D&D 5E [Let's Read] Spheres of Power & Might for 5e

Libertad

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Back in 2014 a small publisher by the name of Drop Dead Studios created an alternative magic system for the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game. Divorcing itself from Vancian mechanics, Spheres of Power was intended to cover a wider variety of magical powers as seen in various kinds of popular culture, highly customizable for GMs inspired by their favorite pieces of non-D&D media or who wanted a more open-ended spellcaster beyond the traditional arcane/divine and spells-per-day divides.

Spheres of Power initially remained obscure but in time became the flagship series for Drop Dead Studios as it grew in popularity, spawning miniature sourcebooks for new magical talents and traditions. Eventually a sister sourcebook was made: Spheres of Might, expanding the rules to cover martial character concepts. It was popular as well, and managed to address the various shortcomings of martials and noncasters in the Pathfinder system, such as giving them meaningful options outside of combat, eliminating feat-tree-progressions where one had to build their entire character concept around doing one or two interesting tricks well, and reliable access to inherent abilities which can afflict enemies with various status effects beyond straight damage-dealing.

Although Pathfinder is still Drop Dead’s preferred RPG, there was enough demand to fund a Spheres conversion to 5th Edition D&D. As 5e has much less emphasis on character customization and toolkit-style approaches to rules, it was debatable to what extent they could do a faithful conversion.

As a backer and owner of both books, I’m pleased to say that Spheres of Power & Might managed to thread this needle in a pretty satisfactory way. While far from an exhaustive playtest, I have run a few games using the Spheres books and overall the options are pretty balanced while also being useful. Although there are some things the Spheres system cannot do, overall it can very easily replace the default classes and options in 5e with a minimum of fuss.

I’ll note that the vast majority of the two books’ content are OGL and have their own online Wiki. Due to this, I’m going to do less paraphrasing than I’d usually do. Instead I’ll offer more personal opinions, interesting combos between spheres and classes where warranted, and several overall faithful conversions of characters from various shows, video games, and other media to show how much the Spheres system can deliver on their vaunted promises.

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Chapter 1: Introduction

This short chapter outlines the basics of Spheres of Power. In short, the types of magic-users in this system are referred to as spherecasters to separate them from the core rules’ Vancian magic system. Casting traditions are open-ended thematic explanations of how a spherecaster wields their magic, while spheres proper encompass a broad umbrella of related supernatural powers known as magic sphere effects. Each sphere has talents which grant new magic sphere effects or new ways to exploit existing sphere effects, and characters gain talents by leveling up or via feats. Barring optional Advanced Talents, talents can be spent more or less without restriction and in any order desired provided one has the appropriate sphere. In this last case, one can spend a talent to “unlock” access to a new sphere.

Although there are new classes (and spherecaster versions of existing classes), this book for the most part does not restrict certain kinds of magic by class or subclass: all of the options within are meant to be customized for players to build their caster concepts just right, defining choices as “here is what they do” rather than setting down mandates by fluff or setting, promising versatility “without the need for complex multiclassing and homebrewed subclasses.”

Magic sphere effects use most of the basic categories of 5e spells: they have Casting Time, Range, Duration, allowable Targets, Saving Throws if applicable, and may or may not be Concentration. Many sphere effects can be used at-will, but more powerful ones require a cost to be paid in Spell Points, a resource for spherecasters which refills every long rest. Furthermore, some sphere effects can be Augmented, allowing for effects of greater magnitude via the payment of Spell Points. A spherecaster cannot “nova” all of their Spell Points in one go, and the maximum amount one can spend on a single sphere effect is equal to the caster’s proficiency bonus. Finally, a spherecaster’s Key Ability Modifier (KAM) corresponds to a mental ability score which determines their spellcasting ability checks/attack modifiers and Sphere DC much like Vancian Magic (proficiency bonus + KAM for attacks, 8 + proficiency bonus + KAM for DC), and also grants a number of bonus Spell Points equal to the ability score modifier.

There’s some miscellaneous rules and cases explained, such as determining Spell Points via multiclassing (both values are added but Key Ability Modifier is added only once), determining the magic sphere effect’s equivalent level when interacting with Vancian systems (level equal to number of Spell Points spent, or cantrip if 0), whether or not one can stack effects that double proficiency bonuses (you can’t), ways to identify a magic sphere effect or casting tradition (Arcana skill, or Perception if the casting tradition has no observable effects), how to determine ability score prerequisites for multiclassing (13 in one’s Key Ability Modifier), and so on.

The final entry proper in this chapter explains how to build a character. It’s very much like typical 5e chargen, although casting tradition is listed first, followed by race, class, attributes/background/proficiencies, and finally talents and feats. It even has a sample PC built step-by-step.

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Chapter 2: Casting Traditions

Not all magic is cast the same way, even if some of their effects are the same. This chapter gives rules for simulating the variety of “magic systems” in RPGs and broader media, from mages reciting magic words on scrolls to psychics shaping reality with mental concentration.

Casting traditions are comprised of five major parts: a description of the concept, the relevant Key Ability Modifier, Drawbacks which imply penalties on the caster in exchange for more Spell Points or Boons, Boons which grant some advantageous benefit, and two magic spheres handed out for free on top of the ones gained via other sources; two free talents for unlocking spheres, basically. Optionally, casting traditions give Granted Items out as bonus equipment if a Drawback makes their use necessary for spellcasting. Much like Spheres, casting traditions are not limited by class, although there’s a table outlining which Traditions map easily to existing core class concepts. There are also guidelines for making one’s own casting tradition, but for those who want to grab and go there’s 19 sample traditions along with just as many subtraditions which are basically minor configurations.

Drawbacks: Drawbacks are restrictions placed upon a caster, forcing certain conditions to be met in order to cast the magic effectively (or at all) or impose a penalty every time 1 or more Spell Points are used. A spherecaster may have anywhere from 0 to 5 Drawbacks, and the greater the number of Drawbacks the greater the number of bonus Spell Points they gain. 0 Drawbacks grants none at all, but 5 grants +1 per level in a casting class, with the intermittent numbers granting Spell Points on a fractional basis (example: 3 Drawbacks grants +1 per odd level in a casting class). A spherecaster can elect to gain less bonus Spell Points in exchange for Boons, “sacrificing” 2 or 4 Drawbacks for 1 or 2 Boons respectively.

Although I’ll cover the classes properly in the next chapter, Drawbacks are a great way for spherecasters with a low Spell Point progression to bolster up this weak spot, particularly in the case of gish types who prioritize physical stats. For the new ones in this book, 2 classes grant a half-level progression and 3 classes progression equal to the class level. For Spherecasting versions of existing classes, 3 grant half-level progression, 5 grant full-level progression, and the caster subclasses that normally grant up to level 4 spells (Arcane Trickster & Eldritch Knight) grant a mere one-quarter level progression. As 1 or 2 Drawbacks don’t really give a lot of Spell Points on their own and most campaigns don’t last beyond 10th level, players are heavily encouraged to take an all or nothing approach for Drawbacks: gain 3-5 for appreciable advancement, or 2-4 to spend on Boons which are useful at all levels of play.

As the text differentiates “spherecasting class” from the core Vancian options, the phrase “casting class” makes me wonder if the bonus Spell Points from multiclassing in a Vancian class count for this purpose or not. The book does talk about multiclassing, albeit only in the context of spherecasting choices rather than a Vancian/Spheres mixture.

There are 24 Drawbacks to choose from, and include the more familiar such as Verbal Casting which requires the caster able to speak loudly, or Material Casting which requires the spending of 1 gold piece per Spell Point and a component pouch for 0 Spell Point effects. There’s a few new interesting ones present, such as Coy Caster which forces the caster to succeed on a Key Ability Check to cast a spell when they believe they’re being observed, Skilled Casting which requires the caster to succeed on an ability check with a skill or tool in order to cast the spell, and Draining Casting which deals 1 HP damage per Spell Point spent (2 at 11th and higher levels) which cannot be recovered until the next long rest. A few Drawbacks are considered debilitating enough to count as 2 when taken, or impose a more restrictive penalty when taken twice.

Boons: Boons grant special perks and abilities, and are gained either via Drawbacks or the Additional Boon feat detailed later in this book. There’s only 14 boons, but they grant various useful features. Aptitude, for example, grants proficiency in a skill or tool tied to Skilled Casting or double proficiency if already proficient, Easy Focus grants advantage on saving throws to maintain concentration, Fortified Casting lets one choose Constitution as their Key Ability Modifier if they have the Draining Casting Drawback, Physical Magic allows a caster to delay the effects of a spell and imbue them into physical objects which can be activated by others (albeit with some restrictions), while Ritualist and Spellbook allow a spherecaster to learn and cast Vancian spells as rituals* or a limited number of times per long rest respectively.

*like the Warlock’s Book of Ancient Secrets.

Of special note are Boons which increase a caster’s proficiency bonus for the purpose of using magic sphere effects under certain conditions. A caster cannot exceed half their normal proficiency bonus this way, but even a +1 bonus is still quite significant. They come with some restrictive requirements, such as suffering one level of exhaustion per use (Overcharge), only if at 50% or less of maximum hit points (Deathful Magic), or when your current number of Spell Points is 0 (Empowered Abilities).

While several of the Drawbacks can be situational in how much of a penalty they are, the Boons are overall useful for a broad variety of builds. Easy Focus and Fortified Casting are pretty attractive for warrior-mage builds, and Aptitude is great in that it makes the spellcaster an expert in some skill or tool related to their thematic magical style. Technically any skill or tool is allowable, although your GM may need some convincing if you take a highly-useful one such as Perception.

Multiple Traditions: This variant rule at the end explains that in most cases a character has a single casting tradition which they maintain throughout their career. But those who multiclass may choose a second casting tradition, which has its own Key Ability Modifier that may be the same or different as the first and grants a second set of spheres/talents. One cannot “double up” on bonus Spell Points, and whenever a spherecaster uses a magic sphere effect they must choose which tradition to use and can only use drawbacks, boons, and magic talents associated with that particular tradition.

Personally speaking the Multiple Traditions rule sounds a bit complicated and will result in more book-keeping, something which runs counter to the relatively straightforward and open-ended nature of the Spheres sourcebooks.

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Chapter 3: Classes

Converted Core Classes

Although it has some new and very broad classes, Spheres of Power has options for converting the existing core classes. Every class (and subclass in the case of Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight) trades out their Spellcasting and Cantrips in exchange for a Spell Pool progression, magic talent progression, and a casting tradition. Casting traditions and talents are unrestricted, so you can easily have a Warlock who uses Wisdom as their Key Ability Modifier, a Druid who calls upon conjured minions to their aid via singing like a Disney Princess, or a Paladin who can shapeshift into various elemental forms as but a few possibilities. Each class has specific discussions for some minor class features, but to sum up the broader points:

1. Classes who have Ritual Casting can still cast Vancian spells as rituals a la the Ritualist boon covered above.

2. Class features which specify spell slots instead substitute spell points, and subclasses which grant bonus spells (Paladin’s Oath, Warlock Patron, etc) instead grant a bonus talent every couple levels from a sphere thematically associated with the subclass. The player and GM work out what makes the most sense in this last case.

3. Classes which have a Spellcasting Focus can use the appropriate item as a spellcasting focus when using magic talents or abilities regardless of casting tradition. As this doesn’t grant any boon or bonus Spell Points, it’s more of a thematic decision.

4. Sorcerers are a particularly notable class for spherecasting conversions, as instead of gaining Sorcery Points they gain additional spell points equal to their level and can apply Metamagic options to magic sphere effects. As these bonus SPell Points stack with other options of gaining Spell Points, spherecasting Sorcerers are by far the best class for Drawbackless builds and for using more powerful sphere effects more often.

5. It’s not explicitly called out in the text, but Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters get a notable upgrade. The default ones had spell access limited to two schools. But as Spheres of Power has no such restrictions, these subclasses can pick whatever magical effects they desire. They’re still limited by their low Spell Point and magic talent progression, but they have a wider floor of choices.

6. Rangers and Paladins have Blended Training, which means that they can choose to gain a martial talent instead of a magical one if Spheres of Might is in play.

We also have two more Fighting Style Options: the first is Magic Spheres Adept, which grants the person a Casting Tradition but they do not gain any spell points (if they gain a spherecasting class later they trade this in for 1 bonus magic talent); and Natural Weapon Fighting, where attacks made only with natural weapons crit on a 19-20. The former is a good way to simulate dabbler-style characters, although the inability to Augment one’s spells is pretty restrictive. If anything, it encourages one to not take any Drawbacks save for the purposes of Boons. Expect to see a lot of Fighters who can cast spells silently in full plate while being grappled with this option (which isn’t a bad thing, but is a rather amusing mental image)!

Our chapter ends with a very brief Spell/Sphere Conversions list, made for classes that grant particular benefits or bonus spells based on the Vancian schools of magic. Instead of a blow-by-blow account of every core spell, the book gives a list of Spheres that closely map to each of the eight Schools. As is to be expected, Abjuration, Conjuration, and Evocation cover a large number of spheres (3), while Divination, Enchantment, Illusion, and Necromancy a fewer 1-2 each. Transmutation wins out by far, having 6 (!!!) appropriate spheres.

New Classes

Spheres of Power grants us 5 new classes and 27 subclasses, the latter of which has a variant for those using Spheres of Might. The classes proper are quite versatile; many of their core abilities make use of spheres in some way and have pretty broad abilities, with the subclasses emulating more specific concepts. Beyond those options, the initial proficiencies are very customizable: every class grants at least one type of artisan’s tools and/or musical instruments as a bonus proficiency, 3 of the classes allow the choice of 2-3 skills of the player’s choice rather than being restricted to a class list, and 2 of the classes allow customizable proficiency in one common save (DEX/CON/WIS) and one uncommon save (STR/INT/CHA). A few subclasses grant a bonus sphere talent of an appropriate sphere for the use of subclass abilities, but most do not heavily rely upon one kind of Sphere to use.

And if one is using Spheres of Might, 3 classes have the option to trade out martial weapon and medium armor proficiency (light in the Elementalist’s case) in exchange for gaining a martial tradition, which are like casting traditions but for Fighting Styles. Furthermore, every class save the Incanter can also take martial talents upon leveling up from that sourcebook, either via a default class feature in the case of Mageknights and Prodigies or via specific subclasses in the case of Elementalists and Soul Weavers. So in the Spheres system the casting classes can be even more customizable on the fighting front with Spheres of Might!* Putting this all together, two of the same classes can play very differently and occupy different roles in an adventuring party.

*Worry not, martial-lovers, Spheres of Might has many gish-friendly options as well!

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The Elementalist is a blaster caster, gaining the Destruction sphere for free, can mix different blast types together via the same casting, deal bonus damage of a specific type via a Favored Element, and later gain Evasion, resistance to their Favored Element damage type, and proficiency in all saving throws to better resist adverse effects. They gain 5 subclasses related to how they wield this powerful energy: Aspirant grants them more favored elements, Doomblade grants more gish-style features such as martial talent access and Extra Attack, Geomancer lets them apply Favored Element damage bonus to Nature/Weather sphere talents and can cast Destruction sphere effects alongside them during the same round, Inspired Kineticist lets them temporarily learn and swap out different Destruction talents and favored elements, and Primordial lets them turn into an elemental via the Alteration sphere and and apply Destruction talents to their natural weapons.

Assessment: The Elementalist is the most “locked-in” of the new classes rolewise. The majority of their non-defensive class features relate to the Destruction sphere, and with that 1-3 damage types at most. Each of its subclasses tie back into these features instead of granting all-new traits. While the class is good at what it does, it definitely stands out in comparison to the following four, which limits its appeal to me, personally speaking.

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The Incanter is the “pure mage” of Spheres of Power. They get the best progression on both Spell Points and talents by level, and its Hit Die and proficiencies push the class into a “fragile caster” role. The class’ core features relate to the manipulation of Spell Points, such as regaining 2 + half Incanter level during a short rest once per day or sacrificing Spell Points to absorb HP damage on a 1-1 basis.

The Incanter has the largest number of subclasses by far, 9 in total: the Arcanist is a ‘generalist mage’ who can gain temporary talents from a magic sphere for 1 minute and add proficiency bonus to ability checks of Universal sphere magic; Esper is a psychic who can set up a mindlink to grant minor buffs on allies and penalties on enemies; Fey Adept enhances the effects of Dark/Illusion/Light sphere abilities like making illusory objects real and persisting for a time when concentration on the spell ends; Green Mage grants the class a fey familiar and some druidic buffs (animals won’t attack you, can breathe underwater, etc); Necromancer lets the class buff their Death sphere abilities and take control of other undead; Priest grants Turn Undead/Channel Divinity of an appropriate domain and access to some Cleric spells as rituals; Soothsayer enhances the use of Divination and Fate sphere abilities and rolls 2 d20s at the end of a long rest which they can swap out for the result of a perceived creature’s roll; Summoner lets the Incanter keep things summoned via Conjuration/Creation spheres for longer periods, along with some benefits like being immune to losing concentration on such effects from taking damage; finally the Temporalist grants increased movement and teleportation speeds along with rerolling failed rolls and even temporarily stopping time as a capstone ability.

Assessment: The Incanter is similar to the Vancian “pure caster” classes in that the bulk of their abilities are tied not with class features themselves but what magic spheres and talents that they learn. What’s interesting is that the converted “pure caster” classes such as Bard and Wizard learn magic talents every odd level, but the Incanter is the only class that learns one magic talent every level. So if going by just the Spheres system they get a leg up on the core classes in that department.

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The Mageknight is your all-purpose gish class, with the Hit Die and proficiencies to match. They have the worst progression in both Spell Points and magic talents, encouraging them to be more specialized in what magic they learn to better bolster their fighting prowess. The class grants Fighter abilities such as a Fighting Style and Extra Attack, but the class also grants Spell Combat. This feature allows them to make an attack as a bonus action when casting a magic sphere effect under certain limitations, with less restrictions as they level up. They also gain martial focus which they can expend to use certain class features: this mechanic is more detailed in Spheres of Might, but basically it’s like Inspiration in that you either have it or you don’t, and various class features and martial spheres grant you special moves and buffs when you expend it or for as long as you have it. You can expend it to treat a STR/DEX/CON save as a 10 instead of rolling as a universal feature, and can regain it via the Dodge action or via certain attacks and actions with the appropriate class feature or sphere ability.

The Mageknight has a mere 4 subclasses, all of which grant bonus talents from up to 2 spheres related to the appropriate subclass. The Armorist makes them create and maintain weapons and armor faster and better via magic, the Spellblade grants them new attacks and defenses in combat such as gaining a temporary spell point when critting or KOing a foe, Psionicist lets them create a kinetic buffer that can absorb a certain threshold of HP in damage as well as move and evade attacks better, and Shapeshifter improves the speed they can shapeshift into a new form and the duration of the various forms they can take via the Alteration sphere.

