Skip Navigation Links
MenuExpand Menu

The Wizard

This document provides suggestions and insights into how to translate the ideas of the Wizard class from the source material into Pathfinder Fate Accelerated.

"Beyond the veil of the mundane hide the secrets of absolute power. The works of beings beyond mortals, the legends of realms where gods and spirits tread, the lore of creations both wondrous and terrible—such mysteries call to those with the ambition and the intellect to rise above the common folk to grasp true might.

Such is the path of the wizard. These shrewd magic-users seek, collect, and covet esoteric knowledge, drawing on cultic arts to work wonders beyond the abilities of mere mortals.

While some might choose a particular field of magical study and become masters of such powers, others embrace versatility, reveling in the unbounded wonders of all magic.

In either case, wizards prove a cunning and potent lot, capable of smiting their foes, empowering their allies, and shaping the world to their every desire."

Archetype Considerations

Arcane is the only Archetype a wizard has to concern themselves with; everything else is optional.

Arcane +3 allows unrestricted spell casting using the simple magic guidelines, which you should read first if you are serious about playing a spellcaster.

However, Pathfinder Fate Accelerated offers the prepared casting option for those who prefer the idea of wizards needing to prepare or memorize a finite number of spells per day.

To be considered a wizard, a character who is taking the Prepared Casting Stunt should start with at least Arcane +2; characters who prefer to free cast spells should start with at least Arcane +3.

Going with Arcane +4 is a powerful choice, but splashing another Archetype also yields benefits and can go a long way towards anchoring various concepts.

Roguish +1 or +2 is a great choice for a resourceful wizard who knows their way around civilized lands, has some people skills, and is familiar with the use of daggers, crossbows, slings, and the like.

There is a lot of synergy to be had between Roguish and Arcane, and it is hard to go wrong with this choice.

Combative +1 or +2 is a great choice for a wizard who knows which end of a weapon to point towards an enemy. It also opens the door to becoming a magus or something similar later on.

Primal +1 or +2 can work for certain concepts. Primal plus Arcane lends itself more towards witches and elementalists than wizards, but something like a "hedge wizard" or wise man could work.

Focused +1 is a very solid and safe choice for an adaptable wizard. However Focused +2 doesn't offer much additional benefit for a wizard and is probably not worth it for anything other than concept reasons.

Divine +1 or +2 is perhaps the most unusual choice, and would most likely be taken purely for concept reasons, such as something like the Mystic Theurge idea from the source material.

Sample Iconics

Amarzedrin, Javina, Domidar

Starting Archetype Sets

Eldritch

Arcane +4

Cryptic

Arcane +3, Roguish +1

Spellblade

Arcane +3, Combative +1

Failed Apprentice

Arcane +2, Roguish +2

Gish

Arcane +2, Combative +2

Support / Utility

The source material offers wizards as full casting utility characters with an array of options including buffing, debuffing, and control spells.

Blaster

A wizard can serve as a blaster, loading up on ranged damage spells.

There is a point of view among Pathfinder grognards that blasting is not an optimal strategy for a full arcane caster, but it can be a fun way to go nonetheless and it is the rare wizard who doesn't have at least one or two ranged damage spells.

In Pathfinder Fate Accelerated, blasting usually amounts to just using the Arcane Archetype in conjunction with the attack action. Some characters might also take one or more Stunts related to using Arcane to attack.

Specialization

Wizards are able to choose a school specialization in the source material, which offers extra spells and thematic benefits related to a specific "school of magic" (Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, Transmutation).

Diverging From Source Material

The wizard is a solid and flexible class in the source material...indeed, it is often considered to be among the most powerful base classes in the game. But Pathfinder Fate Accelerated offers even more flexibility to personalize your wizard to make a character that is as distinctive as they are capable.

Prepared Casting vs Free Casting

Free casting is the default in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated, and you are not required to limit yourself to the prepared caster model unless you want to. You can use the free casting model and just apply the "wizard" label.

Sorcerer / Summoner / Witch

The mechanical differentiation in the source material between Arcane primary casters does not exist in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated.

You are free to blend concepts as much as you like and apply whatever label you want to the result.

