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Mastering the Wild

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 122
This chapter presents a number of ways to enhance adventures into the wilderness.

Discovery and Exploration: When you want to challenge PCs as they explore a section of wilderness, whether through a dense jungle or amid the rubble of remote mountain passes, this section presents rules on how to do that narratively. It can even be used with the hex-based exploration rules presented in Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Campaign.

The First World: The mysterious land of the fey holds many treasures and great peril. This section provides details about this strange plane, including guidance on running adventures within it and a sampling of some of its dangers.

Foraging and Salvaging: Far from civilization, adventurers can find raw materials for crafting or repairing hard to come by. This section gives guidelines on foraging for materials and reclaiming items through salvage.

Harvesting Poisons: Herbs, toxic substances, and venoms that can be distilled for nefarious purposes abound in wildlands. This section provides details on harvesting poisons and creating antivenoms, as well as a list of new poisons.

Hazards and Natural Disasters: While the creatures of the wild are often fearsome challenges, the environment itself can rise up to thwart interlopers. This section provides rules for some of the most dangerous aspects of nature.

Herbalism: While some herbs can contain deadly poisons, others can provide beneficial power. This section details useful plant life in the wild and how to harvest its benefits.

Spells of the Wild: Many spells have the power to grant succor within the wild or can be used against your enemies with devastating effect. This section provides information on how spells can enhance or thwart adventures in the wild.

Trophies and Treasures: Raw materials harvested from monsters can be worth as much as any treasure trove. Many are provided in this section.

Weather: One of the chief challenges of adventuring in the wilderness is dealing with the elements. This section provides a system of generating weather in a region and details the dangers the extreme manifestations of weather present.

Animal Companions and Familiars: This chapter expands your choices for both animal companions and familiars. Not only does it provide you with dozens of each type of companion, but it also presents guidance on magic item slots for animal companions and familiars, guidelines on plant and vermin companions, and a number of archetypes and feats for companions and familiars.

Discovery and Exploration

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Unspoiled wilderness and uncharted lands represent an opportunity for exploration and the discovery of ancient secrets, lost treasures, natural wonders, and the remote lairs of terrible beasts. As exciting as exploring wilderness can be, the fact that there are no city streets or dungeon walls to guide choices can make running exploration in uncharted wilds a challenge. The rules presented in this section can be used when a group enters such uncharted lands to discover what lies within, and at your discretion can serve as an expansion on the rules for exploration as presented in Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Campaign. Brief definitions of terms used in this section are listed below.

Discovery Points: As the PCs explore a territory, they’ll accumulate Discovery Points—an abstract measure of how thoroughly they have explored the region. Note that while gazetteers, maps, research, and rumors can grant bonus Discovery Points for a region even before the PCs set foot within the wild, inaccurate information gleaned from such sources can penalize the accumulation of Discovery Points.

Exploration Check: As the PCs search a territory, they’ll attempt exploration checks to determine how many Discovery Points they accumulate. Exploration checks are typically Survival checks, though unusual territories may require other specialized skills. A character can attempt an exploration check using Perception in place of the required skill with a –5 penalty.

Location: A location is an adventure site or other point of interest within a territory—it could be an ancient ruin, a dragon’s cave, a druidic monument, a hidden treasure, a portal to the First World, or anything else of note. Each location has a discovery score equal to the number of Discovery Points required to find the location.

Territory: Territories are discrete geographic areas with defined boundaries. These can be political borders or geographical transitions. If you’re using the exploration rules from Ultimate Campaign, a single hex constitutes a territory. Alternately, a territory can be a much larger region; in this case, the PCs’ exploration of the territory is a much more abstract concept and doesn’t involve tracking exact locations on a map. In either case, each territory has its own Challenge Rating, which determines the danger of wandering monsters in the territory as well as the DC for exploration checks to earn Discovery Points.

Way Sign: Way signs are events, objects, or terrain features that give a hint to find a location. Discovering a way sign, either by stumbling across one in the wild (such as by reaching a vantage point that gives an excellent view of the lay of the land, or by stumbling across an old road sign) or by researching a region beforehand (such as by consulting gazetteers, maps, or the rumor mill), can grant bonus Discovery Points or reveal the existence of previously unknown locations—but some way signs may be inaccurate or misleading.

The Exploration Process

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Typically, explorers come to a territory to seek out a specific location within its reaches. Sometimes they know of multiple locations reputed to lie within the region and needs only find them. Other times, some or all the locations remain unknown until the explorers stumble across them or find clues as a result of their investigations in the territory. In either case, before explorers can discover a location, they must first accumulate enough Discovery Points (either by succeeding at exploration checks or by correctly interpreting way signs).

Once the explorers reach the territory in question, they can begin exploration and discovery. Their efforts result in the accumulation of Discovery Points, which they can spend to discover locations, and in finding way signs, which provide additional Discovery Points and sometimes also reveal the existence of further locations to be discovered. Discovery Points earned in a given territory are tied to that territory; the PCs cannot apply points earned in one territory to a new territory. The party’s accumulated Discovery Points remain indefinitely, even if the PCs leave the territory and return later.

Character Actions

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 124
At the start of each day, each character must decide if she will spend the day documenting the territory, exploring, seeking a location, or taking another action (such as crafting magic items, guarding a campsite, resting, or the like). Only the first three options—documenting, exploring, and seeking a location—directly contribute to the exploration process. Uncovering way signs can also contribute to the process, but the actions required to earn Discovery Points via way signs vary widely and depend on the way signs in question.

Documenting: The character spends the day mapping the territory or recording its features in a gazetteer and can attempt one skill check for each day spent documenting. Creating a map requires one or more successful Profession (cartographer) checks, while creating a gazetteer requires one or more successful Linguistics checks (at the GM’s discretion, other skill checks can be used in place of these). The number of checks needed equals the territory’s CR, and the DC equals the territory’s exploration check DC. Once the character has succeeded at the required checks, she has created a detailed map or gazetteer of the region, which grants a +5 circumstance bonus on future exploration checks in that territory (bonuses from multiple maps or gazetteers don’t stack).

Exploring: The character spends the day exploring the territory. At the end of the day, the character attempts an exploration check against the territory’s DC. An exploration check is usually a Survival check, but in some unusual regions or circumstances, it could require another skill check. A character can always attempt an exploration check using the Perception skill, but doing so is more difficult since this represents a more generalized method of exploration, and the player attempting a Perception-based exploration check takes a –5 penalty on the roll as a result.

If the character succeeds at the exploration check, she earns 1 Discovery Point for the group, plus 1 additional point for every 5 points by which the result of the check exceeds the DC. Failing the check by 5 or more reduces the group’s Discovery Point total by 1, plus 1 additional point for every additional 5 points by which she failed the check. Unless every character in the group is skilled at the territory’s exploration skill, it’s often prudent for one character to attempt the primary exploration check and for others to engage in other tasks or use the aid another action to improve the primary check’s result.

Seeking a Location: If the PCs wish to seek out a location, they can do so by spending Discovery Points at the start of the day. If they are seeking a specific location that they know exists in the territory (typically having found clues to it in the form of way signs), they must spend a number of Discovery Points equal to the location’s discovery score—a number that determines how difficult that location is to find (with higher values representing locations that are more difficult to discover). If the PCs want to attempt to uncover an unknown location at random, they choose how many Discovery Points from their total that they want to spend. Once the points are spent, divide the total spent in half, then compare that result to the discovery scores of all the locations in the territory. If any of those locations have a discovery score lower than that total, the PCs discover one of those locations (chosen at random if more than one location is a potential discovery). If none of the locations have a discovery score lower than that total, the group recovers half the Discovery Points they spent, but the other half is lost. Once the party discovers a location, travel time to the site varies according to the GM’s discretion and the overall size of the territory.

Uncovering Way Signs: Every way sign the characters uncover has an associated skill check with a DC determined by the complexity of the way sign. The amount of time necessary to interpret a given way sign varies; some checks can be attempted with an insignificant time expenditure (such as recalling information about a territory using a Knowledge skill), while some require significant time to complete (like translating ancient texts or visiting a nearby settlement to gather information), which takes away from time spent documenting, exploring, or seeking a location. On a successful skill check, the PCs earn Discovery Points for the territory to which the way sign is linked. A simple way sign grants 1 Discovery Point, a moderately complex way sign grants 3 Discovery Points, and a complex way sign grants 5 Discovery Points. However, misinterpreting a way sign can complicate exploration— if a PC fails a check to interpret a way sign by 5 or more, the misinformation he obtains reduces the PCs’ current Discovery Point total for that territory by 1d4 points. This can result in negative values. The PCs can attempt to interpret a way sign multiple times, but once they have successfully interpreted it, further attempts do not grant additional Discovery Points.

Additional Factors

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 125
Some factors can affect both the rate and effectiveness of exploration, as detailed below.

Careful Exploration: Some groups might choose to explore more slowly and methodically in order to make a more careful search. This allows the group to attempt one extra exploration check for each day spent in careful exploration, but it limits the total number of Discovery Points that can be gained to 1 (a character using careful exploration cannot earn additional Discovery Points by exceeding the DC by 5 or more). Typically, careful exploration can be performed only if the terrain is relatively clear and free of obstructions. The GM is free to limit this option if she believes that a slow search would not garner much benefit due to the terrain.

Darkness: Unless the explorer has darkvision or another ability to see in darkness, he takes a –4 penalty on exploration checks he attempts when some but at most half of the hours spent exploring that day occur after nightfall. Explorers take a –8 penalty on checks attempted when more than half of the hours spent exploring occur after nightfall.

Extending the Day: A day of exploration typically takes 8 hours; the rest of each day is assumed to be split between 8 hours of rest and 8 hours spent eating, making and breaking camp, relaxing, and the like. It’s possible to increase the amount of time in a day used for exploring by spending an additional 8-hour session exploring, but for every additional stretch of time up to 8 hours by which the PCs extend their time spent exploring, they take a cumulative –4 penalty on exploration checks to earn Discovery Points until they next rest for 8 hours. At the GM’s discretion, fatigue and exhaustion can also set in if the PCs don’t rest enough.

Weather: Inclement weather hampers exploration checks if it is the predominant weather of a given exploration period. For example, the PCs would take a –1 penalty in the case of light fog or light rain, but a –10 penalty in the case of a blizzard or hurricane.

Exploration Rewards

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 125
Finding a location is often its own reward, but given the time, energy, and sometimes the resources needed to successfully conduct an exploration, you should consider the following additional rewards for parties that successfully discover all of the locations hidden in a territory.

Experience Points: The PCs should earn experience points equal to what they would have normally earned for defeating a monster of a CR equal to the territory’s CR once all locations within the territory are discovered. (If you’re using this system with the exploration rules in Ultimate Campaign, you should decide if you want to use this method of XP reward, the one detailed in Ultimate Campaign, or both, as appropriate for your game table.)

Maps and Gazetteers: The successful completion of a map or gazetteer can generate a monetary reward if the PCs sell their hard work back in civilization. A complete map or gazetteer of a region that has never before been explored can be sold for a number of gold pieces equal to 100 × the territory’s CR; once a map or gazetteer of a region has been sold, further copies of a map or gazetteer of that region (regardless of whether the first item sold was a map or gazetteer) are generally worth only 10% of that value or less, depending on GM’s discretion and supply and demand.

Creating a Territory

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 126
The steps listed below present all the information you need to generate territories for your PCs to explore. If you’re using the hex-based exploration rules from Ultimate Campaign, follow these steps for every hex in your map, though you can reuse information for similar hexes.

Step 1: Define the Territory

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 126
The first step is to determine your territory’s Challenge Rating. Typically, this should be the same value as the PCs’ Average Party Level, but you might want to make it easier or harder for the sake of the story. The territory’s CR helps guide the creation of random encounters, but it also determines the base DC of exploration checks, which can be found on Table 4–1. Though most exploration checks use the Survival skill, you can assign a different skill for particularly unusual or magical territories (for example, exploring a complex extraplanar library might require a Knowledge check, while exploring the mindscape of a slumbering god in which the PCs are trapped could require a Sense Motive check).

Exploration check DCs are intended to be moderately difficult. Characters who are heavily invested in the relevant skill for a given check should have a reasonable chance of success, while those who are not adept with the necessary skills are in danger of leading the PCs off track by providing erroneous information or misinterpreting way signs. Often, characters who lack the relevant skills for a particular exploration are better off using their abilities for other tasks or helping more skillful PCs via the aid another action.

Table 4-1: Exploration DCs

Territory CRExploration DC

Step 2: Design Locations

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As a general rule, each territory should contain at least one location to discover; otherwise there’s little point to exploring a territory. In some cases, you need to design only a single location—the focus and eventual goal of the exploration. Other times, such as if the PCs are surveying a lost world or another terra incognita, you’ll want to design multiple locations, each competing with the others for the PCs’ attention.

Each location should be something memorable and significant. Finding a location should grant a reward (such as a supernatural enhancement, valuable treasure, or a way sign), or that location should be an adventure site. Locations can be as simple as a stash of ancient pirate treasure or as complex as a lost city harboring ancient magic and technological mysteries.

Each location in a territory needs its own discovery score. An obvious location (such as a large castle or a humanoid army camp) should have an initial discovery score of 3, while a more obscure location (such as a single house or a cave entrance) should have an initial discovery score of 6. You can modify this initial discovery score total using the values given on Table 4–2, but feel free to come up with your own values based on the exploration’s narrative.

Table 4-2: Discovery Score Modifier

ConditionModifier to Discovery Score
Desert or plains terrain+1
Forest, hills, or marsh terrain+2
Mountain terrain+3
Location is traveled to or from often-4
Location is mobile within the territory+4
Location is unusually large-2
Location is unusually small+2
Location is deliberately hidden+2 to +6
† Adjustments are cumulative, but the minimum discovery score = 1.

Step 3: Create Way Signs

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 126
Way signs provide information about the territory and, if correctly interpreted, can provide bonus Discovery Points. A way sign could be as simple as a vantage point that offers a glimpse of a location from a distance or a hidden path toward a sought-after goal, or it might itself be a reward for finding a location. Way signs can even be earned or uncovered in advance of exploring a region—if a PC researches the territory the party intends to explore in a library, she might uncover a set of old maps or a traveler’s journal that provides clues to navigating the territory and thus serves as a way sign.

When designing a territory, you’ll usually want to include at least one or two way signs, or as many as 10 in cases of large territories. If you’re using hex-based exploration, treat each significant terrain feature as a territory for the purpose of deciding how many way signs to include, rather than treating each hex as its own territory. Each way sign should have a trigger that results in its discovery by the party, be it attempting to recall lore about a region, gathering information in a nearby settlement, using flight to scout the lay of the land, or uncovering an old map or journal discussing the region. Each way sign should also have an associated skill check and DC to successfully gain information or interpret the clue. For a simple way sign, this DC should equal the territory’s CR + 10. For a moderately complex way sign, the DC should be equal to the territory’s CR + 15. For complex way signs, the DC should be equal to the territory’s CR + 20.

Step 4: Create Random Encounter Tables

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 127
A territory’s CR sets the average CR of random encounters occurring within that territory. Numerous example encounter tables appear on pages 324–327 of Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, as well as throughout Chapter 7 of Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide, but your encounter tables don’t need to be as complex. Usually, a short table of a half dozen or so potential encounters is enough. It’s generally best to check for encounters four times per day—once at dawn, once at noon, once at dusk, and once at midnight, with a 20% chance of an encounter each time. You can even tie encounters to exploration checks, with a result of a natural 1 on such a check indicating a random encounter. Feel free to adjust the frequency of these checks and the chance of a random encounter occurring as best suits your game. Keep in mind that too many random encounters and wandering monsters can slow down the progression of your plot and can frustrate players. It’s often best to limit random encounters to one per day of in-game time.

Example Territory: White Canyon

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 127
Suppose the PCs have learned of a great evil rising in a hidden temple of Lamashtu in the arid hills surrounding the gnollheld territories of White Canyon. Rather than generate a map of the region, you instead use the rules in this section to guide the PCs’ exploration of White Canyon and their search for the hidden temple. You might also include a few other adventure sites in the region for the PCs to seek out and way signs to help them get a jump on locating these sites. Your notes on White Canyon might end up looking like the following.

White Canyon Territory   CR 5

Arid hills ruled by bickering gnoll tribes and stalked by desert beasts and ghuls
Exploration Check Survival DC 23

Location Discovery Scores

Hidden Temple of Lamashtu 12 (base score of 6, hills terrain +2, location is deliberately hidden +4)
Red Sultana’s Camp 1 (base score of 3, hills terrain +2, location is traveled to or from often –4)
Wyvern Lair 8 (base score of 6, hills terrain +2)

Simple Way Signs (1 Discovery Point)

Rumors about White Canyon A successful DC 15 Diplomacy check to gather information in a nearby settlement can reveal information about the region.

Moderate Way Signs (3 Discovery Points)

Recalling White Canyon Lore A successful DC 20 Knowledge (geography) check reveals information about the region.
Reconnaissance via Flight A character who spends at least 30 minutes flying above the region and then succeeds at a DC 20 Perception check spots landmarks and gets the lay of the land.