Assessment: The Mageknight is versatile in that its otherwise low talent and spell progression is partially alleviated via the subclasses, all of which have bonus sphere options that contain more utility talents and options beyond straight offense. Comparisons will inevitably be made to existing gish options such as the Eldritch Knight, Paladin, and Ranger. For the latter class’ spherecasting versions, the Eldritch Knight doesn’t have Blended Training which limits their martial talent options, and they have less Spell Points and talents. But the Eldritch Knight has Action Surge which is still just as good in the Spheres system as it is in core 5e. Furthermore, they have access to heavy armor proficiency by default unlike the Mageknight, which helps in regards to staying power. That is, unless Spheres of Might is being used for variable alternate proficiencies based on martial traditions.

Paladins and Rangers by contrast gain one less magic talent* but have the same Spell Point progression. Paladins are still great in the DPS department via divine smite, and the Ranger is still on the low end given their situational core class features. By contrast, Mageknights are more half-martials and half-casters, encouraged to either buff and extra attack or fire off spells and attack as a bonus action, with subclasses determining more specific roles and actions.

*Rangers without a subclass that grants bonus spells have six less bonus talents.

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The Prodigy is the other gish class of Spheres of Power, although it functions differently in play than the Mageknight. It has martial focus and a better level-based magic talent progression, but the majority of its class features revolve around a combo-building mechanic known as a Sequence. Basically a Prodigy gains Links in combat via performing certain actions, and loses Links if they don’t take an appropriate action each turn or remain in certain negative conditions for too long. Links can be spent to perform a Finisher, which tend to be multi-target attacks or grant a boost to the Prodigy in some way like regaining martial focus or rerolling a failed saving throw .

There’s a default list of Links and Finishers all Prodigies have, but new ones can be accessed based on what spheres they possess. Spheres of Might to be specific, which technically makes the class require both books to use unless you’re fine with the default options. Magical spheres do not make use of Links or Finishers, but every time the Prodigy builds a new sequence (0 links to 1) they gain a single persistent buff effect dependent on what magic sphere they have access to and choose for this particular Sequence.

Prodigies have a mere 3 subclasses, 4 if we count one of them possessing a variant. Each subclass save the Core Battleborn grants temporary access to bonus talents which are reset after a short duration (in the case of a Mimic) or at the end of a long rest. The Battleborn is the option for focusing more on martial endeavors: it’s Core version grants features such as 1-2 Fighting Styles, greater critical threat range on spells and weapon attacks, can attack up to 3 times via Extra Attack, and can spend a spell point to add proficiency to a nonproficient saving throw. The Spheres of Might version grants temporary bonus martial talents instead of Fighting Styles and the saving throw bonus is replaced with being able to change out one of the subclass bonus talents with a Spell Point and reaction. Mimic’s Calling grants the most bonus spheres but with more limited conditions and duration: you can mimic a magical or martial sphere effect or Vancian spell by observing it in action and making a key ability check plus proficiency against the sphere/spell DC, and the duration ranges from 1 minute or until the next short/long rest depending on level. Finally the Savant’s Calling grants bonus swappable talents like the SoM Battleborn but for magical spells, and can expend martial focus to reflect hostile spells both Vancian and sphere back on enemy casters.

Assessment: As you can see in the link, Prodigies have many abilities to use in combat, highly dependent on what spheres they learn. The building and spending of Links can feel very satisfying when you get off a Finisher in battle, and the sphere-specific Links all relate to the use of a martial sphere’s primary feature. The magic sphere buffs are pretty good, although some are more attractive than others. Destruction’s damage boost is great for just about any build, while Nature’s air geomancy package is great for characters who can manage to stay out of melee. Options such as Mind’s 1d4 penalty on Wisdom saves is situational given that it’s best used to set up another party member using an ability with that save, while Life’s HP regeneration will be too low to matter given how quickly most combats end in 5th Edition.

As for the subclasses, they are all pretty open-ended in versatility, granting potential new talents every long rest like a Vancian caster preparing spells. The Mimic is the odd one out and also quite situational partially due to the fact that sphere abilities are more or less a PC thing. The Pathfinder version of the system made bestiaries for sphere-using monsters and NPCs, but in 5e there are no writeups or guidelines for making such characters on the GM side of things. A Mimic will most likely replicate either the sphere talents of fellow party members or Vancian spells of enemy monsters and mages.

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Our final class in Spheres of Power, the Soul Weaver is the more “spiritual” of the five classes, drawing power from deities, spirits, and otherworldly beings. In the Pathfinder version they were a class similar in mechanics to Clerics, gaining the ability to channel energy and their choice of either the Death or Life sphere as a bonus talent. But in 5e they can mimic a wider variety of spellcasters, Channeling Energy being relegated to the Incanter Priest. As a core class they are accompanied by 2-5 invisible souls (which flavorwise can be things other than souls) which can be expended to gain temporary access to magic talents the Soul Weaver doesn’t possess for 1 minute. These souls are replenished every short or long rest, and a soul can also be expended to occupy a nearby space which the Soul Weaver is considered to occupy for the purposes of line of sight, and at higher levels they can expend 2 souls to turn a failed save into a success.

Soul Weavers gain 6 subclasses, 4 of which grant bonus talents from 1-2 thematic sphere options in line with the subclass, 1 of which can grant access to martial talents via expending of souls as well as a martial tradition, and 1 which grants neither. Path of the Gothi centers around buffing allies and gaining knowledge from the possession of ancestral souls; Path of the Lichling makes the Soul Weaver more undead over time (with defenses to match) and can expend souls to cause damaging necrotic growths to grow on targets; Path of the Medium can gain skill and tool proficiencies and minor class features (1d6 sneak attack, one martial weapon + Fighting Style, etc) from being possessed by a spirit; Path of the Undertaker is a gish option that grants Extra Attack and the ability to expend souls to empower their weapon attacks with necrotic energy; and Path of the White Necromancer grants healing capabilities and their reanimated undead are intelligent and loyal minions if a soul is expended during their creation. Path of the Wraith is a special case as it doesn’t grant bonus talents martial or magical; instead the character can become more like a ghost, spending Spell Points to become temporarily ethereal and can possess the bodies of targets who fail a Charisma save. The ethereal and possession benefits increase in scope at higher levels, such as gaining energy resistances and a flight speed for the former and being able to possess a wider variety of creature types and for longer durations for the latter.

Assessment: The Soul Weaver is an interesting class. It has slightly better Hit Die than an Incanter but the same lackluster weapon and armor proficiencies. It comes off as a pure caster, and its temporary talent-learning via souls is similar to the Prodigy subclasses and Incanter Arcanist. But multiple uses as well as recharging on a short rest points to it being more heavily relied upon than the latter classes. Barring the Undertaker, most of the subclasses encourage indirect aid and ranged combat. Even the wraith is encouraged to bodyhop and soak up damage that way, and the Medium’s minor class features aren’t good enough to replicate a real fighter/rogue/etc.

Thoughts So Far: Minus a few edge cases, Spheres of Power has a pretty promising start. Such cases tend to be in regards to particular classes or subclasses, such as the Elementalist’s shoe-horned role or the situational aspects of the Mimic or Path of the Medium. But overall the classes are pretty open-ended and have a lot of meaningful options. Combined with the spheres, it’s not hard at all to fine-tune the system to make just the character you want.

Join us next time as we dive into the meat of the system in the first quarter of Chapter 4: Spheres!
 
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Libertad

Hero
Chapter 4: Spheres, Part I

By far the longest chapter in the book, we’ll cover the Spheres in four parts. Before beginning there are some universalities I should bring up. Unlike in traditional 5th Edition, a lot of concentration duration sphere effects can last the duration without the need for concentration if Augmented with 2 Spell Points. This means that stackable buffs are easy to do, but can get pretty pricey on a caster’s personal reserves.

Secondly, about half of the spheres (11 or 12 depending on what package you take for the Universal sphere) grant a bonus talent when unlocked. This is particularly the case when the default sphere’s effects can’t do much on their own and need a talent to be used to their fullest. Just about every sphere automatically comes with 2 default sphere effects that can either be used just fine on their own or are meant to be used with talents. It’s something that I can see tripping up newcomers, so I figured it’s best to point this out explicitly.

Thirdly, talents in a sphere are separated into different types via parenthetical tags, and those that don’t fit into any neat category have the (other) tag. For example, the Destruction sphere has (blast type) talents which determine the damage and negative conditions imposed by the default Destructive Blast sphere effect, while (blast shape) determines in what form the Destructive Blast manifests.

Fourthly, most Spheres have Variants, which alter how the caster uses magic from the Sphere. They’re optional and usually take the form of some restriction, like only being able to use one instead of both basic magical sphere effects, a more limited selection of targets or types, or some material or condition that can easily overcome the magic. In exchange for taking a Variant, a spherecaster gains a bonus magic talent of their choice or a specific one typically in line with the Variant’s theme.

Finally, every Sphere has Advanced Talents, separated at the end into their own category. They are talents which are either more powerful than the default selections or which can alter the setting assumptions in a significant way. For instance, the Warp sphere’s Planeshift talent may not be appropriate for games where otherworldly realms are unapproachable or sealed off, while the Universal sphere’s Extreme Reach talent can make certain spells affect targets up to several football fields away. Unlike Basic Talents (the default option), Advanced Talents usually have a level-based prerequisite, usually 5th or 11th but sometimes as high as 17th, and a few may even have other talents as prerequisites.

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The Alteration Sphere allows the caster to transform themselves or other targets into different forms via Shapeshift. Shapeshift forms aren’t stackable, either with themselves or with similar effects such as wildshape, but the caster can apply 1-4 traits to the form based on their level, and learning default forms grants a new set of traits which can be applied to other forms. Alteration talents are split between (genotype) talents which provide a base form along with limbs, speed, natural weapons, and selectable traits, while (trait) talents grant new traits that can be applied to any form. Most genotype and trait talents do not cost Spell Points by default, with exceptions being particularly powerful features like the Construct form’s resistance to nonmagical physical damage or Size Change which can shift one’s size (and thus bonus damage and reach) by 1-4 categories based on level. The Advanced Talents include options such as granting vulnerability/immunity to an energy type, fusing two creatures into a single body, and a literal Save or Die for creatures damaged via the Twisted Body talent (think warping a creature’s form violently). Interestingly there are some traits which are not advanced but level-locked, such as the Undead (genotype)’s incorporeal form requiring the caster to be 15th level in order to bestow it. It’s a bit of an oddity vs the rest of this book, but the choices make sense given their powerful utility.

Combos: The natural weapons of the various genotypes are considered unarmed weapons, which makes the Sphere a nice buff to place on Monks, Tavern Brawlers, and similar bare-knuckle fighting types. The text calls out that spells requiring verbal and/or somatic components may not be able to be cast if the new form cannot gesture or speak appropriately, which makes Alteration a great debuff to use on many enemy spellcasters. Talents that increase one’s reach can be stacked via Augmentation in order for shapeshifters to hit opponents from very far away, and with Spheres of Might’s Guardian sphere and the Equipment sphere’s Polearm Guard talent they can make a lot of opportunity attacks from farther distances. The Enhancement sphere has several talents which can be applied to natural attacks and movement speeds.

Existing Comparisons: One’s mind would immediately leap to the Polymorph spell and the Druid’s Wildshape when looking at this sphere. The advantages of Alteration is that they can be taken by lower-level characters in the case of Polymorph and has a wider variety of creature types to morph into in the case of Wildshape. But what Alteration cannot do is outright give every special ability and replacement hit points of Monster Manual entries; instead the sphere grants a brief template which can be customized via a set of various traits. The sphere’s default duration is shorter, but barring Augmentation it is not limited-use and effectively an at-will feature.

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The Conjuration Sphere is your all-purpose minion-summoning sphere. The basic sphere lets you summon an entity known as a companion, whose base stats are determined via a (base) sphere talent, while (form) talents apply further persistent benefits to the companion. Instead of outright summoning entries from the Monster Manual, every (base) talent has a default stat block with several features (usually AC, HP, and proficiency bonus) that increase or are gained based on the spherecaster’s level. Companions by default are limited in that they cannot perform non-Dodge actions unless the summoner spends their bonus action, and only one companion can be summoned at a time.

Although there’s a diversity of creature types, some are typecast into certain roles. Giants are by far the best option for melee damage, while fiends start out imp-sized and don’t gain Multiattack or the ability to treat their natural attacks as magical via leveling up, which makes the type a heavier investment to turn into a martial brute. The (form) talents are quite versatile, and range from abilities such as increasing AC and HP, granting proficiency in skills, tools, and saving throws, the ability to Augment new sense types onto them upon their summoning, and even a few minor class features such as a low-level rage, flurry of blows, and sneak attack. Advanced Talents include options such as outright summoning extraplanar Monster Manual entries in the vein of Planar Binding and the removal of the bonus action and one companion at a time restrictions, making the sphere closer in line with typical summoning.

Combos: The Evolved Companion talent is explicitly meant to apply Alteration sphere (trait) talents to the companion. Spells and abilities which can activate via trigger such as the Physical Magic boon or the Universal sphere’s Contingency advanced talent can have a companion activate them via their own actions. The Magical Companion (form) talent grants the companion a casting tradition, which means they can have their own pool of Spell Points to apply magical effects beyond the summoner’s own reserves. Companions can be dismissed on the caster’s turn without an action, allowing for less-risky scouting and setting up of ambush traps.

Existing Comparisons: The various summoning spells such as Conjure Celestial are the closest approximations, although the companion stat blocks have a lot in common with “pet creature” class features such as Tasha’s revised Beastmaster and the Circle of Wildfire’s Wildfire spirit. The summoning default sphere effect is also concentration and has the same duration as most Conjure X Creature spells, although the casting time is far longer at 10 minutes, requiring Augmentation to cast as an action. On its own, the Conjuration sphere is less versatile and powerful than traditional 5e summoning, although like Alteration it has a lower floor of entry and a wider variety of choices in thematic types. You can still replicate shenanigans such as the Pixie dance crew or Planar Binding efreeti via the Advanced Talents, and it’s still a useful sphere given it adds a creature to aid the party.

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The Creation Sphere summons objects like how Conjuration summons creatures. The default sphere abilities allow the caster to Alter touched material via healing or dealing HP damage, while Create can conjure simple objects out of vegetable matter whose size increases with level and whose materials and complexity can be expanded via the right choice of talents. (alter) talent allows the caster to reshape material to greater degrees, such as changing its physical composition to reforging material via crude changes. The majority of talents fall into the (other) category, including catapulting ranged materials to be flung at enemies via a ranged attack (resisted by DEX save rather than an attack roll, perfect for frail and clumsy casters), creating non-harmful objects that can be placed directly on a creature to Restrain them, and making materials out of translucent magical force that can block incorporeal travel. The Advanced Talents include options which can outright disintegrate cubic blocks of material and bypassing their HP, reshaping living creatures by altering the number of limbs and restoring/removing natural senses, and creating food and water...which costs a Spell Point by itself, so no ending world hunger this way.

There’s even a table for the hit points and damage threshold of objects by size and material, along with the amount of damage dealt by falling objects based on size (or weapon type if a weapon), which is rather handy.

Combos: The Alchemical Creation talent is useful for people with the Alchemy sphere from Spheres of Might, particularly when creating items they possess as formula/poison talents given that they can use these to greater effect. Talents which can make objects harder to identify as fakes or be made permanent via Exquisite Detail and Permanent Change (an Advanced Talent) can be a good way for PCs to make some quick cash provided they don’t mind the consequences of being exposed as hucksters. Transparency plus Object of Force talents can be useful for providing protection to characters with a gaze-based attack, while using Forge to hollow out a tunnel and using Altered Burst on the roof to make a weaker material can be a good quickly-made pit trap. Spears are an effective weapon to create via the Catapult talent, as they don’t have to be made of iron unlike some other popular weapon and polearm choices.

Existing Comparisons: Spells which immediately come to mind for this are Creation, Shatter, Stone Shape, and Fabricate. Damaging object creation spells such as Conjure Volley and Steel Wind Strike are better replicated via the Destruction sphere given their main purpose is to harm rather than creation in and of itself.

The Creation sphere has several advantages over the 5e spells. For one, the sphere effects are cast as an action by default rather than several minutes like Fabricate or Creation. Secondly the size of the affected objects can be increased both by level and via Augmentation, whereas Fabricate can only affect up to Large objects and Creation requires high-level spell slots to affect a similar number of cubic feet. Stone Shape is closest to the Forge talent combined with Expanded Materials to affect stone, but costs a 4th-level slot while the sphere equivalent would be 2 Spell Points. Create Food and Water affects 3 times as many people as the Sustenance sphere talent, but the former is a 3rd level slot while the latter is 1 Spell Point, so they’re about the same. In fact, Sustenance has a longer casting time unless Augmented but has a lower barrier to entry (1st level).

While Spell Points are still a limiting factor, given how the core casters only have a couple of 5+ level spell slots to use at a time at all but the highest levels and spherecasters have many ways to boost their Spell Points, a pure mage spherecaster can perform object creation magic faster, at earlier levels, and more often should they so desire.

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The Dark Sphere specializes in the creation and manipulation of darkness. The default sphere ability allows one to create a 15 foot radius of darkness which nonmagical light cannot illuminate, and (darkness) talents can further enhance and alter this ability. The other default ability allows one to apply a (meld) onto a target which is typically a buff, and we have the ability to grant Darkvision 60 feet or +30 feet to it as an existing sense by default. Most (darkness) talents involve imposing various debuffs on those who are within the sphere, such as disadvantage on saving throws, wandering in a random (or controlled by the caster if Augmented) direction, dealing necrotic damage equal to the creature’s Hit Dice, and squares counting as difficult terrain. There are two more beneficial talents, such as Shadow Tag which allows one to know the direction and status of those who pass through the darkness and Tenebrous Legerdemain which allows one to move and steal objects from a distance within the darkness. The (meld) talents include things such as creating a band of blinding darkness around a creature’s head, granting one immunity to negative effects from (darkness) effects, and pulling a target’s shadow off of them to turn into a noncombatant scout. There’s a few nifty (other) talents perfect for roguish types, such as stashing items in an extradimensional shadow space, being treated as covered by lead vs divination, and creating holes of darkness on objects to pass through them. The Advanced Talents include things such as turning incorporeal within one’s own area of darkness, traveling overland via the Plane of Shadow, and turning a Shadow Lurk into a more fully-formed creature that can attack and deliver spells as though it were the caster.

