Part 2 of our nine week series continues with the unchaining of the summon nature’s ally II spell. You can see the unchained list for summon nature’s ally I spell here.
This level is where the monsters can start to be an annoyance. Compare that with level 1’s monsters where they are little more than cannon fodder, great for providing a flank or eating up one of the enemy’s attacks but not much else. At level 2, the monsters have enough hit points to survive a single hit and may be used for more than one round’s worth of attacks.
Before we get to the monsters that can be summoned, I have to include my obligatory link to our Pathfinder products. Download our products, like the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription, at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, or Paizo. Additionally, you can get our print books at DriveThruRPG and Amazon. Grab them all today.
Table 2: Summon Nature’s Ally II
|Ant, giant (worker)||—|
|Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2|
|Camel (herd animal)||—|
|Ram (herd animal)||—|
|Vexgit (gremlin) (without wrecking crew)||—|
|Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3|
|Atomie (without invisibility)||—|
|Death’s head jellyfish||—|
|Elk (herd animal)||—|
|Giant gecko (lizard)||—|
|Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4|
|Giant water strider||—|
|Stag (herd animal)||—|
|Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 5|
|Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 6|
|Common Anemone (sea anemone)||—|
Previously when talking about the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 we shared the spells inside. So far we shared domination link as well as share skin and greater share skin. Today we want to show off some of the artwork within.
We wanted the book to appear like an ancient spell time that your characters might find in a dungeon. So we made the pages look like old worn parchment. That’s all fun but it can really break the immersion of the idea if we went with full-color art. So we opted for black line art with no white background. This gives the Spell Codex just the right feel. While the artwork of a number of artists graces these pages, the one featured the most is Dean Spencer. His images had just the right feel for this project. Check out the artwork of his we used below.
One other thing before we get to the artwork. We are JBE know how much people love to print out their books to have physical copies at the gaming table. First off, let me just confirm that a print version is in the works. We’ve already submitted off the files and they are going through the process. We figure it’ll be available in under a month. Secondly, we included a printer-friendly version, one without the parchment background so you can print your own version and use less ink or toner.
The Collected Knowledge of a Hundred Spellcasters
Bringing together all the spells from nearly two dozen companion sources, the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 has something for everyone. These spells have been updated for clarity and expanded to cover classes introduced after their original publication. Gathered together for the first time, these spells will give your character the edge you’ve been looking for.
Within these 96 pages, the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 contains:
- Over 170 spells for all 26 spellcasting classes. From wizard to bloodrager, cleric to paladin, psychic to medium, you’ll find spells for your character here.
- New short descriptions, making it easy for you to discover and find that perfect spell.
- Artwork to make this feel like a true spellcaster’s tome.
With this essential compendium, your character will be prepared for the road ahead.
One of the main things we decided to do when we set out to do the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 was to update the spells for classes that came after the spell’s original publication. It simply isn’t fair to classes published later to not get access to certain spells simply because those spells were never republished in a hardcover book. So we decided to do that.
Take domination link, the spell below. Originally published in Blood of the Night, this spell focuses on vampires and how to fight them. Vampires always have had the ability to make someone do their bidding by simply looking into their eyes. That is pretty much a perfect description of the mesmerist’s main class feature right there. So fighting the domination of a vampire should like something all the occult classes should be able to do.
As you can see here, we also took the time to add in the other classes that were never mentioned in standard Paizo spell stat blocks. Take arcanist for example it just uses the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Well, here we actually call it out. Same with skald using the bard list. No more are these classes simply forgotten simply because they were not published in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Here, each of these spells get listed along with every other class.
School divination [mind-affecting]; Level arcanist/sorcerer/wizard 3, bard/skald 3, inquisitor 3, medium 3, mesmerist 3, occultist 3, psychic 3, spiritualist 3, witch 3
This spell functions like detect thoughts, with the additional ability to find echoes of the thoughts of a creature mentally controlling the target. For example, if the target has been dominated by a vampire, you can use evidence left in the target’s mind to learn about that vampire. Each minute you concentrate on the spell, you can learn your choice of one of the following pieces of information.
Direction: The controller’s general direction and distance.
Emotion: The controller’s emotional state (gloating, sated, frightened, angry, and so on).
