Finally, Noctis will choose the Warleader sphere as a bonus sphere from said martial tradition to gain aggressive flanking ability and the fierce shout in keeping with his teamwork-based tactics from the game.

Noctis' Practioner Ability Modifier will be Charisma. Although he starts out introverted, over the course of the game he learns to appreciate his royal responsibilities and he does have good chemistry with his friends.

For Spheres and Talents, Noctis will have access to the Warleader sphere along with Armor Training, Knightly Training, and Shield Training as bonus Equipment talents from his martial tradition. He'll also choose Firearm Proficiency so that he can use guns as a bonus Equipment talent from his 1st level in Blacksmith.

Given the fact he zips all around the battlefield, the Athletics sphere is a natural choice. His Athletics Package includes Leap, and for talents he'll have Diving Strike, Expanded Training for Fly and Run, Scale Foe, Wall Stunt, and Whirlwind Leap.

Being able to counter enemy attacks is another important game mechanic, so we'll pick the Fencing sphere; the Boxing sphere is more counterattack-based, but it requires the use of a talent to use with manufactured weapons instead of just unarmed strikes. Noctis' Fencing Talents include Parry and Riposte, and Repositioning Strike.

Total Combat Talents: Noctis has 4 from Knightly Arts Martial Tradition, 1 Equipment talent from Blacksmith's Equipment Specialist class feature, 3 from 3 levels in Blacksmith class, 2 from levels in Armiger class, 4 from the Extra Combat Talent feat gained thrice as regular feats and once as a bonus feat for the 2nd level in Elementalist, and 6 "shadow talents" from his 3 customized weapons.

Magic Style: Noctis' most well-known supernatural ability is the Warp Strike. He can also absorb the power of fire, frost, and lightning from geographical formations to form into spells. Noctis will specialize in the Destruction and Warp Spheres.

Noctis' Casting Ability Modifier will also be Charisma.

For Casting Tradition, Noctis cannot use elemental magic at will in the game series. He must gather energy at geographic formations and then use portions of said energy to "craft" spells which he can use only a certain amount of before running out. He can use warp strike at will, however, and the Spheres of Power casting tradition/drawback system does not discriminate between certain spheres or types in regards to general drawbacks. However, we know that Noctis can only warp strike when wielding a weapon, and he needs a magic flask to gather materials for elemancy, so Focus Casting makes sense as a drawback. We aren't choosing Galvanized because daggers count as simple weapons in Pathfinder, which Noctis can use with warp strike. Additionally, Noctis' powers are rather obvious in nature when used; so we'll add Magical Signs as another drawback. Regarding his powers in the video game, Noctis can only teleport himself barring one time in the Adamantoise battle where he can teleport allies. As the Adamantoise is an optional boss battle and this does not happen anywhere else, he's going to have the Sphere-Specific Drawback Personal Warp. This is already part of the Bladewalker's archetype class feature, so it works out just fine.

Given that the aforementioned talent costs spell points as a limited resource, a faithful adaption of the game would be to to adapt the Sphere-Specific Drawback Shape Focus for Destruction.

This leaves us with three drawbacks. We'll call Noctis' unique casting tradition The Magic of the Lucii. The two general drawbacks will grant Noctis 1 bonus spell point plus an additional 1 per 3 levels he has in a casting class.

For Spheres and Talents, Noctis' Destruction talents include Fire Blast, Frost Blast, and Shock Blast for blast type talents, and Explosive Orb for the blast shape talent gained from the drawback. I chose Shock Blast over Electric Blast as it is a common element in the game to create magic with debuffing abilities, and the three blast type talents I selected provide deleterious conditions beyond mere damage. Noctis' spells are wide-ranging and indiscriminate, thus the Explosive Orb talent.

Noctis' Warp talents include Distant Teleport, Emergency Teleport, and Quick Teleport for warp talents, and Extradimensional Storage for a space talent gained from the drawback. Distant and Group Teleport covers the speed and length of his Warp Strike, while Emergency Teleport reflects his ability to nimbly get out of danger with it. Extradimensional Storage reflects Noctis' ability to summon weapons out of thin air.

Total Magic Talents: starts out for free in the Warp shere for the Bladewalker archetype, starts out for free in the Destruction sphere for the Elementalist class, 2 from selecting the Extra Magical Talent feat twice, 4 from Elementalist class, 2 bonus talents from taking the Shape Focus and Personal Warp drawbacks.

Now without further ado...the Prince of Lucis' Pathfinder stat block!