Complex Way Signs (5 Discovery Points)

Deciphering a Journal If the PCs find an ill-fated explorer’s journal in the wyvern’s lair, a PC who can read Aklo and succeeds at a DC 25 Linguistics check correctly interprets her coded notes.

Random Encounters

Frequency 4 times per day (morning, noon, dusk, midnight) Chance of Encounter 20%

1-15Giant vulture4
31-55Gnoll wild pack (1 gnoll, 3 hyenas)5
56-752 dire hyenas5
76-85Gnoll hunting party (1 gnoll rageborn, 2 gnolls)5
86-951 wyvern6
96-1002 ghuls7

The First World

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 128
Located before, between, and beyond the Material Plane, the First World is a dimension of extremes and unpredictability. While the Shadow Plane straddles the metaphysical gulf between the Material Plane and the Negative Energy Plane, the First World lies between the Material Plane and the Positive Energy Plane. The First World has been said to be a sort of “first draft” of reality—under a sky of whirling stars and moons that change shape and texture as they track their way through the vibrant heavens, inconsistent natural laws and wellsprings of primal magic and natural splendor create vistas unfathomable to mortal minds. Here stand ancient forests as tall as mountains, living lakes and rivers, traveling faerie courts alternately benevolent or sadistic, and landscapes of all manner that constantly shift and reinvent themselves. And ruling over all in this realm are those powerful entities known as the Eldest. It is from this realm that dread linnorms, fey creatures, the original gnomes, and far stranger beings hail.

First World Planar Traits

The First World has the following planar traits. For more information on planar traits, see Planar Traits.

Erratic Time: Time progresses faster in some areas and slower in others, often according to the whim of the Eldest or other powerful individuals. For most visitors from other planes, their own timestream clings to them like a protective shell, but it’s not uncommon for a creature who spends a day in the First World to find upon their return home that a year or more has passed.

Highly Morphic: The First World can be altered by strong-willed individuals, such as the Eldest.

Minor Positive Dominant: The First World grants fast healing to creatures only in certain areas where life is particularly potent and concentrated.

Mildly Neutral-Aligned: The First World does not impart alignment-based Charisma check penalties to anyone.

History of the First World

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 128
To account for the full history of the First World is to look back before the beginning of time itself, to a period in history before history when the Material Plane did not yet exist. Ancient legends hold that mortal life began in the First World. If these tales are to believed, in this early pregenesis period of all things, a coalition of deities decided to create a new form of life, but unlike existing servitors (outsiders such as angels and devils), these new “mortal” entities would serve a greater function, acting as filters for the fundamental life energy of the universe. The energy would be translated into discrete, self-directing portions called “souls,” which would use the experience of a finite lifespan to shape and expand the realities of the Great Beyond itself.

Of course, these new beings would need a place to live apart from the domains of the gods, and so the gods crafted the First World—a vast blank canvas where they could experiment with reality and try out different laws for how existence and mortal life could or should operate. After an age of experimentation, they had a fully functional model for the realm that would become known as the Material Plane.

And then, like so many great artists, they painted directly over it.

When the Material Plane came into being, the gods didn’t erase the original experiments. They did not destroy these original “doodles and blueprints” but merely abandoned them. Thus, this rough draft continued to grow and evolve on its own, eventually stabilizing, more or less, into the reality known today as the First World.

Whether these stories are true in totality or only in part, the fact of the First World remains: it is an ancient realm filled with mystery and danger and a reality where vast secrets and mind-expanding truths await discovery side by side with the ever-present opportunity for death and destruction. It is nature unrestrained—a primal and primeval wilderness where everything that exists does so on a grand scale.

Features and Inhabitants

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While the majority of the Material Plane’s universe is empty space populated by a diverse and seemingly endless number of different star systems and worlds, the First World is simply that: a single world that seems to stretch forever in every direction. Everything in the Material Plane has analogues in the First World, but the First World versions are often exaggerated in some way. Mountains are taller, oceans are deeper, and forests grow at unusual angles. Colors are more vibrant, flavors more potent; everything is amplified to oversaturated extremes, the cause of which is the First World’s proximity to the Positive Energy Plane. Much as the Shadow Plane is a realm of muted colors and near darkness due to its proximity to the Negative Energy Plane, so too is the First World skewed in the opposite direction.

The flora and fauna of the First World both resembles that of the Material Plane and exceeds it. What entities resided on the First World in its fledgling moments remains unknown, but ancient dragons and other primal forces of nature are likely candidates. Since then, all manner of wildly alien and unimaginable creatures have come to call the First World home, themselves exaggerated in much the same way as the plane’s geography. Creatures are more vivacious, more energetic, and more fecund. The most widespread of the First World’s denizens are creatures of the fey type, making up more than half of the First World’s populace, but they are neither the first denizens of the plane nor the most powerful. Any creature found on the Material Plane could conceivably be found in the First World, different from their mortal cousins in subtle or dramatic ways. The easiest way to represent the differences between a Material Plane creature and its First World counterpart is to apply the fey creature template. But even something as simple as changing a creature’s appearance or abilities can transform a mundane specimen into a denizen of the First World.

Between the suffusion of positive energy throughout the First World and the unique qualities drafted into its planar tapestry, the cycle of life and death is not linear as it is on the Material Plane. Creatures native to the First World that die either are outright reborn anywhere from a day to a year after their death or are otherwise recycled into the plane and reconstituted as another member of their kind. Some creatures even lead asynchronous lives, having memories of versions of themselves that have not come to pass (or may never) rather than just memories of their pasts. As such, natives of the First World do not always understand the concept of death; this can lead to deadly misunderstandings with travelers from the Material Plane or natives of the First World stranded on the Material Plane. In the latter case, the death of a First World native on the Material Plane is the absolute end of its life, and the soul is instead subject to the rules of the Material Plane—often without realizing it until it is too late.

Notable inhabitants of the First World include creatures of the animal, fey, plant, and vermin types. Of the fey, the most legendary of the First World denizens are the members of the wild hunt, but all fey have ties back to this realm. Beyond animals, fey, and plants, the following creatures are among those most often encountered in this dimension: almirajes, animal lords, bandersnatches, blink dogs, catoblepases, cerynitis, delgeths, drakainias, drakes (all), elementals (all), elohims, ettercaps, fachens, faerie dragons, fey creatures, giant eagles, grodairs, grootslangs, jabberwocks, jubjub birds, leucrottas, linnorms, manitous, pegasi, sards, shining children, thrasfyrs, thunderbirds, unicorns, vishaps, wendigos, will-o’-wisps, worgs, winter wolves, and yeth hounds. Undead are incredibly rare in the First World, but those that do exist there tend to be powerful and unique.

The Eldest

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Large swaths of the First World are carved up into fiefdoms and other such dominions by native inhabitants of great power. The demigods who call the First World home are some of the oldest beings in creation, and many have resided on this plane since before the Material Plane was woven into existence. Known collectively as the Eldest, they are as reclusive and secretive as they are ancient. The Eldest have relatively little interaction with the gods who dwell elsewhere in the Great Beyond, but like those divinities, they maintain cults and sects on countless Material Plane worlds. The religions of the Eldest are most commonly found in regions where the boundaries between the Material Plane and the First World grow thin. Fey often worship members of the Eldest, and many gnomes look back to their ancient roots in the First World and venerate the Eldest as well. Though the Eldest have nothing against cities or civilization, their worship tends to be less popular in heavily populated areas. Barbarians, druids, hunters, and others who live in the wild often venerate a member of the Eldest or the pantheon as a whole.

Table 4–3: The Eldest lists the most widely worshiped members of the Eldest, along with their areas of concern, domains, subdomains, and favored weapon for cleric and warpriest followers.

Table 4-3: The Eldest

NameALTitleAreas of ConcernDomainsSubdomainsFavored Weapon
Count RanalcCNThe TraitorBetrayal, exiles, shadowsChaos, Darkness, Nobility, TravelExploration, Loss, Martyr, NightRapier
The Green MotherNEThe Feasting FlowerCarnivorous plants, intrigue, seductionCharm, Earth, Evil, PlantCaves, Decay, Growth, LustSickle
ImbrexLNThe TwinsEndings, statues, twinsCommunity, Earth, Law, StrengthFamily, Home, Metal, ResolveDire flail
The Lantern KingCNThe Laughing LieLaughter, mischief, transformationChaos, Charm, Madness, TrickeryDeception, Love, Lust, ThieveryDagger
The Lost PrinceNThe Melancholy LordForgotten things, sadness, solitudeKnowledge, Madness, Nobility, ReposeAncestors, Insanity, Martyr, MemoryQuarterstaff
MagdhLNThe ThreeComplexity, fate, tripletsKnowledge, Law, Luck, RuneCurse, Fate, Thought, WardsScythe
NgNThe HoodedSeasons, secrets, wanderersKnowledge, Magic, Travel, WeatherExploration, Seasons, Thought, TradeGauntlet
RagadahnCEThe Water LordLinnorms, oceans, spiralsChaos, Evil, Scalykind, WaterAncestors, Dragon, Oceans, VenomWhip
ShykaNThe ManyEntropy, reincarnation, timeDeath, Destruction, Madness, MagicArcane, Catastrophe, Divine, InsanityLight mace

Getting to the First World

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The First World is a coterminous plane and therefore overlaps the Material Plane, but unlike the Shadow Plane, the First World does not mimic the Material Plane’s geography. Ley lines, supernatural conduits that connect the planes and channel experiences, magic, memories, and the souls of the dead and the unborn through them, crisscross the First World just as they do the Material Plane. Unlike those on the Material Plane, ley lines found in the First World do not stay in one place for long and typically wander vast distances, writhing through the world like disquieted snakes. Where these ley lines penetrate the barrier between the First World and the Material Plane, thin spots known as breaches form, allowing passage between the First World and the Material Plane without the aid of magic. These breaches typically manifest as circles of mushrooms, puddles of water with a rainbow-hued surface, trees in a peculiar arch, or other seemingly innocuous patterns. Simply stepping through one of these portals is often enough to travel from one plane to the other, but breaches are not always two-sided. Some doorways to the Material Plane are one-way, stranding extraplanar travelers in a seemingly dull and lifeless world, while Material visitors to the First World could be stranded for decades or more as they try to find a way back home. Other means of traveling to and from the First World include powerful spells such as fey gate, gate, and plane shift.

Hazards of the First World

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In the First World, the terrain itself can be as dangerous as any denizen. The following are just a handful of hazards found on the borders of or within this fey realm. These hazards can also manifest on the Material Plane in areas where ley lines from the First World cross over and weaken the boundaries between realms.

Phantom Ring (CR 9)

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Sometimes rings of mushrooms known as “fairy rings” mark thin spots that function as gateways into the First World. When fairy rings become corrupted due to pollution, the effects of curses, the machinations of evil fey, or other fell influences, they can become unstable and dangerous, becoming phantom rings. These circles of magical mushrooms function like a magical trap (Perception DC 25, Disable Device DC 30), though a character can use the Survival skill in place of Perception to notice the danger presented by a phantom ring.

A phantom ring typically occupies a single 5-foot square. A character entering a phantom ring must succeed at a DC 19 Will save or be drawn into a gap in reality between the Material Plane and the First World, caught in a fragmented shard of the Ethereal Plane where she is unable to fully pass into the First World or return to the Material Plane. The character is invisible and ethereal, and she can see a dim and warped image of the Material Plane she just left, but she is unable to move more than 30 feet away from the phantom ring, which remains the only thing that appears solid and real in this ethereal pocket dimension. The character is trapped within this realm as if she had been called with a planar binding spell.

After 1d4 rounds, a disembodied spirit emerges from the phantom ring into the pocket dimension to confront the trapped character. This spirit appears as a spectral fey version of the trapped character, and it is treated as an animus shade, save that it is chaotic neutral in alignment and can exist only inside the pocket dimension created by the phantom ring. The animus shade might be friendly and talkative, or it might be cold, aloof, and demanding. The trapped character can attempt to bargain with the shade for her release, either into the First World or back into the Material Plane, but she must succeed at an opposed Charisma check to successfully persuade her captor. If the trapped character succeeds at this check, she can return to the Material Plane or enter the First World, but if she fails the check, the shade immediately attacks her. If the shade manages to kill the trapped character, it can manifest in the Material Plane, whereupon it is free to spread mayhem and its phantom ring dissolves away into sludge.

A trapped character can bolster her chances of success when bargaining with the animus shade by offering a bribe of magic items or performing a service. Each animus shade’s desires for bribes or service should vary, generally representing strange distortions of the trapped character’s personality. For example, a trapped bard might be required to perform a humiliating display of self-mockery, or a barbarian might be required to undertake a diplomatic mission without resorting to combat. Services rendered to an animus shade take place in a mindscape and typically require three out of five successful skill checks to complete. Bribes must be in the form of a valued magical item worth at least 500 gp per character level of the trapped character. If the service or bribe is successful, the trapped character can roll her opposed Charisma check twice (applying a +4 bonus on each roll) and use the better of the two rolls as her actual result when resolving the opposed Charisma check against the animus shade.

A trapped creature can always opt to simply fight the animus shade, as both are on the Ethereal Plane, though neither can move more than 30 feet from the phantom ring. If the animus shade is slain, the trapped character reappears in the Material Plane and the phantom ring becomes inert for 2d4 days before becoming active again.

Once a creature escapes from a phantom ring, the hazard relocates to a random location within 1d6 miles.

Pixie Pollen (CR 2)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 131
When strange spores or magical seeds from the First World sprout up through the planar verge, they can graft themselves onto existing flowering plants. Such plants flower profusely and in vivid colors of unearthly beauty, even blooming out of season. While this may be seen as a mark of divine blessing for their fecundity, this fey influence also infuses their natural nectar and pollen with a dreamy, soporific quality that entices the unwary to drowsy contemplation.

Animals, humanoids, and monstrous humanoids that come within 30 feet of a plant that exudes pixie pollen must succeed at a DC 10 Will save or become drowsy and inattentive of their surroundings, caught up in the loveliness of the flowers. Creatures that succeed at their saving throws but remain within the area must each attempt a new save once per minute to stave off the effects of the pixie pollen.

Affected creatures take a –5 penalty on Perception checks and a –2 penalty on saving throws against sleep effects; each such creature must attempt an additional Will save at the end of each round it remains within the area or become fascinated and unwilling to leave. If the fascinate effect is broken by an attack or through the help of an ally, a drowsy creature must attempt a new Will save each round to avoid becoming fascinated again.

In addition, each minute a drowsy creature remains within an area of pixie pollen, it must also succeed at a DC 10 Fortitude save or become fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued). An exhausted creature that fails this save falls asleep for 1 minute, after which time it can attempt a new Fortitude save once per hour to awaken. Creatures with the Endurance feat can apply that bonus on their Fortitude save against this effect.

The effects of pixie pollen are supernatural, mind-affecting sleep effects.

Weeping Waste (CR 10)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 132
There are places of desolation and loneliness in the wild— trackless regions without a trace of intelligent habitation to be found. In such places, the sense of desperation and isolation can crush the spirit of a sentient being, reducing victims to tearful hopelessness and unending despair, but few such regions are as dangerous as the weeping wastes.

A weeping waste can be found in any kind of terrain, though they are most common in deserts and plains. Always sizable, they might be a few miles across or might stretch on for hundreds of leagues. Some weeping wastes are shrouded in an endless, gray drizzle that chills and soaks to the bone, while others are utterly cloudless, with no change in the vast and empty dome of the sky above.

The sinister influence of the weeping waste blurs the horizon in every direction both above and beyond the natural bleakness of the land, obliterating any trace of mountains or natural landmarks more than 1 mile away unless the viewer succeeds at a DC 20 Will save; this is an illusion effect. A creature failing this save takes a –10 penalty on Survival checks to avoid getting lost. Spells that aid navigation such as know direction, locate object, or find the path (or the ability to sense direction and distance from a status spell) function in a weeping waste only if the caster succeeds at a DC 20 caster level check. Natural tracks left by creatures fade with astonishing swiftness within a weeping waste, increasing the DC to track by 1 for every minute that has passed since the tracks were made, rather than increasing by 1 every 24 hours.

The privations of surviving in the wild are felt more keenly in a weeping waste. A creature that fails a Survival check to avoid getting lost or a sentient creature with Intelligence of 3 or higher that fails a Constitution check or Fortitude save to avoid taking nonlethal damage from a cold or hot environment, hunger or thirst, or a forced march or other exertion must succeed at a Will save against the same DC. Non-humanoids gain a +4 bonus on this Will save. Creatures that fail this save are driven to melancholy and are affected as if by crushing despair, which persists until either the nonlethal damage is removed or the affected creature spends 24 hours outside of the weeping waste, whichever comes first; if no save is allowed to avoid nonlethal damage, no save is allowed against this crushing despair either. In addition to the spell’s usual effects, affected creatures cannot benefit from morale effects.

Even for creatures able to resist the depths of depression, traveling through a weeping waste instills an insidious loneliness and melancholy that leaves sentient humanoids desperate for friendly contact. They become blindly trusting, taking a –5 penalty on Sense Motive checks and a –2 penalty on saves against charm effects, and they take a –5 penalty on initiative checks if combat begins directly after they converse with an intelligent creature. This lonely desperation persists for 1d4 days after leaving the weeping waste.

