User:Zhenra-Khal/Project Atrea (3.5e Sourcebook)/Mechanics/Pact Magic
Pact Magic is a kind of magic all to itself, not like arcane or divine magic, but rather a bridge between both. It functions for the most part like arcane magic, except that it lacks arcane spell failure. However, it is granted by another, more powerful being, and is thus blocked by effects that block connection to your deity, and those with resistance to Divine magic, such a Ur-Priests, as also resistant to pact magic. For the purposes of prerequisites, Pact spellcasting counts as arcane spellcasting; Except in the case of the patron The Deity, as in that case your power is coming directly from a god. In the case of The Deity, your pact magic is vulnerable to things that block arcane magic, and counts as Divine spellcasting for the purposes of prerequisites.
Pactbound all start with a list of spells granted to them by their Patron; However, they also keep spellbooks, which they use just as a Wizard does. Each day, a Pactbound may prepare two spells of each spell level they know - This adds them to the list of spells they can spontaneously cast that day. The spells are not lost when cast, and in fact, a Pactbound can spend all of their daily Magic slots casting the same prepared spell over and over again, without any negative effects beyond being a one-trick. Thus, Pact Magic counts as both prepared and spontaneous casting.
Pact Magic Slots
Another major distinction between Pact Magic and other forms of spellcasting is that instead of granting different numbers of spell slots for each spell level, all of the spell slots granted are of the same level, but are fewer in number. When a spell is cast using a Pact magic slot, it is cast as a spell of the slot's level, including DC; However, you cannot cast a known spell (Such as those granted by your Patron) from a spell slot whose level is lower than the spell in question. For example, if your spell slots are all 5th level, and you cast a Fireball, the Fireball would count as a 5th-level spell for the purposes of a Globe of Invulnerability, as well as having the DC of a 5th-level spell. However, you could not cast spells of 6th level or higher from your spell slots, as your slots are all level 5.
Just like a Sorcerer, you can cast any spell you know as long as you have a Pact Magic slot to cast it from.
Below is the table of bonus Pact Magic slots per day granted by a high ability score modifier. Generally the relevant ability score is Charisma, but there are special cases. The bonus slots on the table are total, not accumulative - If your Charisma is 19 and gaining a level increases your slot level from 3rd to 4th, you only gain 1 bonus slot, not 4.
|Ability Score||Modifier||Pact Magic Slot Level|
|etc. . .|
Pact Magic and Metamagic
Applying metamagic to Pact Magic spells works differently from applying it to normal spells, because there are no higher-level slots to cast the modified spells from. Instead, adding metamagic to a Pact Magic spell reduces the spell slot's level, though you cannot reduce the slot level below the spell's level. For example, if your spell slots are all 6th level and you wanted to cast an Empowered Lightning Bolt, the spell would count as a 4th-level spell instead of a 6th-level spell, including the DC.
This means that Heighten Spell is effectively useless. Likewise, Quicken Spell is just as useless, since Pactbound are typically spontaneous casters.
Mystic Intercession, also known simply as Intercession, is an ability all Pactbound share. More or less, this ability simply allows you to, as a full-round action, cast a single Pact Magic spell, one level higher than the level of your Pact Magic slots, a certain number of times per day (Usually once per day). This allows you to cast Pact spells you know but cannot otherwise cast - Typically one from the list granted by your patron. This can also simply be spell you can already cast, with metamagic attached to it that you normally could not apply. A Greater version of this ability exists, allowing you to cast a spell two levels higher than your spell slots. In essence, you get to increase the effective spell level of a Pact Magic slot by one or two, a set number of times per day.
Instantly upon meeting your Pact's quota for the week or month (Determined by your Pact), you gain a single additional use of Intercession. This can only be used once, and goes away if not used within the period of your term (Which is generally either a week or a month).
All Pactbound have a mode of special attack granted to them by their Patron. These are collectively known as Otherworldly Attacks, whether they be a Warlock's Otherworldly Blast, a Pact Knight's Master's Smite or the Mountebank's Deceptive Strike. The bonus damage added to the attacks (Or in the case of the Warlock, the damage of the attacks altogether) is determined by your Patron. Otherworldly Attacks are always attack actions, meaning you can make full attacks and attacks of opportunity with them, though in the case of ranged Otherworldly Attacks, you need something like the Ranged Threat feat in order to make attacks of opportunity outside your melee reach.
While different from the original Warlock listed in the Complete Arcane, Pactbound still use invocations. However, they cannot gain Eldritch Essence or Blast Shape invocations, though invocations that aren't Essences or Shape but have Essence or Shape functionality, like Dark Spiral Aura, can be applied to a Pactbound's Otherworldly Attack normally, with the exception that they don't change the damage type - They only add the additional effect(s) of the essence, such as self-healing in Dark Spiral Aura's case.
Instead, things that change your Otherworldly attacks can be found as Pact Boons of the Otherworldly Essence, Otherworldly Shape and Otherworldly Augment types. You can apply only one Essence, one Shape and one Augment to your Otherworldly Attack at a time.
Most of this sourcebook assumes you are using the Bonus Invocations variant rule, but this can become problematic in some campaigns when combined with the bonus Pact Magic slots granted by a high Charisma, so beware of Charisma-pumping Warlocks.
Drift is a term for slow and steady evolution or devolution into a new form. The most common examples of this mechanic are the Dragon Disciple and the Geomancer (Complete Divine, page 41). While less drastic and abrupt than the Geomancer's Drift, the effect is similar, causing your appearance and general traits to slowly change to resemble your Patron.
At each level indicated, you choose one of the listed effects. Drift is divided into 5 Stages, each more severe than the last; Your first Drift must be from Stage 1, and you can only advance to the next Stage of Drift once you have at least two Drifts from the previous stage. However, you may choose Drifts from a stage lower than your maximum any time you like - You could, in fact, choose never to advance beyond the first stage of Drift.
While the mechanics share name and function, a Geomancer cannot choose a Drift from this list, nor a Pactbound choose a Drift from the Geomancer list.