Combos: Characters with darkvision can gain an advantage on adversaries without it via the basic darkness sphere effect if my below interpretation is correct. The Disorienting Darkness talent forcing creatures to move in an unwanted direction is great for directing enemies into waiting combatants and hostile terrain. Darkness talents which impose disadvantage on saving throws or restrain the target’s movement are good for letting allies set up more effective AoE attacks. Obscure Passage’s shadowy holes can be used to create pit traps if the caster knows what’s directly underneath the floor and for creating murder holes for ranged attackers benefitting from Clearsight. One with the Void (turning incorporeal) will be of limited use unless combined with Clinging Darkness to allow the darkness effect to move with an object or creature.

Existing Comparisons: The most immediate spell that comes to mind is the core Darkness spell. The text is a bit unclear as to how similar the default sphere ability is, specifically whether or not those with darkvision can see through it. Apparently those with that sense type can, for there’s a talent called Pure Darkness that reduces Darkvision to 5 feet and reduces the range of all other sense types by half in the radius. This implies that the default darkness can be seen through with that sense type. The radius is also half size unless Augmented via the Greater Darkness talent. The Darkvision meld talent is similar to the spell of the same name, although it can be cast at will but has a longer casting time unless Augmented and a shorter duration. The various debuffs don’t have many equivalent effects, at least in regards to requiring or playing off of shadow magic themes. Most of them aren’t augmented meaning that they can be used at will but require affected creatures to be within a relatively small AoE. The turning incorporeal is similar to the Etherealness spell, albeit it has a lower minimum level requirement and stricter conditions. As both it and the basic darkness sphere effects are concentration, the latter has to be Augmented, making it rather pricey over time in terms of Spell Point cost.

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The Death Sphere is the other major minion-summoning sphere. Its default sphere abilities include a debuffing ranged attack known as Ghost Strike which has a base ability to increase a target’s exhaustion level, while Reanimate turns the remains of an appropriate creature type into an undead under the caster’s mental thrall. Like Conjuration there are (undead) talents which determine the undead’s base stat block, while (reanimate) talents allow for the addition of persistent enhancements onto such undead creatures. (ghost strike) talents are different in that they grant new forms of debuffing actions, such as imposing curses on a target, making them vulnerable to slashing/piercing/bludgeoning damage,* short-duration paralysis, and necrotic damage that grants the caster temporary hit points. (reanimate) talents are persistent benefits, many of which have to be Augmented to apply, and include things such as granting natural attacks or higher damage die on existing attacks, the ability to impose the Frightened condition on a failed Wisdom save, applying the Troop template to an (undead) stat block if cast within a mass grave or similar area, granting proficiencies in weapons/armor/skills/etc, and applying (trait) and (genotype) talents from the Alteration sphere. The various (undead) talent stat blocks include iconic creatures such as Ghouls, Shadows, and Skeletons, who tend to have variable Hit Points based on the reanimated target, their AC is equal to the caster’s sphere DC, and have their own means of being reanimated. For example, Zombies require a corpse, Will-O-Wisps a dying 0 HP target (or who died within 3 rounds of the Reanimate casting), and specters and poltergeists objects of the deceased.

*or downgrading immunity to resistant to “normal”

Interestingly the various condition immunities and special abilities typical to undead aren’t universal on all stat blocks; even Poltergeists and Shadows don’t start out Incorporeal by default, and (reanimate) talents are meant to fill in the gaps. Advanced Talents include the ability to project one’s spirit to the Ethereal and Astral Planes, able to reanimate more powerful types of undead such as mummies and vampire spawn, and allowing reanimated creatures to gain partial access to any spells or martial spheres they had in life.

There is one talent I do have to call out: Trained allows creatures with class levels to retain all nonmagical features from those levels. As NPCs are not built with class levels by default, and one cannot use the Death sphere to reanimate someone with a Challenge Rating greater than 1/4th the caster’s level, this is useless as-is. You can’t use it to reanimate your fellow PCs into undead unless they’re wildly underleveled, and NPCs who do have some class features such as Sneak Attack aren’t really built in the same fashion as PCs and so are highly subject to GM Fiat.

Combos: Ghost Strike is good for setting up targets for debilitating attacks, and Vulnerability is great given how common physical attacks are for characters and undead minions. Abilities that can buff characters are useful for undead, as mentioned under Alteration and Conjuration.

Existing Comparisons: In comparison to the Conjuration sphere, Reanimate has a faster default casting time but a shorter duration. Additionally undead reduced to 0 hit points cannot be reanimated again, unlike summoned creatures who cannot be summoned again until the caster finishes a long rest. Finally, the Death sphere by default allows the simultaneous maintenance of multiple undead, up to one’s proficiency bonus. Undead still require a bonus action to take non-Dodge actions, although they can still defend themselves from hostile creatures if not commanded and the bonus action enhances all undead. This makes Death a better hordemaster style sphere than Conjuration.

As for the official rules, one cannot help but look at the Animate Dead, Create Undead, Summon Undead, and Danse Macabre spells. Generally speaking such spells have longer durations, although the instantaneous ones get out of the caster’s control if not cast again in 24 hours. Summon Undead is closer in line with the Death sphere in that it has a default template and variable AC and HP, although it has a limited number of special abilities whereas the Death sphere has a larger amount of customization via (reanimate) talents. Additionally, the official spells require undead minions to remain close by to be animated/under the caster’s control, whereas the Death sphere has no maximum range. In fact, there is a talent which lets the caster perceive senses through their undead minions, and talents which grant them incorporeal movement are Basic to take* which makes the Death sphere great for scouting purposes. Additionally, the four official spells don’t have options for incorporeal undead, while Spheres does via talents. While the sample stat blocks for the higher-power undead may not be equal to their Monster Manual counterparts, they do allow for a PC to have their own coterie of vampire spawn should they so desire.

*Other means of becoming or granting incorporeality in Spheres of Power require either an Advanced talent or 15th level minimum for the Alteration sphere.

Troops: This new rule is meant to simulate masses of otherwise-identical creatures attacking as an organized force. It’s a simple template added onto a creature, where the damage of their non-magical weapon attacks increase by two sizes (d4 to d6, d6 to d10, etc) and doubles the number of dice rolled. The latter effect applies for as long as the troop’s HP value is 51% to 100% of its maximum value. In Spheres of Power, the Troop template is applied to Conjuration companions via an Advanced Talent or a basic talent for Death’s undead minions. In the latter case the caster can only maintain a single Troop and no other undead at a time.

As you can tell, the Troop template is a great way to buff up the damage value of a minion stat block’s attacks. But it doesn’t make them hardier or more resistant to damage.

Thoughts So Far: The first couple of Spheres have a wide assortment of neat features, with an emphasis on lower barriers of entry and Augmented effects being more the exception than the norm. They tend to not be as powerful as the official spells by default, but Augmentations can help bridge the gap. Given how shapeshifting and summoning spells in traditional D&D tend to be overpowered given that they out and out add monsters of wildly varying balance to the PCs’ sides, creating default templates which are improved via level and talents is a good compromise.

I felt a bit iffy on the Dark sphere. While granting darkvision can be useful in a party of humans, the commonality of that sense type on both sides of the GM screen means that getting the more interesting abilities is a bit of a talent tax. Creation suffers a similar fate in that it requires a talent to be able to create materials besides non-living vegetable matter unless one dips for a restrictive Variant. And Death seems a bit powerful, especially when paired up besides Conjuration; even if the latter sphere makes it easier to summon minions, the types of places most adventurers go to have no shortage of the dead and the dying. But overall, all five spheres have various useful abilities for a variety of caster concepts.

Join us next time as we stat up Shantae and cover the next five spheres!
 

Libertad

Hero
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Shantae
Medium Humanoid (Air Genasi)
Mageknight 8; Shapeshifter Path


Armor Class 16
Hit Points 68 (8d10+16)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 9 DEX 16 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 16 (27 point buy, +2 DEX, +1 CON Air Genasi, +1 CHA feat)

Saving Throws Dexterity +6, Charisma +6
Skills Acrobatics +6, Athletics +6, Perception +3, Performance +9
Tools Disguise Kit, Drums, +1 Artisan’s Tools/Musical Instrument
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Primordial


Background: Entertainer

Feats: Extra Magic Talent (+1 CHA, bonus magic talent), Magical Expertise (2 bonus magic talents)

Casting Tradition: Dancing
Key Ability Modifier:
Charisma
Sphere DC 14; Spell Points 7
Boons: Aptitude (Performance), Easy Focus; Drawbacks: Magical Signs, Skilled Casting (Performance), Somatic Casting 2, Variants: Lycanthropic (Alteration)
Alteration Sphere - Animalistic (genotype), Anthropomorphic (genotype), Aquan (genotype), Avian (genotype), Enhanced Attacks (trait), Plant (genotype), Size Change (trait), Vermin (genotype) (+3 bonus talents from subclass & variant)
Destruction Sphere - Aura (blast shape), Extra Blast Type (Bludgeoning, Lightning, Physical), Fire (blast type), Poison (blast type), Ray (blast shape), Sculpt (blast shape) (+4 bonus talents from feats & Alteration sphere)

Martial Tradition: Performer
Sphere DC
14
Athletics - Mighty Conditioning (use better of STR or DEX for Athletics/Acrobatics)
Dual Wielding
Equipment
- Unarmored Training, Unarmed Training (unarmed are finesse weapons, deal 1d4 or 1d6 with versatile property; AC is 10 + DEX + CHA modifiers when unarmored and not using shield)



Special Abilities

Ambidexterity (Dual-Wielding):
Expend martial focus to make off-hand attack without expending bonus action.

Destructive Blast (Aura): action to activate, bonus action to use. 10 foot radius, 1 round, Dexterity or Constitution Saving Throw. Hit: 9 (2d8) bludgeoning, fire, lightning, piercing, poison, or slashing damage. Rider Effects: knock target back 5 feet (bludgeoning), target poisoned until start of next turn (poison), advantage/disadvantage for attacks/saves vs metal-armored targets (lightning), catches on fire taking 2d8 fire damage per round (fire), or is not treated as magical for purposes of resistance (physical). Special: Augment 1 SP to increase to 4d8 damage, increase rider effect to push target back 20 feet (bludgeoning, taking 1d6 +1d6 for every 10 feet they’d move if colliding with object), becomes frightened for 1 minute (fire), stun until start of next turn on failed save (lightning), poisoned for 1 minute (poison), affected squares become difficult terrain for 1 minute (physical), duration increases to 1 minute, or Augment 2 sp to not need concentration.

Extra Attack: Attack twice instead of once with Attack action.

Fighting Style: Natural Weapon Fighting: Crit on 19-20 when attacking only with natural weapons.

Shapeshifter Path: +2 Alteration sphere talents.

Steal Language: Can speak and understand one language of a touched creature until the next long rest.

Unending Breath: hold breath indefinitely.


Actions

Extra Attack:
Shantae can attack twice when using the Attack action with any combination of weapons.

Destructive Blast (Ray): Melee or Ranged Spell Attack: +6 to hit, 30 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d8) bludgeoning, fire, lightning, piercing, poison, or slashing damage. Rider Effects: knock target back 5 feet (bludgeoning), target poisoned until start of next turn (poison), advantage/disadvantage for attacks/saves vs metal-armored targets (lightning), catches on fire taking 2d8 fire damage per round (fire), or is not treated as magical for purposes of resistance (physical). Special: Augment 1 SP to increase to 4d8 damage, increase rider effect to push target back 20 feet (bludgeoning, taking 1d6 +1d6 for every 10 feet they’d move if colliding with object), becomes frightened for 1 minute (fire), stun until start of next turn on failed save (lightning), poisoned for 1 minute (poison), affected squares become difficult terrain for 1 minute (physical), duration increases to 1 minute, or fire 3 at a time vs different targets.

Unarmed Strike: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 or 7 (1d4+4 or 1d6+4 bludgeoning damage). Special: Critical on 19-20, +/- 1d4 or 1d6 for size category changes by 1-2 sizes. Depending on her form Shantae’s damage type, reach, and other properties can differ.

Mingle with the Wind: Cast Levitate once per long rest.



Bonus Actions

Shapeshift:
can gain access to a single genotype talent for up to 10 minutes concentration with up to 2 traits beyond base talent benefits. Special: Augment 1 SP to change up to 2 size categories larger or smaller, 2 SP to not need concentration.

Quick Transformation: Can shapeshift self as a bonus action.

Spell Combat: Can make one weapon attack as bonus action whenever cast 0 spell point magic sphere effect as an action.


Equipment

5 Potions of Healing, Pulled Pork Sandwich (as Potion of Greater Healing), Shampoo, Entertainer’s Pack

Conversion Details: I picked Shantae because her form of magic is rather peculiar: changing into various animals and monsters via the power of dance! She seemed a great choice for showing off the Spheres system’s toolbox nature given the disparate magical types (bardic for dancing, druidic for shapeshifting).

Shantae has a lot of options at her disposal, mostly in the form of shapeshifting. I didn’t include all of them in the above stat block as that would make things too complicated, but with the above talents she can reliably take the forms and abilities of all of the creatures from the game series. She can also mix and match certain traits from different genotypes, something she cannot do in the games. As just a sampling of her abilities, Shantae can…

1. Gain alternative movement speeds, such as climbing, swimming, flight, and increased land speed.
2. Grow as large as an elephant (huge) or as small as a mouse (tiny) and deal greater/lesser damage with weapon attacks as a result.
3. Gain darkvision, blindsight, and/or scent.
4. Gain hands capable of fine manipulation and speak normally in any form.
5. Deal piercing or slashing as well as bludgeoning with natural weapons, all of which are treated as magical.
6. Create a web net to entangle targets.

I gave her the Destruction sphere as well to simulate the fire magic and pike ball spells from the video games, and her hair attack is basically a reflavored unarmed strike. I did have to borrow some rules from Spheres of Might, although for the appropriate martial spheres I included the effects in parenthesis.

Finally, I’ll note that this isn’t a holistic conversion. In the second game she lost access to her magic and made heavier use of gear; such a conversion would effectively be a new write-up. I also didn’t include the more obscure transformations, such as the Sophia III or Gem Jug forms given their optional nature.

If one were to try and build Shantae in default 5th Edition, they’d likely try for a Moon Druid or a Bard using Polymorph. While the former is a pretty powerful subclass, both options are still limited by uses per long rest, and if you wanted to change into another form you’d have to go back to normal and wildshape/polymorph again, costing precious uses. Shantae, on the other hand, can shapeshift as often as she desires. The only real limited-use features are using Spell Points to maintain forms and Aura blasts without concentration, or if she wants to deal a lot of damage with Destructive Blast. For that reason she doesn’t really need Spell Points unless she has to guarantee she won’t lose her shapeshifted status when taking damage.

Edit: I realized that the bonus sphere in Destruction wasn't assigned to Alteration. I also realized that Shantae also has a magic attack (Flamethrower) that's a straight line, as well as a lightning-based attack (Storm Puff) in the games. I upped her level by 1 in order to give her an extra feat for 2 more magic talents: Extra Blast Type and Sculpt, both in Destruction. Neither Alteration sphere blast type seemed appropriate for her, but I chose Poison as the Form-Breaking one seemed a bit too "body horror" for the otherwise cheerful franchise.
 
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Libertad

Hero
Chapter 4: Spheres, Part 2

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The Destruction Sphere is a broad overview of the myriad kinds of damage-dealing magic. The basic sphere ability is a Destructive Blast, which is akin to those damaging cantrip spells in default 5th Edition but can be Augmented to deal a lot more damage based on level. The two major talent types are (blast shape), which determines the damage type of the Destructive Blast as well as a “rider effect” which is a secondary condition imposed on a target, and (blast shape) which determines how your Destructive Blast manifests, such as a ray, sphere, line, or cone.

Destruction is a pretty unique sphere in that it’s built to grant you lots of bonus talents if you go for a jack-of-all-trades caster type: upon gaining access to this sphere you select one (blast type) and (blast shape) talent each of the caster’s choice, and for every other sphere you gain access to you gain a bonus (blast type) talent in line with that sphere’s themes. Additionally, blast types related to the Nature or Weather spheres have 0 Spell Point Augmentations called Draw on Nature where the caster manipulates existing terrain and weather to form the Destructive Blast. This means that the spell is considered nonmagical for the purposes of bypassing magic-related resistances and immunities.

There’s a lot of (blast type) talents, and they all have interesting rider effects, some of which can be Augmented for greater and longer-lasting effects. For example, the Degrading talent (Enhancement sphere) treats future attacks vs the damaged target that turn to be treated as magical (and temporarily lose any HP regeneration abilities if Augmented), while Teleporting (Warp sphere) can forcefully teleport the target 5 feet in a direction of the caster’s choice (20 feet if Augmented) provided that they end up on a non-damaging solid surface capable of supporting their weight. The (blast shape) talents are fewer but also diverse, ranging from the typical single-target Ray (multi-target different creatures if Augmented), the counterattack Retribution activated as a reaction, and the concentration-buff Blade which places the damage type and rider effect (but not damage die) onto a nonmagical weapon or natural attack. Advanced Talents include things such as Cloud which turns the Destructive Blast into a long-lasting obscuring cloud, or Disintegrate which deals additional damage equal to the spherecaster’s level and reduces KO’d targets to fine dust.

Combos: Talents which can control and restrain enemy movement such as Confining, Ice, and Teleporting are good options for battlefield control. Applying energy types onto physical weapons via Blade is a good means of getting around energy resistances and immunities for the physical attackers in one’s party. Some (blast type) talents impose disadvantage on saves vs magical sphere effects of other Spheres, an ideal set-up for a follow-up spell attack. The Aura or Retribution (blast shape) talent plus the Bramble, Ice, or Restraining (blast type) talents are a good means of shutting down enemy movement that passes near the caster or who attacks them respectively. The Explosive Orb (blast shape) talent is intentionally designed to intersect with the Alchemy and Trap spheres from Spheres of Might, and the Equipment sphere’s Sling Combatant can work with it as well.

Existing Comparisons: Damaging spells such as Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Cone of Cold, and Chain Lightning come to mind when thinking of Destruction. What makes the Destruction sphere different is that barring Disintegrate and the unaugmented Scorching talents, virtually none of the options simply deal straight damage. The basic Destructive Blast is on par with cantrips from the official sourcebooks, although the Blaster Adept talent can allow the spherecaster to apply their Key Ability Modifier to the damage which can give a better average result. The Augmented version increases the damage to 1d8 + 1d8 per 2 levels of the spherecaster, allowing for a maximum 11d8 window.

I decided to look at some popular damaging spells and input the maximum possible value for their damage dice based on 9th level spell slots if applicable. Fireball, Lightning Bolt, and Melf’s Acid Arrow all have roughly similar average damage values of 45 to 50 in comparison to Destructive Blast, although Cone of Cold inches out a slightly higher result due to a maximum 12d8. Ice Storm, Flame Strike, and Sunburst all have lower averages given either a lack of higher spell slot options or having a lower ceiling of average damage. The two major damaging spells that win out over the Destruction sphere are Disintegrate and Meteor Swarm, although those have some very hefty spell slots so they can’t be used more than once per long rest in most gaming groups.