Echoes of the First World

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 132
The First World shares its place in existence with the Material Plane, and in some places, the boundary between the planes wears thin. The Material Plane’s influence on the First World manifests as regions of stubborn stability called “breach scars,” which the First World’s denizens regard with disgust. On the Material Plane, the fey realm’s influence erodes the laws of time and space and transforms reality in its wake. Sometimes, this influence manifests as an echo of the First World.

An echo of the First World functions (and is designed) as a haunt, but unlike haunts, they are damaged by negative energy and healed by positive energy. These echoes can be any alignment, but they are almost always chaotic neutral. Three sample echoes are Dimensional Tear, Enchanting Demise, and Following Footsteps, but countless others certainly exist.

Overcharge: Positive energy and healing effects heal echoes of the First World. If such healing would cause an echo of the First World to exceed its normal maximum hit points, it gains half the excess as temporary hit points until those hit points are spent or 1 minute has passed since it last gained temporary hit points in this manner. As long as an echo of the First World has at least 1 temporary hit point gained in this way, it also gains its overcharge ability.

Foraging and Salvaging

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 134
When far from the crafters and the markets of the city, an adventurer needs to have skill in foraging and salvaging to acquire materials and repair useful gear.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 134
These foraging techniques assume a search in a typically bountiful wilderness area. The exact time required to forage for supplies depends on the specific supplies desired and the type of terrain being searched, as does the DC of the skill check to successfully forage, as listed on Table 4–4 below. As a general rule, a character who spends more than 8 hours per day foraging becomes fatigued.

The base amount of time required to forage for supplies depends on the type of supplies you’re searching for, as listed in each supply category below. When foraging, multiply this base time by the terrain’s “forage factor” as listed on the table below. Whether the terrain in question counts as standard, barren, or abundant depends on the type of terrain being searched, what is begin searched for, and the GM’s discretion (for example, a remote shoreline may qualify as abundant for the purposes of foraging for tools and weapons, but barren for the purposes of foraging for herbs), but in most cases, the standard category should be used. Rugged terrain includes all terrain with difficult physical obstacles (numerous steep mountainsides or cliffs, particularly dense undergrowth, or any other terrain where the searcher’s movement type is impeded), and its forage factor stacks with other forage factors for different types of terrain.

Table 4-4: Foraging

Type of TerrainForage FactorForage DC
Terrain is ruggedx2+5

Time spent to forage for supplies need not be consecutive and can be split over multiple days. Once the required time has passed, attempt a skill check against the appropriate forage DC as indicated on the table above; typically this is a Survival check, but searching for some types of supplies sometimes allows the substitution of a different skill.

When a character attempts to forage for supplies, he must choose what kind of supplies he is searching for from the broad categories detailed below.

Alchemical Supplies and Material Components: Many alchemical supplies and material components can be found in the wilderness. You can forage enough supplies to approximate the contents of an alchemy crafting kit or a spell component pouch with a successful Survival check and 2d4 hours of effort, but the GM can rule that certain components simply aren’t available in an area (for example, bat guano cannot be foraged in terrain where no bats live). If a component is unavailable in the area but its cost remains negligible, you can create a rudimentary substitute component from your foraged supplies with a successful Craft (alchemy) or Spellcraft check and 1 hour of effort (DC = 15 + double the level of the extract or spell). An extract or spell cast with such an improvised substitute has a 20% chance of failure (in addition to any other chance of failure). Focus components or costly material components cannot be foraged.

Herbs: Foraging for specific herbs requires a Knowledge (nature) or Profession (herbalist) check and follows special rules, as presented on page 152 of this book.

Repair Materials and Improvised Tools: A period of 1d6 hours and a successful Survival check are enough to forage rudimentary supplies to perform field repairs for damaged equipment when the proper tools and supplies are not available. On a successful check, a character gathers the equivalent of 2d6 gp in raw materials. She must still spend the time and attempt Craft or Spellcraft skill checks as normal to use these materials to repair an object, but she takes a –5 penalty on the check due to the foraged nature of the materials used. Repair materials gathered in this way cannot be sold.

If these gathered materials are instead used to craft improvised tools, a successful forage check gathers only the equivalent of 1d6 gp in raw materials. A Craft or Spellcraft check to repair an object or to craft an improvised tool with foraged supplies always fails on a natural 1.

Weapons: Functional clubs and quarterstaves can be foraged with 10 minutes of foraging in any area with trees or wood; in other regions, clubs and quarterstaves require 1d4 hours of searching and function as improvised weapons. At the GM’s discretion, other improvised weapons can be foraged.

Options for Foraging

At the GM’s discretion, the following additional rules can be applied to foraging.

Encounters while Foraging: If you use wandering monsters in your game, you should consider checking for a random encounter once per foraging expedition.

Exhausting Resources: At the GM’s discretion, a region can eventually be exhausted of supplies viable for foraging.

Foraging while Traveling: You can forage while traveling, but doing so doubles the amount of time required to forage and halves your overall distance traveled. If you move through multiple types of terrain, use the least advantageous forage factor and forage DC of the terrains traveled through.

Group Foraging: Characters can always take the aid another action to improve a character’s skill check to forage; when they do so, they need not remain adjacent to the creature they are aiding.

Swift Foraging: A character can attempt to forage more quickly by increasing the required DC by 10; doing so cuts the time taken to forage in half.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 134
Foraging is one way to gather resources in the wild, but you can also recycle or repurpose items and gear as well, salvaging materials from items you no longer need or are willing to sacrifice. You can’t salvage materials from artifacts, cursed items, or items you can’t destroy. Successfully salvaging an item requires a Craft or Spellcraft check and takes an amount of time as indicated in the specific type of salvage operation below.

Ammunition: You can use destroyed ammunition as raw materials for new ammunition. Five pieces of destroyed ammunition provide suitable material to create one new piece of ammunition using the normal crafting rules.

Potions: If you have the Brew Potion feat, you can combine natural catalysts with a potion to salvage it and create a different potion of a lower spell level. Salvaging a potion requires raw magic item materials (these can be salvaged from existing items, as detailed below). To salvage a potion, you must spend 1 hour per spell level of the original potion and then attempt a Craft (alchemy) or Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 15 + 3 × the original potion’s spell level. If you succeed, you transmute the original potion into a new potion of a spell at least one spell level lower, provided you know the spell in question (it need not be one you can currently cast). If you fail this check by 4 or less, the attempt fails and the catalyst is wasted, but the potion is unharmed. If you fail by 5 or more, the raw materials are lost and the original potion is ruined.

Raw Crafting Materials: Anyone trained in the Craft skill can salvage raw materials from equipment for use in crafting or repair. You must carefully dismantle the item to be salvaged, resulting in the item’s destruction. If the item’s price is 1 gp or less, its materials can be salvaged with only 1 hour of work; otherwise it takes 8 hours to salvage crafting materials. A successful Craft check against the item’s creation DC + 5 yields raw materials worth one-quarter the item’s price. If you fail the Craft check by 4 or less, the item is destroyed but the materials can still be salvaged in a future attempt. If you fail the Craft check by 5 or more, the item is destroyed and the materials are ruined. Salvaged raw materials can be used to create or repair any item of the same materials and reduces the construction time by the proportion of the new item’s raw materials that are salvaged (minimum 8 hours).

Raw Magic Item Materials: Anyone with an item creation feat can salvage the raw materials from magic items for the creation of new ones or repair of existing ones. You must have the item creation feat required for that item to salvage its raw materials. Each attempt requires destroying a magic item and 8 hours of work. If the item’s price is 500 gp or less, you can salvage its materials in only 2 hours. A successful Craft or Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 10 + the item’s caster level yields raw materials worth two-thirds the creation cost of the destroyed item (one-third the market price). If you fail the skill check by 4 or less, the item is destroyed but the materials can still be salvaged in a future attempt. If you fail the skill check by 5 or more, the item is destroyed and the materials are ruined. Salvaged raw materials can be used to create or repair any item made of similar materials or that shares any of the creation requirements as the original. Including the majority of the materials allows you to automatically meet any construction requirements of a new item that the salvaged item also required and reduces the construction or repair time by the proportion of the new item’s construction materials that are salvaged (with the usual minimum creation time). Spellbooks and formula books can be salvaged for magic inks and paper usable in formula books, scrolls, and spellbooks.

Costly Spell Components: Anyone trained in Spellcraft can salvage costly material or focus spell components from magic items. Each attempt requires destroying the item and 8 hours of work. An item can be broken down into a powder that can be used in place of gemstone dust as a material component. Otherwise, the item must have a spell requiring the component in its construction requirements to salvage that component. A successful Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 10 + the item’s caster level yields materials usable in place of that spell component worth two-thirds the item’s creation cost (one-third its market price). If you fail the check by 4 or less, the item is destroyed without yielding spell components, but you can try to salvage them again. If you fail the check by 5 or more, the item is destroyed and the spell components are ruined.

Harvesting Poisons

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 142
While some think of poison as an assassin’s tool, the herbalists and naturalists of the world know that poison carries in it no more inherent evil than fire or water. Indeed, in the wildlands of the world, harvesting poison to give a hunter an edge or to aid in the production of antivenom is a time-honored practice.

While Craft (alchemy) is necessary to brew long-lasting poisons, there are many natural sources of poison in the world, and poison crafters who wish to avoid the expense of purchasing raw ingredients may seek to harvest poison from natural sources instead. The following section presents rules for harvesting poisons from the wild.

Unless a dose of harvested poison is preserved (see Preserving Harvested Poison), it remains potent for 24 hours after it is harvested.

Harvesting from Dead Creatures: Once a venomous creature is slain, its venom sacs can be removed, allowing 1 or more doses of its venom to be harvested for later use. In order to harvest venom, the creature must have been dead for less than 24 hours. Every hour the source creature has been dead reduces the lifespan of the harvested poison by an hour. Removing venom sacs is a messy and time-consuming process, requiring 10 minutes of work, access to surgical tools, and a container to store the venom in. If proper surgical tools are not available, a dagger or other light slashing weapon can be used, although this imposes a –2 penalty on checks to harvest the venom. The harvester must succeed at a Survival check (DC = 15 + the dead creature’s CR) in order to successfully harvest poison. On a success, the harvester acquires a single dose of the creature’s venom, plus 1 additional dose for every 5 by which the result of this check exceeded the DC (to a maximum number of doses equal to the creature’s Constitution modifier, minimum 1). Failing the check causes all of the venom to be lost. Failure by 5 or more exposes the harvester to 1d3 doses of the creature’s venom unless she has the poison use class feature.

Harvesting Poison from Hazards: Some hazards, such as poison oak and spider vines, feature poisons that can be harvested by those who know how to do so. This process requires 1 hour and an alchemist’s lab or alchemy crafting kit. If the harvester succeeds at a Survival check (DC = 15 + the hazard’s CR), she collects 1 dose of poison. Harvesting poison from a hazard in this way requires getting close enough to it to touch it, which may expose the harvester to the hazard’s effects.

Milking Venom: Venom can be harvested from a living creature without harming the creature, although the process is dangerous unless the creature has been trained for that specific purpose (see the Handle Animal skill). For most venomous creatures, this involves stretching a thin canvas over a jar or vial and then coaxing the creature to bite into the canvas before massaging its venom glands, causing the venom to drip from its fangs into the container. Similar methods are used for creatures that deliver venom in other ways, such as with a stinger.

Milking a single dose of poison from a creature takes 10 minutes of work and requires a successful Handle Animal check (DC = 10 + the donor’s Hit Dice + the donor’s Wisdom modifier). Failure by less than 5 indicates that the venom is not collected, but the handler suffers no other ill effect. Failure by 5 or more indicates that the creature bites, stings, or otherwise injects the handler with its venom. It automatically hits the handler with one of its natural attacks that delivers its poison, and it applies the effects of the attack normally. The creature might continue to attack the handler after doing so, possibly initiating combat. Milking venom from a cooperative intelligent creature doesn’t require a Handle Animal check but presents a 5% chance of exposure to the venom.

A creature can produce a number of doses of venom in this way each day equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1). A creature that is milked of venom this many times in one day (whether or not the attempts are successful) loses its poison special ability until the next time it rests.

Preserving Harvested Poison: Poison harvested from a creature or hazard remains potent for 24 hours. If a character wishes to preserve harvested poison for a longer period, she must treat it alchemically, as if crafting the poison with Craft (alchemy) but using the poison dose as the raw ingredients normally needed to brew a dose of the poison and thus avoiding the gp cost to craft the poison.

Crafting Antivenom

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 143
While antitoxin, as presented in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, presents a generalized tool for protecting oneself from poison, more specialized antivenoms can provide even greater protection against specific poisons. Creating a dose of antivenom requires a dose of the specific poison that the antivenom is designed to protect against.

Antivenom Effects: A single dose of antivenom automatically neutralizes the first exposure of the specific poison it is made to combat and provides a +8 alchemical bonus on saving throws against additional exposure to that specific poison; this bonus decreases by 1 every hour, until the effect ends after 8 hours.

Crafting Antivenom: To create a dose of antivenom, a living creature must first be exposed to a half dose of the poison in question. The creature suffers the poison’s effects normally, except the saving throw DC to resist the poison is reduced by 2. In order to be able to produce antivenom, the creature must succeed at the necessary saving throws to be cured of the poison. If the poison’s duration expires without the creature being cured, no antivenom can be harvested.

Once the creature has resisted the poison’s effects, a viable sample of the creature’s blood can be extracted with a successful DC 20 Craft (alchemy) or Heal check. This blood must then be refined to extract the natural antibodies that combat the poison in a process that takes 1 hour and requires a successful Craft (alchemy) check (DC = 5 + the poison’s saving throw DC). Success yields 1 dose of antivenom.

Antivenom can also be harvested in the same fashion from a creature that has been afflicted by a full dose of poison, rather than a creature deliberately given a half dose for this purpose. Regardless of how much poison the creature is exposed to, the antibodies in its system can be harvested only for 24 hours after it has recovered from the poison.

Purchasing Antivenom: Antivenom is not particularly expensive, but because it is highly specialized, it can be difficult to find. A dose of antivenom has a market price equal to half the market price of a dose of the poison in question, but it is treated as though its price were five times the market price of the poison for the purposes of determining its availability in any given settlement. Alternatively, if 1 or more doses of the poison in question can be provided, most alchemists will supply as much antivenom as they can produce from the doses for a fee of 10% of the market price of the poison.

Hazards and Disasters

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 146
The wilderness can be a dangerous place. Monsters roam and hunt within their territories, barbarians protect their settlements with frightening force, and sudden shifts in the weather can overwhelm the unprepared or unlucky explorer. But sometimes the landscape itself presents dangers that dwarf all others. The following are just a few ways that the environment can challenge hapless adventurers in the wild.

Brambles (CR 1)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 146
While many forms of undergrowth can slow explorers, thorny brambles can prove a serious impediment. In addition to functioning as light or heavy undergrowth, brambles damage creatures that move through a space filled with them. The amount of damage taken depends on whether the brambles are light or heavy and what type of armor the creature wears. Light brambles deal 1 point of damage to a creature wearing light armor that moves into their square, while heavy brambles deal 1d4 points of damage to a creature in light armor or 1 point of damage to a creature in medium armor. Creatures in heavy armor don’t take damage from brambles. A creature unwillingly forced into brambles can attempt a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid taking this damage.

Additionally, a creature moving through brambles must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 12 for light brambles, or DC 16 for heavy brambles) or become entangled. Entangled creatures can attempt to free themselves as a standard action with a successful Escape Artist or Strength check at the same DC. A creature needs to attempt this save against being entangled by brambles only when it enters a square of brambles.

A 5-foot square of brambles has AC 5 and hardness 2. A 5-foot square of light brambles has 30 hit points, while a 5-foot square of heavy brambles has 60 hit points. If a square of heavy brambles is reduced to 30 or fewer hit points, it functions as a square of light brambles instead.

Earthquake (CR 9)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 146
Naturally occurring earthquakes result from seismic energy released along fault lines in a planet’s crust. Powerful magic, the release of a legendary monster, or the destruction of a powerful artifact might also result in an earthquake. Earthquakes range from those that are harmless and nearly undetectable to those that are catastrophic and cause widespread destruction and loss of life.

The exact damage of an earthquake is subject to the GM’s discretion. Listed below are general guidelines to assist GMs in running earthquake events. The baseline used here assumes an earthquake of average strength. GMs should modify the values listed depending on the severity of the earthquake.

Earthquakes can have additional effects such as disrupting rivers, draining lakes and marshes, and even triggering tsunamis or volcanic events. Earthquakes might cause widespread fires in urban areas or displace wildlife in wilderness environments. The additional effects should be determined by the GM but should match the strength and severity of the earthquake.

Collapse: Creatures in an enclosed space or underground during an earthquake are at risk of having the ceiling or structure collapse on them. If a structure collapses, each creature inside takes 8d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 15 half ) from the falling rubble and becomes pinned. A creature that takes cover (under furniture, for example) gains the normal bonus for cover on its Reflex save. A creature pinned beneath rubble takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per minute while pinned. If a pinned creature falls unconscious, each minute thereafter until it is freed or dies, it must succeed at a DC 15 Constitution check or take 1d6 points of lethal damage. Additional rules for cave-ins and collapses appear in the Core Rulebook.