Approach Considerations

Almost all wizards are Clever, indeed a sharp mind and prodigious intelligence is a defining characteristic of the concept of wizards. Many wizards are also Careful, preferring to thoroughly study or ponder and to act with ritualistic precision.

Abjurers will tend to favor Quick and Forceful.

Conjurers will tend to favor Careful and Forceful.

Diviners will tend to favor Careful and Sneaky.

Enchanters will tend to favor Flashy and Sneaky.

Invokers will tend to favor Flashy and / or Forceful and / or Quick.

Illusionists will tend to favor Quick and Sneaky.

Necromancers will tend to favor Careful and Sneaky.

Transmuters will tend to favor Forceful and Sneaky.

What Kind Of Wizard, Exactly?

Generally speaking, when defining a character in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated that you envision falling into the wizard category, you might start out by asking yourself the following questions:

Prepared Or Not Prepared?

As mentioned previously, Pathfinder Fate Accelerated allows unrestricted spell casting using the simple magic guidelines. However, the prepared casting option is provided for those who prefer the idea of wizards needing to prepare or memorize a finite number of spells per day.

You are not required to limit yourself to the prepared casting model unless you want to. "Wizard" is just a label that can be applied to a character that does not use the prepared casting option as easily as it can be applied to a character that does. If you decide to go this route, you might want to check out the sorcerer class translation as well.

If you do decide to use the prepared casting option, there are some measurable benefits to it. Perhaps most significantly for a starting character, prepared casters get a large bonus to apply to spells they have prepared and can thus be quite potent despite their relatively small number of spells per day.

If you are using the prepared casting model, you might want to look at some sample spell write-ups to help you pick a list of known spells.

Amarzedrin is a mage who is determined to one day be recognized as an archwizard. However, he's paid a steep price in the number of years spent dedicated to academic study, and his real-world experience is lacking. Book smart but not streetwise, his theoretical understanding of the world does not always withstand the more pragmatic necessities of reality.

Fortunately for Amarzedrin and his allies, his broad education and diverse studies have provided a plethora of options for solving problems with...assuming he prepared the right spell for the problem at hand.

Pure Spellcaster Or Thematic Hybrid?

Are you planning to play a dedicated wizard, or do you intend to go for a hybrid by splashing some wizardly magic onto some other concept. This decision will mostly influence your choice of Archetypes and your Stunt selections.

In Pathfinder Fate Accelerated, characters using the Prepared Casting model do have an edge over free casters when it comes to hybrid concepts, due to the allowance to cast spells with Arcane +2 rather than needing to have Arcane +3 to gain spellcasting.

Even though a prepared caster with Arcane +2 does not get very many spells per day, the spells they do get are reasonably potent.

Domidar started life as a wealthy merchant's son of unusual intelligence. Gifted with a princely education and enrollment in the prestigious College of Mysteries in Absalom, he trained as a wizard for years.

Sadly the winds of fortune blew ill and his family fell into ruin before Domidar completed his studies. Unable to meet the tuition, Domidar was forced out into the cruel world with nothing but his unfinished wizarding training, and his well educated agile mind.

Living since then by his sharp wits, honeyed words, and deniable con artistry, Domidar walks a wily path always chasing some new scheme to 'get it all back'.

Specialization Or No Specialization?

In the source material there's no good reason for a wizard to not be a specialist as they gain significant mechanical advantages. However, that is not true in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated; the choice to specialize or not is purely a matter of character concept with no mechanical effect.

However deciding to specialize does offer a lot of character development opportunities, providing a strong theme to build a character around. Certain specializations also lend themselves better to certain roles, and thus choosing to incorporate a school specialization will tend to have an impact on how your character interacts with others and what niche they are able to fill for an adventuring party.

If you do opt for a specialization, it will probably influence your High Concept. You will probably also want to anchor your specialization with at least one Stunt.

Pathfinder Fate Accelerated doesn't try to force you to comply with your own character concept, thus there's no such thing as a forbidden or opposed school. It is entirely up to you whether you want to incoporate such an idea into your character, and to self-police yourself to comply with it if you do. However you could incorporate the idea of an opposed school into your Trouble if you wanted to.