Noctis Lucis Caelum
Male Human Armiger 5/Blacksmith 3/Elementalist 3
NG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +13
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 19 [+7 armor, +2 dexterity, +2 deflection]
hp 105
Fort +15 Ref +14 Will +10 (+12/+11/+7 without Prince's Fatigues)
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Drain Lance +17, Normal Attack (1d8+7, x3)
Drain Lance +14, Power Attack (1d8+16, x3)
Engine Blade +17, Normal Attack (1d8+7, 19-20/x2)
Engine Blade +14, Power Attack (1d8+13, 19-20/x2)
Force Stealer +17, Normal Attack (2d6+7, 19-20/x2)
Force Stealer +14, Power Attack (2d6+16, 19-20/x2)
Rapid Assault First Strike +15, Normal Attack (damage varies)
Rapid Assault First Strike +13, Power Attack (damage varies)
Rapid Assault Second Strike +13, Normal Attack (damage varies)
Rapid Assault Second Strike +11, Power Attack (damage varies)
Ranged Fire/Frost Blast (6d6+1 fire/cold, DC 15 Reflex halves), Shock Blast +12 touch (6d4+1 electricity, DC 15 Reflex halves)
Caster Level +5; MSB 8; MSD 19; Concentration +11
Tradition Magic of the Lucii; CAM CHA DC 15
Spell Points 8
Spheres Destruction (Fire Blast, Explosive Orb, Frost Blast, Shock Blast), Warp (Distant Teleport, Emergency Teleport, Extradimensional Storage, Quick Teleport)
Drawbacks Focus Casting, Magical Signs, Personal Warp (Warp Sphere Specific), Shape Focus (Destruction Sphere Specific)
Martial Tradition Knightly Arts; PAM CHA, DC 18
Talents Athletics (Fly, Leap, and Run packages, Diving Strike, Expanded Training [Fly and Run], Scale Foe, Wall Stunt, Whirlwind Leap), Equipment (Armor Training, Firearm Proficiency, Knightly Training, Shield Training), Fencing (Parry and Riposte, Repositioning Strike), Warleader Sphere
Customized Weapons Noctis is capable of utilizing a wide variety of weapons on his person. Although he can only have 3 active at a time, here are a few suggestions for weapons and their bonus talents by type:
Daggers (Dual Wielding Sphere, Mercurial Flow)
Firearm (Barrage Sphere, Distracting Shot)
Greatsword** (Guardian Sphere, Sweeping Defense)
Longsword** (Fencing Talents: Footwork, Group Cover)
Polearm** (Lancer Sphere, Double Impale)
Shield (Shield Sphere, Flexible Cover)
Sniper Rifle (Sniper Sphere, Push Shot)
**represents weapons currently wielded in his stat block
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +10; CMB +14; CMD 26
Feats Craft Wondrous Item (class B), Endurance (smith insight B), Extra Combat Talent x4 (class B), Extra Magical Talent x2, Improved Initiative, Power Attack (race B), Toughness (smight insight B)
Skills (55 points) Acrobatics* 11 (+16), Bluff* 11 (+17), Climb* 11 (+18), Diplomacy* 5 (+12), Escape Artist 4 (+9), Fly 11* (+16), Knowledge (Local) 8 (+11), Knowledge (Nobility) 8 (+11), Perception 10 (+13), Profession (Fisherman) 10 (+13), Stealth 5 (+10), Survival 10 (+13)
*Bonus skill points gained from Spheres
Traits Deft Dodger (+1 Reflex saves), Prince (+1 Diplomacy, class skill)
Languages Common
SQ Artisan Savant, Customized Weapons (3), Enhanced Customization (+1), Evasion, Favored Element (Explosive Orb, +1 damage), Maintenance (3 allies), Prowess (Mobile Assault), Quick Change (2/round), Reforge, Skilled Craftsman (+1 Profession Blacksmith), Smithing Insight (Durable)
Gear 2,000 GP, Drain Lance** (+2 Spell Storing Lance), Engine Blade** (+2 Spell Storing Longsword, customized weapon), Force Stealer** (+2 Spell Storing Greatsword), Prince's Fatigues (acts as +3 Cloak of Resistance and +3 Chain Shirt), Carbon Bangle (acts as Ring of Protection +2)
**function as customized weapons and thus have a +1 higher enhancement bonus than their listed description
Favored Class Armiger +5 HP
Special Abilities
Special Attacks

Blade's Path (Su): Whenever Noctis successfully damages an enemy or object with an attack made with one of his customized weapons, he may spend 1 spell point as an immediate action to instantly teleport to an unoccupied square adjacent to the target of that attack. When using this ability Noctis may also instantly recover a thrown weapon used in the attack as long as he has a hand free; ammunition that is destroyed or consumed by a successful attack cannot be recovered in this manner.

Diving Strike (Leap Talent): Noctis may charge an enemy by rapidly descending from above them. If the attack at the end of his charge hits, the attack deals damage as normal and also adds the appropriate amount of falling damage (1d6 points for a 10-ft. fall, 2d6 points for a 20-ft. fall, and so on), to his damage roll, to a maximum of 10d6. This falling damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. After the attack is resolved, Noctis lands in an unoccupied square of his choosing adjacent to the target, and he takes falling damage as if you had fallen 10 fewer feet.

Fatal Thrust: Whenever Noctis makes an attack action or an attack of opportunity against a target that is within 30 ft. and that he is flanking, that is flat-footed, or that has lost its Dexterity bonus to AC (such as through a successful feint), he deals an additional +3d6 precision damage to the target. This damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. Noctis may apply the effects of a single (exploit) talent to any fatal thrust.

Fire/Frost/Shock Blast, Explosive Orb: Noctis may deliver a burst of magical elemental force as a ranged attack within 35 feet with a radius of 15 feet. The blast deals 6d6+1 damage with a Reflex save for half damage. The energy type may be cold, electricity, or fire. If fire, affected targets catch on fire on a failed Reflex save. If cold, they are staggered for 1 round on a failed Fortitude save. If electricity, the damage is 6d4+1 and the targets are dazed for 1 round on a failed Fortitude save. The respective save DCs are all 15.

Focusing Switch: While Noctis is using his active weapon and whenever he succeeds on a combat maneuver, confirms a critical hit, or reduces a foe to 0 or fewer hit points, he may regain martial focus by activating a different customized weapon as an immediate action, stowing the current weapon and drawing the new one as needed.

Parry and Riposte: When a creature makes a melee attack against Noctis, he may expend his martial focus and use an attack of opportunity to attempt to parry that attack. Noctis makes an attack roll as if he were making an attack of opportunity, but for each size category the attacking creature is larger than him, he takes a –2 penalty on this roll. If Noctis' result is greater than the attacking creature’s result, the creature’s attack automatically misses and Noctis regain his martial focus or choose to instead make a single melee attack against the parried creature.