Falling Debris: Even creatures not in a structure are still at risk of falling debris, whether from a collapsing building nearby or a natural structure such as a cliff or mountain. Any creature caught in the area of falling debris suffers the collapse effects, but it takes 4d6 points of damage at the time of collapse instead of 8d6.

Fissure: Earthquakes can open massive cracks and fissures in the ground. A creature near a fissure as it opens has a 25% chance of falling in unless it succeeds at a DC 20 Reflex save. Additionally, each creature standing in the area when a fissure opens must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or fall prone if it avoids falling into the fissure. Fissures are typically 1d4+1 x 10 feet deep, and creatures falling into one take the appropriate falling damage. There is also a 25% chance that surrounding debris also falls into the fissure. Creatures in the fissure when debris falls on them take additional damage from the falling debris. Surviving creatures that are not pinned can attempt to climb their way out.

Impaired Actions: The tremors of an earthquake impose a –8 penalty on Dexterity-based skill checks for creatures on the ground. Spellcasters on the ground must succeed at a concentration check (DC = 20 + the spell’s level) to cast a spell. To move, a creature must succeed at an Acrobatics check; the base DC of this Acrobatics check is 10, but particularly powerful earthquakes and any resulting difficult terrain can increase this DC.

Structures: Most wood or masonry buildings collapse during an earthquake. Structures built of stone or reinforced masonry take 100 points of damage that is not reduced by hardness. Large structures such as castles might not collapse outright, but certain features such as towers or entire sections of a wall might. Creatures caught in a structure that is destroyed suffer collapse effects.

Elemental Influx (CR Varies)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 147
Powerful magic, supernatural disasters, the influence of potent monsters, or the whim of a demigod can cause the boundaries between the Material Plane and an Elemental Plane to wear thin, resulting in an elemental influx that transforms normal wildlands into a dangerous region. Often, creatures such as dragons or other monsters with energy resistances or immunities seek out regions of elemental influx as their domains, and such a creature’s presence can enhance or expand an existing influx.

The following list describes only some of the types of effects an elemental influx might have on the landscape. GMs are encouraged to expand on this list as they see fit.

Acidic Miasma (CR 3): An acidic miasma wafts up from the waters of a swamp infused with toxins leaching in from the Plane of Earth. Exposure to low concentrations of the foul vapors in the swamp causes a mildly uncomfortable burning sensation on exposed skin. Higher concentrations of the miasma are more deadly, usually appearing in pockets 1d6+1 x 10 feet in radius. Upon entering the area of a highly concentrated acidic miasma, a creature must immediately succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or become sickened for 1d4 minutes. Creatures that fail the save by 5 or more become nauseated instead. These effects last even if the creature leaves the area of the miasma. Additionally, each round a creature starts its turn in a highly concentrated area of miasma, it takes 1d6 points of acid damage. Highly concentrated miasmas can be identified from 10 feet away by their distinctive stench with a successful a DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Survival check.

Acidic Plants (CR 3): Acidic plants—usually bushes, mosses, vines, and other undergrowth—are found in clusters with a radius of 1d6+1 x 10 feet. They become active when they are disturbed by creatures moving through their squares. Acidic plants gain a reflexive ability to grab at intruders, and they attempt to grapple creatures moving through their square. The plants have a CMB of +10, and their grapple attempts do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Creatures grappled by acidic plants take 1d6 points of acid damage each round and can’t move without first breaking the grapple (the acidic plants’ CMD is 20). The acidic plants receive a +5 bonus on grapple combat maneuver checks against opponents they are already grappling, but they can’t move or pin foes. Each round that acidic plants succeed at their grapple combat maneuver check, they deal an additional 1d6 points of acid damage. A cluster of acidic plants has AC 10 and 10 hit points. Acidic plants have acid immunity and vulnerability to cold. Burning a square of acid plants causes them to release an acidic gas that spreads in a 10-foot radius; any creature in this gas takes 1d4 points of acid damage. The cloud dissipates in 2d4 rounds unless dispersed earlier by a strong wind or a gust of wind spell. Acidic plants secrete a nearly transparent layer of acid that can be identified with a successful DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Survival check.

Electrified Duststorm (CR 5): An electrified duststorm begins suddenly, scouring the area in a fierce but short-lived storm lasting 1d6+1 rounds. In addition to the effects of a duststorm, arcs of electricity crackle throughout it. Each round a creature is caught in the storm, it must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or take 2d6 points of electricity damage. The onslaught of an electrified duststorm is presaged by a sudden crackle of harmless sparks across the ground 1 minute before it starts and can be identified with a successful DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Survival check.

Fire Storm (CR 5): Occurring in mountainous areas, fire storms rage with strong winds, raining ash and flame across the landscape. A fire storm usually forms somewhere near a mountain peak and travels downward, but it persists for only 1d6+1 rounds. A creature caught in a fire storm takes 2d6 points of fire damage per round and must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or any flammable items that it has catch on fire. Additionally, the ash mixed in with the fire makes the ground difficult terrain and reduces visibility by half, imposing a –6 penalty on Perception checks. Fire storms move quickly, at a rate of 60 feet per round, and have a radius of 1d4x100 feet. A fire storm can be identified as it begins forming over the course of 1d4+1 rounds with a successful DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Survival check to detect the telltale increase in heat and gently falling ash.

Freezing Eruption (CR 5): Freezing gouts of super-chilled air erupt from small vents in the ground, blasting a 5-foot square with subzero temperatures. A creature occupying the square must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid the freezing eruption. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d6 points of cold damage and becomes entangled, as it is encrusted with ice. A creature can break free from the encrusting ice with a successful DC 20 Escape Artist or Strength check, but it takes 1d4 points of cold damage at the start of each turn it remains encrusted. The encrusting ice melts away in 1d6 rounds in regions where the ambient temperature is above freezing. Freezing eruptions occur from the same vent every 1d4 minutes. A square containing a freezing eruption can be identified by the shards of ice around it with a successful DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Survival check.

Fording a River (CR 2)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 148
In the wild, one cannot count on a handy bridge or access to boats when the need to cross a river arises. While magic such as fly or water walk can aid in the crossing of a river, at other times the traveler has no choice but to attempt to swim, unless the river is shallow enough to cross by wading. Fording a river in this way can be dangerous, especially when mounts or vehicles are involved.

When wading through moving water, a creature must succeed at a Strength check each round to avoid losing its footing and being dragged along by the current. The DC for this check depends on the relative depth of the water and the speed of the current, as outlined on the table below. Deeper water usually has a higher CR, as determined by the GM.

Table 4-6: Fording a River

ConditionStrength Check DC
Water is knee deep5
Water is waist deep10
Water is chest deep15
Water is deeper than creature is tall20
Per 10 feet/round of curren'ts speed+2

Attempting to ford a river with a vehicle is similarly difficult, but the vehicle’s driver must attempt a Profession (driver) check rather than a Strength check. Unless the vehicle was specifically designed to be able to travel in water, the driver takes a –5 penalty on this check. If the vehicle is being pulled by one or more creatures, each of those creatures must also succeed at a Strength check to avoid losing its footing, and failure by any creature pulling the vehicle also causes the vehicle to be carried along by the current.

A creature that gets carried along in this way is forced to swim in the water and is moved by the water’s current at the start of its turn each round, as per the normal rules for swimming in flowing water. As long as the creature remains in an area of water where it can reach the bottom, it can attempt a Strength check to catch itself as a full-round action (DC = the normal DC + 5). If a vehicle is carried along by the current, it moves downstream the appropriate distance each round based on the current’s speed, and unless it was specifically designed to be able to travel in water, it takes 4d6 points of damage each round it remains adrift in this fashion.

Some bodies of flowing water are rife with large rocks, logs, and other debris that can prove dangerous to those pulled into the current. In such conditions, a creature or vehicle being moved by the current at a rate of 60 feet per round or more takes 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage per round from such obstacles, plus an additional 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet beyond 60 that the current moves per round.

Geothermal Spring (CR Varies)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 149
Geothermal springs form where magma heats underground water to extreme temperatures. This hot water periodically erupts at the surface, collecting into pools of heated water of varying temperatures. In some cases, the resulting hot springs are relatively harmless, and communities often pop up nearby, as the therapeutic nature of the spring attracts visitors. But in some cases, geothermal springs are heated to the boiling point or hotter, or they might pose other dangers to the unwary.

GMs should feel free to modify the damage amounts and saving throws of a geothermal spring to take into account the spring’s size and water temperature.

Fumarole (CR 1): Fumaroles occur when the groundwater is boiled away before reaching the surface, so when it erupts from vents in the ground, it does so as steam, often carrying toxic gases along with it. The type of gas released by a fumarole depends on the composition of the surrounding ground. Some fumaroles, referred to as solfataras, emit dangerous levels of sulfuric gas. The eruption rates of fumaroles vary from every few minutes to every few hours.

A creature within 5 feet of an erupting fumarole must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid the eruption. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d6 points of fire damage from the scalding steam. If the fumarole emits sulfurous gases, each creature within 30 feet of the erupting fumarole must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Constitution damage and become nauseated for 1d4 rounds. On a successful save, the creature negates the Constitution damage and is sickened for 1d4 minutes instead of nauseated. This additional effect is a poison effect.

Geyser (CR 3): Geysers form when surface water seeps down into the earth and meets rocks heated by the proximity of magma. The pressure created by the boiling water causes the water to erupt on the surface. The rate, frequency, and length of eruption vary from geyser to geyser. Some issue a single, sustained geyser at a regular interval. Others go through a series of short eruptions, lasting only a few seconds each for hours at a time, and then go dormant for several hours or even days. The jets of water from erupting geysers also vary in height, with some erupting upward of 100 feet in the air.

A creature within 5 feet of an erupting geyser must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid the eruption. On a failed save, the creature is knocked prone and takes 2d6 points of fire damage. Creatures immersed in the geyser’s jet each take 5d6 points of fire damage and must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or be forced out of the geyser’s jet and knocked prone. Creatures within 10 feet of a geyser (but beyond 5 feet) each take 1d6 points of fire damage from the boiling hot spray falling on them.

Hot Spring (CR 2): Common hot springs contain pools of warm water, but in some, the water is heated to nearly boiling. Exposure to this water deals 1d6 points of fire damage per round. Total immersion deals 5d6 points of fire damage per round; damage continues for 1 round after total immersion, but this additional damage is 1d6 points of fire damage.

Mud Pot (CR 1): Mud pots are springs that mostly contain hot bubbling mud instead of water. The mud’s color depends on the amount and type of minerals in the mud. Mud pots range widely in size and depth, with many found in clusters. Gases from within the earth can cause mud pots to boil over or shoot mud a short distance into the air. Exposure to a mud pot deals 1d3 points of acid damage and 1d3 points of fire damage per round of exposure. Total immersion in a mud pot deals 1d6 points of acid damage and 1d6 points of fire damage per round; damage continues for 1 round after total immersion, but this additional damage is only 1d3 points of acid damage and 1d3 points of fire damage. Moving through a mud pot is like moving through a bog.

Reflective Snow (CR 2)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 149
Glittering fields of fresh snow can pose a danger to unprepared travelers during the daylight hours, as the sun reflecting from the fields of white can be dazzling or even blinding. Travelers through such areas risk having their eyes become sunburned—a condition known as snow blindness. A creature in an area of reflective snow is automatically dazzled, and for each hour it spends in such an area, it must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or succumb to snow blindness, becoming blind for 24 hours. Wearing protective eye gear that reduces the amount of sunlight hitting the eyes negates the dazzled condition and the chance of developing snow blindness. A character can reduce the duration of snow blindness to 1d6 hours with a successful DC 20 Heal check as long as she keeps her eyes covered or wears protective eye gear. Spells such as remove blindness/deafness heal snow blindness immediately. Creatures that are particularly susceptible to bright light take a –4 penalty on saves to resist snow blindness. To a lesser extent, staring out over vast stretches of sunlit water or desert can have the same effects as staring at reflective snow, but the save to avoid blindness in this case is only DC 10.

Spellgorging Plants (CR 1+)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 150
Areas of wilderness devastated by magical battles sometimes regrow vegetation bearing supernatural scars of those conflicts. When the flora in such an area develops a taste for magical energy, the plants and trees display vivid and unusual colors for their type and can even subtly change color. Spellgorging plants thrive on magical energy, making the casting of spells difficult when such plants are nearby. When a creature adjacent to a spellgorging plant attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability, the creature must make a successful concentration check (DC = 20 + the level of the spell) or the spell is lost as the flora absorbs the energy as it is cast. Most magic items are not affected by spellgorging plants, with the exception of spell-completion and spell-trigger items. When such an item is used, the user must attempt a caster level check against the same DC as above but using the item’s caster level instead of his own, in order to successfully use the item.

An area of spellgorging plants can be identified with a successful DC 15 Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), or Survival check due to the unusual colors and shapes of the surrounding flora. Most animals avoid eating spellgorging plants because of their bizarre and unpleasant taste. A creature consuming a spellgorging plant must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or become sickened for 1d4 hours. A spellgorging plant loses its ability to consume magic if it is destroyed—spellgorging plants have SR 20 for the purposes of resisting magical spell effects, but they otherwise have normal hit points and hardness for plants of their type.

Thin Ice (CR 1+)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 150
A frozen lake or river can prove a serious danger if characters misjudge the thickness of the ice. With a successful DC 20 Survival check, a character can accurately gauge the amount of weight a given sheet of ice can support. Table 4–7: Thin Ice lists the maximum size creature or object that can be supported by ice. (A Fine creature or object can be supported by any thickness of ice.)

When a creature steps onto ice that is one category thinner than what could normally support its weight, the ice begins to creak and crack ominously—a warning that a creature can notice with a successful DC 10 Perception check. At the end of a round, if an area of ice is unable to support its load, it gives way on a result of 10 or less on a d20 roll. This roll takes a cumulative –4 penalty for each size category by which the creature exceeds the maximum size the ice can support. A creature that is prone is treated as one size category smaller than its actual size for the purpose of determining whether the ice can support it. Ice within 5 feet of a fresh break is fragile, and it is treated as one category thinner for the purpose of determining the maximum size creature it can support.

Table 4-7: Thin Ice

Ice ThicknessMaximum SizeBreak DC
Under 1 inchDiminutive5
1-2 inchesTiny15
2-4 inchesSmall20
4-6 inchesMedium25
6-12 inchesLarge30
1-2 feetHuge35
2-4 feetGargantuan40
Over 4 feetColossal50

When ice gives way, a hole of a size equal to the creature’s space opens in the ice. A creature falling into the nearfreezing water beneath the ice is treated as if it were in an area of extreme cold, and on the round it plunges into the water, it must also succeed at a DC 15 Swim check or be submerged beneath the water and trapped beneath the ice, unable to surface. A creature trapped beneath the ice can attempt to break through with a Strength check (the break DC depends on the ice’s thickness, as indicated on Table 4–7), or it can attempt to swim to an opening in the ice (although unless the creature is able to see in the darkness beneath the ice, it might have trouble finding its way to where an opening is). A submerged creature that is adjacent to the edge of the break in the ice can attempt a DC 20 Climb check to pull itself out, although keep in mind that ice adjacent to a break is fragile and could shatter in turn.

Vampire Orchids (CR 3)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 150
Uniquely beautiful in appearance, vampire orchids grow in large clusters in meadows or on hilltops where they can get plenty of sunlight. Their vivid petals range in a hue of wild and clashing colors with frequent splotches of crimson on the petals. Vampire orchids can be exceedingly dangerous to the unwary due to their unusual pollination methods. A creature traveling through a cluster of vampire orchids must attempt a DC 15 Reflex save or a DC 20 Acrobatics check. Failure causes the tremors from the creature’s footsteps to release soporific pollen from the orchids’ blossoms, forcing the creature to attempt a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid falling asleep for 1 minute. A helpless or sleeping creature takes 1d4 points of damage at the end of each round it remains in contact with vampire orchids— this damage does not cause physical pain and is not in and of itself enough to wake a sleeping creature.

Volcano (CR Varies)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 150
Magma churns beneath the earth’s surface throughout the world, and in places where there are weaknesses in the crust, it can erupt outward in violent conflagrations. Volcanic dangers such as lava, lava bombs, poisonous gas, and pyroclastic flows are covered in the GameMastery Guide, but there are additional dangers that a volcano can present.

Earthquake: The force with which volcanoes erupt can shake the earth, so earthquakes are common during volcanic eruptions. Depending on the nature of the terrain, these disastrous events can cause any of the effects listed in the Earthquake section: they can hinder movement, cause buildings to collapse, open fissures in the ground, and topple structures both large and small. They can also trigger tsunamis.

Lahar: A lahar is a churning slurry of mud and debris created when intense heat melts the glaciers or snow atop a volcano. A lahar can travel hundreds of miles beyond the volcano, devastating everything in its path. Motion alone keeps a lahar in liquid form. When a lahar strikes a creature, it deals the damage listed in Table 4–8: Types of Lahars below (Reflex half, at the listed DC). For creatures caught in a flowing lahar, use the rules for being swept away in flowing water with a DC 25 Swim check. Anyone trapped under a lahar cannot breathe and must attempt Constitution checks to avoid suffocation. Lahars can be hot or cool depending on the events that cause them. A hot lahar deals 2d6 points of fire damage per round to those trapped by it. As a lahar slows, it settles to the consistency of packed earth, entombing those trapped within or beneath. See the Cave-Ins and Collapses section for rules on digging out a buried creature.