Javina is a young wizardess, a legacy member of the Pathfinder Society trained from childhood by semi-retired adventurer parents.

Particularly skilled at divinations and abjurations, Javina is a capable and well prepared professional with several successful delves under her belt. Her magic provides her with a myriad of tools for solving problems and supporting party members.

Role?

Perhaps the most powerful attribute of a universalist wizard, sometimes known as a mage, is that on any given day they can fill just about any given role. With a wise selection of spells, such a character is the ultimate toolbox utility character.

Specialists give up some of that flexibility, but gain the benefits of focusing on particular facets of magic.

Abjurers are all about defense and can serve as tanks of a sort, nullifying magic, repulsing opponents, using globes of invulnerability, as well as buffing their buddies to be more tankish with various protective magics. Wards and glyphs also allow an abjurer with time to set up magical traps.

Conjurers excel at summoning minions to serve them, and thus can potentially fill any role as they can summon up a creature that is suited to the job at hand. They are particularly adept at vicariously fulfilling the Striker and Tank roles. A variety of conjuration effects also provide battlefield control, such as entanglers and large cloud effects.

Diviners excel at gaining information which allows them to make especially good use of create advantage to discover Aspects. They are also often able to predict the near future to both avoid attacks as well as know when and where it is most auspicious to strike.

Enchanters can excel as a "face", controlling social situations. They can also use their magics to control sentient opponents, allowing for a soft form of battlefield control.

Illusionists excel at deception and control. Some illusionists can also use their magic to aid them in social encounters by seeming to be someone else or altering a mark's perception of reality. They can also manage some battlefield control by tricking opponents into tactical or strategic blunders.

Invokers excel at ranged striking, blasting opponents with powerful magics. They can also mount a potent defense with walls of force and similar constructs, and they have excellent battlefield control via various walls and spells that have large areas of effect.

Necromancers excel at debuffs and some buffs (though often of a grotesque nature). They also often have powerful and insidious attacks, and can control undead minions to do their bidding.

Transmuters are the kings of buffing. They also have a lot of decisive all-or-nothing effects such as disintegrate and offensive polymorph spells that have the potential to entirely alter the nature of an encounter in a single moment.

Stunts

Wizard characters might find the following Stunt categories of interest: Arcanist, Special.

The following Stunts are offered as samples that might be relevant for some wizards.

However, the best Stunts are those that are tailor made to fit your concept, so don't hesitate to come up with your own or work with your GM to define something that is "just right" for your character. See the Stunt options document for ideas on how to do this.

Arcane Senses

Many (but not all) wizards are amazingly observant and are even able to see arcane forces, which greatly aids them in their magic.

Arcane Senses: Because I have developed my arcane senses to impressive heights, I may use Arcane instead of Focused to notice or perceive things and I can sense things that require mystical awareness to detect.

This stunt requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

School Specialization

Some wizards focus on a particular "school" or sub-grouping of magic, developing their skills with such spells to high levels of ability.

Diviner's Warning: Because my skills with divination magics are very advanced, I can use Arcane instead of Focused to notice things that could harm me and I gain +2 to do so.

Skilled Abjurer: Because I am skilled at using abjurations to nullify magic, I get +1 when I am Arcane and defend or overcome using abjuration magic.

Skilled Conjurer: Because I am skilled at using conjurations for summoning minions to do by bidding, I get +2 when I am Arcane and overcome using conjuration magic to summon a servitor.

Skilled Diviner: Because I am skilled at using divinations to know the unknown, I get +1 when I am Arcane and create advantage or overcome using divination magic.

Skilled Enchanter: Because I am skilled at using enchantments to bend others to my will, I get +1 when I am Arcane and create advantage or overcome using enchantment magic.

Skilled Illusionist: Because I am skilled at using my illusions to hide the truth, I get +2 when I am Arcane and create an advantage using illusion magics to deceive.

Skilled Invoker: Because I am skilled at using evocations to wreak mayhem, I get +1 when I am Arcane and attack using evocation magic.