Rapid Assault: Noctis is an expert at rapidly integrating multiple weapons into his attack routines. Whenever he successfully damages a creature or succeeds on a combat maneuver while using the attack action with a customized weapon, he may expend martial focus as a swift action to make an additional attack against that creature at his highest base attack bonus. This attack takes a -2 penalty on the attack roll and can only be taken with a customized weapon other than the one used in the triggering attack. If that attack is successful, he may make an additional attack and must use a different customized weapon at a -4 penalty. Noctis may spend a move action to move up to his speed between the triggering action and his additional attack, dividing up the attacks at any creature he can reach among the movement.

Additionally, if Noctis does not have a move action available, he may still move up to his speed as if he spent a move action, but ends up staggered on his next turn.

Repositioning Strike (Exploit Talent): With a fatal thrust, Noctis causes the target to stumble, nimbly slipping past them. Noctis may immediately move up to half his movement speed as a free action, so long as he end his movement in a space adjacent to the target, and may even move through the target’s occupied space when doing so. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from the target.

Thunderous Blows (Ex): Noctis is particularly adept at striking crafted creations in exactly the right place and manner to damage them most effectively. He never provokes attacks of opportunity for attempting the sunder combat maneuver, and deals an additional 2d6 damage to the struck equipment on a successful sunder attack. If the amount is enough to destroy the equipment, excess damage is dealt to the wielder. Noctis may also sunder natural weapons and armor, inflicting a -2 penalty on natural armor bonus and/or attack rolls. The natural armor penalty lasts until the target receives magical healing or a DC 15 Heal check, while the attack roll penalty lasts for 1 round.


Knight in tarnished armor
Validated User

In hearing that the Witcher franchise was going to get a tabletop release in early August, I was inspired to emulate its hero using the Spheres of Power system. Although the Witcher has had an influence on Pathfinder's notable Alchemist class, said archetype didn't really do justice to the White Wolf. But seeing as how Spheres of Might has a dedicated Alchemy sphere which can combine with just about every practitioner class, I couldn't think of a better sourcebook to use for conversion!

Important Note: this stat block is based off of Geralt during the events of the Witcher 3. Most of his talents reflect a broad range of potential abilities from his skill trees rather than a "specialized" build.

Classes: Given the scope of his talents, Geralt is going to be a Conscript to take advantage of the bonus feats and talents. 8 levels is enough to cover the bases minus a few feats for Extra Combat Talent. For his magical powers Geralt will have 5 levels in Incanter, with no specializations so as to keep enough bonus feats for Extra Magical Talent.

Fighting Style: Geralt is first and foremost a swordsman. He carries a pair of swords, one steel and the other silver depending on whether he is fighting men or monsters. He typically fights one-handed to make use of signs, throwing bombs, or using a crossbow to shoot at flying enemies. Additionally, Geralt makes liberal use of alchemical gear to enhance his personal abilities. Like many witchers he is very tool-based, able to quickly draw a wide variety of equipment for the job at hand.

For Martial Tradition, Geralt is a Dedicated Duelist. This Equipment talent makes him proficient with all manner of swords, and most witcher fighting styles are renowned for their speed and grace. For the variable choices we'll have Geralt gain the Duelist Sphere and Gauntlet Shield. Geralt of Rivia typically wears armor, so the Unarmored Training option choice would go to waste.

For Spheres and Talents, Geralt is very much a warrior who is at his best when he gathers information about the opposition ahead of time. He will specialize in the Alchemy and Dueling Spheres mostly, with some token talents in Scout, Equipment, Berserker, and Fencing.

For Alchemy, we'll first focus on Geralt's Bombs. Cluster Toss represents his ability to rapidly throw several at once, while Improved Alchemist Fire corresponds to Dancing Star. Grapeshot is analogous to Improved Fuse Grenade, while Samum bombs are closest to Improved Flash Powder. Unfortunately there are no talents to replicate Devil's Puffballs poison gas, the Dimeritium Bomb's antimagic effects, Moon Dust's anti-transformation capabilities, or Dragon's Dream fire-based triggered explosive.

Regarding personal use potions and decoctions, Salve covers the iconic swallow and various other vitality regenerating potions. But the sheer scope of potions in the Witcher games are so diverse that they cannot be covered in full in Spheres of Might. Performance Enhancer is a broad-range buff which can cover a lot of decoctions.

For poisons, Painful Venom represents Geralt's ability to do additional damage with certain oils, while Specialized Venom allows him to poison creature types normally immune to the condition (constructs, elementals, plants, and undead cover the majority of such beings in the Witcher universe).

Geralt's Berserker sphere with Shieldbreaker represents the Rend ability of his Strong Attack where he can ignore an enemy's defenses, while the Duelist's Hurricane Strike and Open Vein reflect the Crippling Strikes and Whirl abilities of his Fast Attacks. For the Equipment sphere, Thrower's Reflexes reflects the famed witcher ability to parry an arrow even at close range. Fencing's Parry and Riposte talent reflects Geralt's ability to counter-attack, while Ankle Strike is taken so that Geralt can take Aerial Trip without the 2 sub-par feat prerequisites. Finally, the Scout sphere's Target Weakness is tailor-made for Geralt's monster-hunting capabilities, while Track the Scene reflects his ability to follow tracks and recollect info at the scene of a crime.

Total Combat Talents: 4 from the Dedicated Duelist Martial Tradition (Duelist Training, Finesse Fighting, Gauntlet Shield for Equipment, Duelist base sphere), 12 combat talents from the Conscript class, 8 from the Extra Combat talent feat (5 of which are bonus feats gained from levels in Conscript).