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The Divination Sphere is all about knowing the unknowable and enhancing one’s senses. Its talents are split between (divine), which allows the caster to detect certain creatures, objects, and phenomena based upon the appropriate talent, and (sense) which enhances the caster’s perception and senses in some meaningful way. The caster gains one (divine) and one (sense) talent each of their choice upon first gaining this sphere, and much like Destruction a bonus (divine) talent is granted for every other sphere that the caster knows.

Divining normally takes 10 minutes and can persist as Concentration for an equally long time, but can be Augmented to be cast as an action. This process can be sped up via the Fast Divinations talent, which reduces the unaugmented time down to 1 minute and also allows the caster to “swap out” different (divine) talents without ending the duration and requiring a new casting. Sense is much faster to cast and longer-lasting. There’s a special type of Augmentation known as Recall Lore for (divine) talents which allow detection of certain creature types. If the caster succeeds on an appropriate Intelligence skill check they learn what type of creature the divined subject is, and there’s an (other) talent known as Invasive Divinations which can grant knowledge of their immunities, resistances, and vulnerabilities via this successful check.

The (divine) talents include various kinds of detection, from certain monster types, performing psychometry on objects to discern their history, extraplanar portals and influence, a creature’s thoughts, sustained injuries, diseases, and similar afflictions, Augury which more or less works as the original spell, and Foresight which is similar to the Guidance cantrip and Bless spell but can be granted as a reaction to an ally (but only once per casting unless the talent is taken multiple times). The (sense) talents are broader and include things such as Blindsight, being able to understand spoken and written languages, advantage on initiative checks and don’t grant enemies advantage on attacks when caught unaware, +5 on passive Perception checks vs traps and hazards, and the ability to see invisible and ethereal creatures normally via a successful Perception check made with advantage. Advanced Talents include options such as scrying and true seeing (functions similar to the original spells), x-ray vision, and the ability to find any one object or creature regardless of distance or planar boundaries.

Combos: The Blindfolded Oracle, Scent, and Tremorsense (sense) talents can be a good combination when used in conjunction with Dark and Illusion spheres to allow the buffed ally to ignore the magic’s visual obscurations. Sniper’s Eye is a great option for ranged combatants, while spells which can disintegrate and make holes in substances that block divinations can be a good means of extending one’s (divine) talents beyond such defenses. Discern Individual explicitly calls out the Scout sphere in Spheres of Might, while a caster possessing that sphere and the Detect Information talent of the Divination sphere can reroll a failed Scout check if using the Investigation skill.


Existing Comparisons: More than the other spheres covered so far, there’s a lot of talents which map very closely onto existing spells. The Divination sphere’s Divine ability is slightly better than the low-level Detect X spells in that it has a 120 foot range unaugmented rather than 30 feet, but a longer default casting time. Additionally, sphere equivalents to things such as Scrying and True Seeing do not have expensive material components required to cast. Although the original True Seeing isn’t a Concentration spell, while the original Scrying is a bit worse in that the Spheres version doesn’t require secondhand knowledge of the target (+10 save modifier but requires something like a likeness or possession) and can scry on other planes of existence (+5 save modifier). But what the original Scrying has as its advantage is that the Spheres version cannot be used again on a target who succeeded on the save for 24 hours.

Generally speaking, the advantage of Divination Sphere talents is that such effects can be cast more often and generally cheaper than in the Vancian system, albeit typically with a longer casting time unless Augmented.

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The Enhancement Sphere is all about buffing and debuffing. Talents are split into (degrade) and (enhance) tags, which should be self-explanatory. A lot of talents also allow for both options when taken. Talents range from animating objects as commanded minions, bestowing intelligence on a tree or object, degrading weapon attacks to roll the minimum value on damage dice and rendering them incapable of critical hits, granting a weapon/armor/clothes a magical bonus of +1 to +3 dependent on level, granting disadvantage/advantage on STR/DEX/CON or INT/WIS/CHA ability checks, or causing a creature to become blind, deaf, or lose access to a special sense type. Advanced Talents include such options as Augmenting buffs and debuffs to a 30 foot AoE that lasts for 1 week and Reversing Gravity within an area.

Combos: As this entire sphere weakens and strengthens various abilities, the potential combinations are endless. But for just a few ideas, Enhance Poison goes well with (poison) talents from the Alchemy sphere in Spheres of Might, while Mental/Physical Enhancement goes well with characters whose features involve opposed ability checks such as grapplers.

Existing Comparisons: Enhance Ability is the most obvious comparison for Mental & Physical Enhancement talents, as is Elemental Weapon for the Energy Weapon talent, Longstrider for the Speed Control talent, and Blindness/Deafness for the Steal Ability talent. Some of the more iconic buffs such as Bless, Enlarge/Reduce, and Haste are technically covered by other spheres in this chapter. Barring Blindness/Deafness, the core spells have longer durations but have ranges of touch. Additionally, Elemental Weapon has a higher ceiling on bonus damage and also grants a bonus to attack rolls, while Energy Weapon has a simple 1d6 but also grants necrotic and radiant as additional damage types. Enhance Ability is more limited in that it applies advantage to one type of ability check rather than Sphere’s 3, but in the case of the physical options grant one additional minor benefit and can also multi-target via higher level slots. Enhance/Degrade abilities can also be multi-target, but requires the Mass talent from the Universal sphere. Longstrider can multi-target but only has a maximum +10 speed, while Speed Control can be up to +25 feet at 17th level.

Generally speaking, Enhancement sphere talents typically have dual-purpose debuff/buff options barring the imposed Variants and 30 foot range, but have a shorter duration and are single-target unless Augmented with Universal sphere talents. Granted, higher-level slots are technically Augmentations so this last part is neither a point in favor or against either system.

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The Fate Sphere is strange in that it while it has a specific divine/cosmic theme, the talents proper range the gamut of options and tend to be more suitable for certain party arrangements and character roles than being either broadly useful or more focused. There are three different talent tags: (consecration) infuses a small radius with magic centered on a target and moves with them that can enhance, harm, and ward off creatures in various ways; (motif) talents are named after Tarot cards which can represent some cosmic entity in the setting, granting a persistent buff onto a target and a greater yet shorter-duration buff when the motif is dismissed; and (word) talents are instantaneous abilities the caster creates by drawing upon cosmic words of power.

The (consecration) talents include options such as allowing affected targets to deal 1d4 extra radiant damage, imposing a random negative condition on creatures of opposed alignment, granting advantage on Wisdom and death saving throws, a one-time 1d4 bonus to an attack or saving throw per person within the aura, and magical silence that also grants resistance to thunder damage (immunity if Augmented). The (motif) talents include options such as being able to assess the Challenge Rating of a target they can see and a dismissal that grants +2 to attack rolls and AC vs such scanned enemies, the ability to spend a temporary inspiration point and a dismissal to add their Proficiency bonus to a d20 roll (doesn’t stack with similar double-proficiency granting abilities), and can’t be surprised or give advantage to enemies the target can’t see and the dismissal causes adjacent invisible enemies to become visible. The (word) talents include abilities which can grant advantage on the next d20 roll, exorcise a possessed creature, can magically open or close a portal, lock, or the eyes and mouths of a creature, and forcing a creature to roll a Charisma save whenever they’d damage a creature/object or else damage themselves instead. Advanced Talents include the ability to restore a target’s original alignment if changed by external forces, cause (word) talents which are curses to become permanent until dispelled, and the ability to allow allies within 30 feet of a target affected by a (motif) talent to benefit from that motif.

Combos: Serendipity’s d4 bonus can stack with Divination’s Foresight and Mind’s inspiration for some pretty hefty bonuses. The Empress and the Fool motif talents applied on the same target can turn the latter’s disadvantage on saving throws into advantage and a +5 bonus to boot, with Enhancement’s Staunch Resistance granting proficiency in an unproficient saving throw. Previously-explained battlefield control options in Destruction (and the Creation sphere’s Restrictive Creation and Fate’s Bondage talent) combined with (consecration) talents can force enemies to remain within the AoE and suffer penalties. The Lovers (motif) talent combined with abilities that can create/summon multiple allies is a great way to boost saving throws quickly. The Soothe (word) talent and an Augmented Purity (Consecration) talent are designed to aid abilities which can heal.

Existing Comparisons: A few of the Fate sphere talents correspond to the alignment-based and “holy” spells in default 5th Edition, although a large amount don’t have any immediate corresponding spells. There’s quite a number of talents that allow advantage on a variety of rolls or play around with dice results such as Bless (word) and the World (motif) talents. The Hallow talent is the same as the core spell’s fiend/fey/etc repellant albeit shorter in duration and casting time. The Reveal Alignment talent may seem similar to Detect Good & Evil, but one thing it doesn’t have is that it reveals the alignment of all creatures within the area of consecration, extraplanar or no, something which cannot be done in basic 5th Edition. The Silence talent is the same as the core spell save that thunder damage isn’t negated, merely halved, unless the spell is Augmented. The Mark (word) talent is close to Hex and Hunter’s Mark in that it grants the caster bonus damage vs the affected target, and two sample abilities are even called out as functioning as such spells for the purposes of other features.

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The Illusion Sphere is another broad sphere, focusing on the creation of false realities. Like any such school of magic in D&D, it has a semi-lengthy discussion on cases in regards to using illusion for cover, at what point people can reasonably disbelieve illusions, and non-deception uses for the sphere. The two basic sphere abilities include Figment which creates an illusory vision within a 10 to 50 foot cube depending on level and Augmentation, and Glamer which is a personal illusion applied to a creature or object. Talents are divided between (glamer) which affects the latter, (sensory) which expands non-visual senses and removes or alters an illusion’s magical aura, and (other) which covers everything else. There are a mere two (sensory) talents which cover the non-visual senses and altering magic auras, and possession of either of them grants new Augmentation options to other Illusion talents. The (glamer) talents include creating decoy copies, creating an illusionary disguise, and one which covers a lot of abilities: blurring oneself to impose disadvantage and obscurement vs incoming attacks, invisibility, advantage on auditory-based Stealth checks, and evading special sense types. (other) talents are a diverse bunch such as creating multiple independent illusions within the figment cube, taking control of an existing illusion, creating illusionary obstructions that can remove the sense of hearing/touch/smell/etc to impose various debuffs on targets within, and the ability to choose a limited number of targets to automatically disbelieve your illusions. The Advanced Talents include granting an illusion intelligence to interact with the environment, making illusions permanent until dispelled, and changing psychic damage dealt via offensive illusion options to deal other damage types.

Finally, there is an optional variant list of (figment) talents which impose specific hard-coded rules as opposed to open-ended magical abilities common to illusion magic. This is intended to save gaming groups headaches from unclear interpretations. The 4 figment talents can grant disadvantage on enemy attacks, cause targets within the area to be heavily obscured, turn the ground into difficult terrain, and impose disadvantage on Perception checks.

Combos: One’s imagination is the limit in regards to compatibility with other talents, spells, and class features. Selective Illusions plus the creation of visual illusions allows attackers to attack from behind cover and surprise targets, while Veiled Illusions with an altered magical aura combined with an illusory monster can be a good way to get enemy casters to cast and prepare for the wrong types of attacks and spells.

Existing Comparisons: Blur, Disguise Self, Invisibility, Mirror Image, and the various “create illusion” spells are the most direct inspirations for this sphere. The Illusionary Disguise talent is functionally identical to Disguise Self save that it’s concentration and lasts a shorter duration. However as it requires a Spell Point to cast even unaugmented it loses out by default, although the Greater Illusions talent can grant it tactile components which Disguise Self cannot do. The Obscure talent’s ability to impose invisibility is like the spell of the same name, save that the default Obscure is 60 foot range instead of touch and has a shorter duration. However, gaining the equivalent of Greater Invisibility is easier to do at lower levels given it costs a mere 2 Spell Points to Augment it to not end if the target attacks someone. And unlike Greater Invisibility it has a far longer default duration.

As for the various image/illusion creating abilities, the default Figment is pretty similar to Silent Image, with the various talents applied to it simulating higher-level spells. The total dimensions in cubic feet are similar (Programmed Illusion, the highest-level one, being 30 cubic feet) although the Illusion sphere can reach a greater maximum result especially if combined with the Universal sphere’s Widen metasphere talent. There’s even an Advanced Talent, Mirage, which can easily replicate the Mirage Arcana spell, and Permanent Illusion and Intelligent Illusions can do similar things for Simulacrum and Programmed Illusion (albeit Simulacrum is semi-real). As for Mirror Image, the Decoy talent functions identically save that it creates 1 duplicate by default but can create 3 more via Augmentation, 1 better than the core spell. As for Blur, the Obscure talent ends if the target casts a spell or sphere ability or attacks which is a point in Blur’s favor. But a point in Obscure’s favor is that one can Augment it to apply to enemies with non-visual special senses such as Blindsight.

Thoughts So Far: These spheres continue the tradition of granting moderately-useful at-will abilities with more talents and Augmentations to replicate the more powerful kinds of Vancian casting. I do like how Destruction does interesting things beyond just straight damage and is generous with bonus talents; as the caster can only really fire off one Destructive Blast a round, it is kind of a waste to have a bunch of different talents that merely alter the attack when so many other sphere talents grant more versatility and have longer-lasting durations. Divination is also good, although I find it a bit curious how more than a few talents directly copy existing spells with a few differences. Enhancement is a very strong sphere in that its various talents are useful for just about any character concept. Fate is one I’m having trouble judging, as so many of its talents are so different from each other that it’s hard to come up with an all-encompassing opinion. I do like the concept of the (motif) talents, with the Tarot names being but suggestions for the titles of significant cosmic figures in one’s personal setting. Illusion is much like the school of magic from the core rules in being very powerful based on player creativity, although I did appreciate the variant talents for groups intimidated by this.

Join us next time as we stat up Megaman and cover the next 5 spheres!
 
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Libertad

Hero
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Megaman X
Medium Warforged
Prodigy 10; Mimic’s Calling

Armor Class 19 (+2 Breastplate, +1 AC from Integrated Protection)
Hit Points 83 (10d8+30)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 10 DEX 16 CON 16 INT 16 WIS 10 CHA 10 (27 point buy, +2 CON, +1 INT Warforged, +1 INT feat, +2 DEX ASI)

Saving Throws Dexterity +7, Intelligence +7
Skills Acrobatics +11, Athletics +8, Insight +4, Intimidation +4, Investigation +7, Perception +4 (Specialized Design)
Tools 1 Gaming Set, Alchemist’s Supplies (Specialized Design), Smith’s Tools, Tinker’s Tools, Vehicles (Land), +1 tool proficiency of choice
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages Common, 1 other language

Background: Soldier

Feats: Extra Magic Talent (+1 INT, bonus magic talent)

Casting Tradition: Variable Weapon System
Key Ability Modifier:
Intelligence
Boons: Overcharge; Drawbacks: Focus Casting (firearm), Prepared Caster
Sphere DC; 15 Spell Points 8
Destruction - Aura (blast shape), Blade (blast shape), Chain Blast (blast shape), Explosive Orb (blast shape), Extra Blast Type x2 (Corrosive, Gale, Ice, Physical, Restraining, Scorching),
Lightning (blast type), Sculpt (blast shape), Siphoning (blast type) (+2 bonus talent from feat & Universal sphere)
Universal - Reaching (metasphere), Widen (metasphere)

Martial Tradition: Maverick Hunter
Key Ability Modifier:
Intelligence
Sphere DC 15
Athletics - Rapid Motion, Spider’s Touch (+1 bonus talent from being proficient in Acrobatics & Athletics)
Equipment - Armor Training, Futuristic Voyager (proficient in medium armor & shields, proficient in futuristic weaponry)
Barrage - Ceaseless Ammo (can make ranged weapon attack as bonus action, never run out of ammo if have at least 10 rounds)
Tinkerer - Futuristic Firearms, Ranged Weapon Improvement (+1 bonus talent from being proficient in Tinker’s Tools) (can create up to 6 accessories or gadgets per short or long rest, can create accessories to put on ranged weapons to enhance their capabilities)

Special Abilities

Constructed Resilience:
advantage on saves vs poison, resistance to poison damage, immune to disease, don’t need to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep.

Destructive Blast (Aura): action to activate, bonus action to use. 10 foot radius, 1 round, Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution Saving Throw. Hit: 9 (2d8) damage, variable type (acid, bludgeoning, cold, fire, lightning, piercing, psychic, slashing, thunder). Special: Augment 1 SP to increase to 29 (6d8) damage, increase rider effect, or Augment 2 sp to not need concentration.

Sequence: Max 4 links. Gain links by doing special actions in combat. Can spend links to perform Finishers.

Extra Attack: Attack twice instead of once with Attack action.

Expertise: Acrobatics, Athletics

Focused Sequence: expend martial focus to increase sequence by 1 link.

Destruction Rider Effects: grappled until end of next turn (restraining, STR save), doesn’t count as magic (physical, augment 1 SP difficult terrain for 1 minute in affected squares), gain 1 temporary spell point (siphoning), disadvantage on saves vs Air package Nature sphere and Weather sphere talents until end of next turn (gale, augment 1 SP 1 minute), reduce movement speed by 10 feet (ice, CON save, augment 1 SP encase in ice and restrain for prof bonus rounds or until make STR save), advantage on attack rolls vs metal targets and creatures can’t take reactions until end of next turn (lightning, augment 1 SP stun until start of your next turn on failed save), take additional damage equal to proficiency bonus (scorching, CON save, augment 1 SP gain 1 level of exhaustion on failed save until next short or long rest)

Imbue Sequence: Gain mystic energy tied to one magic sphere. Destructive Edge (Destruction, add class level to 1 damage roll, damage matching a chosen blast type)

Integrated Protection: +1 AC, can adhere armor to the body and cannot be removed against your will.

Integrated Techniques: Athletics (gain link if tumble through target’s space or dodge opportunity attack), Barrage (finisher, make one ranged attack per link in sequence targeting different creature each time)

Sentry’s Rest: can see and hear during long rest.

Unbroken Sequence: expend martial focus to prevent sequence from ending for 1 round if it would end due to Conditions.

Actions

Barrage Sequence Finisher:
Make one ranged attack per link in sequence, but no creature can be targeted by more than one attack. Can move as normal between attacks.

Destructive Blast: 60 feet, Ranged Spell Attack, +7 to hit or Dexterity save to avoid. Hit: 9 (2d8) damage, variable type (acid, bludgeoning, cold, fire, lightning, piercing, psychic, slashing, thunder). Augment 1 SP to increase to 29 (6d8) damage, increase rider effect, or Augment 2 sp to not need concentration.