Table 4-8: Types of Lahars

TypeCRDepthWidthSpeedDamageReflex Save DC
Minor910 feet100 feet100 feet/round8d615
Typical1025 feet500 feet250 feet/round8d620
Massive1250+ feet2,500+ feet500 feet/round16d625

Steam Vent: Major eruptions of steam or boiling water often precede an eruption and deal between 4d6 and 15d6 points of fire damage (Reflex half, DC = 10 + number of damage dice). The radius of such bursts is typically equal to 5 feet per damage die. Mild steam vents are as hot as saunas and have a sulfurous odor.

Volcanic Ash: Erupting volcanoes spew ash, which can obscure vision and cause creatures to choke as if it were heavy smoke. Prolonged contact with hot ash deals 1d6 points of fire damage per minute. Clouds of ash can linger in the atmosphere, darkening the sky for weeks or even months and leading to colder temperatures and prolonged winters. This combination of cold and lack of sunlight hurts crops, and it can cripple food supplies and lead to famines. On the ground, ash buildup creates difficult terrain—not only is it slippery, but it might conceal other hazards. In heavy eruptions, a blanket of ash several feet thick can eventually blanket the region downwind of the volcano. Over the long term, however, this volcanic ash becomes fertile soil.

Volcanic Lightning: Ash clouds can generate powerful lightning strikes. These strikes typically deal between 4d8 and 10d8 points of electricity damage and are unusually difficult to dodge (Reflex half, DC = 15 + number of damage dice).


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 152
Herbs and useful plants and fungi abound in most wilderness regions, and while these valuable plants can be obtained in special markets or shops, the skilled herbalist knows where to go to gather these resources by hand in the wild.

Gathering Herbs: Gathering herbs is similar to foraging and can be accomplished while you are traveling or as your sole activity during an 8-hour period. If you gather herbs while traveling, your overland speed is halved. Spending 8 hours doing nothing but gathering herbs from the area grants 1 additional yield of each herb you’re gathering. When you start your day of herb gathering, you must declare which herb you are looking for. If you have 5 ranks of Profession (herbalist), you can search for two different types of herbs at once, and for each additional 5 ranks you have in this skill, you can search for one additional herb, to a maximum of 5 herbs at once if you have 20 ranks in Profession (herbalist).

Each herb listed has a gather DC. At the end of the time spent gathering, attempt a Profession (herbalist) or Knowledge (nature) check against each herb’s gather DC. If the terrain you are searching in is one of your favored terrains, you can attempt a Survival check instead. If the herb in question is present in the region you searched (this is always subject to the GM’s discretion), success results in a single yield of that herb. Success by 5 or more grants 1 extra yield. Success by 10 or more grants 2 extra yields.

A single yield of herb weighs 1/10 of a pound unless otherwise noted in its yield section in its stats.

In addition to determining whether a particular herb is available to gather in a region, the GM also determines how many attempts to gather that herb can be attempted in the region. Typically, a region can support 1d4 herb-gathering expeditions before the herbs must be given 2d6 months to regrow.

Preparing Herbs: Most herbs must be prepared to unlock their potency. If this is the case for an herb, its stat block describes the method required to process it, the Craft (alchemy) DC to accomplish this task, and the amount of time needed to do so. A Profession (herbalist) check can be conducted instead of a Craft (alchemy), but the DC of the check to prepare the herb increases by 5 in this case. If the preparer fails this check by 5 or more, the dose of the herb is ruined; if she fails by less, she can try again with the same herbs.

Preparing Multiple Herbs: An herbalist can normally prepare one type of herb per day, but she can prepare a number of doses of that single type of herb equal to her ranks in Profession (herbalist). An herbalist with 7 or more ranks in Profession (herbalist) can simultaneously prepare a second type of herb. At 14 ranks in Profession (herbalist), the character can prepare up to three types of herbs at the same time.

Herb Lifespan: A raw, unprepared herb spoils 24 hours after it is harvested. A prepared herb spoils after 1 month unless otherwise noted in its Use entry.

See Herbs

Spells of the Wild

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 156
The might of magic is a great force of change and power, and most adventuring parties count one or more spellcasters among them. Since spells cover an incredible range of possibility, defining “wilderness spells” is a broad subject. In this section, spells accessible to nature-themed classes such as druids and rangers receive special attention. Spells that assist in navigating the less settled regions of the world and those that manipulate weather or terrain are also explored in greater detail.

Intrigue in the Wild

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue features a section called Spells of Intrigue. Applications of several intrigue-themed spells listed in Ultimate Intrigue are also appropriate for wilderness campaigns. In order to focus on spells more specific to wilderness adventuring, this book purposefully avoids spells that were already covered in Ultimate Intrigue. Intrigue-themed spells that are particularly appropriate for wilderness-heavy campaigns but were covered in Ultimate Intrigue include the following: blood biography, commune with nature, create treasure map, detect poison, find the path, locate creature, speak with animals, speak with plants, and stone tell.

Low-Level Play (Levels 1–6)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 156
Many wilderness-appropriate spells are available as early as 1st level. These low-level spells are often disregarded, as many of them can be substituted with class abilities, equipment, and skills. Still, low-level spells (those of 3rd level and lower) can remain useful at high levels, especially because highlevel characters can cast them far more frequently.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 156
The benefit of many low-level conjuration spells is that they grant a wider range of versatility, letting the characters focus the spending of their hard-earned gold on items with effects that can’t be replicated, rather than on mundane equipment.

Create Food and Water: As a 3rd-level cleric spell, create food and water is one of the most obvious choices for those looking to bypass some of the rigors of wilderness survival. The Survival skill often eclipses the worth of this spell, as succeeding at a simple DC 10 check allows for a character to provide food and water for herself without needing to expend a 3rd-level spell slot. At 5th level, it’s not unlikely that a party member can regularly succeed at the DC 16 Survival check required to feed himself and three other party members. Imposing heavy penalties on Survival checks to get along in the wild is one way of making create food and water more valuable, and such adjustments are entirely appropriate in wasteland environments.

There are several other ways to prolong the usefulness of create food and water. Armed with knowledge that the party will be entering a particularly inhospitable region, characters might want to stock up on conjured food and water. Repeated castings of create food and water can provide numerous meals, and by spending a few days, a party can create a stockpile of rations for a trip. Combined with the fact that purify food and water can be cast an unlimited number of times per day, stockpiling food and drink with these castings is an economically savvy way of saving both gold and hunting time.

Mount and Phantom Steed: Few wilderness areas are entirely amenable to or completely inhospitable to mounts. Open groves and wildlife paths where mounts can roam free crisscross dense forests, while deserts often contain escarpments of jagged rocks that confound the most sure footed of creatures. The mutable nature of these wilderness regions makes the ability to summon a temporary mount particularly helpful. For routine journeys, mount can conjure a single mount for a character or be repeatedly cast to provide mounts for a whole party. Higher-level spellcasters benefit more from phantom steed, especially at 8th level, when the steed starts gaining extra movement-related abilities.

Neutralize Poison: First accessible by low-level druids, neutralize poison is useful as both a method of healing poison and a means to prevent poisoning from occurring in the first place. Using the spell as a means of detoxifying a creature is its most efficient application, since one casting of the spell prevents that creature from poisoning targets at all. It’s also possible to use this spell to remove a poison applied to an object or from food or drink. The use of neutralize poison in this manner doesn’t guarantee success, and it can be interesting to keep the DC of the targeted poison unknown, leaving the efficacy of a given casting in question.

At a cost of 11,250 gp, a wand of neutralize poison makes for a practical, if unusual, weapon. When added into the arsenal of mobile melee classes, specifically those with ranks in Use Magic Device or supplementary spellcaster levels, such wands can be used to disable the poisons of wilderness-dwelling creatures. The forfeiture of an attack in order to strike a foe with a poison-neutralizing wand could mean the difference between life and death for a character who is facing repeated applications of poison.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 157
There are only a few low-level divination spells specifically related to wilderness environments. Characters often ignore these spells, and instead they rely on class abilities or skills to replicate their effects. Introducing NPCs with access to these spells can highlight their utility to PCs who might otherwise see these spells as extraneous.

Detect Animals or Plants: This spell has a much larger range than detect evil, beginning with a minimum area of a 440-foot cone. This spell also requires thinking of a specific kind of animal or plant, making it very specialized in its application. Further, it grants the caster the ability to see the current condition of a target, rather than just a sense of the creature’s total power. A handy application of this spell is to monitor the health of allies, such as animal companions or plant creatures such as ghorans and vine leshys.

Detect Snares and Pits: As a concentration effect, this spell is more useful in low-stress situations. It cuts down on some of the monotony of having PCs attempt repeated Perception checks, but the spell’s specific detection parameters mean that some skill checks are still required.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 157
Low-level enchantment spells that are appropriate for wilderness campaigns most often focus on the manipulation of animal minds. Keep in mind that animals are often simple creatures, with simple thoughts driving their actions—drinking, eating, and sleeping being at the forefront of an animal’s mind. Due to having average or lower Wisdom scores, certain kinds of animals can be especially prone to being affected by these spells.

Animal Messenger: This spell compels a Tiny animal to venture to a designated area, likely with an item in tow. The longer casting time of the spell makes it useless in combat situations but incredibly helpful in other situations. Delivery of an item via animal messenger isn’t guaranteed, as the animal could be waylaid by other creatures or potentially find itself unable to follow directions to the intended area. As with most spells, it’s important to understand that a PC shouldn’t be penalized for the casting of such magic. If you, as the GM, decide to have an animal messenger fail to reach its intended destination, consider rewarding the PCs in another way. For example, the animal messenger might have been consumed by a local predator, and by finding the slain messenger, the PCs uncover the predator’s stash of claimed trophies.

Calm Animals, Charm Animal, and Dominate Animal: Spells that can adjust the attitudes of animals have obvious uses as deterrents when traversing through wilderness environments. Simply calming or charming animals is often sufficient to travel through an area without harassment, while more powerful spells such as dominate animal can be used to deal with more dangerous or more immediate threats. Another insidious use of this magic is to subvert the loyal animal companions of foes. The ability to charm or dominate an animal companion of an opponent can significantly reduce the challenge of an encounter, while simultaneously presenting that foe the moral quandary of how to handle its wayward companion.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 158
The wilderness is a place of constant change, so it’s no surprise that most wilderness-appropriate spells come from the transmutation school of magic. These spells not only mutate the caster and her immediate surroundings but also are highly sought-after ways to control plant life. As plants are universally immune to mind-affecting effects, it falls to transmutation spells to grant a modicum of control over these creatures, providing an analogue to spells commonly found in the enchantment school.

Diminish Plants: This spell controls the vegetation in a specific area. The prune growth option for this spell is an effective counter to spells such as entangle and wall of thorns, granting the caster some combat control in addition to straightforward utility. Using this spell also allows for the creation of open areas more amenable to mounts or other big creatures. The secondary use of diminish plants, the stunt growth option, is most effective as a narrative tool. Spiteful PCs seeking to punish an enemy druid might decide to use this effect on the druid’s preferred territory. Conversely, an enemy druid might wrack the PCs’ homeland with several castings of this spell, potentially leading to starvation in the face of reduced crop yields. PCs who have left their homeland for a prolonged period of time might be drawn back after hearing word that a magically induced famine has taken hold, only to find that the cause was a previous foe from the campaign!

Meld into Stone and Tree Shape: Hiding in blocks of stone or taking the form of a shrub allows for both intrigue and tense moments of avoiding a threat. PCs and NPCs can use these spells to perform highly effective spying on their enemies, with very few effects or spells being able to reveal the presence of a melded or shaped creature. True seeing or a similar effect could spell disaster for a stone-melded creature, and the destruction of the melded stone has immediate—not to mention mortal—repercussions. Be sure to reward the creative use of these spells when used by the PCs, but also make them aware of the dangers of using them, should the PCs come to rely on these spells as a guaranteed means for avoiding detection and spying on foes.

Pass without Trace: This basic 1st-level spell can defeat even the most dedicated of trackers. Pass without trace prevents being tracked by a Survival check or any other nonmagical means. Only spells such as locate creature are suitable for tracking creatures that have obfuscated themselves with pass without trace, and such spells aren’t readily accessible until later levels. Due to the difficulty in countering this spell at lower levels, the best point to take advantage of pass without trace is in the 4th- to 6th-level range, when the spell can affect all members of the average party and rangers gain access to the spell. At levels above that, the foes can use magical countermeasures to overcome pass without trace.

Plant Growth and Spike Growth: Control of the battlefield is essential when fighting in a wilderness environment. As many such environments lack manufactured cover and traps, it falls to magic to create such hazards. Plant growth can drastically cut down on targets’ maneuverability on a battlefield, allowing spellcasters to target enemies from afar, or even enhancing the effectiveness of spells such as entangle. Similarly, spike growth creates areas of damaging terrain that are difficult to bypass without some means of flight or levitation. In wilderness-heavy campaigns, these spells can be on par with other control-based magic, while in campaigns with only a smattering of wilderness, these spells operate best when taken in the form of one or more backup scrolls.

Quench: Often forgotten due to its specialized nature, quench can swiftly extinguish fire-based creatures, effects, and spells. The typical use of the spell is to put out nonmagical fires in its considerable area of effect (a minimum of 5 20-foot cubes at minimum caster level). A more potent use of the spell is to act as a dispelling effect on fire-based spells in its area. This allows the spell to be reserved and used to counter potent spells such as fireball or wall of fire, though only if a character expects such spells to be used. Using the spell on magic items that create or control flame can change the combat dynamic, especially if the effect is considerable (such as disabling the flaming burst ability from an enemy’s weapon). Creatures with the fire subtype are particularly vulnerable to quench, taking anywhere from 5d6 to 10d6 points of damage without any sort of save—a wand of quench is a potent weapon against such foes.

Stone Shape and Wood Shape: Building a bridge, creating a door, or manufacturing a barricade are all immediate uses for shaping magic such as stone shape and wood shape. The wording of these spells is very open to interpretation, granting a lot of leeway in adjudicating their effects. Unexpected barriers can change the dynamic of combat or wilderness exploration, so be sure to have a basic understanding of the consequences of using these spells in areas primarily made of stone or wood. Just as PCs can use these spells to upturn encounters, their adversaries can use these spells to surprise them in dynamic ways. The PCs might explore a chamber with one entrance only to be ambushed from a stone-shaped wall during their inspection of the area, or an NPC villain might allow half the party to go through an exit door before cutting it off with a well-timed casting of wood shape.

Water Breathing and Water Walk: Both of these spells accomplish different things, but they are similar in that they overcome an incredibly common wilderness impediment: water. Watery barriers can include a lake in the middle of a forest, rivers running between mountains, a series of flooded chambers in a cavern, treacherous swamps, and underground oceans. Water breathing can be split among numerous creatures effectively, allowing for long or quick treks underwater. Similar magic, such as aboleth’s lung or air bubble, can function in similar roles to water breathing at a lower spell level, albeit at reduced efficiency. Player characters often come to rely on these spells to traverse difficult environments, sometimes believing in a simple “cast and forget” mantra. Be sure to occasionally remind the PCs of their reliance on these spells, such as directing a casting of dispel magic in their direction. It’s best to give this kind of reminder in a situation where it’s possible to recover so that the potential for a more disastrous situation can loom large in the mind. Dispelling water breathing when the PCs are deep underwater and have no way to escape and no more ways to cast the spell can mean certain death, so you shouldn’t spring this tactic on players often—if ever!

Whispering Wind: While sending requires 10 minutes to cast, whispering wind takes only a standard action. Use of this spell doesn’t guarantee a successful transmission though, as it requires the caster to be knowledgeable of a specific location within range, but even then, there’s no guarantee that the intended recipient is at the designated location. It’s also entirely possible that if the PCs find themselves camping at an easily identifiable landmark, they might become the unintended recipients of a whispering wind message. Mistakenly receiving a message in this manner could spark a new adventure or entire campaign, especially when you consider that whispering wind often revolves around the need to get a message out in a quick and urgent manner.

Mid-Level Play (Levels 7–12)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 159
At the middle tier of spellcasting, many spells with wilderness themes revolve around control effects. While most of them have been previously detailed in Ultimate Intrigue (see Spells of Intrigue and thus are not covered below, mid-level divination spells are plentiful.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 159
Spells that protect against or repel all sorts of wilderness threats appear in this range.

Antilife Shell and Antiplant Shell: These are notable defensive spells because they don’t allow a saving throw to resist their effects. While spell resistance offers a means of defense against these spells, such an ability is almost nonexistent among plant creatures. Despite the lengthy 1-round casting time, successfully casting antilife shell can buy precious rounds of protection to cast other spells. Antiplant shell has a shorter casting time and a lower spell level, making it more useful when dealing with plant threats.

