Rules | GM Screen

<- Return to All Rules (Group by Source)
<- Return to Pathfinder Unchained

All Rules in Pathfinder Unchained

+ An entry marked with this has additional sections within it.

Spell Alterations

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 146
The following optional rules alter normal spellcasting in fun new ways. Each system is fairly simple in concept, but could generate ramifications not fully detailed below, and GMs should be ready to reconcile or arbitrate unexpected effects.

Limited Magic

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 146
As a character gains caster levels under the normal magic system, the efficacy of her spells can swing wildly, necessitating a constant reevaluation of each spell’s utility. The limited magic rules are meant to keep spells’ power more tightly tiered by spell level and reduce the amount by which a caster’s power level escalates.

When using limited magic rules, all spells are cast at the minimum caster level and with the minimum required ability score. The minimum caster level of a spell is fixed at 2 × the spell’s level – 1, and does not change based on class levels. A spell’s level can vary by class; therefore, different classes may have different minimum caster levels for the same spell. The minimum ability score for any spell is 10 + the spell’s level, so the save DC for each spell (10 + the spell’s level + the caster’s ability score modifier) is also constant. These values are listed below on Table 4–3: Limited Magic for ease of reference. The CL (9) column lists the minimum caster level for casters who get up to 9th-level spells, such as the cleric, druid, or wizard. The CL (6) column covers casters who get 6th-level spells, such as bards. The CL (4) column covers casters who get up to only 4th-level spells, such as paladins and rangers. If a class’s spellcasting progression differs from these minimum caster levels, it always overrides the numbers on this table.

Table 4-3: Limited Magic

Spell LevelCL (9)*CL (6)CL (4)Ability ScoreDC
* For a sorcerer, increase the minimum caster level of any spell of 2nd level or higher by 1.

Wild Magic

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 147
Though many spellcasters like to consider their use of magic a science, the effects of magic are not always easy to predict. Wild, uncontrolled magic sometimes surges as a side effect of spellcasting or magical experimentation. Wild magic can be used in any situation where magic might cause randomness and chaotic effects. When a character casts a spell or takes an action that could trigger a surge of wild magic (see Implementing Wild Magic below), roll on Table 4–4: Wild Magic Surge.

Roll to determine the surge effect before the spell is cast, but apply the effect after the spell is cast unless it alters the spell itself in some way (such as changing the effective caster level). Any reference on the table to the spell or the spell’s level applies to the spell being cast, supernatural ability being used, or magic item effect being activated. Similarly, any reference to the caster applies to the character who triggers the surge. If an effect requires a caster level, use the caster’s full character level.

If the wild magic surge effect you roll isn’t possible due to the nature of the spell or effect, roll instead on Table 4–5: Universal Surge Effects. A wild magic surge effect doesn’t allow a saving throw, even if it’s replicating a spell that normally would, and any effect that would normally have a limit on the amount of Hit Dice it can affect ignores that limit. Higher results on the table are more likely to be beneficial, so a GM might give a bonus or penalty on the check if an action would alter how likely it is that the wild magic surge would be helpful.

Table 4-4: Wild Magi Surge

d%Surge Effect
01-02The caster takes 1d6 points of damage per spell level.
03-04The caster is affected by a slow spell for 5 rounds.
05The spell takes effect at a random location within the spell’s range.
06The caster is confused for 1 round (as confusion).
07The caster takes 1 point of Constitution bleed.
08The caster takes 1 point of ability bleed that matches her spellcasting ability score (determine randomly if the creature isn’t a spellcaster).
09-10The caster is dazed for 1 round (as daze monster).
11-12The spell deals half as much damage as normal.
13The caster takes 1d4 points of bleed damage.
14The caster falls asleep for 1 minute (as sleep).
15-16The caster can’t cast or concentrate on spells for 1 round.
17The caster is affected by reduce person for 1 minute.
18-19The caster becomes sickened for 5 rounds.
20A zone of truth appears, centered on the caster.
21-29The caster is affected as if targeted by the spell.
30-32All targets of the spell are affected by lesser restoration.
33-38All targets of the spell are healed of 1d8+1 points of damage. This is a positive energy effect.
39-43The spell’s area or the targets of the spell become affected by silence for 3 rounds.
44-50All targets of the spell become invisible for 1 round (as invisibility).
51-58The area of the spell is filled with daylight.
59-64A shatter spell affects a 5-foot radius around each target of the spell (or the spell’s area).
65-71The spell’s area is coated in grease.
72-74One random tree or animal targeted by the spell or in the spell’s area is affected by awaken.
75-78An instrument appears adjacent to each target (as summon instrument).
79-80Every door within 100 feet of the caster is affected by a knock spell.
81-83The caster teleports to a square of her choice adjacent to the spell’s target or within the spell’s area.
84-86The next spell targeting the caster is turned back, as spell turning.
87-90The caster gains 2d6 temporary hit points that last 1 hour and don’t stack with any other temporary hit points.
91-92A random creature from the summon monster I list is summoned in a square adjacent to the caster. It is under the caster’s control.
93-95The caster is affected by tongues for 10 minutes.
96-97The caster is affected by haste for 5 rounds.
98The spell is extended.
99The spell is maximized.
100The spell slot used to cast the spell is not expended.

Table 4-5: Universal Surge Effects

d%Surge Effect
01-20The caster takes 1d6 points of damage that can’t be prevented in any way.
21-80The caster is affected by faerie fire for 1 round.
81-100The caster gains 1d6 temporary hit points that last for 1 hour. These don’t stack with other temporary hit points.

Active Spellcasting

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 148
Under the core rules, a spellcaster is largely passive when resolving the effects of her spells. She announces which spell she’s casting, and the targets roll their saves in response. Compare this with attacks, where the attacker rolls all the dice. The following variants help spellcasters feel more involved in the resolution of spells.