Magic Style: Geralt of Rivia, and by extent all witchers, specialize in signs. Signs are simple magical effects which are quickly employed via a hand gesture. They are minor spells in the world of the books and video games, meant to be an auxiliary tactic than one most witchers primarily rely upon in their profession.

For Magical Tradition, Geralt's signs are obvious, even the mind-affecting Axii, so Magical Signs is appropriate. Furthermore, the requirement of gestures points to 1 level of Somatic Casting. Regarding Sphere-specific Drawbacks, the offensive Aard and Igni are rather short-range and do not manifest as single-target rays, so Destructive Touch and Shape Focus reducing them to short-range cones or lines is ideal. The Sculpt Blast talent makes it so that the cone and line area of effects originate from Geralt in keeping with this, which will be our bonus talent from Shape Focus. For Protection, Circle of Symbols goes well with the Yrden sign, so we can use that bonus talent to snag ourselves the ever-appropriate Glyph.

We'll call this magical tradition Witcher Signs, and its casting ability modifier will be Intelligence. For the two general drawbacks, Geralt will gain 1 bonus spell point plus 1 per 3 levels in casting classes.

For Spheres and Talents, The Aard and Igni signs fall into the Destruction Sphere. Force Blast for Aard and Fire Blast for Igni respectively. Sculpt Blast allows Geralt to shape his blasts into cones or lines, being able to effect multiple opponents.

The Axii sign is quite clearly Mind, and since it can effect monsters and multiple people at once in battle the Expanded Charm and Group Charm abilities are most appropriate. Confusion represents Axii's ability to turn allies against each other, while Enthrall represents its ability to get people to agree with Geralt's line of thinking.

The Quen sign is a bit special. As outright damage immunity to all sources is overpowered in Pathfinder, the Obstruction Aegis is the closest equivalent. Painful Aegis represents an advanced feature where an enemy striking Geralt suffers damage in return.

Finally, the Yrden sign is first and foremost a trap. As it must be laid down on the ground to trigger, it uses the effects of several spheres. First, Gylph from Protection gives it its AoE and trigger conditions. The base damage of the Destruction sphere grants it its damage, while the base slow feature of the Time sphere represents Yrden's ability to halve monster movements. Improved Slow and Time Freeze make the sign's effects more debilitating.

Total Magic Talents: 10 from levels in Incanter class, 3 bonus ones from Sphere-specific drawbacks, 3 from Extra Magical Talent feat (3 of which are bonus feats from Incanter class)

Geralt of Rivia
Male Witcher* Conscript 8/Incanter 5
N Medium Humanoid (Augmented Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +16, Darkvision 60 feet
AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 19 [+7 armor, +2 dexterity, +3 deflection, +1 shield]
hp 119
Fort +13 (+16 vs poison) Ref +12 Will +9 (+10/+9/+6 without Raven's Armor)
Immunities disease
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Aerondight +17 (1d8+6 plus 1d6 fire plus 3 bleed, 1d10 extra fire on critical, 19-20/x2)
Melee One-handed Power Attack Aerondight +14 (1d8+12 plus 1d6 fire plus 3 bleed, 1d10 extra fire on critical, 19-20/x2)
Melee Ard'aenye +17 (1d8+7 plus 3 bleed, 17-20/x2)
MeleeOne-handed Power Attack Ard'aenye +14 (1d8+13 plus 3 bleed, 17-20/x2)
Ranged Masterwork Light Crossbow +13 (1d8 plus 3 bleed, 19-20/x2)
Ranged Aard/Igni Sign (Force/Fire Blast) 60 foot cone or 30 foot line, Reflex DC 16 (7d6 force/fire damage plus prone or on fire respectively if save fails)
Ranged Dancing Star (Improved Alchemist Fire) +12 ranged touch (20 foot increment, 7d6 fire, half amount for enemies 5 feet away, 7 10 feet away, catch on fire within 5 feet)
Ranged Samum (Improved Flash Powder) +12 ranged touch (20 foot increment, targets within 10 foot radius blind for 1 round on a failed save)
Ranged Grapeshot (Improved Fuse Grenade) +12 ranged touch (within 60 feet, explodes in 1d3 rounds for 6d6 bludgeoning and 6d6 fire in 20 foot radius)
Ranged Cluster Toss for Dancing Star/Samum/Grapeshot +10/+8 for throwing two or three additional bombs of any kind as part of same action (enemies get +2/+4 on relevant saving throws)