Repel Vermin: Repel vermin is similar to antilife shell, but it takes up a lower-level spell slot and requires less time to cast. While the field created by this spell can be bypassed with a successful Will save, it still deals damage to vermin managing to traverse it—a particularly powerful effect against large numbers of enemies with few hit points. Perhaps the most enticing use of repel vermin is its ability to diminish the effectiveness of vermin swarms.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 159
Conjuration spells fill a wide array of needs. This school of magic encompasses enhancement effects, teleportation effects, the conjuration of allies, and even the creation of permanent or temporary areas of terrain. Most of these spells really begin to show their usefulness at the middle levels of spellcasting.

Heroes’ Feast: Those partaking in a heroes’ feast receive powerful bonuses in addition to the normal benefits of eating and drinking. The combination of neutralize poison and remove disease in this spell is a particularly useful given the number of long-onset diseases and poisons in the wilderness. The spell does require a long casting time and consumption period to be effective; casting and consuming a heroes’ feast takes at least 70 minutes. The flaws of this spell become apparent when the PCs ambush enemies partaking in this spell or are attacked while consuming their own feast.

Transport via Plants and Tree Stride: A dependable means of transportation within a forested environment, tree stride combines the best of several spells, with temporary protection and stealth akin to meld into stone or tree shape. It also offers a wide array of travel distance, with even coniferous trees allowing for transportation range in excess of dimension door, assuming a suitable tree is within range. Transport via plants is similar to an upgraded tree stride, as it allows for theoretically limitless traveling distance on the same world, and it requires only a suitably sized plant with a matching species at the destination.

Wall of Stone and Wall of Thorns: Both of these spells allow for the creation of walls to divide a battlefield. Walls made of stone have the benefit of adjoining to existing stone—a plentiful terrain feature in most wilderness environs. Since this spell has a duration of instantaneous, wall of stone creates long-lasting defenses. Such walls can cut off tight-knit groups in confined areas, though creatures in the path of a forming wall can attempt a Reflex save to avoid entrapment. Wall of thorns creates a temporary effect, and while it doesn’t block off terrain as dependably as wall of stone, it covers twice the space of a stone wall and doesn’t allow a Reflex save. Wall of thorns can be used to deadly effect when sculpted to cover larger area. These walls can be combined with area effects, such as cloudkill or insect plague, to devastate foes.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 160
Mid-level transmutation spells produce a variety of effects. Many augment the capabilities of their casters, allowing for otherwise impossible physical feats. Some transmutation spells control nature and, by extension, operate as mind-affecting effects against plants while bypassing plants’ natural immunities to such effects. Other transmutation spells change vast swaths of terrain, allowing their casters to manipulate the wilderness in ways that range from battlefield needs to agricultural changes taking place over thousands of square feet of space.

Air Walk and Wind Walk: Air walk is an effective method of bypassing treacherous terrain. When a caster typically gains access to this spell, the duration of air walk is about only an hour, making it an effective tool for combat encounters but diminishing its utility for long-term travel. Another hindrance of air walk is that it affects only a single target, making it difficult to apply to an entire group without expending several spell slots. Wind walk, however, can grant a group the ability to traverse long distances over open air. As this spell allows for travel of 600 feet per round, it’s over 10 times as effective as spells such as fly and overland flight as a means of long-distance travel. However, wind walkers are particularly vulnerable to attack along the way if their movement can be curtailed with an obstruction. The caster must either dismiss the spell entirely or have everyone in the group to go through lengthy transformations back into their normal forms while being pummeled by attacks.

Command Plants: Similar in many respects to charm person, this spell entreats plant creatures to obey the spellcaster. As plants are normally immune to mind-affecting effects, this spell falls under the transmutation school of magic, meaning that feats such as Spell Focus (transmutation) apply to it. Two important differences between this spell and charm person, aside from the spell level and ability to affect plants, are the increased number of targets and no requirement that the caster has to know a language understood by the target.

Control Water and Control Winds: These spells are both broad in their effect, with uses beyond combat. The ability to control the speed of winds is a useful tool in hampering foes that rely on flight or ranged attacks. Remember that wind speeds can impose penalties on creatures’ Fly checks, with hurricane speed winds inflicting a massive –12 penalty. Manipulating water allows for access to otherwise inaccessible spaces and reveals secrets hidden in exceptionally deep areas of water. Aquatic creatures that rely on water for breathing and maneuverability can be significantly disabled by this magic. As a body of water can be lowered to as little as 2 inches deep, this spell can be a major threat to aquatic foes that don’t have base speeds.

Move Earth: This spell allows for the movement of various sorts of natural terrain, with the express purpose of digging or filling in dips in the earth. While it’s relatively useless once combat has begun, because of its long casting time, this spell is exceptionally handy for flattening terrain or otherwise adjusting it in preparation of combat. A common use for move earth is in the creation or deconstruction of natural cover as part of an ongoing siege.

Passwall: The bane of intrepid dungeon designers everywhere, passwall allows for the disruption of the expected path through a complex structure. Allowing the spell to assist in navigating hazardous terrain is important, but it should not come at the expense of storytelling or allow the characters to bypass important areas of exploration. When designing encounter areas, consider insulating critical areas with stretches of solid matter that extend 20 feet or farther, effectively inhibiting passwall from creating its passage into or out of key locations. Furthermore, as passwall is susceptible to dispel magic, a perfectly timed dispel effect can separate a party, potentially over several (possibly as-of-yet-unexplored) areas of a dungeon.

Reincarnate: The ability to reincarnate a deceased companion is often a mixed affair. Many adventurers see the use of reincarnate as a means of bypassing the costly raise dead (a 5th-level spell). Some even view the ability to return as a different race as a boon, especially in cases where the new race has powerful physical ability modifiers. It’s important to reinforce the monumental changes that a creature undergoes after being reincarnated, though. Former acquaintances and allies won’t recognize the reincarnated person, and depending on the nature of the new race, the reincarnated creature might find itself the subject of discrimination or even attacked on sight.

Repel Wood: This spell is particularly powerful in tight corridors. Wooden objects in the path of the spell are hurled away, moving 40 feet back from their current position. This includes items such as wooden armor, wooden shields, and wood-hafted weapons; these items often carry the wielder along with them. Creatures can opt to drop shields and weapons, but a creature wearing wooden armor (especially darkwood or ironwood-enhanced equipment) doesn’t have the ability to quickly remove the armor and is thus forced back with no saving throw or spell resistance. Note that the spell has no effect on most plants, since they are rooted to the ground, but it can be used to clear wooden blockages such as deadfalls.

Transmute Rock to Mud: Transforming large areas of unworked rock into mud creates effectively impassable terrain. Most creatures trapped in a transmuted area of mud reduce their base speed to 5 feet. Considering the vast area that even a minimum caster can affect, this mud acts as a slowing effect on all creatures without a means of flying or levitating. The most effective, and oftentimes unexpected, use of this spell is when it’s used on the ceiling of a cavern. Along with creating an area of mobility-restricting terrain, the collapsing mud deals a hefty sum of damage to creatures caught underneath the falling deluge. Keep in mind that transmuted mud can be dispelled, with effects similar to a casting of transmute mud to rock.

High-Level Play (Level 13+)

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 161
The most powerful of wilderness spells are few but incredibly varied. Some allow for the creation of powerful allies, while others have drastic effects over vast swaths of land.

Animate Plants: From the lowest level that a druid gains access to this spell, she can animate four Large plants or a single Gargantuan plant. Animated plants are simple to command and act as allies and distractions in combat. The alternative entangle effect of this spell is particularly useful, as it not only bypasses spell resistance but also acts as a 7th-level spell version of entangle that lasts for hours.

Changestaff: While animate plants creates a potential host of animated plants, changestaff creates a single powerful treant-like ally that, barring misadventure, lasts for hours. The treant created by this spell is particularly useful in demolishing objects and structures. The transformed treant’s innate rock throwing ability, teamed with its ability to ignore the hardness of structures, makes it particularly effective in laying siege to fortifications in all manner of terrains.

Control Plants: As this is a transmutation spell, it bypasses a plant’s normal immunity to mind-affecting effects. A plant creature can attempt a Will save to avoid being controlled, but the spell is not subject to spell resistance and has no shared-language requirement. As this spell lasts only a few minutes and doesn’t allow for self-destructive commands, it’s best employed as an equalizer when fighting multiple plant foes, enemies that have animated plants of their own, or foes that are plants (such as high-level ghorans or leshys).

Earthquake: Numerous different environment-dependent effects make earthquake an appropriate spell for wilderness-themed campaigns. The effect of this spell in caves is a true killer, as the rules for being trapped in rubble are exceptionally deadly to creatures that do not have high Strength scores or teleportation magic. Many of the aboveground effects have the potential to create rents in the earth that can trap opponents or seal away disarmed objects and other items. Regardless of its application, earthquake is often about sending a message to a foe—the dramatic sights created by this spell capable of awing even those familiar with magic.

Storm of Vengeance: A supernatural representation of nature’s ire, storm of vengeance is a powerful evocation that blankets a wide area in a growing tempest. Though the effects of the storm are potent, there are many things to consider when employing the spell. First, it requires concentration over several rounds to build up its power, which can be difficult to maintain while the caster is engaged in combat, especially since several of the effects of the storm cause damage, such as acid rain and hailstorm. As a result, the ideal application of storm of vengeance is from long range, with the caster far outside the storm’s effects.

Transmute Metal to Wood: An instantaneous effect, transmute metal to wood affects all metal items within a large radius. While the spell doesn’t allow any sort of saving throw, it does treat magic items affected by the spell as if they had significant spell resistance, meaning Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration increase the effectiveness of the spell by a wide margin. This spell also specifies that it affects only objects—so no using it against iron golems! Transmute metal to wood is at its best when employed by druids, as a druid often has few (if any) metal items in her possession, allowing the caster to center the spell on herself if threatened by numerous metal-clad foes. Teaming this spell with the repel wood is a powerful combo that keeps metal-wielding foes on the defensive.

Trophies and Treasures

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 162
Monetary treasure can be a rarity in the wild, but canny scavengers and survivalists know how to reap nature’s bounty. Eggs, furs, and ivory of exotic beasts are well-known commodities, but some have also studied the mystical sympathy between certain creatures and different forms of magic. To the right buyer, these components are valuable as more exotic materials.

The following rules for harvesting trophies from creatures and monsters should augment the classic method of dispersing treasure and rewards, but they are not intended to increase the expected wealth by level at your table. If you use this system for trophies, you should make sure to reduce the amount of other treasure and rewards by an equal amount to the harvested components.

At their most basic, trophies function as art objects. Whether an adventurer seeks to mount a dragon’s head on the wall of his home, craft a necklace from a claw harvested from every beast he has slain, or simply make new arrows from the teeth of a fallen foe, the process is much the same—the valuable commodity must first be harvested from the creature.

Note that some cultures have taboos against harvesting parts from humanoids and monstrous humanoids or certain other creature types. Other societies may view the taking of trophies from intelligent creatures, endangered specimens, or even from plentiful game as abhorrent. Characters might need to be careful to avoid insulting such groups if they don’t want to find themselves in an unnecessary conflict. At the GM’s discretion, harvesting trophies (particularly in the case of trophies taken from innocents, intelligent creatures, or outsiders) should have alignment repercussions.

As with all content that might be uncomfortable for some players, you should make sure to have your table’s consent before introducing the harvesting of trophies into your game.

Harvesting Trophies

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 162
When a monster is defeated in combat, the process of identifying what portions of the creature can serve as a trophy and harvesting the trophy are somewhat abstracted— there’s no need to track the values for each part of every monster in the game once they’re gathered as trophies.

In order to harvest and preserve a trophy from a kill, a character must attempt three checks: one to determine what parts of the creature are worth harvesting for a trophy, one to determine if she successfully harvests the trophy components without damaging or ruining them, and one to turn the components into a permanent trophy.

Identifying Trophies: To identify what portions of a creature have value as trophies, a character must succeed at a Knowledge check determined by the creature type, as normal. The DC for this check is equal to 15 + the creature’s CR. This examination takes 1 minute to perform.

Harvesting Trophy Components: Once a character identifies potential trophies, she must attempt a skill check to harvest the relevant components. This is typically either a Survival check (for external features, such as hide, horns, teeth, or the like) or a Heal check (for internal features, such as blood, internal organs, or sweat). The DC for this check is equal to 15 + the creature’s CR. Harvesting trophy components generally takes 10 minutes of work (at the GM’s discretion, this could be as much as 1 hour of work for creatures whose bodies are particularly difficult to work with).

Creating Trophies: Once trophy components are harvested, they generally remain viable for 24 hours before decay or spoilage ruins them. Application of gentle repose, oil of timelessness, or similar magic can extend this period of decay. In order to turn components harvested from a creature into a long-lasting trophy, a character must attempt a check with an appropriate Craft skill (the exact skill varies according to the nature of the trophy the character is creating, but it is usually one from the following list: alchemy, jewelry, leather, or taxidermy) to preserve the components and turn them into a trophy. The DC of this check is equal to 15 + the creature’s CR.

Trophy Weight

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 163
In most cases, the weight of trophy components recovered from a creature depend on the creature’s size. This weight is doubled for bones, hides, and skins, and halved for feathers, hair, and small organs such as eyes or glands. Once components have been processed into actual trophies, the resulting weight of the trophy is generally determined by the nature of the trophy created (in the case of jewelry or the like) or half the weight of the components used (in the case of something like a preserved head or limb).

Table 4-10: Typical Trophy Weights

Creature SizeTrophy Weight
Diminutive1/10 lb.
Tiny1/2 lb.
Small1d4 x 1/2 lbs.
Medium1d6 lbs.
Large3d6 lbs.
Huge1d6 x 10 lbs.
Gargantuan1d6 x 30 lbs.
Colossal1d6 x 100 lbs.

Selling Trophies

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 163
Once a trophy is created, it can be kept or sold. Generally, a trophy can be sold to any merchant for its full value, as if it were an art object, but at the GM’s discretion, certain trophies may require the PC to seek out black markets or specialized merchants to receive the full price. In some societies, selling certain trophies may be illegal or have other ramifications.

A trophy’s value is determined by the CR of the creature from which it was harvested, as indicated on the following table. For all purposes related to harvesting trophies, the CR refers to a creature’s CR without any class levels (a CR 10 troll oracle would still count as a CR 5 source for any trophies it yields). Note that the value for bounties for defeating specific creatures should not be governed by these rules but should instead be determined by the GM as appropriate for the adventure. Creatures that do not have racial Hit Dice and whose CR is defined by class level generally do not provide valuable components for trophies.

Table 4-9: Trophy Value by CR

150 gp
2100 gp
3150 gp
4200 gp
5300 gp
6400 gp
7500 gp
8650 gp
9850 gp
101,000 gp
111,400 gp
121,800 gp
132,300 gp
143,000 gp
153,900 gp
165,000 gp
176,400 gp
188,000 gp
1910,500 gp
2013,000 gp

Magical Affinities of Trophies

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 163
Certain creatures provide trophy components that, once processed into actual trophies, are exceptionally useful for the construction of alchemical or magic items. When used as raw materials for the crafting of alchemical or magic items, these trophies are worth more than their normal values for the purposes of calculating the total gp needed to craft the item. The following section details trophy uses for a wide range of creature categories. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and GMs should feel free to add specific affinities to a creature as their campaigns demand. Recovery: In order to preserve trophy components into a trophy usable for its magical affinities, a character must use a different skill than Craft to create the trophy. The specific skill required varies according to the creature, as detailed below. Creating a trophy to be used in this way is more difficult than creating one to simply be an art object: the DC to create a magical affinity trophy is equal to 20 + the creature’s CR. If a creature’s trophy components fall into multiple categories (such as an erinyes), the character can choose which of the associated skills to use to craft the trophy.
Affinities: The magical uses for a trophy in the construction of alchemical or magic items are listed here. When a trophy is incorporated into raw materials, its gp value is considered to be 20% greater than normal.


Recovery Knowledge (planes)
Affinities A demon’s heart contains the essence of sin. It can be used in the creation of any magic item that has a spell with the evil descriptor as a requirement.


Recovery Knowledge (planes)
Affinities A devil’s tongue is infused with the word of law. It can be used in the creation of any magic item that has a spell with the lawful descriptor as a requirement.

Doppelgangers and Mimics

Recovery Knowledge (arcana)
Affinities Swaths of skin harvested from a doppelganger or mimic can be used in the creation of any magic item that has a spell of the polymorph subschool as a requirement.


Recovery Knowledge (planes)
Affinities Residual material harvested from a slain elemental can be used in the creation of magic items that have spells with specific descriptors, as summarized in the table below.

Table 4-11: Elemental Trophy Affinities

Elemental TypeMaterial HarvestedAssociated Descriptor
AetherCrystalized memoriesForce
AirFine dustAir
EarthStone fragmentsEarth
FireWarm ashFire
IceBlue iceCold
LightningSparkling powderElectricity
MagmaGlowing embersFire
MudViscous sludgeAcid
WaterRare liquidWater


Recovery Knowledge (local)
Affinities The sweat glands or muscles and tendons that are harvested from a giant’s arms or legs can be used in the creation of magic items that have enlarge person as a requirement or in the creation of any magic melee weapon.