Skilled Necromancer: Because I am skilled at using my necromancy, I get +1 when I am Arcane and create advantage or attack using necromantic magic.

Skilled Transmuter: Because I am skilled at using transmutations to change the fundamental nature of things, I get +1 when I am Arcane and create advantage or overcome using transmutation magic.

Spell Mastery

Some wizards develop their skill with a particular spell to such heights that they no longer need to prepare it. Additionally, such abilities are often personalized to suit the wizard's style or idiom.

Arcane Aegis: Because I have mastered protecting myself with magic, I may use Arcane to defend against physical attacks without needing to first create an advantage to invoke.

Arcane Domination (-2): Because of my mastery of mind-affecting enchantments, while I am Forcefully Arcane I can make mental attacks against a living target in my zone or an adjacent zone. Consequences inflicted by this ability pertain to my gaining increasing control over the target's mind. If the target concedes to me, the target must do as I command in general but retains enough control to avoid doing anything fundamentally against the target's nature. If the target is taken out with this ability I assume full control of the target's behavior until they are able to recover from the Consequences.

Arcane Bolts: Because I have mastered the art of Arcane Bolts, I gain +2 when I am Flashily Arcane and attack with ranged magic.

Chained Lightning: Because I am able to project a bolt of lighting that jumps from target to target, once per session when I am Flashily Arcane and attack I may affect all enemy targets in my zone without having to split my shifts between them.

Disenchant: Because I am adept at dispelling persistent magical effects, I gain +2 while Arcane to overcome situational Aspects put into play via any kind of magic.

Enchanting Beauty: Because I am adept at using subtle enchantments to magically enhance my beauty, I may add my Arcane capability as a bonus to any social interaction where my appearance can be a factor; however this can be resisted by Arcane and is a Mind-Affecting effect.

Enchanting Empathy: Because I am a master of enchantment magics that allow me to manipulate the emotional states of others, while I am Cleverly Arcane I can engage a target in a social conflict and if I inflict a Consequence I can afflict them with a propensity for a specific emotion. Consequences such as Fits Of Uncontrollable Rage, Plunged Into Deep Sadness, Gripped By Passionate Love, and Overwhelmed By Euphoric Happiness incite those afflicted to act out in ways appropriate to the emotional state I have imposed on them. If, while I share a scene with the target, a Consequences I have inflicted with this ability is compelled and the target spends a fate point to refuse the compel, I gain the fate point immediately.

Fireburst: Because I am able to cause a mystical explosion to occur, once per session when I am Flashily Arcane and attack I may affect all targets in up to two contiguous adjacent zones without having to split my shifts between them. This is non-discriminatory, and often causes collateral damage.

Heed Me!: Because I have a magical knack that allows me to augment my spoken voice with enchanting magics I may use Arcane for social interactions if I can talk and my target can hear me. I am resisted by Arcane when I do so. This is a form of mind-affecting magic.

This stunt requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Levitation: Because I have mastered the art of mystic levitation, while I am Flashily Arcane I may attempt to overcome a Superb (+5) difficulty to create the situational Aspect Levitating on myself. While this Aspect is in play I may levitate; while levitating I am unaffected by obstacles that I can levitate over, and I can hover out of easy reach of the ground thus frustrating melee attackers. This Aspect can be overcome by appropriate magic, with a Legendary (+8) difficulty. I cannot invoke the Aspect for any additional benefit.

Mana Bolts: Because I am able to launch target-seeking magical bolts, when I am Cleverly Arcane and attack I may spend a Fate point or suffer the Mild Consequence Spell Fatigue to affect all enemy targets in an adjacent zone without having to split my shifts between them.

Necromantic Enervation: Because I am a master of necromancy, I am able to drain the life energy from others. While I am Sneakily Arcane I can attack others with 'Life Draining' spells; in addition to the stress if I inflict a Consequence on my target I afflict them with enervation and ennui. Consequences such as Easily Fatigued, Fits Of Ennui, Prone To Depression, and Sunk Into A Deep Funk cause those afflicted to struggle to motivate and empower themselves, to unexpectedly lose interest in being active, become unconcerned about succeeding in their endeavors, and so forth. If a target is taken out in this way, they die and rise again as an Undead minion that I can control for the remainder of the scene and possibly longer at the GM's discretion.