Laser Pistol: Ranged Weapon Attack, +7 to hit, range 80/240. Accessories: Ranged Weapon Improvements (Far-Sight Scope, Pressurized Shot). Hit: 14 (3d6+3) radiant damage. Special: Pressurized shot can deal +1d10 damage, Destructive Edge adds +10 damage of a blast type of choice.

Pressurized Shot: Build up pressure in Laser Pistol, deal +1d10 damage next attack within 1 minute.

Bonus Actions

Barrage:
make additional attack with ranged weapon when attacking with weapon, don’t add ability modifier to damage of attack.

Focused Sequence: expend martial focus to cease concentration on a magic effect.

Rapid Motion: perform the Dash action.

Reactions

Mimicry:
make Key ability check + proficiency bonus (+7) vs sphere or spell DC of spell, cantrip, or martial/magical sphere effect. If successful, learn base sphere or talent, up to 3 at a time, until the next short or long rest. Spells cost spell points equal to half spell’s level to activate, cantrips 0.

Equipment

+2 Breastplate, Laser Pistol, Smith’s Tools, Tinker’s Tools

Conversion Details: Although Elementalist may seem a surefire choice for a run-and-gun build, the Mimic’s Calling of the Prodigy class was to me a more faithful conversion of the Blue Bomber. I created a custom casting and martial tradition reflecting Megaman’s futuristic setting, and specialized heavily in the Destruction sphere, with the Universal sphere choosing 2 metasphere talents to alter and enhance the size and range of the former sphere’s abilities. He’s also notable for being nimble, so for martial sphere talents I chose Athletics to simulate his speed dash and wall-climbing abilities. For his trademark X-Buster I gave him the Tinkerer sphere, allowing him to build and upgrade a laser pistol. The Destruction sphere’s Blade blast shape lets him apply the blast types and damage of his magical sphere effects to the weapon, and as his tradition uses it as a spellcasting focus that further reinforces the idea of him using it during the times he chooses to use other blast shapes. The Pressurized Shot upgrade for the Tinkerer sphere’s Ranged Weapon Improvement talent is a great choice for the iconic charged shot Megaman can do, and combined with the Destructive Edge Imbued Sequence and Extra Attacks he can dish out a lot of damage per round. Ironically he doesn’t have much need of the non-Blade (blast shape) talents if focusing mostly on damage; such talents are better for AoE affects.

Last but not least, the Mimicry ability allows Megaman to temporarily gain access to observed spells and sphere effects. This is a good way of further expanding any X-Buster abilities that may not be covered by the above talent choices. As he can maintain up to 3 at once, that’s a good number of choices to have on hand.

Building Megaman within the default 5th Edition rules would be much harder. It would most likely be accomplished via starting out as a Fighter and then multiclassing into Wizard, specializing in various damaging energy attacks. However, the crux of that build’s abilities would be tied up in spells as opposed to enhanced physical attacks, with not much room for physical mobility. And those attacks cannot have their entire damage type changed to the various energy choices, which don’t seem to exist anywhere in the default 5e rules. In Spheres, Megaman’s default laser pistol can do an awful lot of damage by itself, the Destruction sphere’s rider effects allow for a versatile assortment of negative effects to impose on enemies, and he has plenty of damage types to choose from for taking advantage of various vulnerabilities. Additionally, his casting tradition is such that he can use his magical abilities without the need for verbal, somatic, or material components beyond a firearm as a focus. All he has to do is point and shoot!
 
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Libertad

Hero
Chapter 4: Spheres, Part 3

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The Life Sphere covers the healing arts, from hit points to negative status effects and various maladies. Life is notable for having three default sphere abilities: Cure heals 1d8 to 4d8 + Key Ability Modifier hit points for 1 Spell Point, Invigorate gives a creature temporary hit points equal to the caster’s proficiency bonus, and Restore ends or suppresses the blinded/deafened/paralyzed/poisoned conditions or one disease for 1 Spell Point. The sphere has no special tags, and the various talents enhance these three abilities in some shape. Talents include expanding the number of curable Conditions for Restore, Adrenaline Surge allows a target effected by a Life sphere ability to perform a reaction from a list of six choices (move up to speed, make an attack, stand from prone, etc), transferring cured diseases and conditions onto a nearby target, automatically diagnosing any conditions affecting a living creature with a bonus action, healing a greater number of HP at once ([5 x level] + KAM), and reviving a target who has been dead for no longer than 1 round at the cost of increasing their exhaustion. The four Advanced Talents include regenerating lost limbs, the ability to simultaneously cure all conditions affecting a target with one Augmented casting, and two that can resurrect creatures from the dead with Greater Resurrection having less restrictions.

Combos: As the default sphere effects are touch range, taking the Universal sphere’s Reaching talent allows one to heal at range. Adrenaline Surge is useful for granting allies additional attacks and movement, while the Universal sphere’s Contingency effect combined with a healing or resurrection spell can be useful in saving a character from a dire fate.

Existing Comparisons: The various healing spells are the most direct comparisons, particularly Cure Wounds, Lesser & Greater Restoration, and False Life for the default sphere effects. The Life sphere by default can emulate Cure Wounds and Lesser Restoration, the latter of which is a 2nd level spell, allowing a spherecaster to have a lower barrier for entry. Heal is similar to the Greater Healing talent, while Greater Restoration is akin to Restore Mind and Restore Movement talents, with Remove Curse closest to the Break Enchantment talent. Heal has a lower default amount it can restore at the level it’s attained by a Cleric (70 HP at 11th level vs Greater Healing’s 55 + KAM at 11th level), but Greater Healing can restore up to 100 HP + KAM whereas Heal can only do 90 hit points at most but also cures blindness, deafness, and disease at the same time. Detect Disease and Poison is closest to the Diagnose talent, but the latter can cover a wider variety of conditions and also is at-will given it has 0 Spell Point cost by default. Vancian casting edges out when it comes to granting temporary hit points, where False Life can give a maximum of 48 temporary hit points via a 9th level slot whereas the Life sphere can grant a maximum of 20 with the Greater Invigorate talent. However, False Life lasts for 1 hour, while Invigorate can be augmented to last until the next long rest. Additionally, there’s a talent which allows the spherecaster to heal undead and constructs, something the default healing spells cannot do.

For Greater Restoration, the default spell requires 100 gp as a consumable material component, which is a point against its favor, although it is but a single spell while spherecasters wishing to emulate it closely will need to take 4 talents. The Resurrection talent functions a bit differently from the spell of the same name; it doesn’t require expensive material components, but it doesn’t neutralize any diseases or poisons afflicting the creature when it died, nor does it restore missing body parts. On the other hand, the caster doesn’t have disadvantage on d20 rolls until the next long rest. The True Resurrection talent requires no components but affects creatures who have been dead for 100 years rather than the core spell’s 200, and the disadvantage on d20 rolls is applied. The Resurrection and Greater Resurrection talents have prerequisites of 11th and 15th level, meaning that spherecasters learn them 2 levels earlier than core Clerics.

Mass versions and multi-targeting via higher level spell slots can be emulated via the Universal sphere’s Mass talent (again a lower max amount but not as costly as high-level spell slots), although the only thing that the Life sphere cannot emulate is the Reincarnate spell. Which ironically can be done via the optional Wild Magic rules in the back of this book.

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The Light Sphere focuses on creating and manipulating light. It has three default abilities: glow causes a creature or object to shed magical light, brighten increases the radius of a glowing object’s shed light, and lens is a personal buff/debuff that bends or alters light. (glow) talents apply various effects on objects and creatures glowing, such as granting them saves against the frightened condition, imposing a penalty on attack rolls and Perception checks (blind if Augmented), restraining a creature and prevent it from extradimensional travel if it can’t succeed on a casting ability check, transform into light to move through solid objects, make a creature appear larger which increases its reach and damage with weapon attacks (and it’s not Concentration which makes it great for buffing), and cause creatures to be fascinated by the glow or compelled to follow it on failed saving throws. (lens) talents include such options as allowing a creature to hide more easily, gain infravision, can spend a reaction once per round to impose disadvantage on an oncoming attack, and allow a target to see farther areas via 1-4 90 degree angles (see around corners basically). (nimbus) talents are 0 Spell Point augmentations which can make a glowing object shine differently, such as double or quadruple distance, in a cone area, or as a trail of light. The two Advanced Talents include the ability to extend a glow to a 2-5 mile radius, while the other allows a target to be in two places at once by splitting into refracted light and reappearing in one of the two areas on their next action or when they’re attacked.

Combos: Encompassing Light’s damage/reach increase goes well with sphere and spell abilities that increase size and therefore reach. Lure Light is good for getting creatures to walk into traps and ambushes set up by the party. Divination (sense) talents that allow a creature to rely upon non-visual senses are good ways for them to avoid harmful Light sphere abilities when in close proximity to affected enemies. Periscope’s ability to see around corners is great for ranged builds and abilities dependent upon line of sight.

Existing Comparisons: Dancing Lights, Daylight, Faerie Fire, and Light are the closest talents, with Pyrotechnics, Sacred Flame, and Sickening Radiance close to the more offensive talents. There’s no real ability to make Light sphere effects permanent like 5e’s Continual Light spell, while Color Spray and Sunbeam are best emulated via the Destruction sphere’s Radiant blast type given it can impose blindness along with the Chain Blast and Sculpt blast shape talent. Moonbeam has no real approximation; forcing a shapechanger to go back to their original form likely falls under the Dispel package of the Universal sphere.

As for the Light sphere’s default effects, it has a much farther range of 120 feet vs the Light cantrip’s touch, although brighten and glow’s duration are much shorter and Concentration-based at 1 and 10 minutes respectively. There is a talent called Dancing Lights which allows the caster to not have to target a creature or object to make a glow effect, although the ability to form into a shiny humanoid is better emulated via the Illusion sphere. Sacred Flame has its closest equivalent with the Flare talent, although the latter can deal half damage to adjacent targets and can be augmented to affect multiple targets glowing if the Dual Light talent is possessed. Faerie Fire’s closest equivalent is the Guiding Light talent which grants advantage on attack rolls targeting the glowing creature, but to be multi-target the Mass talent of Universal will be necessary. Sickening Radiance’s damage and exhaustion is closest to the Sunstroke talent, albeit the latter deals much less damage and doesn’t make it impossible to be invisible unless used in conjunction with Revealing Light. Better means of dealing damage with exhaustion can be accomplished via Destruction's Draining or Scorching blast type talents, although they deal different damage types. Pyrotechnics’ blinding ability has its counterpart in Blinding Light, although the latter has a much larger affectible radius. Extradimensional travel blocking is perhaps the most unique talent; the closest core spell is Forbiddance, which takes a longer time to cast but covers a wider area and lasts longer.

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The Mind Sphere covers mental compulsions of all kinds. Its sole default ability involves placing a Charm on a creature, with a Spell Point cost based on its level of power: Lesser, Greater, and Powerful. Lesser charms cost nothing but those who succeed on a save cannot be affected again until the next long rest, while being able to access Powerful Charms requires a talent. There’s also a table of Requests ranging from “Very Simple” to “Against the Creature’s Nature” in determining how far one can push their charms. The only descriptive tag is (charm), talents which range from removing particular memories, making a subject regard the caster in a friendlier light, causing them to be Frightened, buffs that can grant bonuses to checks and saves, involuntary movement, reading minds, and seeing through another target’s senses. You can only affect creatures of your same type (usually humanoid) unless you take the Expanded Charm talent. Advanced Talents include making a target undetectable to a specific creature, inducing permanent madness, creating a mental bond where the caster and subject treat each other as the same target for mental effects, and outright mind control.

Combos: The Courage and Inspiration talents are great buffs for virtually any ally or build given the widely applicable bonuses to rolls. Mind Spy and Project Thoughts are good for scouting purposes by keeping contact between the caster and target, while Illusion spells that create false environments and objects can make requests of an enchanted target seem more reasonable if they fall for the illusion.

Existing Comparisons: Naturally the School of Enchantment comes to mind! There’s an awful lot of highly similar talents to existing spells, even down to the names in the cases of Confusion, Enthrall, and Suggestion. The Mind sphere has a bit of a talent tax in that it can only affect one creature type by default, and its default range of 30 feet makes it rather short-range in comparison to some longer-range spells such as Confusion and Enthrall. The Lesser Charm versions are akin to nerfed versions of existing spells, with the Greater Charm versions akin to the default effects. But a few things the Mind sphere can do that the official spells can’t are potentially higher maximum ranges if supplemented with the Universal sphere’s Reaching talent, targets don’t automatically know that they’ve been charmed at the end of a talent’s duration, longer-duration Concentration versions of Command and Enthrall, a Sleep spell that is single-target by default but targets Wisdom rather than hit points, and a Powerful Charm version of Fear which can make affected targets unable to take actions. I also cannot find an equivalent spell to the Inspiration talent’s Greater and Powerful Charm versions, which grant +2d4 to an ability check or attack roll and allow the target to reroll the d20 and add the bonus in the case of Powerful.

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The Nature Sphere covers a very broad concept. Its two default abilities are geomancy, which manipulates surrounding elements of the environment, and spirit which buffs the caster with spiritual energy. Upon gaining access to Nature the caster chooses one of six packages corresponding to natural elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Metal, Plant, or Water. Each package grants 3 abilities, such as Water allowing the caster to generate fog, freeze liquids, and whirlpools, or Plant which causes an AoE entanglement via vegetation, spontaneously grow nourishing plants, and cause nearby plants to come to life and pummel targets within their reach. One can learn an additional package via a talent that can be taken multiple times.

Some (geomancy) talents require the caster to have an existing package in line with the favored element, while others have none but grant more abilities the more packages the caster already has. These talents include the ability to create a volume of material appropriate to their package, further manipulate elements such as sculpting stone and generating waves to push targets, reshaping metal equipment or chilling and heating them to dangerous temperatures, and creating hazardous terrain such as stone spikes and toxic air. The (spirit) talents are buffs that include allowing the caster to speak with animals and natural materials, a rechargeable breath weapon dealing damage appropriate to a possessed geomancy package, gaining resistance to appropriate damage types, alternative and easier means of movement such as airwalking and melding into solid objects, and creating weapon attacks such as a bramble burst from wooden weapons or summoned thrown icicles. Advanced Talents include making powerful natural phenomena such as earthquakes, eruptions of boiling water which rapidly cool to freezing temperatures, the ability to explode into fire and revive like a phoenix, and massive growth of plant life in a 1 mile radius.

Combos: Destruction sphere talents which can Draw on Nature can be used in conjunction with Create Nature to supply the needed material, and is explicitly called out as an Augmented option. The Metal geomancy package and accompanying talents can be used to create and enhance metal weapons and armor. The limited visibility of various fog-like effects combine nicely with non-visual Divination (sense) talents. Air Mastery’s ability to breathe in and release gaseous effects can be used to move around Destruction sphere talents benefiting from the Cloud (blast shape). Forge Earth can be used to make walls and barriers thinner for easier passage for travel and divination-based abilities.

Existing Comparisons: This sphere draws heavily from the Druid’s spell list, and attempts at holistically covering all those spells is beyond this review. One thing I will point out is that there’s no equivalent to the Goodberry spell. The Nourishment ability of the basic Plant geomancy package does a similar thing for physical sustenance, but they don’t restore hit points. The Speak with Beasts talent is similar to Speak with Animals, although it requires Concentration and cannot be cast as a ritual. The Chill Metal and Heat Metal talents are akin to the Heat Metal spell, although the talents have a lower damage cap (4d8 vs the core’s 9d8) but cost no Spell Points by default so can be used at-will. The Hazardous Terrain talent’s creation of spiky ice or rocks is akin to Spike Growth, although they cost no Spell Points by default, don’t require Concentration, and deal less damage (equal to caster’s level vs 2d4 per 5 feet) but act as caltrops so can decrease an affected target’s movement. The Wall of Stone spell is similar to Create Nature’s earth geomancy option, although it can create a larger area of effect which can become permanent, while Creature Nature’s duration is instantaneous so it’s “permanent” by default. Move Earth is similar to the Forge Earth talent and Manipulate Nature’s sculpt stone option, the latter of which targets smaller areas of effect and has shorter ranges but are instantaneous and not Concentration effects. The Earthquake talent is similar to the spell of the same name but doesn’t deal damage to structures in contact with the ground.

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The Protection Sphere provides options for casters to better defend themselves and their allies. The sphere provides three (technically two) basic sphere abilities. Aegis is a personal buff that is granted to a target and comes with a default option to replace a character’s AC with the caster’s Sphere DC; Succor is a long-range reaction-based sacrifice of an existing aegis to provide an immediate benefit; and Wards are cylindrical AoEs which provide a benefit to those within during its duration. Ward automatically comes with an existing option, Barrier, which creates a transparent cylindrical wall that can block attacks and movement from crossing. There are three talent tags named after each ability, but there’s a fourth (barrier) tag which improves the default Ward option. More than a few talents have two tags, most commonly (aegis) and (ward) and can be cast in either of those two ways.

(aegis) talents are versatile and range from granting energy resistance, the ability to survive without air, can exclude a number of targets equal to their Proficiency Bonus from AoE abilities, impose disadvantage on attack rolls directed to allies within 10 feet, resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage, and dealing psychic damage to those who harm the bearer. There’s only 2 (barrier) talents, one of which can reshape the barrier into a dome or sphere, and another that can shape it into flat vertical panels and the caster can restore hit points to a damaged barrier. (succor) talents include granting immediate resistance to an incoming attack, reroll a saving throw just rolled, and dealing psychic damage to an attacker (and can stack with the aegis version if the attacked party is benefiting from such a spell). (ward) talents include preventing those within from disguising or concealing themselves if they fail a Wisdom save, can exclude an element of a particular physical material, form of energy, or physical properties from entering into the ward on a failed failed Strength check, and a spell suppression field that prevents magical abilities from being used unless the user’s spellcasting ability check beats the spell/sphere DC. Advanced Talents grant Augmented versions of greater effects to existing talents, such as immunity to most environmental conditions and resistance to several energy types, an actual antimagic field, and making a target undetectable via divination magic.

Combos: Friendship is useful for blaster-caster types who don’t want to worry about friendly fire. Guardian is good for tanks who want to impose penalties on creatures who choose to attack other targets. Barrier is good for herding enemies into a closed area to be affected by abilities that don’t require attacks to cross, such as coming from underneath. Obscurity and the Unplottable talents are good for roguish and scouting types, The Shield aegis acts as a normal shield, meaning that it can be enhanced via the Enhancement sphere’s Enhance Equipment talent and can benefit from Shield sphere talents from Spheres of Might.