Two-handed: Geralt of Rivia's damage with Aerondight is 1d8+8, 1d8+9 with Ard'aenye. If Geralt chooses to use the Power Attack feat, he can add +9 damage.
Brutal Strike: By expending his martial focus, Geralt may deal an additional 20 points of damage when using his Brutal Strike berserker ability
Fatal Thrust: 3d6 bonus precision damage vs an opponent which is flat-footed, lost its Dex bonus to AC, or is being flanked by Geralt
Open Vein: By expending his martial focus as an immediate action, Geralt may deal 3d4 bonus bleed damage to an enemy
Performance Enhancer: Geralt gains +2 to hit and to damage if he has +4 to Strength. If he is two-handing Aerondight or Ard'aenye, he deals 1d8+11 or 1d8+12 damage respectively. Power Attack adds +9 damage as usual.
Caster Level +5; MSB 5; MSD 16; Concentration +11
Tradition Witcher Signs; CAM INT DC 16
Spell Points 10
Spheres Destruction (Fire Blast, Force Blast, Sculpt Blast), Mind (Confusion, Enthrall, Expanded Charm, Group Charm), Protection (Glyph, Obstruction, Painful Aegis), Time (Improved Slow, Time Freeze)
Drawbacks Circle of Symbols (Sphere Specific), Destructive Touch (Sphere Specific), Magical Signs, Shape Focus (Sphere Specific), Somatic Casting (1)
Martial Tradition Dedicated Duelist; PAM INT, DC 18
Talents Alchemy (Cluster Toss, Improved Alchemist Fire, Improved Flash Powder, Improved Fuse Grenade, Painful Venom, Performance Enhancer, Salve, Specialized Venom [Construct, Elemental, Plant, Undead]), Berserker (Shieldbreaker), Duelist (Hurricane Strike, Open Vein), Equipment (Gauntlet Shield, Finesse Fighting, Thrower's Reflexes), Fencing (Ankle Strike, Parry and Riposte) Scout (Target Weakness, Track the Scene)
Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +10; CMB +14; CMD 26
Feats Aerial Trip, Extra Combat Talent x8 (B), Extra Magical Talent x3 (B), Muscular Reflexes, Power Attack, Quick Draw
Skills (94 points): Acrobatics** 13 (+18), Climb 5 (+12), Craft (Alchemy) 13*** (+19/+21 to craft), Bluff 13*** (+16), Handle Animal 7 (+10), Intimidate** 10 (+16), Knowledge (Arcana, History, Local, Nature) 2 (+8), Perception 13 (+16), Sense Motive** 13 (+16), Spellcraft 7 (+13), Stealth 13*** (+18), Survival 13 (+16, +22 to follow tracks), Swim 5 (+12)
**Bonus class skill for Conscript
***Bonus skill points gained from Spheres
Traits Alchemical Adept, Charming
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Sylvan
SQ darkvision 60 feet, dulled emotions
Gear 1,750 GP; Aerondight (+3 flaming burst silver longsword), Alchemy Crafting Kit, Ard'aenye (+3 keen longsword), gauntlet, masterwork light crossbow, Raven's Armor (acts as cloak of resistance +3 and +4 poison-resistant stanching studded leather), Roach (heavy horse), Witcher's Medallion (acts as Ring of Protection +3 and Lantern of Auras)
Favored Class Conscript +8 HP

Special Attacks/Abilities​

Gwnbleidd, the White Wolf, the Butcher of Blaviken...Geralt goes by many names, but all tales agree on his peerless fighting ability!

This is but a sampling of the many things Geralt of Rivia can do in the Spheres of Power/Might System.

With his feats, Geralt can...

1.) make a trip attack against a flying creature; if successful, the creature gains the entangled condition and begins to fall at a rate of 100 feet per round until it regains balance on a Fly check or hits the ground. In keeping with the Witcher 3, allow Geralt to do this with a crossbow or ranged weapon.

2.) Make up to 5 attacks of opportunity per round, or 7 if under the effects of his Performative Enhancer talent.

3.) Do bonus damage with Power Attack.

With his Spheres of Might Talents, Geralt can...

1.) apply poison to his weapon as a move action, which fatigues the target for 1 minute and deals 6 bonus points of damage on a failed Fortitude save. Geralt's poisons can affect enemies of the construct, elemental, plant, and undead types.

2.) Do damage with an explosive bomb (Improved Alchemist Fire/Improved Fuse Grenade), or blind enemies instead (Improved Flash Powder)

3.) Increase his choice of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by +4 with a -2 to a corresponding ability score (STR/DEX/CON to INT/WIS/CHA) for 1 minute.

4.) Create a poultice which can heal 6d8+3 damage, and any single target may only gain the benefits up to 9 times per day.

5.) Make an additional attack against all enemies within reach as an immediate action at a -2 penalty if he dealt bleed damage to a creature and drew his weapon in the same round; Geralt rolls once and compares the results to each individual enemy AC, and does half the damage he dealt against the original target.

6.) Deal 3 points of bleed damage whenever he successfully attacks or disarms a creature, and never provokes attacks of opportunity when attempting combat maneuvers against creatures taking bleed damage.

7.) Deal 3d6 points of bonus precision damage against a target within 30 feet that is flat-footed, that has lost its Dexterity bonus to AC, or Geralt is flanking. Geralt may then attempt a trip combat maneuver as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

8.) May perform a brutal strike as a special attack action, imposing the battered condition on a target until the end of Geralt's next turn. If Geralt applies brutal strike against a piece of armor, shield or manufactured weapon, he ignores 10 points of the item's hardness, and any excess damage dealt is transferred to the wielder if the item is destroyed. Geralt rolls the combat maneuver check twice and takes the better result if the target wielder is battered.

9.) As a free action, take a -2 penalty to Armor Class in exchange for 13 temporary hit points until the start of Geralt's next turn.

By expending martial focus, Geralt can...

Use his Cluster Toss talent to use up to three alchemical items that can normally be used as a standard action as part of the same standard action.

Use his Open Vein talent as an immediate action to deal +3d4 bleed damage.

Use his Thrower's Reflexes to catch a ranged weapon which would normally hit him, provided he is aware of the attack and has at least one hand free (reflavor as parrying away with a sword strike).

Use his Parry and Riposte talent to use an attack of opportunity against a creature which made a melee attack against him, -2 for each size category larger the attacking creature is. If Geralt gets a higher result than the enemy's attack roll, he dodges the attack and 1.) either regains his martial focus or 2.) makes an immediate single melee attack in response.

Use this Target Weakness talent as a free action.

Add 20 points of damage to his Brutal Strike.

By expending 1 spell point, Geralt can...

Increase the damage dealt with a destructive blast by 5 bonus damage die.

Use his Sculpt Blast talent.

Use the Greater Charm ability of his Axii (Mind) talents, or use Group Charm to affect 2 additional creatures with the same casting.

Use Time Freeze as part of his Yrden (Protection-Glyph) sign to freeze all activity within a 15 foot burst for one round.

Use the Glyph talent of the Protection Sphere; aka setting down a Yrden sign.