Reverberation: Because I know many Words of Power, if I am currently able to speak as a non-action I may spend a Fate point to utter a Word and immediately remove from play any one situational Aspect in my zone or an adjacent zone with a difficulty of Legendary (+8) or less to overcome. Though there is no 4dF roll involved, I am considered to be acting in a Flashily Arcane manner when I do this and the reverberations of the Word are very noticeable.

Shocking Touch: Because I am able to generate a magical paralyzing shock, I may use Arcane instead of Focused when fighting barehanded or grappling. This is an electric attack and I cannot use this Stunt against opponents who are immune to electricity.

Spell Turning: Because I am able to reflect magic to protect myself, once per scene if I am the target of an Arcane spell and I am aware of it I may overcome the same difficulty required to cast the spell while Cleverly Arcane; however I suffer a -2 penalty to my roll. If I am successful the spell has no effect on me and I turn the spell back upon its caster, against whom the spell has its full normal effect.

Spell Turning (-2): Because I am able to reflect magic to protect myself, once per exchange if I am the target of an Arcane spell and I am aware of it I may overcome the same difficulty required to cast the spell while Cleverly Arcane; however I suffer a -2 penalty to my roll. If I am successful the spell has no effect on me and I turn the spell back upon its caster, against whom the spell has its full normal effect.

Magical Crafting

To augment and complement their spellcasting some wizards dip into alchemical arts, while others make an abundance of scrolls, and yet others craft some other minor magical items.

Prepared Caster (Alchemy Dabbler)

Because I am a capable dabbler in the esoteric science of Alchemy, given time and opportunity I may 'prepare' a number of potions, elixirs, salves and similar 'concoctions' equal to (Careful + Arcane).

Unused concoctions remain until they get activated or destroyed and can be stockpiled. These Aspects are portable; I may give them to others and they can be taken away from me.

Making a concoction requires time, materials, and either a lab or a field kit; the specifics are left to the GM's discretion, but simple potions might take minutes while very powerful potions might take one or more hours.

If a strict economy is being enforced in the campaign, it usually costs about half retail price to make a concoction; GM's discretion applies.

Commodities

Alchemical concoctions can be given, sold to, or stolen by others and used by them. They are effectively a commodity.

However all of an alchemist's concoctions, including those under another character's control, count against their preparation limit.

Alchemical Item Write-ups

A variety of write-ups for specific alchemical items and potions are available. Each usage of these kinds of alchemical items counts against an alchemist's preparation limit.

Note that the provided write-ups are just examples, and not a restricted list of allowed effects; an alchemist can make any sort of alchemical item the GM allows.

To prepare a concoction I roll 4dF and add Arcane against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty; failure indicates a botched concoction and that 'slot' is wasted for the day. I temporarily gain a new personal Aspect corresponding to the concoction I prepared with one invoke, and annotated with the margin of success.

Prepared concoctions are activated by invoking its Aspect as an action and resolving the effect of the concoction using the previously rolled margin of success. It is possible for a concoction resolution to fail if the margin of success is insufficient to the difficulty or if opposed successfully. If I am the activator, I can spend a Fate point at this time to add +2 shifts to the margin of success.

This stunt requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Scroll Scrivener: Because I have mastered the art of scribing scrolls, I can be Cleverly Arcane and prepare 'spell completion' items as scrolls or similar items for specific spell effects that I can cast. I can later cast the inscribed spell (using the simple magic system guidelines) from the item, gaining a bonus in the process. Other characters with Arcane +1 or better can also use my scrolls. I can also stockpile unused scrolls, as well as use scrolls inscribed by others. Unless explicitly denied means and opportunity, I can prepare a number of new scrolls ready for use equal to my Arcane capability each day.

Strange Magics

Some wizards practice unusual variations or alternate traditions of arcane magic.

Hedge Arcanist: Because I practice a more ancient form of Arcane magic that remains connected to the natural world, while Arcane I can cast spells that replicate effects that are usually the province of Primal. Further, I may also add Primal as a bonus to my roll when I do so.