Existing Comparisons: Abjuration magic and spells which conjure walls are the most immediate comparisons. The default Armored aegis ability is similar to Mage Armor although it can have a potentially higher max AC depending on the caster’s Sphere DC. The Shield aegis is similar to Shield of Faith, although the Protection sphere has a much shorter touch range by default than SoF’s 60 feet. Peacebound is similar to Sanctuary save in that the talent does not allow for the option of the attacker choosing a new target, instead preventing them from doing harm at all on a failed save. Energy Resistance is like Protection from Energy except for a shorter initial duration and can be turned into a ward form rather than being single-target. Protected Health is similar to Protection from Poison in regards to advantage on saves and resistance, but neutralizing poison is better covered by the Life sphere. The Anti-Magic Aura talent is like Antimagic Field except that it has a lower minimum level to take (11th vs most core caster’s 15th) and a shorter duration by default unless lengthened via Universal’s Extend talent. Unplottable is similar to Nondetection, although it has a much higher minimum level than the core spell (15th vs 5th), the first time in this book we have a Sphere option being later-level than a core equivalent. Exclusion is akin to Antilife Shell but can cover a wider variety of creatures and materials. There’s no equivalent talents for Warding Bond or Shield.

Thoughts So Far: A lot of these spheres have trade-offs both ways in comparison to core spells, albeit some of them are a bit more restrictive than previous entries. Mind’s talent tax to effect other creature types is rather punishing unless you’re just dipping in it for buffs to grant to fellow party members or you’re dedicated to being an enchanter. Life has a clear advantage in being cost-efficient in terms of consumable materials and being able to heal more maladies at lower levels, and Adrenaline Surge is pretty handy in that it makes healing mid-combat a more attractive option by effectively granting party members additional actions. Light is a bit of a hard sell given that the default sphere is akin to a single cantrip that may be of limited use in a Darkvision-heavy party, although it has some useful talents like the extradimensional-blocking Bound Light. Nature has many attractive options given the commonality of certain elements, although some packages may be more situational depending on the terrain type in an adventure unless one takes Create Nature. Protection seems to have the biggest downgrade on account of the non-Succor abilities being touch-range by default, and multi-targeting aegis abilities via the Mass talent will have a very short duration unless further Augmented by the Extend talent.

Join us next time as we cover the rest of the spheres in this chapter and stat up Aang from Avatar: the Last Airbender!
 

Libertad

Hero
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Aang
Medium Human (Variant)
Elementalist 12; Path of the Geomancer


Armor Class 18
Hit Points 63 (12d8)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 10 DEX 16 CON 11 INT 10 WIS 20 CHA 10 (27 point buy, +1 DEX/WIS Variant Human, +2 WIS feats, +2 WIS ASI)

Saving Throws Dexterity +7, Charisma +4
Skills Acrobatics +7, Athletics +4, Medicine +9, Religion +4, Stealth +7 (Variant Human)
Tools Painter’s Supplies
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Common +1 extra language


Background: Hermit

Feats: Magical Expertise, Extra Magic Talent x2

Casting Tradition: Bending
Key Ability Modifier:
Wisdom
Bonus Magic Talents: Nature (air geomancy package), Air Mastery
Boons: Metasphere Specialist; Drawbacks: Somatic Casting 2; Variants: Nature Bound (Destruction)
Sphere DC; 16 Spell Points 17
Destruction - Blade (blast shape), Explosive Orb (blast shape), Extra Blast Type (Bludgeoning, Fire, Ice), Gale (blast type), Razor Wind (blast type), Ray (blast shape), Sculpt (blast shape) (+3 bonus talents from variant, feat, Nature Sphere)
Divination - Blindfolded Oracle (sense), Divination: Detect Density (divine), Detect Magic (divine), Dowsing (divine), Detect Dragons (divine), Detect Nature (divine) (+4 bonus talents from Destruction, Nature, Telekinesis, Universal spheres)
Nature - Nature: Air Mastery (geomancy, air), Expanded Geomancy (Earth, Fire, Water), Fog Mastery (geomancy, water), Forge Earth (geomancy, earth), Manipulate Nature (geomancy), Resist Elements (spirit), Water Mastery (geomancy, water) (+4 bonus talents from feats, subclass)
Telekinesis - Pushed Movement
Universal - Metasphere Package: Reaching 2 (metasphere)

Martial Tradition: Ascetic
Bonus Martial Talents:
Athletics, Dual Wielding, Equipment (Unarmed Training, Unarmored Training)
Sphere DC 16
Athletics - Tumbling Recovery (drop prone at any time even out of turn. When knocked/dropped can spend bonus/reaction to move 10 feet in any direction, advantage on DEX save/disadvantage on oncoming attack if used to avoid)
Dual-Wielding
Equipment
- Unarmed Training, Unarmored Training (unarmed are finesse weapons, deal 1d4 or 1d6 with versatile property; AC is 10 + DEX + WIS modifiers when unarmored and not using shield)



Special Abilities

Ambidexterity (Dual-Wielding):
Expend martial focus to make off-hand attack without expending bonus action.

Divine: 10 minute casting time, 120 foot area, range self or target up to 30 feet, Concentration up to 10 minutes. Choose divine talent possessed, able to detect location of appropriate creatures or objects. Augment 1 SP to cast as an action, Augment 2 SP to remove Concentration.

Elemental Aid: Add +1d8 to AC, STR/DEX/CON ability check or saving throw once per short rest.

Elemental Defense: Resistance to thunder damage.

Evasion: When rolling DEX saves, success does no damage instead of half, half damage if fail.

Favored Element: +1d8 damage when using thunder damage types w/ Destructive Blast or damage rolls with Nature or Weather sphere effects.

Natural Movement: Gain climb speed equal to walking speed, can move up and down vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings.



Actions

Unarmed Strike:
+9 to hit, range touch, 1 creature or object. Hit: 5 or 6 (1d4+3 or 1d6+3 bludgeoning damage). Special: If using Blade blast shape damage type is same as blast type infused, deals +3d6 damage of that type on a critical hit.

Quarterstaff: +4 to hit, range touch, 1 creature or object. Hit: 3 or 4 (1d6 or 1d8 bludgeoning damage). Special: If using Blade blast shape damage type is same as blast type infused, deals +3d6 damage of that type on a critical hit.

Cantrips: Can cast druidcraft, prestidigitation, or thaumaturgy.

Catch: +9 to hit, range 120 feet, 1 Medium projectile or thrown object seen. Attack negated if win on ranged spell attack contested by attack roll. Augment 1 SP to use as a reaction or target Huge size.

Destructive Blast: +9 to hit, range 120 feet, 1 creature or object, either a 5 foot cube, 20 foot sphere (Explosive Orb), melee/ranged spell attack (ray), or 5 foot radius or 30 foot cone or 120 foot by 5 foot line (Sculpt). Hit: 14 (3d8) variable damage type (bludgeoning, cold, fire, slashing, thunder). Augment 1 SP increase damage to 34 (7d8) damage; Explosive Orb: 0 SP to materialize as tiny globe, 1 SP globe lasts 8 hours or as 20 foot radius sphere; 1 SP shoot out 4 rays all at different targets (ray); 1 SP as 30 foot cone or 120 foot by 5 foot line.

Destruction Rider Effects: bludgeoning damage, push target back 5 feet, Augment 1 SP up to 20 feet (bludgeoning, collide with object deals +1d6 bludgeoning +1d6 for every 10 feet they would’ve continued); fire damage, catch fire on failed DEX save, taking 3d8 fire damage per round, Augment 1 SP frightened until flames are extinguished (fire); thunder damage, disadvantage on saves vs air package of Nature sphere and (wind) talents of Weather sphere until end of next turn, CON instead of DEX saves for blast shapes, Augment 1 SP penalty lasts for 1 minute (gale); cold damage, speed reduced by 10 feet until end of next turn, CON instead of DEX saves for blast shapes, Augment 1 SP encase in ice for 4 rounds, STR save or 36 damage to AC 10 ice frees them (ice); slashing damage, suffer -1 AC until end of your next round, penalties stack, CON instead of DEX saves for blast shapes, Augment 1 SP to increase penalty to 1 minute (razor wind).

Fly: range 120 feet, Concentration up to 10 minutes, 1 creature or object seen, 1 SP. Grant 60 foot fly speed, Augment 2 SP to remove Concentration.

Geomancy: range 120 feet, instantaneous or Concentration up to 1 minute. A whole lotta different special abilities (air, earth, fire, water). Augment 2 SP to remove Concentration.

Help/Hinder: range 120 feet, Concentration up to 10 minutes, 1 creature or object seen. Increase or decrease all movement speeds by 20 feet. Double falling damage if hindered, halved if increased, STR save to resist. Augment 2 SP to last without Concentration.

Levitate: range 120 feet, Concentration up to 10 minutes, 1 Medium creature or object seen. Can move target 60 feet in any direction each round further as bonus action. Augment 1 SP to target unwilling (STR save) or Huge Size, 2 SP to last without Concentration.

Projectile: +9 to hit, range 120 feet, 1 Medium creature or object seen. Telekinetically lift a willing creature or object and hurl it at other target within range as spell attack roll vs AC. Damage depends on size or if a weapon. Augment 1 SP to target Huge size.

Sense (blindfolded oracle): cost 1 SP, range self or target up to 30 feet, Concentration up to 1 hour. Grant self paranormal senses (blindsight) with a range of 30 feet. Augment 1 SP sense acts out to range of 120 feet, 2 SP to remove Concentration.

Spirit (Resist Elements): range self or target up to 30 feet, Concentration up to 10 minutes, can grant resistance to bludgeoning, cold, fire, piercing, slashing or thunder damage. Augment 1 SP reduce to 1 bonus action or reaction but reduce duration to 1 round, regain 3d6 hit points when resisting damage once per short rest, 2 SP to remove Concentration



Bonus Actions

Admixture:
Can add second blast type, damage split equally if different damage types twice per short rest.

Blade Rider Effect: Can apply the rider effect of blast type if using a weapon with Blade blast shape.

Elemental Movement: increase all movement speeds possessed by 15 feet for one round.

Nature Surge: When using a destructive blast, can cast Nature or Weather sphere ability if casting time is normally 1 action, twice per short rest.

Tumbling Recovery: Can move 10 feet in any direction if drop prone. If used to avoid an attack or area effect, impose disadvantage on attack roll and gain advantage on Dexterity saving throw.



Reactions

Tumbling Recovery:
Can move 10 feet in any direction if drop prone. If used to avoid an attack or area effect, impose disadvantage on attack roll and gain advantage on Dexterity saving throw.



Equipment

Quarterstaff, explorer's pack, feed (for Appa)

Conversion Details: It’s been a while since I watched the show, so I used this compilation video as a reference guide and some shorter ones for the other three elements. This stat block is at a later point in the Last Airbender, sometime around Book 3 before the Sozin’s Comet finale.

I was torn between making Aang a pure Elementalist or dipping into levels of Scholar. The latter class has a Study which grants them the ability to make hang-gliders along with more martial talents. But as the hang-gliders don’t grant true flight until 11th level in the class and I can get much the same thing with a Telekinesis talent, in the end I chose to go pure Elementalist.

I chose Elementalist with a custom Bending Casting Tradition and the Ascetic Martial Tradition. While there’s an Air-Rider Kineticist tradition, bending in TLA isn't draining to the point that it causes the users personal harm, so I decided to just have Somatic Casting twice as a drawback to gain the Metasphere Specialist boon. For that boon I chose the Reaching talent of the Metasphere package twice: not only does this make most of Aang’s sphere abilities much longer range, it also gives him the 3 big utility cantrips which can simulate minor bending arts not otherwise covered by talents. Beyond the obvious Destruction and Nature spheres, I dipped into Divination and Telekinesis. Aang learns from Toph how to sense vibrations and tremors, so Blindfolded Oracle seemed perfect, while for Telekinesis the Pushed Movement talent can grant him outright flight and greater speed which can both emulate his airbender staff’s flight and air scooter* abilities respectively. For the Geomancer subclass I chose a climb speed as Aang demonstrated being able to use airbending to run up walls. He’s also very mobile and evasive in combat, so I had him start out proficient in Acrobatics and Athletics, choosing the Athletics sphere as a bonus talent for Hermit to grant him Tumbling Recovery which does a good job of mimicking his fighting style.

*that orb of wind Aang sits on to move around faster.

For Destruction talents I chose the Nature Bound variant, given that benders in the setting don’t create elemental energy out of nothing but instead draw it from existing places. While Aang is capable of using his bare fists (sometimes wrapped in stone) and staff when fighting, the majority of the time he uses bending arts. He does have a Blade blast shape to enhance weapon attacks, but it is not his most effective feature.

Thanks to his Nature geomancy packages and talents, Aang has a lot of options both inside and outside of combat. Listing each ability would’ve made the stat block too long so I settled with linking to the Nature sphere, but for a short list of possibilities, Aang can…

Create a gust of wind manifesting as a line or cone that can push back up to Huge-sized objects and creatures and put out flames of the same size.
Telekinetically catch, levitate, or throw up to Huge-sized objects.
Climb up sheer surfaces and fly.
Manipulate the four elements to damage targets and impose various negative conditions upon them.
Create a geyser of air that flings a target skyward.
Reshape a stone object of Medium size into something else.
Create a wave of water that can push back targets up to 20 feet.
Create a 20 foot square cloud of sand and loose dirt to blind those caught within, create a tremor to knock targets prone, or create difficult terrain.
Create a 20 foot cube of damaging bitter cold.
Move a Huge-sized cube of fire or water anywhere within their geomancy range, or a 15 foot cube of dirt or sand.
Cause himself and up to 4 additional creatures to slow their ascent, falling safely.
Create a 20 foot radius of obscuring fog, which can take the form of biting blades of wind, a whirlwind vortex of sand or dirt, blinding ash or smoke, or thick fog that imposes a penalty on enemy attacks and forbids them reactions.
Gain resistance to a number of physical and energy damage types, and even heal when resisting such damage.
Perform nifty party tricks with cantrips!

Given the amount of talents gained, I decided to make a table when building Aang, listing his talent choices by level. While it doesn’t follow the logical progression of learned and demonstrated abilities in the show, I went with the abilities he’s demonstrated using near the end of Book 3 rather than trying to emulate a “TLA but a 5e campaign” feel. So just because Aang Earthbend at 1st level doesn’t mean that’s the level he was when the group recruited Toph!

Talent Progression by Level

Elementalist 1st: Destruction (+2 bonus talents from variant, Nature Sphere): Extra Blast Type (Bludgeoning, Fire, Ice), Gale (blast type), Razor Wind (blast type), Ray (blast shape); Nature (+2 bonus talents from feat): Air Geomancy Package, Air Mastery, Expanded Geomancy (Earth, Water)
Athletics: Tumbling Recovery (+1 bonus from skill proficiency); Dual Wielding; Equipment: Unarmed Training, Unarmored Training
Elementalist 2nd: Nature: Expanded Geomancy (Fire), Blade (blast shape) (+1 bonus from subclass)
Elementalist 3rd: Forge Earth
Elementalist 4th: Manipulate Nature (geomancy), Water Mastery (geomancy) (+1 bonus from feat)
Elementalist 5th: None
Elementalist 6th: Resist Elements (spirit)
Elementalist 7th: Divination: Blindfolded Oracle (sense), Detect Magic (divine), Detect Dragons (divine), Detect Nature (divine) Dowsing (divine), (+3 bonus from Destruction, Nature, & Universal spheres)
Elementalist 8th: Fog Mastery, Sculpt (blast shape) (+1 bonus from feat)
Elementalist 9th: None
Elementalist 10th: Telekinesis; Divination: Detect Density (divine) (+1 bonus from Telekinesis sphere)
Elementalist 11th: Telekinesis: Pushed Movement
Elementalist 12th: Explosive Orb (blast shape)


Edit: I realized I miscalculated when assigning Aang's Destruction sphere talents. A few require certain geomancy packages to have before being taken unless bypassed via the Extra Blast Type talent. He also had a bonus Weather sphere talent (Lightning blast type) without having said sphere. I replaced Lightning with Razor Wind.
 
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Libertad

Hero
Chapter 4: Spheres, Part 4

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The Telekinesis Sphere covers moving objects at a distance via magical force. The three basic sphere abilities include being able to “catch” a ranged weapon attack via an opposed spell attack roll, “levitating” a willing target or unattended object up to 20 feet in any direction per round (not just vertically), or throwing a willing target or object to deal damage with a ranged spell attack. The size of affected objects is based on level, and can be further Augmented to affect targets up to 2 size categories larger. There are three tags named after each effect, as well as a fourth tag, (gravity) which grants unique AoE abilities. (catch) talents include options such as being able to “block” melee attacks and throwing ranged attacks back at the attacker, while (levitate) talents include being able to use telekinesis for fine manipulation of objects like lockpicking from a distance or using lifted items as shields and weapons. (projectile) talents include options such as doing an AoE instead of a single-target attack based on the thrown creature/object’s size, a “homing attack” that can make an additional reaction attack once per turn for every time it misses, and creating pure telekinetic force to throw rather than using a creature or object.

The (gravity) talents include creating zones of heavy or light gravity which can alter falling damage and impose disadvantage/advantage on appropriate checks, or altering an area’s friction to either increase or decrease movement that passes through the AoE. There’s a few nifty (other) talents, such as granting immunity to falling damage, gaining flight, and blindsense. There’s not very many Advanced Talents, with half greatly enhancing the duration of Telekinesis abilities and the others controlling targets like a puppet or turning the caster’s projectiles a living railgun with a mile-long range increment that creates stun-inducing AoE shockwaves.

Combos: Gravity Shift’s Light Gravity effect is great for two-handed fighters as it grants advantage with such weapons. Speed Zone and Pushed Movement’s Help/Hinder ability laid on top of other movement-enhancing effects can allow characters to nimbly move across the battlefield. The Finesse talent combined with the Universal sphere’s Reaching talent and the right use of sensory enhancements such as the Light sphere’s Periscope allows the caster to act as a telekinetic poltergeist, manipulating objects in other rooms and far-away locations. Dampening Field’s Inertial Armor combined with the Linear Acceleration Advanced Talent can transport a character up to a mile in a single round. Casting the Illusion sphere’s Obscure glamer on a large object makes for a nice moveable “invisible wall” when used with Telekinesis. An appropriate sense type or Selective Illusions can allow one’s allies to perceive it.