Bonus Material​

Witcher Race:
Witchers are humans who underwent special training and alchemical augmentations to enhance their physical capabilities. In addition to their enhanced strength and stamina, witchers are also known to be immune to infectious diseases, able to see in poor lighting and darkness, and have far longer lifespans than typical humans.

Standard Racial Traits:
Ability Score Racial Traits: Witchers gain +2 to Strength and Constitution, but -2 to Charisma. Witchers are strong, but lose many of their emotional drives after undergoing the Trial of Grasses.
Size: Witchers are Medium creatures.
Base Speed: Witchers have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Witchers begin play speaking the native tongue they grew up with, usually Common.

Defensive Racial Traits:
Immunity: Witchers are immune to all diseases, magical and non-magical.
Dulled Emotions: Witchers gain a +4 racial bonus on saving throws against fear-based effects, and anyone attempting use the Intimidate skill on a Witcher must roll twice and use the worse result.

Senses Racial Traits:
Darkvision: Witchers can see in the dark up to 60 feet.


Knight in tarnished armor
Validated User
Spheres of Midgard: Incorporating the Spheres System into the Northlands Saga

Although the Northlands Saga does a fine job of using the Pathfinder rules to emulate an epic adventure, there are times when the mechanics do not always line up. For one, the setting wishes to emulate a low-magic feel even though there are several things in the adventure path that run contrary to this (like the preponderance of +1 weapons and armor wielded by mooks in the later sagas). Some of the new archetypes, as well as the soft ban of certain classes and archetypes in the form of cultural foreignness and mistrust, are underpowered in that they lose more from their original class than what they gain in new features.

I considered adopting the mechanics of Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might to the Northlands Saga as a thought experiment, seeing how close I can emulate the intended themes while allowing for balanced, versatile options.

Classes & Traditions

Spheres of Power: Given the amount of different magical traditions and archetypes present already in Pathfinder and the Spheres system, it would be easier to focus on what is not appropriate and what is suitably iconic for the Northlands Saga.

Generally speaking, magic which the godi and the cunning women can reliably emulate are the only forms of magic trusted to an extent among the Northlanders; the Nûklanders look down on any magic that is not associated with druidism, while the Seagestrelanders are the most open-minded in viewing all magic as connected to the gods. Depending upon how a specific spherecaster's talents manifest and their casting traditions, they may be either wholly accepted at best, merely tolerated, or exiled and banished at worst.

Among the Northlanders, the Hedgewitch, Mageknights, and Shifters are the most common spherecasters. Hedgewitches come from the ranks of the cunning women, using folk charms and herbs to ply their trade. Mageknights are typically shieldmaidens and godi of a more martial bent. Armorists are devout casters, usually worshiping Thor, who draw their arsenal from the halls of Valhalla. Shifters tend to belong to bearsarker and ulfhander cults, calling upon Odin's favor to emulate the great beasts of Midgard.

Eliciters and fey adepts are shunned in most communities, the former for their ability to entrance and manipulate minds, the latter for being associated with the sceadugenga and the unknown beasts of the dark woods. Thaumaturges are power-hungry mages willing to bargain with the vilest and most dangerous of the Ginnvaettir. Soul Weavers come from a variety of traditions: some are pious godi calling upon the souls of the honored dead to join them in righteous battle, while others are necromancers who lair in Andøvan barrows to learn of their secrets.

The arts of the elementalists typically come from Southlander stock, while symbiats are virtually unheard of. Incanters come from all traditions and walks of life. and so cannot be easily put into any all-purpose category.

Advanced Magic is not available by default. Such talents are ever only possessed by the greatest of heroes from myth and legend, or are the purview of the gods and their mightiest minions. In an authentic Northlands game, only the Player Characters and a few major movers and shakers would possess advanced magic.

Spheres of Might: The people of the Northlands are no stranger to war. Even though the lives of most are sedentary much of the year, it is not unusual for a farmer to have a shield and spear at home, and many young men and women go a-viking to engage in raid and plunder. The frontiers of Estenfird crawl with monsters, while the mercenary Jomsvikings never hurt for business as long as the Gats, Hrolfs, and other clans find excuses to continue blood feuds.

Just about every martial practitioner class can be found in respectable numbers in the Northlands save the Scholar and Technician. Armigers are well-rounded warriors who come to rely on a few signature weapons whose titles are often as renowned as their wielder. Blacksmiths are valued members of society for their craftsmanship, and dvergar-forged arms are the stuff of legend. Commanders come from the stock of skalds, hirdmen, and jarls who proved their worth and gained the trust of their comrades. Conscripts come from the ranks of hirthmen, career vikings, and wandering sellswords. Sentinels are hirthmen, huscarls, and shieldmaidens who swore oaths to defend their charges, be it a specific family or even an entire community. Strikers usually come from the ranks of berserker cults who forsook weapons and armor in favor of honing their bodies into literal weapons.

The two remaining classes bear special mention: there are no grand centers of learning in the Northlands, with the Hall of the Hearthstone being the closest equivalent. Scholars are most likely found among the ranks of village herbalists, mundane godi of Odin who rely upon the mysteries of runes to gain power from knowledge, and dvergar alchemists.

The class' flashbangs attack and material impositions may be reflavored as runestones keyed to a certain world-element rather than outright alchemy. Some of the Knacks reflecting advanced technology may either be dwarven marvels or reflavored magic: for example, a lightning rod may be a facsimile of Thor's hammer.

Technicians are a bit harder to reconcile. Their gadgets and inventions are leagues ahead of Dark Ages technology, and are almost invariably Southlanders and dvergar craftsmen. Actual Northlanders among their ranks are likely specialized engineers employed by Jarl Magnus Hrolfsblood in adopting technological innovations from foreign realms.