Image: A powerful iconic image relevant to the controller or its connection to the target, such as a symbol on a door or a name on a gravestone.
Location: The controller’s general location, such as “in a large city” or “on a ship.”
Name: The name by which the target knows its controller (if any).
All of this information is based on the last time the influencing creature linked itself to the target, either to issue a command or to receive sensory input from the target. For example, if at nightfall a vampire commanded a dominated victim to walk to a cemetery, this spell can reveal the vampire’s general location at that time, though it may have moved since then.
It is time I start talking about my secret project. The name is the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1. This book takes spells from a number of “companion” books, removes any campaign-specific details, and puts them all together in one place for you. This volume takes all the spells from 22 different books that never made it into one of the big Roleplaying Game hardbacks and reprint them in one place.
Back when I played D&D 3.5, my absolute favorite book was the Spell Compendium. I’d show up to games with my PHB and my Spell Compendium and I was good to go. It always baffled me that Paizo never came out with one, especially considering the people behind that book worked for Paizo. We gave them enough time for them to do it themselves and they haven’t. Now we’re taking the opportunity.
As a much smaller publisher, I don’t have the resources to do a sizable hardcover like that. What I can do, however, is a series of smaller books. 22 different books is nearly 2 years worth of “companions” that you don’t have to carry with you or hunt through to find the perfect spell for the perfect occasion.
Not only that, but we’re taking the opportunity to update the spells. Some of these spells are worded rather clunky and we’re fixing that. Spells published before the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide and Occult Adventures never added to any official list for these classes. We’re correcting that. Some classes say they just use another class’s spell list and are never listed in a spell’s description. Screw that. Every class gets listed that can cast it. Bard/skald? Yep. Arcanist/sorcerer/wizard? That’s right. Cleric/oracle/warpriest? Up to level 6, then it’s just cleric/oracle. Hunter? Listed. They’re all there.
I’ll be honest, I always thought it was insulting that some classes got listed and some didn’t. It felt like these classes just weren’t good enough to be called out. I get that it saves space, space that could be used for more spell description but it just never sat well with me. So we’re fixing that.
Earlier this week I handed the stat blocks for the Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex off to the editors for checking over. While this is a huge step to getting this book produced, it is not the final step. As JBE’s two brilliant editors are making sure stat blocks are excellent, I begin moving to the writing of the flavor phase. Sure the skeleton of every character is there now, but now I am filling them out, giving them flesh as it were.
Of all the ones I have created thus far, Arcanist Codex was the toughest. Let me describe the process I used for Arcanist Codex. First I came up with the concept for all 20 of the NPCs included in each of these class codices. This ensures a wide breadth of character concepts. Then I build each character without their spells or magic items. Magic items core to the character concept come next. Choosing spells for prepared casters is a two-step process. First I had to choose the spells in their book. Then I get to add spells prepared that day. Once that’s complete, I’ll check over to see if all the choices made work together. You’d be amazed at how often that is not the case. Things like having a rather high number of touch spells sound great until you realized that the character lacks Weapon Fineese and other feats that would be rather beneficial to this build. From there, you have to decide if you need to change the spells out, which feats to lose from the character so you can add in more appropriate ones, or if you need to adjust the ability scores to make it more melee-focused. Do magic items need to be replaced? Once that’s all done, any remaining gold is spent, any unspent skill points are allocated, list all other spells in the spellbook (yes, we effectively list their entire spellbook), etc. Next comes the big question: does this NPC work as a whole? After all of this, if I don’t feel the NPC just doesn’t work, I’ll scrap it and start over with either a new concept, create a completely new NPC from the same concept, or just figure out if this one needs to be tweaked to make it shine. Then I had to check over all the stat blocks, looking for any errors or inconsistent presentations overall 20. It is only here that when these are all as good as they can possibly be that they get turned over to the editors.
Bloodrager Codex—the one we’ll be working on after this—promises to be much easier. There are significantly fewer spell levels. Plus it is a spontaneous caster so I only have to choose spells once instead of twice.
Be sure to get yourself the Arcanist Codex, the Bloodrager Codex, and all the rest as soon as they are complete by subscribing to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. Subscribe today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.