Existing Comparisons: Mage Hand, Catapult, Fly, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Levitate, Telekinesis, and Bigby’s Hand are the most well-known telekinetic spells. The major advantage that the sphere has over Mage Hand is that the controlling force is not visible unless the Manifestation variant is applied; in order to make such an effect “invisible” in the core rules the Arcane Trickster rogue archetype or the Telekinetic feat must be taken. And unlike the core spells the Telekinesis sphere doesn’t specify weight limits on affected material: the size category is the only thing that matters, which in some cases can be advantageous in regards to moving particularly dense objects and creatures. Additionally, only Bigby’s Hand specifies the use of damage as part of the spell itself; the implication is that the rules for falling damage would be in use. Spheres of Power’s explicit tables for projectile damage and falling objects (covered back in the Creation sphere) means that there’s a lot less GM fiat and more baked-in effects. Pushed Movement’s Fly option is virtually the same as the Fly spell save it’s single-target by default and has a lower default speed of 20 feet, but can eclipse the official spell by going up to 80 feet at 17th level.

Close But Not Quite Spells: A few such spells that would otherwise fall into this category flavor-wise exist in other sphere talents: moving enemies and dealing damage at the same time such as Dust Devil can be covered by Destruction, while moving “elemental” features such as Control Water and Move Earth can be covered by appropriate Nature packages. Similar options which can be flavored as “telekinetic” in controlling movement also apply: Hold Person/Monster can be covered by Mind sphere’s Paralysis talent, while the Slow spell has a similar talent in the Time sphere.

Catapult Note: I did notice that the Catapult core spell’s mechanics are already covered by a talent of the same name in the Creation sphere; in hindsight I would go back and edit my earlier post to include it, but as most readers already made it this far I’ll include it here. The major difference is that Catapult creates an object anew rather than being cast on an existing one; it’s damage dice also has a higher maximum cap (10d8 via 9th level slot vs Sphere’s 6d8 for a 3 SP Augmentation with a Gargantuan object). Catapult is also explicit about object weight (45 pounds max) but as the Creation sphere also goes mostly by size that means the Spheres version can affect and create much heavier objects.

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The Time Sphere is self-evident over what kind of magic it manipulates. It’s only major tag, (chronos), manipulates time around a subject, usually as a buff or debuff but in some cases can do other things. The (chronos) talents include such options as copying the Haste/Slow spell effects albeit at a hefty 2 Spell Point cost, pulling things from parallel realities to impose negative conditions on a target, delaying damage dealt to a subject, retroactively editing the past to purchase/research/influence things akin to a limited enchantment/creation/divination spell, playing around with the action economy by “storing” actions to be used in a later round or taking an extra action by losing it the next round, and aging/de-aging a target which can impose penalties on rolls, increase the size of plants, and decay/restore objects. Other talents include suppressing/speeding up magical and natural healing or turning a (chronos) talent into an AoE sphere or wall. The Advanced Talents allow one to see into the past, allow a character to retrain their last class level, and make a “time clone” of the target.

Combos: The Time sphere is incredibly open-ended and has options useful for virtually any build. Adjusted Frequency, Rapid Response, Retry, and Shift Time all aid or hinder characters taking actions, while Repetition and Second Chance can aid all manner of die rolls. Throttle Duration is great for extending time-based buff spells and ending negative effects early (and the reverse for enemy targets), while the Hasten Rest Advanced Talent allows a target to gain the benefit of a short rest much faster than usual.

Existing Comparisons: I’ll admit, I had quite a bit of trouble looking for equivalent spell options in the official rules beyond a few. There are a lot of talents here which allow for rerolls of d20 results, which tend to be very rare as spells in 5th Edition. Talents such as Age, Casualty, and Retroactive Preparation all have a broad variety of pre-selected possibilities which emulate some common debuff/enchantment/creation spells albeit in different ways than the typical core magic. The Adjusted Frequency’s Haste and Slow effects are identical to the spells of the same name, as is Time Stop.

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The Universal Sphere is much like Fate in being a random grab-bag of disparate effects. There are no default sphere abilities: upon taking this sphere the caster selects one of five packages, and with the exception of Dispel and Manabond they are meant to enhance the abilities of other spheres rather than doing anything on their own.

The Dispel package grants the caster the ability to dispel a single active magical effect, and can be Augmented to be cast faster, dispel multiple effects at once, or grant auto-success on dispelling weaker spells. Its talents add Augmented options such as imposing disadvantage on the original caster’s spell attack rolls and granting advantage on those who must save vs the caster’s magic, dealing damage on a target or object affected by the dispelled magic, and reassigning the spell’s targets rather than outright dispelling it.

The Dual Sphere talents have pseudo-prerequisites in that each one is meant to enhance the general abilities of two Spheres in ways that their magic complements each other. In some cases they call out an explicit package or talent, such as an appropriate geomancy package for Nature. Talents include applying Alteration shapeshifting effects on an Animated Object (Alteration/Enchantment), being able to create a limited number of undead for free when the weather is stormy (Death/Weather), and allowing the caster and an ally benefitting from an aegis to swap places via teleportation (Protection/Warp).

I decided to count up the number of dual sphere talents and which spheres they affected. There’s even one talent which has 3 spheres as a prerequisite, drawing upon Death, Weather, and the Mass metasphere talent of the Universal sphere. There is quite a bit of favoritism in the results. A few make sense: Destruction and Enhancement are quite broad in themes while the latter seems tailor-made for Dual Sphere stuff, but Death and Light have a platter of options while spheres such as Conjuration and Fate suffer a lack of choices.

Alteration 3
Conjuration 1
Creation 2
Dark 4
Death: 9
Destruction 4
Divination 3
Enhancement 6
Fate 1
Illusion 2
Life 2
Light 7
Mind 2
Nature 4
Protection 5
Telekinesis 3
Time 2
Universal 1
Warp 4
Weather 2

The Mana package grants the ability to Manabond, a ranged effect that establishes a magical connection between the caster and target. The various talents grant both beneficial and adverse effects, from the target gaining or losing resistance of 1-4 damage types, willingly transferring spell slots or spell points between caster and target, causing the target to be automatically seen and heard for 1 round by those within range regardless of sense type, and causing the target to make a Charisma save whenever they cast a spell or sphere ability or take damage.

The Metasphere package is the metamagic answer for Spheres of Power. The package grants knowledge of 3 utility-based cantrips (druidcraft, prestidigitation, & thaumaturgy), and the talents grant various Augmented options which can apply to virtually any sphere effect. Choices include extending the maximum duration of a sphere ability, binding a sphere effect into a glyph which can be triggered, a multi-target option for single-target effects, and doubling the maximum size of AoE effects.

I must call out one talent in particular: Reaching is a great option in that it increases the range of all magic sphere abilities for free, and can be taken up to 3 times for further increments. It has an Augmented option to double the range, but perhaps one of its most useful features is changing self-range spells to touch range (and higher increments if taken multiple times). This means that sphere effects which otherwise benefit just the caster or radiate out from them can be placed onto other creatures and areas. Finally, it showcases a major strength of spherecasters over their core counterparts: most 5th Edition spells are rather short-range, usually 30 to 120 feet for ranged ones, and there’s not many options to increase them beyond a few class features such as a Sorcerer’s Metamagic or a Warlock’s Eldritch Sphere invocation. With Reaching taken 3 times, a mere 30 foot range spell can extend out to 300 feet, and if combined with the Extreme Reach Advanced Talent and an Augment the maximum possible range within the Spheres system is a whopping 4,000 feet!

Wild Magic is our final package, making use of the optional Wild Magic rules in the back of the book. The default ability allows for the creation of a Chaos Aura which increases the wild magic chance of all creatures by 50% within the AoE, while talents grant additional ways to raise and lower wild magic results whether or not a Chaos Aura is in use. The talents include being able to exclude a limited number of creatures from the Chaos Aura’s effect, increasing the wild magic chance of a creature damaged by the caster’s weapon attack by 100%, gaining temporary access to a talent from a possessed sphere for a limited time albeit at the cost of a +100% wild magic chance per casting, and spending a Spell Point as a reaction to alter the result of a wild magic die roll.

Wild Magic Overview: We can’t really talk about this package without looking at the underlying system. Basically it’s a trio of 1d100 tables representing the chaotic and unpredictable results of certain spell energy going out of control. An initial percentage chance is rolled whenever a caster is at risk of wild magic, and if the target percentage number is rolled at or below then a Wild Magic Event table is rolled upon. The Cantrips table is something any wild magic user (drawback, package, or GM-definied circumstance) can do as an Augmented option to impose on a nearby target. The Universal table is broader and covers more typical uses like rolling under the percentage chance for the drawback/Universal package, while Major Events only occur if the percentage chance increases to 200% or above.

Each table has an individual result, meaning we have 300 different possibilities for Wild Magic. They range the gamut of harmless cosmetics, helpful benefits, and deleterious events. Their general scope and power varies on the table, with Major Events allowing for some truly astounding possibilities such as all casters in a 10 mile radius learning the Calling advanced talent as planar boundaries weaken. The Cantrips and Universal results are almost never permanent and tend to either replicate existing spells or sphere abilities or grant some minor or moderately useful/inconvenient effect.

As even a single table has a myriad number of results, wild magic users can’t really game the system to a satisfactory degree in ensuring beneficial results for their allies and negative results for enemies.

The remaining talents are few. (other) talents include being able to dispel or create a manabond as a reaction, the ability to spend Spell Points to regain martial focus, or gaining access to a new Universal package. The Advanced Talents include being able to make a spell Contingent and triggered by a specific circumstance determined by the caster, decreasing the Spell Point cost of Augmented metasphere talents, and Extreme Reach which increases the range of all magic sphere abilities even further with a brief new table of ranges.

Combos: As the overwhelming majority of Universal talents are meant to enhance existing spells, they’re meant to be used as combos by default with rather self-evident effects. However, the Expunge and Flow manabond talents and the Chaotic Counter wild magic talent explicitly reference spell slots, allowing for some synergy with Vancian casters.

Existing Comparisons: Dispel Magic for the Dispel package, the Sorcerer’s Metamagic class feature for the Metasphere abilities, and the Wild Magic Origin for the Wild Magic package are the closest equivalents. For Dispelling, the unaugmented Spheres version is less powerful, with a shorter range, longer casting time, and no auto-success results. In terms of the maximum possible level of magic, the Spheres version can only do up to level 6 Vancian spells or 6 Spell Point Augmented magic vs the original being able to do 9th level spell slots.

As for Metamagic vs Metasphere effects, Distant Spell, Extended Spell, and Quickened Spell all have counterparts in the Extended, Quicken, and Reaching talents. Overall the talents are less costly and Extended and Reaching can be Augmented to reach beyond the Sorcerer’s equivalent improvements. The Wild Magic Sorcerous Origin merely has one table and whose triggering circumstances are less controllable due to GM Fiat. The Spheres version of Wild Magic, on the other hand, has drawbacks and talents which are more in the hands of players to control.

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The Warp Sphere is all about moving beyond the boundaries of the third dimension...or in this case, the Material Plane. The default sphere ability grants at-will short-range teleportation whose range increases by level and can be Augmented even further. The major talents are divided into (space), which doesn’t involve teleporting in and of itself but touches upon similarly-themed abilities, and (teleport) which modifies the default effect. The (space) talents include being able to create gaps in solid objects and walls to pass through, distorting space to alter a target’s effective size category, the creation of small extradimensional storage spaces, self-closed loops which prevent creatures from leaving a small area of effect, and being able to block extraplanar travel and banish extraplanar creatures back to their home plane. The (teleport) talents include being able to make a creature’s attack target somewhere else by teleporting the strike, teleporting as a reaction which grants advantage/disadvantage on rolls for the caster to avoid harm, can teleport unwilling creatures and objects, and the creation of recall points and teleport beacons that can allow targets to teleport to the appropriate space and regardless of distance respectively. There’s a lot of Advanced Talents, such as long-range teleportation like the standard spell, travelling to other planes of existence, creating teleportation portals that others can use, and the ability to create a personal demiplane with alterable terrain.

Combos: The default ability alone expands one’s personal mobility. Combined with the Universal sphere’s Reaching talent, one can “save” allies from sticky situations by teleporting them to safety. Unwilling Teleport is great for battlefield control in moving enemies into optimal spaces, and Teleport Object has all sorts of creative uses. Teleport Beacon is a good tool for scouting, while Create Gap has similar applications to the Dark sphere’s Obscure Passage. Distort Size can be useful in being combined with reach-increasing effects such as the Light sphere’s Encompassing Light. Splinter plus Unwilling Teleport can be used to deal quite a bit of damage from falling and other hazards. The target’s advantage on the saving throw for the latter effect can be negated via the Degrade version of the Enhancement sphere’s Mental Enhancement talent.

Existing Comparisons: Arcane Gate, Dimension Door, Gate, Misty Step, Planeshift, Teleport, Thunder Step, Transport via Plants, and Word of Recall are the big teleportation-style spells. Banishment, Blink, Demiplane, Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion, and Rope Trick cover the not-quite-teleporty but still space-themed spells.

But before covering the spells, one thing Spheres of Power can do that the default rules can’t is true utility at-will teleportation. The Way of Shadow Monk and Shadow Sorcerer both get such options, albeit at 6th and 14th level and only in dim light and darkness. The Warp sphere has slightly lower ranges at equivalent levels but can be used outside of dark spaces. The Horizon Walker Ranger also has an at-will teleport but it’s super-short range and only really useful in combat. One other major advantage the spheres teleporter has are Advanced Talents which can teleport an effectively unlimited number of targets (as many creatures within the spell range) and up to Gargantuan size objects. The former is the aptly-named Teleport Army, and as the default effect can be enhanced via Reaching and Extreme Reach...that’s far and above the 8 willing creatures limit of most official teleportation spells!

Now onto the spells proper, Dimension Door has a higher maximum range by default as well as one willing creature. Warp cannot do multiple targets at once unless used in conjunction with the Mass sphere. Misty Step is a bonus action which can go up to 30 feet, so it has an advantage over default Warp albeit the Quick Teleport talent can reduce the casting to 1 bonus action as well and the default effect can be Augmented to gain an equivalent range. Misty Step has an effect of self only, a point in Warp’s favor. As for Thunder Step, there are no Warp sphere talents that allow the target to teleport and damage nearby creatures upon leaving. The Splinter talent is directly damaging, but only effects targets (usually unwilling) teleported in such a way. Recall and Teleport Beacon are similar to the Word of Recall Spell, albeit Word of Recall has no effective time limit for how long the “recall point” can last. Arcane Gate has some similarities with the Portal talent, although the talent has a lower level-based prerequisite and a higher maximum duration but the core spell has a longer base range. The True Teleport talent is almost identical to the Teleport spell, albeit it has a lower level-based prerequisite and doesn’t allow for 8 willing creatures by default. The Planeshift talent is much like the spell of the same name, but has no expensive material component by default, a lower level-based prerequisite, and cannot target 8 willing creatures or banish an unwilling creature by default.

Plane Manipulator’s Banishing Touch is much like Banishment but has a range of touch and is instantaneous rather than Concentration duration. Extradimensional Room is similar to Rope Trick in creating a pocket dimension, although the talent can hold less creatures by default although the duration is effectively instantaneous as long as it’s in use. As for the Create Demiplane talent, it’s similar to the Demiplane spell albeit it has a much more detailed entry on how the caster can change the internal terrain and effects.

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The Weather Sphere is different from Nature in that it has more specific effects and mechanics. Its two default abilities and talent tags are Mantle and Shroud, respective buffs and debuffs whose effects are determined by the weather. We have a list of rules for this, with six types of weather (aridity, cold, heat, precipitation, storm, and wind) along with degrees of Severity from 0 to 4. Each Severity beyond 0 has its own effects and a few have means of downgrading the effects like appropriate clothes and drinking enough water. All but one (mantle) talent has six different benefits which trigger if a certain weather type is Severity 1 or greater, and include things like dealing retaliatory energy damage to attackers, bonus movement speeds and mobility effects, and utility effects like becoming immune to opportunity attacks and preventing mantled creatures from becoming undead. The (shroud) talents correspond to a specific weather type, which give the option of 2-3 localized debuffs where the weather alters around the target and includes things such as thunderclouds dealing intermittent lightning damage, battering winds imposing disadvantage on ranged attacks and Dexterity saves, and reducing movement speed by half. The four Advanced Talents are highly-themed, relating to a base Control Weather talent and 3 additional talents which allow it to be cast more quickly, at greater duration or range, and grants the ability to choose the location of random Storm effects such as lightning strikes. The default Control Weather creates a 30 foot radius of localized weather which can increase or decrease the Severity of a specific weather type.

Combos: Aridity Severity’s disadvantage on saving throws vs exhaustion meshes well with the Death sphere’s default Ghost Strike and the Destruction sphere’s Draining and Scorching blast types. Precipitation’s visibility limiting can go well with Divination (sense) talents that allow the caster to non-visually pinpoint targets as well the Solid Fog ability of the Nature sphere’s Fog Mastery talent. The Dynamic talent’s Flame Zephyr and Ice Skates can stack with existing movement-enhancing abilities such as the Enhancement sphere’s Speed Control or Telekinesis’ Pushed Movement and Speed Zone.* The Hostile talent’s Fever and Razor Wind applications go well with effects that rely on natural weapons and unarmed strikes. Utility’s Breezespeech ability is great for scouting due to effectively limitless long-distance communication.

*provided at least one is Augmented to remove concentration.

Existing Comparisons: The Control Weather talent and spell are the most obvious comparisons, although I’m having trouble finding equivalents for the various Mantles and Shrouds. For Control Weather, the spheres talent has a much shorter range both regular and Augmented (30 feet or 1 mile vs’ the core spell’s 5 miles) as well as a shorter duration (1 hour vs 8 hours). The spheres version has the advantage of being much more explicit on rules and effects, with the 5e spell much more at the whims of GM Fiat.

Thoughts So Far: The last five spheres have various improvements in comparison to official rules counterparts, with the Advanced Talents in particular notable for their loosening of restrictions. Telekinesis no longer explicitly mentions weight and instead goes solely by size; Warp gives at-will teleportation and a potentially wider degree of targets; Wild Magic gives players a greater degree of control over in triggering if not necessarily selection of effects; and explicit results for the negative effects of Weather conditions. All of these reduce the amount of GM Fiat and also have the appropriate rules conveniently placed within their respective sphere entries.

I’m quite fond of the first four spheres. Telekinesis’ ability to throw allies as damaging projectiles (and a talent which can negate damage suffered by being flung) is likely going to be chosen for humorous yet effective applications. Time has a bountiful offering of broadly-useful talents, and you can’t go wrong picking the sphere for most builds. I love how Universal’s metasphere package grants the 3 popular utility cantrips all at once; it’s very appropriate for a lot of settings where harmless yet whimsical kinds of minor magic shouldn’t be a major restrictive selection due to limited cantrip slots. Warp is cool both in form and feature, although I feel that there are some potentially broken combos. For instance, True Teleport + Unseeing Teleport + Unwilling Teleport being used to teleport an enemy to the bottom of the ocean or out of the country. I feel rather iffy on Weather; its most signature feature is relegated to an Advanced Talent, while the Mantles and Shrouds can be highly situational and limiting depending on the climate of the adventure and setting.