Intelligent Undead

Recovery Knowledge (religion)
Affinities Necromancy-infused dust or organs from an intelligent undead creature can be used in the creation of any magic item that has animate dead, create undead, create greater undead, energy drain, or enervation as a requirement; at the GM’s discretion, other necromancy spells can be added to this list (a ghoul, for example, might aid in the creation of items that require ghoul’s touch).


Recovery Knowledge (dungeoneering)
Affinities Fluids harvested from an ooze that deals acid damage can be used in the creation of any magic item that has a spell with the acid descriptor as a requirement or for alchemical gear and weapons associated with acid.

Petrifying Monsters

Recovery Knowledge (arcana) Affinity The portion of a creature capable of petrifying targets (eyes of a basilisk or medusa, talons of a cockatrice, or a gorgon’s lungs, for example) can be used in the creation of any magic item that has flesh to stone or stone to flesh as a requirement.

Primeval Creatures

Recovery Knowledge (nature)
Affinities The claws, fangs, horns, and tusks of primeval creatures (including all dinosaurs and megafauna, as well as dire animals) can be used in the creation of any magic item that has bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, or cat’s grace as a requirement.


Recovery Knowledge (planes)
Affinities Scales harvested from a protean seethe with pure chaos and can be used in the creation of any magic item that has a spell with the chaotic descriptor as a requirement.


Recovery Knowledge (planes)
Affinities A qlippoth’s brain is infused with raw madness, and it can be used in the creation of any magic item that has confusion, insanity, lesser confusion, or symbol of insanity as a requirement.


Recovery Knowledge (planes)
Affinities A rakshasa’s eyes can be used in the creation of any magic item that has detect thoughts as a requirement.


Recovery Knowledge (local)
Affinities A troll’s liver can be used in the creation of any magic item that has a spell of the healing subschool as a requirement.

True Dragons

Recovery Knowledge (arcana)
Affinities The organs associated with a true dragon’s breath weapon can be utilized in the creation of any magic item that has a spell that deals energy damage of the same type as the dragon’s breath weapon as a requirement.

Web-Using Monsters

Recovery Knowledge (nature); when harvested from something other than a vermin, the DC of the check to harvest the trophy increases by 2.
Affinity The spinnerets of a creature capable of using web as per the universal monster rule can be used in the creation of any magic item that has spider climb or web as a requirement.

Weather in the Wilderness

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 165
While many of the physical dangers a group faces in the wilds vary significantly based on the nature of the terrain they explore, the weather can pose an array of challenges within a single region. When the weather is calm or good, it can make even the most unpleasant of terrains less grueling, but when the weather turns bad, even gently rolling hills, idyllic woodlands, and pastoral plains can become death traps.

While you can simply decide what the weather’s up to at any point in your campaign—and indeed you should always feel free to have it start raining, thundering, or gusting with wind when the story is enhanced by dramatic shifts in the weather—you can also use the following system to generate weather for your game.

In keeping with Pathfinder’s primary goal of providing a shared game experience first and foremost, this system for generating weather is narrative-based rather than a fully scientific simulation. While this system takes into account generalities such as climate, elevation, and season, its primary focus allows you to set the norms for weather in a particular area of your choice, using a number of broad categories based on general climate and favored terrain categories. You can then add weather details and events outside that norm, from mere hassles to catastrophes, either randomly generating those weather events or picking and choosing ones that support your campaign’s greater narrative. This makes it easier for PCs whose classes enhance their skills in certain terrain types to better thwart environmental dangers that are created or provoked by such terrains’ weather.

Extreme Temperatures

Temperatures of 40° F and lower or 90° F or higher are hazardous, growing more dangerous the more extreme they become. Without the benefit of endure elements or some other form of protection, characters exposed to temperatures beyond these ranges run the risk of taking damage and suffering other effects. The effects of cold dangers and heat dangers are in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

Weather Baseline

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 165
When determining weather for a region in your campaign, your first step is to establish the weather baseline for the region. The weather baseline is influenced by the region’s climate (this sets the baseline temperature), elevation (this provides the baseline precipitation intensity), and season (this affects the temperature and dictates the baseline precipitation frequency).


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 165
Your first step in determining a region’s baseline weather is to decide upon the region’s climate. Climate is split up into one of three categories: cold, temperate and tropical. These types correspond to the three climate categories used in monster entries in all of the Pathfinder Bestiary volumes (note that a fourth category, extraplanar, is not a factor in determining weather for Material Plane worlds).

The baseline temperature range for each climate category is given below, and is further refined in Temperature Variations and Precipitation. These baselines are also presented in Table 4–12.

Cold: A cold climate is found in the extreme northern or southern regions of the world at latitudes greater than 60 degrees (approximately 2,000 miles from a pole). In these polar regions, temperatures often remain below freezing throughout the majority of the year. The baseline temperature in this climate is cold, ranging from 20º F in the winter, to 30º F in the spring and fall months, and up to 40º F in the summer. For regions within 500 miles of the pole, the baseline temperature is 10º F colder than the seasonal average. For regions within 250 miles of the pole, the baseline temperature is 20º F colder than the seasonal average. Because cold air tends to be drier than warm air, reduce the frequency and intensity of precipitation by one step in cold climates.

Temperate: Temperate climates stretch between the polar regions and tropical regions of the world, generally at latitudes between 60 degrees and 30 degrees. The baseline temperature in this climate ranges from 30º F in winter, to 60º F in spring and fall, and all the way up to 80º F in summer. Precipitation frequency is not altered as a result of a temperate climate, but it can still be altered as a result of other factors such as the elevation or season (see below).

Tropical: The tropics exist to either side of the world’s equator, extending north and south for about 30 degrees of latitude in either direction. Tropical regions tend to be warm and humid, with a baseline temperature ranging from 50º F in winter, to 75º F in spring and fall, and up to 95º F in summer. Because warm, humid air produces a great deal of precipitation, increase the frequency and intensity of precipitation by one step in this climate.

Table 4-12: Climate Baselines

ClimateWinter Temp.Spring Temp.Summer Temp.Fall Temp.Precipitation Adjustment
Cold20º F30º F40º F30º FDecrease frequency and intensity by one step
Temperate30º F60º F80º F60º F
Tropical50º F75º F95º F75º FIncrease frequency and intensity by one step


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 166
While the climate sets baselines for temperatures, elevation plays a key factor as well. Elevation can affect the baseline temperature, and it sets the baseline intensity of precipitation in the region, as explained below and displayed in Table 4–13: Elevation Baselines.

Sea Level: Temperatures in sea-level and coastal regions are 10º warmer. Sea-level regions also tend to have more precipitation than areas of higher elevation, so the baseline precipitation intensity in a sea-level region is heavy.

Lowland: Lowlands are areas of low elevation not near the coast, generally at an elevation of 1,000 to 5,000 feet. This elevation range does not alter baseline temperatures. The baseline precipitation intensity in lowlands is medium.

Highland: Highlands include regions with elevations above 5,000 feet. Decrease baseline temperatures in highlands by 10º (although in particularly arid and flat regions, you should instead increase the baseline temperature by 10º, while in particularly high-altitude regions such as significant mountain ranges, you should instead decrease the baseline temperature by 20º). The frequency of precipitation is decreased by one step, and baseline precipitation intensity is medium.

Table 4-13: Elevation Baselines

ElevationAltitude RangeBaseline Temp. Adjust.Baseline Precipitation Intensity
Sea levelBelow 1,000 ft.+10º FHeavy
Lowland1,000 ft. to 5,000 ft.Medium
HighlandAbove 5,000 ft.-10º FMedium (decrease precipitation frequency by one step)


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 166
A year has four seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter— each of which lasts about 3 months. Season plays an important part in dictating a region’s baseline temperature (as noted in each climate and in Table 4–14). It also dictates the baseline precipitation frequency in a region before applying adjustments due to climate or elevation. In most regions with cold and temperate climates, precipitation frequency is intermittent during spring and fall, common during the summer, and rare during the winter. In most regions with tropical climates, precipitation frequency is common during spring and fall, intermittent during the summer, and rare during the winter.

On worlds with a tilt in their axis, the seasons are typically reversed between northern and southern hemispheres. While it is the height of summer in the north, the areas south of the equator are in the depths of winter.

Table 4-14: Seasonal Baselines

SeasonCold or Temperate Climate Precip. FrequencyTropical Climate Precip. Frequency

Temperature Variations and Precipitation

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 166
Once you have established weather baselines for a region and adjust them to match the elevation and season, the next step is to breathe life into the weather by determining the temperature’s variation from the adjusted baseline and the daily precipitation. With this system, you can build out weather patterns and events as far as you want into the future. If the PCs will be in a region for some time, it’s a good idea to plan out the weather’s variations and events at least a week in advance so if a character tries to use Survival to predict the weather, you’ll have information to work with. On the other hand, if you know the PCs are going to be in a region for only a few days, planning our a full week of weather isn’t necessary. And of course, you can randomly generate weather on a dayby- day basis if you’re comfortable with the possibility of an unexpected turn complicating the game’s other events.

Temperature Variations

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 166
Weather is constantly changing, and a significant aspect of that change is the temperature. For the purposes of this system, it’s easiest to assume that the daily temperature remains relatively static during daylight hours and then drops by 2d6+3 degrees during the night.

When setting a day’s temperature in a terrain, you can roll on the temperature variations table appropriate to the climate; the result determines how you should alter the adjusted baseline temperature, and also suggests the duration of that change. You can also use the tables without rolling for a result, consulting them as a guide to help you make decisions about variations in temperature.

For terrain in a cold region, roll on Table 4–15: Cold Region Temperature Variations. Temperature variations in this climate trend colder and last for a long period of time. For terrain in a temperate region, roll on Table 4–16: Temperate Region Temperature Variations. Temperature variations in this climate are about as likely to swing warmer or colder, and such variations tend to last for shorter periods. If you need to establish a day’s temperature for terrain in a temperate region, you can roll on Table 4–17: Tropical Region Temperature Variations. Temperature variations for tropical climates trend warm but for even shorter periods.

Table 4-15: Cold Region Temperature Variations

1-20-3d10° F1d4 days
21-40-2d10° F1d6+1 days
41-60-1d10° F1d6+2 days
61-80No variation1d6+2 days
81-95+1d10° F1d6+1 days
96-99+2d10° F1d4 days days
100+3d10° F1d2 days days

Table 4-16: Temperate Region Temperature Variations

1-5-3d10° F1d2 days
6-15-2d10° F1d4 days
16-35-1d10° F1d6+1 days
36-65No variation1d6+1 days
66-85+1d10° F1d6+1 days
86-95+2d10° F1d4 days days
96-100+3d10° F1d2 days days

Table 4-17: Tropical Region Temperature Variations

1-10-2d10° F1d2 days
11-25-1d10° F1d2 days
26-55No variation1d4 days
56-85+1d10° F1d4 days
86-100+2d10° F1d2 days days


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 167
The next step in setting the local weather is to determine whether precipitation occurs and the intensity of that precipitation, if any.

Precipitation Frequency: Precipitation frequency is organized into five levels: drought, rare, intermittent, common, and constant. A region’s baseline precipitation frequency is set by the season, but it can be modified by the climate and other factors (for example, see the Deserts sidebar on page 168). A precipitation frequency can’t be reduced lower than drought or increased higher than constant. Check each day to determine whether precipitation occurs for that day; the percentage chance of precipitation occurring is summarized on Table 4–18: Daily

Table 4-18: Daily Precipitation Chances

FrequencyChance of Precipitation
Drought5% (decrease precipitation intensity by 2 steps

Precipitation Intensity: The baseline precipitation intensity is dependent on the elevation and can be modified by the climate. Intensity has four categories. Light precipitation is the lowest level of intensity and generally consists of fog, a faint drizzle of rain or a few isolated flakes of snow. Medium precipitation represents a noticeable but not distracting fall of rain or snow. Heavy precipitation typically consists of a driving rainstorm or significant snowfall. Torrential precipitation is the highest level of intensity and consists of a deluge of rain or snow with conditions that can approach whiteout levels. Precipitation intensity can never be reduced below light or increased above torrential.

Once you establish the intensity and the temperature, you’ll determine how the precipitation manifests.

Precipitation Form: Precipitation can result in more than just rain. Depending upon the intensity and temperature, precipitation can range from a light fog or a faint drizzle of rain to a blizzard or thunderstorm. Once you know precipitation of a specific intensity is occurring, set the time of day the precipitation event occurs by rolling 1d12 to find the starting hour of the day and 1d6 to determine whether the hour is a.m. or p.m. (1–3 = a.m., 4–6 = p.m.).

Next, use the appropriate table below for the baseline precipitation intensity and whether the temperature is above or below freezing (32° F) to generate the specific type of precipitation and its duration. (Remember that the temperature is lower at night!) See the Cloud Cover section for the effects of precipitation on visibility for flying creatures.

Table 4-19: Light Unfrozen Precipitation

1-20Light fog1d8 hours
21-40Medium fog1d6 hours
41-50Drizzle1d4 hours
51-75Drizzle2d12 hours
76-90Light rain1d4 hours
91-100Light rain (sleet if below 40° F)1 hour

Table 4-20: Light Frozen Precipitation

1-20Light fog1d6 hours
21-40Light fog1d8 hours
41-50Medium fog1d4 hours
51-60Light snow1 hour
61-75Light snow1d4 hours
76-100Light snow2d12 hours

Table 4-21: Medium Unfrozen Precipitation

01-10Medium fog1d8 hours
11-20Medium fog1d12 hours
21-30Heavy fog1d4 hours
31-35Rain1d4 hours
36-70Rain1d8 hours
71-90Rain2d12 hours
91-100Rain (sleet if below 40° F)1d4 hours

Table 4-22: Medium Frozen Precipitation

1-10Medium fog1d6 hours
11-20Medium fog1d8 hours
21-30Heavy fog1d4 hours
31-50Medium snow1d4 hours
51-90Medium snow1d8 hours
91-100Medium snow2d12 hours

Table 4-23: Heavy Unfrozen Precipitation

1-10Heavy fog1d8 hours
11-20Heavy fog2d6 hours
21-50Heavy rain1d12 hours
51-70Heavy rain2d12 hours
71-85Heavy rain (sleet if below 40° F)1d8 hours
86-90Thunderstorm1 hour
91-100Thunderstorm1d3 hours

Table 4-24: Heavy Frozen Precipitation

1-10Medium fog1d8 hours
11-20Heavy fog2d6 hours
21-60Light snow2d12 hours
61-90Medium snow1d8 hours
91-100Heavy snow1d6 hours

Table 4-25: Torrential Unfrozen Precipitation

1-5Heavy fog1d8 hours
6-10Heavy fog2d6 hours
11-30Heavy rain2d6 hours
31-60Heavy rain2d12 hours
61-80Heavy rain (sleet if below 40° F)2d6 hours
81-95Thunderstorm1d3 hours
96-100Thunderstorm1d6 hours

Table 4-26: Torrential Frozen Precipitation

1-5Heavy fog1d8 hours
6-10Heavy fog2d6 hours
11-50Heavy snow1d4 hours
51-90Heavy snow1d8 hours
91-100Heavy snow2d12 hours

Drizzle: Drizzle reduces visibility to three-quarters of the normal range, imposing a –2 penalty on Perception checks. It automatically extinguishes tiny unprotected flames (candles and the like, but not torches).

Fog, Heavy: Heavy fog obscures all vision beyond 5 feet, including darkvision. Creatures 5 feet away have concealment. Heavy fog typically occurs early in the day, late in the day, or sometimes at night, but the heat of the midday usually burns it away. Heavy fog occurs only when there is no or light wind.

Fog, Light: Light fog reduces visibility to three-quarters of the normal ranges, resulting in a –2 penalty on Perception checks and a –2 penalty on ranged attacks. Light fog typically occurs early in the day, late in the day, or sometimes at night, but the heat of the midday usually burns it away. Light fog occurs only when there is no or light wind.

Fog, Medium: Medium fog reduces visibility ranges by half, resulting in a –4 penalty on Perception checks and a –4 penalty on ranged attacks. Medium fog typically occurs early in the day, late in the day, or sometimes at night, but the heat of the midday usually burns it away. Medium fog occurs only when there is no or light wind.

Rain: Rain reduces visibility ranges by half, resulting in a –4 penalty on Perception checks. Rain automatically extinguishes unprotected flames (candles, torches, and the like) and imposes a –4 penalty on ranged attacks.

Rain, Heavy: Heavy rain reduces visibility to one-quarter of the normal range, resulting in a –6 penalty on Perception checks. Heavy rain automatically extinguishes unprotected flames and imposes a –6 penalty on ranged attacks.

Sleet: Essentially frozen rain, sleet has the same effect as light snow, but any accumulation typically doesn’t last longer than 1–2 hours after the storm.

Snow, Heavy: Heavy snow reduces visibility ranges to onequarter of the normal range, resulting in a –6 penalty on Perception checks. It extinguishes unprotected flames and imposes a –6 penalty on ranged attacks. Heavy snow impedes movement even before it begins to stick. Moving into a square during a heavy snowstorm requires 1 extra 5-foot square of movement (this stacks with difficult terrain). Every hour of heavy snow leaves 1d4 inches of snow on the ground. As long as at least 2 inches of snow remain on the ground, the requirement of an extra square of movement to enter a square of snow persists. If at least 1 foot of snow remains on the ground, 2 extra squares of movement are required to enter a snow-filled square instead. A heavy snowstorm has a 10% chance of generating thundersnow and has a 40% chance of becoming a blizzard if the wind speed is severe or stronger.