Regarding Martial Traditions, the ones most appropriate to the cultures of the Northlands include Animal Trainer, Barbarian, Canny Hunter, Decisive Fist, Giant, Militia, Shield Master, Tattooed Warrior (berserkers/reflavored runes), Warden, and Weapon Master.

Northlands Saga: Instead of going over what already exists in a sourcebook, I will discuss how to convert several of the new setting-specific archetypes into the Sphere system.

The Bearsarker as a warrior cultist of Odin would most likely be represented by the similarly-named Berserker Barbarian archetype from Spheres of Might. The Professional Wrestler would be the best starting martial tradition, as it comes with Unarmored Training. Meanwhile, the Gladiator sphere has a surfeit of abilities designed around demoralizing opponents which can be reflavored into a frightening rage. The growing of claws may be represented by taking Basic Magical Training feat for the Alteration sphere. But the Wrestling sphere's unarmed focus, and thus its ability to increase unarmed strike damage, can also represent this. The Dragon's Tattoo feat and the accompanying Zodiac Tattoos can help add enhancement bonuses to one's unarmed strikes and body.

The Ulfhander has a tailor-made Unified Tradition called the Ulfhednar. Right off the bat it grants access to appropriate Alteration sphere talents to emulate the ability to shapeshift into a wolf. The equivalent class features to rage and have a wolf animal company can be gained via the Beastmastery and Berserker spheres. The Ulfhander can work with a variety of classes for emulation, but the Shifter spherecaster is useful for enhancing the Ulfhander's magical talents, while the Berserker Barbarian archetype and Striker practitioner classes are the most straightforward and offensive options.

The Skald is an interesting one: a bard who trades in their spells and inspire competence to instead grant a limited set of combat-related feats to allies as well as alternate weapon proficiencies and bonus feats. Interestingly, the Heavy Armsman martial tradition grants the required prerequisites for everything but swords and shields, while the bonus Equipment sphere talent from said background can cover either of those. Alternatively the Conscript's Gear Training Specialization can help cover all of those bases and then some. For martial spheres Warleader represents the skald's battle-boosting buffs best, particularly the Fortifying Phalanx and Shieldbrothers tactics. In regards to magical spheres the Courage, Inspiration, and Greater Charm talents of the Mind sphere are the closest options

Regarding classes, the most thematically appropriate would be Eliciter spherecaster for its focus on enchantment, while for martial classes the Commander is tailor-made for skalds. The Troubadour from Champions of the Spheres is highly appropriate for a skald who seeks to fully emulate legendary heroes of old.

The Huscarl practically screams for the Guardian sphere, while the Sentinel class is all about being an immovable object. The Adamant Guardian archetype takes it even a step further in the defense of allies. The Assist, Defend Other, and Iron Wall Guardian sphere talents replicate some of the huscarl's bonus feats, while the Cover Ally and Extensive Defense talents of the Shield Sphere focus on the shield specialization.

The Spear Maiden loses their supernatural powers in exchange for mastery of spears. Honestly the archetype does not really grant much to feel like a great option. The Equipment Sphere's Guarded Combatant represents the defensive features, while the Conscript's Weapon Training Specialization for the spear category represent the more offensive aspects. A holy woman of the gods can be more properly emulated by the Armorist, Paragon archetype for the Sentinel, or the Martial Mageknight or Warrior of Holy Light archetypes for the Mageknight.

The Cunning Woman's focus on the healing arts more or less keys them into the Life sphere. The Soul Weaver and Hedgewitch with the green magic traditions are the most appropriate spherecaster classes. Beyond the Life Sphere, the Borrow Luck and Temperance talents of the Fate sphere represent their ability to turn fortune in their favor. The Evil Eye power works just fine with the base Destruction sphere, while the green magic tradition grants the woodland stride feature of the druid. The tradition's grant secrets of immunity to poison and disease align nicely with the Cunning Woman's base 20th level capstone ability.

Sample Stat Blocks

Rounding off our article are conversions of the Beast Cultists of Shibauroth, one of the "mook" enemies of Blood on the Snow, and a stat block for Ulnat Warriors from Vengeance of the Long Serpent. I may do more characters if there's further demand, but the two listed here should give a good feel for what the Spheres can do.

Beast Cultist of Shibauroth CR 3
XP 800
Male or female human Striker 4
CE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +1; Perception +5
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +2 con, +1 dex)
HP 40 (4d10+12)
Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +1
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement, uncanncy dodge; Immune mind-affecting effects
Speed 30 feet
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d6+4, x2)
Caster Level +1; MSB +1; MSD 12; Concentration +1
Tradition Lycanthropic; CAM WIS
Spell Points 2
Talents Alteration (Pounce)
Drawbacks Lycanthropic (Alteration), Wild Magic
Martial Tradition Tattooed Warrior; PAM Con; DC 14
Talents Berserker (Brutal Counter), Brute (Break Defenses, Hammer, Quick Force, Throw), Equipment (Unarmed Training, Unarmored Training)
Str 18 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 7 Wis 10 Cha 7
Base Atk +4; CMB +8; CMD 19
Feats Basic Magical Training (Alteration), Dragon's Tattoos (B), Extra Combat Talent x2, Improved Unarmed Strike (B), Zodiac Tattoos (B)
Skills Craft (tattoos)* 4 (+5), Intimidate 4 (+5), Perception 4 (+7), Survival 4 (+7)
*Bonus skill points from martial tradition
Languages Nørsk
SQ AC Bonus +2, Bare Knuckles (Brute), Drill Knuckle, Striker Art (Enduring Critical), Tension (Desperate Tension, Tension Boost), Uncanny Dodge
Favored Class Striker +4 HP
Gear winter furs, beast cult totem

Special Attacks:

Shapeshift: see the Alteration sphere for further details. The beast cultist typically uses Blank Form to gain darkvision 60 ft. and 2 claw attacks.