This stunt requires Primal +1 or better to use.

Arcane Archery: Because I am an Arcane Archer, when I am Cleverly Arcane and use a bow and arrow I get +2 when I attack and the attack is considered to be magic rather than mundane.

Familiar

Wizards sometimes have animal companions as familiars; see the Stunt options document for details on how to incorporate companions into your character using Stunts.

Bonded Familiars

Bonded familiars offer a lot of value for their Refresh equivalency, but also pose a dire threat to their owners should they be killed as their lifeforce is bound to their owner's lifeforce.

Familiar (Bonded): Because I have a mystical familiar I am always accompanied by an animal that is particularly smart and capable for its kind. However, the life force of my familiar is bound to my own. If my familiar is slain I immediately take a Severe Consequence Severed Familiar Bond and I cannot gain a new familiar until this consequence has been cleared.

Two (2) Aspects

Good At: Spread +4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Bad At: Spread -4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

Moderate (4)

Proxy Familiars

Proxy familiars offer a lot of value for their Refresh equivalency and allow their owners to extend the range at which they can use various abilities, but also pose a challenge to their owners should they be killed as they are the repository of their owner's known spells.

Familiar (Proxy): Because I have a mystical familiar I am always accompanied by an animal that is particularly smart and capable for its kind. However, my familiar is the repository of all my known spells and if they are killed I cannot cast Arcane spells until I get a replacement familiar.

Two (2) Aspects

Good At: Spread +2 around one or two skill-like abilities

Bad At: Spread -4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

Moderate (4)

Spell Proxy: My owner can treat targets in the zone that I am in as if they were in their zone for purposes of spells and spell-like abilities that only affect targets in the caster's zone.

The ability to share the senses of a familiar can be useful.

Companion's Senses: Because I share a mystical bond with my animal companion, I may spend a Fate point to share their senses for a scene at a range of a few dozen miles. This allows me to witness events through the senses of my companion as if I were present. This can be detected by others with appropriate senses as a Quick + Primal overcome action vs a Fantastic (+6) difficulty.

Option: Prepared Casting

A common trope of the source material is the so-called "Vancian" magic concept, wherein some kinds of spellcasters must "prepare" or "memorize" spells chosen from their list of "known spells" and / or a "spellbook" ahead of time, and have a limited number of slots determined by their "caster level" and rated in "spell levels".

It's all a bit cumbersome, adds a lot of bookkeeping and extra verbiage, and also forces that type of character to guess what spells they'll need through the course of the day and then puts pressure on them to hoard their memorized spells like a miser. But, it does have the benefit of long familiarity, and some people enjoy the extra mental challenge and tension it instills.

Pathfinder Fate Accelerated allows free-casting without spell per day or even hard spell level limits. This is a fast and loose style of play, and it's weighted so as to keep spellcasters roughly equivalent in potency to non-spellcasters. However, if the GM and group want to include prepared casting semantics into their game, it can be "turned" on for a given character at the cost of a Stunt.

The below Stunt is appropriate for Arcane characters such as wizards, who must have Arcane +2 or better to qualify for it. Note that this allows a character with less than Arcane +3 to cast more than cantrips; the low number of uses and lack of free-casting compensates.

Prepared Caster (Arcane)

Because of my studies as a classically trained arcanist, each morning I may 'prepare' a number of 'spells' equal to ((Careful + Clever) * Arcane).

To prepare a spell I roll 4dF against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty, adding a preparation bonus equal to double my Arcane bonus.

I temporarily gain a new personal Aspect corresponding to the spell I prepared with one invoke, and annotated with the margin of success.

Later during the day I may 'cast' a prepared spell by invoking its Aspect as an action and resolving the spell using the previously rolled margin of success.

Using Spell Write-ups

If I am preparing a spell from a write-up that indicates an Approach be combined with Arcane to cast the spell, with language such as 'while Cleverly Arcane', I ignore the requirement and use my prepared bonus instead.