Snow, Light: Light snow reduces visibility to three-quarters of the normal range, resulting in a –2 penalty on Perception checks. Light snow has a 75% chance each hour of extinguishing unprotected flames and imposes a –2 penalty on ranged attacks. Light snow does not impede movement unless it continues for 2 or more hours, at which point moving into a square of such snow requires 1 extra 5-foot square of movement (this stacks with difficult terrain). Every 2 hours of light snow leaves 1 inch of snow on the ground. As long as at least 2 inches of snow remain on the ground, the requirement of an extra square of movement to enter a square of snow persists. If at least 1 foot of snow remains on the ground, entering a snow-filled square instead requires 2 extra squares of movement.

Snow, Medium: Medium snow reduces visibility ranges by half, resulting in a –4 penalty on Perception checks. Medium snow extinguishes unprotected flames and imposes a –4 penalty on ranged attacks. Medium snow does not impede movement unless it continues for 1 hour, at which point moving into a square of such snow requires 1 extra 5-foot square of movement (this stacks with difficult terrain). Every hour of medium snow leaves 1 inch of snow on the ground. As long as at least 2 inches of snow remain on the ground, the requirement of an extra square of movement to enter a square of snow persists. If at least 1 foot of snow remains on the ground, entering a snow-filled square instead requires 2 extra squares of movement.

Thunderstorm: Thunderstorms feature powerful winds and heavy rain. To determine the type of wind associated with the thunderstorm, roll on Table 4–27: Thunderstorm Winds.

Table 4-27: Thunderstorm Winds

d%Thunderstorm Wind Strength
1-50Strong winds
51-90Severe winds

In addition, there is a 40% chance that a thunderstorm features hail either up to an hour before or during the storm. An even greater danger presented by a thunderstorm is the lightning that occurs during the storm. These electrical discharges, generated by the roiling clouds, can pose a hazard to creatures that do not have proper shelters, especially creatures clad in metal armor. Every 10 minutes during a thunderstorm, a bolt of lightning strikes an unsheltered creature at random (though this can strike wildlife as easily as PCs). A creature struck by this lightning must succeed a DC 18 Reflex saving throw or take 10d8 points of electricity damage (a successful saving throw halves the damage). Creatures in metal armor take a –4 penalty on the Reflex saving throw.

There is a 10% chance that a thunderstorm with winds of windstorm strength also generates a tornado, while thunderstorms with windstorm-strength winds in temperatures higher than 85° F also have a 20% chance of being a precursor to a hurricane. There is a 20% chance that a thunderstorm of any strength in the desert also generates a haboob.


Deserts are found in places where the weather must pass over mountains, causing a rain shadow, and in very cold environments. The baseline precipitation frequency in a desert is usually drought, but can be rare for a few weeks per year.

Weather Details

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 169
While temperature and precipitation are important aspects of weather, other details can add further danger and drama. Powerful winds can complicate weather, cloud cover can obscure vision, and special, often destructive weather events can cause incredible mayhem and widespread devastation.


Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 170
Once you’ve generated the day’s precipitation, you’ll need to establish the wind strength unless the precipitation indicates otherwise. For example, on foggy days, no significant wind occurs, while thunderstorms have their own rules for determining wind strength. To set the wind strength for the day, roll d% and consult the table below.

Table 4-28: Wind Strength

d%Wind StrengthWind SpeedRanged Weapon Penalty/Siege Weapon PenaltyCheck SizeBlown Away SizeSkill Penalty
1-50Light0-10 mph—/—
51-80Moderate11-20 mph—/—
81-90Strong21-30 mph-2/—Tiny-2
91-95Severe31-50 mph-4/—SmallTiny-4
96-100Windstorm51+ mphImpossible/-4MediumSmall-8

Wind Strength: This is the category of the wind strength.

Wind Speed: This is the range of wind speeds that occur. Wind speed typically fluctuates between these values through the period of the day, and for moderate or higher wind strength, there are periods in the day when the wind speed dips below the listed range.

Ranged Weapon Penalty/Siege Weapon Penalty: These are the penalties that characters take when firing ranged weapons and siege weapons in wind of the listed strength. In windstorm-strength wind, normal ranged weapon attacks (either projectile or thrown) are impossible. This includes ranged attacks made via spells of the conjuration school, but it does not include evocation ranged attacks. Siege weapons include all weapons of that type and boulders thrown by giants and other creatures with the rock throwing special attack.

Check Size: Creatures of the listed size or smaller are unable to move forward against the force of the wind unless they succeed at a DC 10 Strength check (on the ground) or a DC 20 Fly check if airborne.

Blown Away Size: Creatures of the listed size on the ground are knocked prone, roll 1d4×10 feet, and take 2d6 points of nonlethal damage, unless they succeed on a DC 15 Strength check. Flying creatures of the listed size are blown back 2d6×10 feet and take 2d6 points of nonlethal damage due to battering and buffeting, unless they succeed at a DC 25 Fly check.

Skill Penalty: This is the penalty for skill checks that can be affected by the wind. These penalties always apply on Fly checks and sound-based Perception checks, but GMs may also wish to apply them on Acrobatics checks, Climb checks, and any other ability or skill checks that could be adversely affected by winds.

Cloud Cover

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 171
You can roll on Table 4–29: Cloud Cover to determine the cloud cover for the day. Light and medium cloud cover mainly serve as thematic elements. Overcast conditions grant concealment for creatures flying at high altitudes. Overcast conditions without precipitation increase the temperature in fall and winter by 10° F and decrease the temperature in spring and summer by the same amount. If precipitation occurs, the cloud cover functions as overcast.

Table 4-29: Cloud Cover

d%Cloud Cover
51-70Light clouds
71-85Medium clouds

Severe Events

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 171
On rare occasions, weather can produce truly dramatic and dangerous events. The following severe effects are sometimes generated by extreme precipitation. For instance, thunderstorms can create or be a harbinger for haboobs, hail, tornados, wildfires, or even hurricanes. At other times, certain types of precipitation combined with higher wind strengths can generate these severe events.

Blizzard: A combination of severe or stronger winds with heavy snow can create blizzard conditions. Blizzards reduce range of vision to no more than 20 feet, and even then, creatures takes a –8 penalty on Perception checks within that range. In a blizzard, the snowfall increases to 4 inches of snow each hour, and travel in more than 3 feet of snow is usually impossible without snowshoes or an ability such as waterwalk. Furthermore, the high winds make it feel (and affect living creatures) as if the temperature were 20° F colder. There is a 20% chance that a blizzard lasts for 2d12 hours instead of the normal duration for heavy snow. Haboob: A haboob is a sandstorm created by a thunderstorm. See Sandstorm below for its effects. Hail: Hail typically occurs just before or during a thunderstorm. Hail does not reduce visibility, but the sound of falling hail imposes a –4 penalty on sound-based Perception checks. Rarely (5% chance), hail pellets can become large enough to deal 1d4 points of lethal damage per minute to creatures and objects out in the open.

Hurricane: Hurricanes are incredibly massive storms featuring heavy rain and a wind strength greater than that of the most powerful windstorm. With winds of 75–174 miles per hour, a hurricane renders ranged attacks impossible, and siege weapons take a –8 penalty on attack rolls. Large or smaller creatures must succeed at a DC 15 Strength check or they are unable to move forward against the strength of the wind. Medium or smaller creatures on the ground must succeed at a DC 15 Strength check or they are knocked prone and roll 1d6×10 feet, taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per 10 feet. Flying creatures must succeed at a DC 25 Fly check or they are blown back 2d8×10 feet and take 4d6 points of nonlethal damage due to battering and buffeting. Hurricanes also usually cause flooding. It’s nearly impossible to journey out into a hurricane unscathed.

Sandstorm: Sandstorms occur when severe or greater winds kick up sand and debris in a desert or similarly arid environment. Sandstorms reduce visibility to 1d10×10 feet, and those within them take a –6 penalty on Perception checks. Sandstorms deal 1d3 points of nonlethal damage per hour to creatures caught in the open.

Thundersnow: High winds in a snowstorm can create the rare phenomena known as thundersnow. Lighting strikes are less common in thundersnow, but just as deadly. Every hour during the storm, a bolt of lightning strikes an unsheltered creature at random (though this can strike wildlife as easily as PCs). A creature struck by this lightning must succeed a DC 18 Reflex saving throw or take 10d8 points of electricity damage (a successful saving throw halves the damage). Creatures in metal armor take a –4 penalty on the Reflex saving throw.

Tornado: With winds with speeds of 174–300 miles per hour, tornados are deadly terrors. The smallest tornados occupy a 20-foot-radius burst, with winds of windstorm strength swirling up to 100 feet beyond that burst. The largest tornados can be 100-foot-radius bursts, with a windstorm whose radius extends 500 feet beyond that burst. Ranged attacks, including normal, siege, and even those produced by evocation spells, are impossible in the core burst of a tornado. Huge or smaller creatures must succeed a DC 20 Strength check or be sucked up by the funnel of the tornado; this deals 8d8 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing lethal damage to the creatures. This damage ignores all but DR/epic, DR/—, and hardness. Once it deals this damage, the tornado flings the creature it has sucked up 1d20×10 feet up and away from the tornado, dealing 1d6 points of falling damage per 10 feet that the creature is flung. Gargantuan and larger creatures take the 8d8 points of damage but are not moved by the tornado. A tornado moves at a speed of 40 feet, though the direction it moves is entirely unpredictable—you can determine the direction randomly each round. Tornados typically last for 3d6 minutes, but some can swirl for up to an hour.z

While most tornados are created by thunderstorms, some smaller tornados (typically with a 5- to 10-foot-burst radius, with no outer radius) can be created in areas of wildfire (firenados), snow (snownados), or sand (dust devils). They deal a similar amount of damage, but firenados deal fire damage, snownados deal cold damage, and dust devils deal bludgeoning damage only, and these types of tornados do not fling their targets.

Wildfire: While wildfires can be sparked a number of ways, for these rules, they are usually created by a lightning strike in a particularly dry area of forest or other vegetation. Use the rules for forest fires, but add a 10% chance of the fire producing 1d6 firenados (see Tornado above).

Companions and Familiars

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 176
Many classes involve more than just a single hero or villain. What is the druid without her trusty animal companion, the cavalier without his steadfast mount, or the witch without her devoted familiar? These classes split their powers between the hero’s personal abilities and those of a companion of some sort—be it a relatively minor creature like a familiar associated with the class’s magical traditions, or a significant battlefield presence such as an animal companion or a mount. This chapter explores all these variants and provides dozens of new options for players who are making decisions about the next staunch sidekick their character will adopt!

In addition to the new animal companion and familiar options presented in the following pages, all six of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary volumes offer additional choices for your character. In addition, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic provides options for vermin companions and other familiar options. As with all expansions to the rules, make sure to secure your GM’s approval before selecting your character’s animal companion or familiar—not all of the options presented on the following pages (or those in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary volumes) are appropriate for every campaign or every game world.

Magic Item Slots

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 176
The sheer diversity among species of animal companions and familiars makes it difficult to determine what kinds of magic items are suitable for a creature to use or wear. Wearable wondrous items typically resize themselves to fit a creature trying to wear them, but the situation becomes a little more complicated if the creature simply lacks the requisite appendage or body part. For example, a snake can’t wear magic boots, and a giant raven can’t wear magic gloves.

The following lists summarize these rules for several creature body types as well as specify which magic item slots are available to them. Available slots followed by either “(saddle)” or “(horseshoes)” denote that creatures of that body type can wear magic items in the appropriate slots only as long as they are either saddles or horseshoes, respectively (for instance, a hoofed quadruped can wear horseshoes of a zephyr, but not boots of speed).

Creatures with certain body types are able to grasp and carry one object at a time in their paws, claws, or hands, including rods, staves, wands, and weapons, though animal companions are almost never able to use such items effectively (subject to the GM’s discretion) and take penalties for nonproficiency as usual. Creatures with this capacity have the indication “can grasp objects” at the end of their available slots entry.

Specific animals may be able to wear different types of items as specified in their original monster entry.

If you are using animal companions or familiars from another source, you can use the information below as a guideline for those creatures. Additionally, GMs can use this table as a guide to determine what kinds of magical gear non-humanoid monsters can use and wear. Note that the rules in this section are merely suggestions, and ultimately it is up to the GM to decide what kinds of animals can use particular types of magic items.


Available Slots armor, belt, chest (saddle), eyes, head, headband, neck, ring, wrist; can grasp objects
Animal Companions archaeopyeryx, axe beak, bustard, dimorphodon, dire bat, eagle, giant owl, giant raven, giant vulture, hawk, moa, pteranodon, ornithomimosaur, owl, quetzalcoatlus, roc, trumpeter swan
Familiars archaeopteryx, arctic tern, bat, chicken, dodo, hawk, kakapo, osprey, owl, parrot, peafowl, penguin, ptarmigan, puffin, rhamphorhynchus, raven, snail kite, thrush, toucan

Biped (Claws)

Available Slots armor, belt, chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, ring, shoulders, wrist; can grasp objects
Animal Companions allosaurus, ceratosaurus, chalicotherium, deinonychus, giganotosaurus, iguanodon, kangaroo, pachycephalosaurus, parasaurolophus, spinosaurus, therizinosaurus, troodon, tyrannosaurus, velociraptor
Familiars compsognathus, wallaby

Biped (Hands)

Available Slots all; can grasp objects
Animal Companions ape, baboon, chimpanzee, devil monkey, megaprimatus
Familiars monkey, tarsier


Available Slots belt, chest (saddle), eyes
Animal Companions anglerfish, armorfish, blue whale, dolphin, dunkleosteus, gar, giant seahorse, hammerhead shark, manta ray, narwhal, orca, plesiosaurus, shark, stingray, tylosaurus, walrus
Familiars lamprey, popoto dolphin, pufferfish, seal

Quadruped (Claws)

Available Slots armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders, wrist
Animal Companions badger, bear, capybara, cheetah, digmaul, dire polar bear, dire rat, dog, giant mole, giant porcupine, giant skunk, giant weasel, goblin dog, grizzly bear, hyena, leopard, lion, marsupial devil, marsupial lion, panda, polar bear, saber-toothed cat, thylacine, tiger, wolf, wolfdog, wolverine
Familiars arctic fox, arctic hare, armadillo, cat, donkey rat, ermine, flying fox, flying squirrel, fox, hedgehog, jerboa, koala, lemming, margay, meerkat, mole, mongoose, otter, platypus, rabbit, raccoon, rat, red panda, sloth, squirrel, weasel

Quadruped (Hooves)

Available Slots armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, feet (horseshoes), head, headband, neck, shoulders
Animal Companions antelope, aurochs, bison, boar, brontotherium, buffalo, cattle, elk, giraffe, horse, llama, megaloceros, moose, pony, ram, reindeer, stag, styracosaurus, yak, zebra
Familiars goat, pig

Quadruped (Short Legs)

Available Slots armor, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders
Animal Companions alligator, archelon, crocodile, dimetrodon, elasmosaurus, frog father, giant chameleon, giant frilled lizard, giant frog, giant gecko, giant salamander, giant snapping turtle, glyptodon, goliath frog, kaprosuchus, megalania, monitor lizard, prionosuchus, tortoise
Familiars dwarf caiman, fire salamander, horned lizard, lizard, marine iguana, snapping turtle, toad, tuatara, turtle

Quadruped (Other)

Available Slots armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders
Animal Companions amargasaurus, ankylosaurus, arsinoitherium, baluchitherium, brachiosaurus, camel, deinotherium, diplodocus, elasmotherium, elephant, eohippus, hippopotamus, kentrosaurus, mammoth, mastodon, megatherium, mokele-mbembe, rhinoceros, stegosaurus, triceratops, uintatherium, wolliped


Available Slots belt, eyes, headband
Animal Companions basilosaurus, constrictor snake, electric eel, giant leech, giant moray eel, giant slug, reef snake, spitting cobra, titanoboa
Familiars sea krait, viper

Unusual (Plant and Vermin)

Available Slots belt, eyes
Companions cameroceras, corpse-eater fungus, creeping puffball, eurypterid, giant ant, giant assassin bug, giant beetle, giant caterpillar, giant centipede, giant cockroach, giant crab, giant dragonfly, giant locust, giant mantis, giant mantis shrimp, giant mosquito, giant scorpion, giant solifugid, giant spider, giant squid, giant termite, giant wasp, giant whiptail centipede, gulper plant, hunting cactus, octopus, rash creeper, slithering sundew, snapping flytrap, sniper cactus, squid, web tyrant spider
Familiars blue-ringed octopus, butterfly, cockroach, creeper ivy, dweomer cap, flowering lattice, giant isopod, giant tardigrade, greensting scorpion, house centipede, ioun wyrd, king crab, leopard slug, moth, petrifern, ravenous tumbleweed, razor fern, sawleg locust, scarlet spider, shimmerwing dragonfly, spiny starfish, suture vine, trilobite, vampire squid