Berserking: As a free action at the start of each turn, the beast cultist may choose to take a -2 penalty to AC in exchange for 7 temporary hit points. The penalty and the temporary hit points end at the start of his next turn.

Bloody Counter: As an immediate action, when a creature targets the beast cultist with a melee attack, before the attack roll is made he may allow the attack to automatically hit (although the roll is still made to determine if the attack threatens a critical hit). After the damage is determined, the beast cultist may make a brutal strike targeting that creature as a free action that may be taken even when it isn’t his turn, if it is in range. If the creature attacking the cultist is battered, he may resolve his attack action prior to their attack being resolved.

Break Defenses: Whenever the beast cultist successfully uses a bull rush, drag, overrun, or reposition, combat maneuver against a creature, that creature provokes an attack of opportunity from his allies (but not him).

Brutal Strike: As a special attack action, the beast cultist may make a melee attack against a target. Creatures damaged by a brutal strike gain the battered condition until the end of their next turn. The cultist may expend martial focus to have the attack deal 8 additional damage.

Hammer: As long as the beast cultist has martial focus, whenever he would bull rush, drag, or reposition a creature into a space occupied by a wall, creature, or object no more than one size smaller than the creature, the target of the maneuver stops its movement in the adjacent space and both the creature and the wall, other creature, or object suffer bludgeoning damage. The amount of damage dealt is determined by the size of the creature being bull rushed, dragged, or repositioned, as indicated on the list below: Fine 1d2, Diminutive 1d3, Tiny 1d4, Small 1d6, Medium 1d8, Large 1d10, Huge 2d6, Gargantuan 2d8, Colossal 3d6. This damage is increased by the listed amount again for every 5-ft. square the creature would have traveled beyond the wall, other creature, or object.

Quick Force: the beast cultist may perform a bull rush, drag, or reposition combat maneuver as a move action instead of a standard action. He must still have movement remaining in a round in order to move with his target, such as a 5-foot step. He may expend his martial focus to perform a bull rush, pull, or reposition as a swift action.

Shove: as a move action, the beast cultist may move up to half his speed and make a melee touch attack against a creature. If successful, the target takes 4 bludgeoning damage and gains the battered condition until the end of his next turn.

The beast cultist may perform a shove in place of the attack granted by a charge, although this does not grant the extra movement. When he successfully performs a bull rush, drag, reposition, or overrun combat maneuver (assuming the target decided to block him and did not simply move out of the way), the cultist may apply the effect of one (manhandle) talent he knows to that creature. (Manhandle) talents cannot be applied to maneuvers performed as a free action.

Throw (manhandle): Whenever the beast cultist succeeds on a bull rush, drag, or reposition maneuver, he may expend his martial focus to throw the creature. The creature travels an additional 5 ft. in any direction and must pass a Reflex save or fall prone.

Tension: see the Striker class for additional details.

Ulnat Warrior CR 1
XP 400
Male or female Ulnat human Conscript 2
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +1; Perception +6
AC 15 (+4 armor, +1 dex)
HP 22
Fort +6 Ref +5 Will +1
Speed 30 feet
Melee spear +5 (1d8+2/x3)
Masterwork shortspear +4 (1d6+2, x2) and handaxe +4 (1d6+2, x3)
Ranged javelin +3 (1d6+2, x2) or shortspear +3 (1d6+2, x2) or spear +3 (1d8+2, x3)
Martial Tradition Canny Hunter; PAM Wis; DC 12
Talents Dual Wielding (Balanced Blows), Equipment (Huntsman Training, Throwing Mastery), Scout (Wind Reader), Sniper (Tangling Shot)
Str 15 Dex 13 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats Extra Combat Talent x4 (B)
Skills Climb 2 (+7), Handle Animal 2 (+4), Perception 2 (+6), Profession (Fisherman) 2 (+6), Stealth* 2 (+6), Survival 2 (+6), Swim 2 (+7)
*bonus skill points from spheres
Languages Ulnat
SQ Combat Specializations (Favored Enemy-Animals +2)
Favored Class Conscript +2 skill points
Gear hide armor, spear, masterwork shortspear, handaxe, 2 javelins

Special Attacks:

Deadly Shot: As a special attack action, an Ulnat warrior may make an attack with a ranged weapon. She may add any one (snipe) talent he knows to this attack.

In addition, she may expend her martial focus to increase the damage dealt by the attack by 1d10, or 1d6 if the attack targets touch AC or is made with a scatter weapon. She must choose whether or not to use this ability before making his attack roll. These extra damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

Some talents are marked (snipe). These talents add additional effects when the Ulnat warrior performs a deadly shot. She may only apply the effects of one (snipe) talent to each deadly shot.

Scout: as a swift action, an Ulnat warrior may identify a creature’s weaknesses (DC 10 + creature’s CR) as described under the Knowledge skill, but may substitute a Perception check for the appropriate Knowledge check at a -5 penalty. This only reveals the target’s weaknesses, or lack thereof, (such as damage reduction types and vulnerabilities), and does not reveal any additional information about the target. Once she has succeeded at a scout attempt or Knowledge check against a target, any talents or effects that require the Ulnat warrior to scout a target may be used against the target for the next 24 hours; after this period the Ulnat warrior must successfully use the scout ability against the target again to continue benefiting from related effects.

Tangling Shot (snipe): on a successful deadly shot, the Ulnat warrior gives the target the entangled condition. The target may spend a standard action to end this effect.
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