If I am preparing a spell from a write-up that states a particular difficulty level, with language such as 'vs a Good (+3) difficulty)', the previously rolled margin of success is applied against the stated difficulty when I 'cast' it; any remaining shifts can be allocated per the simple magic guidelines.

It is possible for a spell resolution to fail if the margin of success is insufficient to the difficulty or if I am opposed successfully. I can spend a Fate point at this time to add +2 shifts to the margin of success.

Unfortunately due to my focus on prepared casting, I cannot free cast anything other than simple arcane spells known as cantrips.

NOTE: as Prepared Casting is handled as a Stunt and Fate Accelerated characters are allowed to swap Stunts at milestones, it is technically possible for strange shenanigans to come up. However, it is recommended that Prepared Casting Stunts be anchored by a character's High Concept, and can thus only be taken or removed when an appropriate High Concept is taken or changed. This equates to character creation and major milestones, and avoids casual fluctuations.

Known Spells List

As a rule of thumb prepared casters start play knowing about twice as many spells as they can cast per day. Thus a prepared caster than can prepare twelve (12) spells per day would start play knowing around twentyfour (24) spells, give or take a couple. However to avoid forcing a player to go through the chore of picking them all up front, which is a bar to starting play, with the GM's permission a player can just select enough spells to start the game and retroactively add more to the list of known spells as they are thought up until they hit their limit.

Finally, prepared casters can learn more spells after play starts as they encounter scrolls and spellbooks. How long it takes, whether a roll is involved, hand-waved or played out...Pathfinder Fate Accelerated prefers to focus on narrative driven play and doesn't take a stance on bookkeeping minutia where it can be avoided. Therefore it is assumed to take some "off screen" time to learn new spells by default, but the entire matter is left to the GM's discretion.

Some sample spells are provided, and players are also free to come up with their own per GM's discretion.

Pros and Cons of Prepared Casting

There are some interesting permutations to the choice to play a prepared caster. Prepared casters:

  • Get a large bonus on their roll to prepare.
  • Can apply spells that they are pretty sure are going to work to a situation, because they already know how many shifts are available to the spell rather than having to hope they succeed at a 4dF roll at the time of casting.
  • Don't have to use create advantage actions when the "heat is on" to set up more esoteric spells, offering better action economy.
  • Get potentially far fewer spells per day than characters using the free-casting model, but as the saying goes "enough is as good as a feast". Eventually a prepared caster can cast a sufficient number of spells to get through a typical session of play.
  • Excel if sessions are short as their limited number of spells is mitigated.
  • Lag if sessions are longer with multiple encounters.
  • Lag if the player guesses wrong about what will be useful, or runs out of spells too soon, or hoards their spells so tightly they end up not doing anything.

Prepared Casting Example

For instance, Amarzedrin can prepare up to twelve (12) spells per day. Each time he prepares a spell, he rolls 4dF and adds +8 (his Arcane bonus, doubled). One morning he prepares Fireball (and eleven (11) other spells). For the Fireball preparation he rolls ++-[] for a total of +9. Amarzedrin's player writes down the personal Aspect "Prepared Fireball (+9) [ ]" on a scrap of paper.

Because it is useful to this example, it makes sense that later in the day Amarzedrin is confronted by a couple of mobs of goblins (represented as mooks), damn the luck.

Deciding to not waste time and risk injury, Amarzedrin invokes Prepared Fireball. The Prepared Fireball Aspect is removed from play as it has been expended, and the nine (9) shifts from his margin of success are used to power a Fireball spell effect.

Amarzedrin splits his nine (9) shifts into a group of five (5) shifts and a group of four (4) shifts and allocates each set of shifts as stress to the two goblin mobs. The first group of goblins defends at +0 (they are not spellcasters, and have no relevant skill-like abilities) and roll +--- for a total of -2. Amarzedrin succeeds with style and may take a boost at the cost of a shift; but for purposes of the example he opts to just blow them up.

The second group of goblins is actually a goblin pyromancer and his apprentice...of course! They have a relevant Fire Magic skill-like ability at +3, and roll +++- for a total of Superb (+5), and defend successfully. Looks like Amarzedrin has a fight on his hands.