Join us next time as we stat up Noctis from Final Fantasy XV and finish up the book with Additional Rules and a Game Master’s Guide!
 

Libertad

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Noctis Lucis Caelum
Medium Human (Variant)
Armiger 12; Antiquarian


Armor Class 16
Hit Points 100 (12d10+24)
Speed 30 ft., teleport 30 ft. (90 feet if Augmented 1 SP)

STR 16 DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 16 (27 point buy; +1 STR, +1 CHA Variant Human, +1 CHA Extra Magic Talent, +1 CON Resilient)

Saving Throws Charisma +7, Constitution +6, Dexterity +4; Intelligence +4 or Wisdom +4 via Faith in Steel
Skills Acrobatics +4, Athletics +7, History +4, Persuasion +7, Survival +4 (Variant Human)
Tools Pinball (Gaming Set), +1 Artisan’s Tools
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common plus 1 other

Background: Noble

Feats: Combat Training, Extra Magic Talent, Magical Expertise, Resilient (Constitution)

Casting Tradition: Magic of the Lucii
Key Ability Modifier: Charisma
Bonus Magic Talents: Destruction, Warp
Boons: ; Drawbacks: Focus Casting, Magical Signs, Prepared Caster; Variants: Personal Warp (Warp)
Sphere DC 15; Spell Points 12
Destruction - Explosive Orb (blast shape), Extra Blast Type (Ice, Lightning, Scorching) Fire (blast type), Teleporting (blast type)
Warp - Distant Teleport (teleport), Emergency Teleport (teleport), Extradimensional Storage (space), Quick Teleport (teleport)

Martial Tradition: Knightly Arts
Key Ability Modifier: Charisma
Bonus Martial Talents: Athletics, Equipment (Armor Training, Knightly Training), Fencing
Sphere DC 15
Athletics - Air Stunt, Scale Foe, Wall Stunt, Whirlwind Leap
Berserker - Juggernaut (adrenaline), Sever
Equipment - Armor Training (discipline), Knightly Training (discipline), Modern Voyager (discipline)
Fencing - Parry & Riposte, Repositioning Strike (exploit)

Customized Weapons
Daggers: Dual-Wielding sphere, Equipment (Throwing Mastery)
Greatsword: Berserker (Heavy Swing), Fencing (Ankle Strike)
Lance: Equipment (Polearm Guard), Fencing (Lunge)
Longsword: Athletics (Dizzying Tumble), Fencing (Arm Strike)

The above are the 4 weapons Noctis typically has customized. Alternatively, there are 2 more weapon types he may have access to:

Firearms: Barrage sphere (Hammer Shots)
Cerberus (Sniper Rifle): Sniper sphere (Perfect Shot)
Armiger Chain (Magical): Destruction (Extra Blast Type [Kinetic, Physical, Radiant], Sculpt [blast shape])

Special Abilities

Customized Weapon: Can make 4 weapons per long rest customized, each one grants 2 bonus talents pre-selected at time of customization to be used as one as it’s wielded.

Destructive Blast Rider Effects: fire damage, set on fire on failed DEX save, take 3d8 fire damage per round, Augment 1 SP are frightened until extinguished (fire); fire damage, deal 4 additional damage that bypasses resistance/immunity and isn’t affected by vulnerability, Augment 1 SP to inflict 1 non-stacking level of exhaustion on failed CON save (scorching); cold damage, reduce movement by 10 feet for 1 minute, Augment 1 SP to encase in ice and restrained for 4 rounds, STR save or 36 damage to AC 10 ice frees target (ice); lightning damage, advantage on attack rolls or disadvantage on target’s save if wearing metal armor, Augment 1 SP to stun until start of next turn on failed CON save (lightning), force damage, teleported 5 feet in direction of choosing on failed WIS save, Augment up to 20 feet (teleporting)

Extra Attack: May attack twice instead of once when using the Attack action.

Faith in Steel: Gain proficiency in a mental saving throw of choice when wielding customized weapon with at least one magic talent.

Juggernaut (adrenaline): Suffer -2 AC until end of next turn to be immune to difficult terrain and nothing can reduce movement speed.

Quick Draw: Can stow and re-equip weapons when using an Action with the weapons.

Quick Teleport (Augment 1 SP): can teleport in place of normal movement.

Rapid Assault: Expend martial focus after using Attack action to make up to 2 additional attacks, each targeting a different creature.

Repositioning Strike (exploit): If feinted a target (melee attack w/ advantage) can move target 5 feet to different space within reach.

Sever: When crit with melee weapon can expend martial focus. Limb is severed on failed CON save, take 1d6 necrotic damage each round until healed. Severed limbs can halve movement, remove attacks and abilities, or become prone and reduce movement to 5 feet depending on what kind of or how many limbs are severed.

Teleport: Teleport self + carrying capacity to any place within 30 feet and line of sight. Augment 1 SP to extend reach to 90 feet.

Variable Customization: Can change 1 talent granted by a customized weapon during a short rest.

Whirlwind Flip: Regain martial focus when succeeding on tumbling through hostile creature’s space.

Wall Stunt: Can run up air, creatures, & walls as if they were flat ground albeit treated as difficult terrain.

Actions

Customized Weapons: +7 to +9 to hit, range 5 ft., 1 creature or object. Hit: 8 (1d8+5 or 1d12+1) longsword or lance, 7 (1d4+5) dagger, 11 (2d6+4) greatsword.

Cerberus: +4 to hit, range 80/240 ft., 1 creature or object. Hit: 11 (2d10) piercing damage.

Destructive Blast: range 30 feet, 5 foot cube, DEX save. Hit: 14( 3d8) damage of variable type. Can Augment to make as a tiny globe that can be thrown. Augment 1 SP to have globe last for 8 hours instead of 1 minute, or make AoE 20 foot sphere.

Extradimensional Storage: Permanent extradimensional space holds 120 pounds of non-living material, and can create a portal to it within arm’s reach. Augment 1 SP to create a portal without an action.

Feint: Can choose to use Help action on self. Next attack roll before end of next turn will have advantage.

Bonus Actions

Quick Teleport (Augment 1 SP): Teleport self + carrying capacity to any place within 30 feet and line of sight. Augment 1 SP to extend reach to 90 feet or teleport in place of movement for that round instead of as an action.

Scale Foe: Can make Acrobatics or Athletics check to climb into a bigger creature; creature has disadvantage on attacks made against climber.

Reactions

Destructive Blast (Globe, Augment 1 SP): range 20/60 feet, 5 foot cube, DEX save. Hit: 14( 3d8) damage of variable type. Is triggered to explode if within 30 feet. Augment 1 SP to have globe last for 8 hours instead of 1 minute, or make AoE 20 foot sphere.

Emergency Teleport: Teleport self + carrying capacity 10 feet to any space. If used to avoid attack or AoE impose disadvantage and gain advantage on save respectively (take no damage instead of half if successful save).

Parry & Riposte: Expend martial focus to make melee damage roll, subtract from result of attacker’s damage. May attack and add (exploit) talent if final result is 0 or less.

Equipment

+2 Leather Jacket (as breastplate), Engine Blade (+2 longsword), +1 greatsword, +1 lance, pair of +2 daggers, Cerberus (hunting rifle), Regalia (automobile)

Conversion Details: I based this build off of one I did for the Pathfinder version of the Spheres system. Fortunately I was able to do a faithful conversion both to that one and to Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis. I didn’t have to multiclass in this one on account of the Armiger class in the 5th Edition version of Spheres of Might having a subclass which grants it a casting tradition. I will note that while Noctis can at-will teleport, he cannot so easily cover long distances as seen in some moments during the video game without the use of Spell Points. As this is an ability that only really sees use in combat (teleportation when simply traveling is short-range and horizontal), this isn’t too bad. The Destruction sphere represents his use of Elemancy, magic which manifests as explosive items he can give to others, which the Explosive Orb’s globe creation ability emulates perfectly. Extradimensional Storage represents Noctis’ ability to pull weapons (and sometimes other objects) out of thin air.

Noctis is highly mobile both through the Athletics sphere and the Warp sphere. Even when he’s not using the latter he can still move through the air for a short distance before he has to fall. I chose not to give him outright flight as Noctis can fall and the only time he possesses such an ability is during a limited “power up” status, so the Athletics sphere’s Air Stunt talent combined with Scale Foe when fighting giant creatures (of which there’s a lot of in FFXV) can help him from falling too badly after teleporting high up in the air. When combined with Berserker’s Juggernaut talent, Noctis can move at his normal speed from climbing and moving through midair rather than treating it as difficult terrain. The Fencing sphere’s Parry & Riposte does a good job at reflecting his ability to well... parry enemy attacks in melee. And just like in the games the Armiger class lets him rapidly change weapons in the middle of an attack chain, and each weapon is further customized to grant access to unique talents. Noctis can even emulate the “Armiger Unleashed” special moves from the game where he summons spectral weapons to attack his foes. He does this via preparing a Customized Weapon granting access to the Destruction sphere’s Extra Blast Type and Sculpt (blast shape) talents. Finally, the Berserker’s Sever talent and the body-part striking Fencing talents granted via his Customized Weapons simulate the video game’s ability to strike and even sever limbs of monsters to reduce their fighting prowess.

But beyond all this, Noctis is incredibly versatile. He can change out the talents in his Customized Weapons during short and long rests (the former just 1 talent), and even what weapons are Customized during a long rest.

Talent Progression by Level
Level 1: Athletics (Whirlwind Leap, +1 talent from skill training), Equipment (Armor Training, Knightly Training), Fencing (Parry & Riposte, Repositioning Strike, +2 talents from feat)
Level 2: Athletics (Wall Stunt)
Level 3: Destruction (Explosive Orb [blast shape], Fire [blast type], Teleporting [blast type], +1 bonus talent from Warp Sphere), Warp (Emergency Teleport, +1 bonus talent from variant)
Level 4: Athletics (Scale Foe), Warp (Distant Teleport, +1 bonus talent from feat)
Level 5: None
Level 6: Athletics (Air Stunt)
Level 7: Extra Blast Type (Ice, Lightning, Scorching)
Level 8: Equipment (Modern Voyager), Warp (Extradimensional Storage, Quick Teleport, +2 bonus talents from Magical Training)
Level 9: None
Level 10: Berserker (Juggernaut)
Level 11: None
Level 12: Berserker (Sever)
 
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Libertad

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Chapter 5: Additional Rules

This chapter covers three additions for Spheres-using games: new feats, sidekicks, and wild magic. As we covered that last one in our review of the Universal sphere, we’ll cover just the first two.

We have eight new Feats. Five of those are broad in scope: Additional Boon gives a bonus casting tradition boon, Extra Spell Points grants more Spell Points equal to one’s Proficiency Bonus, and Magical Training grants the character a casting tradition. In this last case, the feat is swapped out for an appropriate one if the character ever multiclasses into a proper spherecasting class. Two feats can be taken multiple times: Extra Magic Talents grants +1 to a Key Ability Score and a bonus magic talent, while Magical Expertise grants two bonus magic talents.

The three remaining feats are narrower in scope. Photosynthesis requires the Light sphere but allows the character to heal better and faster in bright light and avoid the need for food or drink if they get an hour’s worth of sunlight. Transformation grants the character an Alteration (genotype) talent and a limited number of bonus traits based on level. Finally, Venomous Soul requires the character to have appropriate Alteration sphere talents or natural abilities which grant them innate poison. The character can spit their poison as a ranged attack, spray poison onto foes who crit them in melee, and apply their poison to a weapon or unarmed strike via their own blood (in exchange for some minor damage).

Extra Magic Talent and Magical Expertise clearly stand out in that they give out talents. Magical Training is something to take for dabbler types, and it’s better than the Magic Spheres Adept Fighting Style given that it grants some Spell Points. Additional Boon is more situational given that the same result can be taken via the right Drawbacks. Transformation and Venomous Soul are specific towards certain builds, and as poison is a commonly resisted/immune damage type and condition the latter may not be very attractive. If anything Transformation is more restrictive on account that someone taking Magical Training can grant up to 3 Alteration talents effectively (2 from casting tradition, 1 from Lycanthropic Drawback), although the Transformation feat equivalent is indefinite and non-Concentration in duration which may be useful for some builds.

Sidekicks is based on the system from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. An NPC ally of CR ½ or less has a special kind of class added to them which is inferior to the core classes but still allows a sense of progression when adventuring with the PCs. The book notes that Sidekicks are better supported in Spheres of Might given that book’s Leadership sphere, although we get a Spherecaster class for this book. Basically it has poor progression in both Spell Points and magic talents, and its unique class features include the limited regaining of Spell Points during a short rest based on class level and at 20th level are immune to losing Concentration due to damage on a magic sphere effect or spell.

Sidekicks are a neat idea, although the application gives me pause. There’s an awful lot of different creatures and NPC types who in spite of a fractional CR can be far more effective than others. Pixies are CR ¼ but come with a generous helping of useful magical abilities, while the CR ½ Thug is one of the best options for a generic “melee attacker” type.

Chapter 6: Game Master’s Guide

This super-short chapter has three brief outlines on adopting the Spheres system for personalized campaign content. The first part, Creating Custom Options, talks about making new talents and balancing them against existing guidelines. It shows off a new Mind sphere talent, Command Computer, as the kind of magic that would show up in a more modern/science fantasy style world.

Creating Magic Items provides 3 new spherecaster-exclusive magic items. Robe of the Spherecaster grants an AC and saving throw bonus against three magic spheres of the attuned user’s choice, while Rod of the Spherecaster adds an equivalent bonus to spell attack rolls and save DCs of three chosen magic spheres. Wand of the Spherecaster is different, granting 2-6 charges based on rarity which can substitute for Spell Points for a single magic sphere chosen at the time of attunement. Scrolls and Spheres of Power discusses ideas on how to incorporate scrolls as treasure in a party where only spherecasters are played. The three options are as follows: pherecasters can choose a single Vancian class’ spell list to be able to be used for the purpose of activating scrolls, a scroll can be used if the spherecaster has a sphere thematically-related to the spell in question, and/or only spherecasters who can cast spells as rituals can make use of scrolls.

I overall like this new material albeit not to a strong degree. The Custom Options is useful advice, while the Magic Items give spherecasters cool toys to play with that directly enhance their abilities. I do like how scrolls still have a place in Spheres-only games too, choosing to adopt a common magical treasure rather than replacing it wholesale or axing it without any thought to the repercussions of those poor, poor treasure generation tables.

Final Thoughts (on Spheres of Power): Over the past year I’ve reviewed many 3rd party books for 5th Edition ranging in quality, and Spheres of Power is perhaps one of my favorites. It more or less succeeded on its proposed mission statement of being a highly customizable alternative magic system, and that it managed to do so in the comparatively-restrictive* 5th Edition is all the more impressive. The sample builds I managed to create show that converting characters from various bits of popular media is doable without the need for excessive homebrew and multiclassing. The number of options is impressive, but they manage to be mechanically balanced and meaningful choices unlike the worst glut of 3.5/Pathfinder options. There are some options that fall short, but overall these are more individualized cases than systemic issues.

*to the original Pathfinder rules.

But before ending this review, I wanted to touch upon broad strokes of the Spheres system’s advantages and disadvantages in comparison the core rules. Previously I covered things on a sphere-by-sphere basis, now I’m painting in broad strokes.

What Spheres of Power Can Do That Default Casters Can’t

Buff Stacking: The ability to cast virtually any spell without Concentration if properly Augmented is a major game-changer for buffs. The limitation is Spell Points and the likelihood that such enhancements won’t last beyond a fight or two, but it’s still significant for parties that have lots of Spell Points to burn and/or have a sparse assortment of encounters.

Character Customization: Although 5e’s default spells run a diverse gamut, Spheres of Power allows for more fine-tuning on every significant aspect of your character, from how they cast their magic to what magic they have access to to even modifications on how the spells themselves are cast.

Cheap Magic: Even the Material Casting Drawback’s gold piece requirements quickly become trivial if using typical treasure generation rules. There are no sphere effects requiring hundreds or thousands of gold pieces worth of magical components to cast. As gold isn’t as important for PC advancement in 5e as the previous two Editions, this is more of a flavor choice than a significant game-altering one.

Less GM Fiat: Even the broadly-applicable Illusion sphere has alternative talents with more explicit benefits. Many sphere effects and talents have precisely-worded rules over vague implications, and in cases where new rules and sub-systems are needed they are provided within easy page-flipping distance.

Long-Range Magic: As I discussed with the Universal sphere’s Reaching talents, it requires a moderate investment of talents to make a long-ranged caster. Spherecasters can more easily approach the range values of 3.5/Pathfinder magic save for all but the Long range spells of those latter systems...and perhaps even more with the Extreme Reach Advanced Talent!

Lots of At-Will Effects: Most core classes learn 2 cantrips at character creation, and may have 5-6 by the highest levels. A few Warlock invocations allow for at-will casting, but for very specific spells. Otherwise most spells and many class features refresh based on short and long rests. In Spheres of Power, virtually every Sphere at its basic level grants effects which can be used for free, along with many talents which grant new and altered effects. Even at low levels a spherecaster can pick up enough at-will magic effects to dwarf a core caster’s cantrips, while Universal’s metasphere package grants three cantrips for free!

What Default Casters Can Do That Spheres of Power Can’t

Highest of the High-Powered Magic: Although Spheres of Power can simulate a broad arrangement of D&D power levels, the high-level spells on par with Meteor Swarm and Wish aren’t replicable in the Spheres system barring a few exceptions. Meteor Swarm is still the king of damage, Shapechange can change you into adult dragons with most of the abilities thereof, and Simulacrum can create semi-permanent clones with the original’s abilities. There are some Advanced Talents which can approach or mimic the power level of such spells, although overall a core Vancian caster still has a higher ceiling which they can clear.

Higher Floor for Damaging Spells: Particularly at lower levels, Vancian casters have a better minimum damage die for several spells such as Fireball and a higher max damage cap for the 9th-level slots. Eldritch Blast is a d10 making it edge out most d8-based at-will damaging sphere effects. Spherecasters can catch up, although their secondary effects for things like blast type talents are meant to make up for this. When it comes to pure damage-dealing spells, Vancian casters win out overall.

Wholesale Spell Replacement: In the case of Clerics, Druids, and Wizards with long spellbooks, Vancian casters can more easily rebuild their entire character magically-speaking between long rests. Spherecasters have options which let them temporarily gain access to and swap out talents, but only ever a few at a time. Vancian casters with a respectable prepared spell list have more freedom to remake themselves at middle to high levels.

Join us next time as we cover the martial side of this magical equation with Spheres of Might!
 

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