Azusa Miko (Apath)
The azusa miko is a variant of the miko, an animist who uses a bow to shoot "hama ya" or exorcist arrows that help or hinder youkai or imbues her targets with youkai effects. An azusa miko is more of an exorcist and less a spirit intercessor than a normal animist or miko.
This is a animist archetype that channels energy through arrows.
Starting Money: 1d6 × 10 gp (average 35 gp). In addition, the azusa miko starts with a miko outfit and a composite long bow.
Hit Dice: d8.
The azusa miko has all the standard animist's class features, except as noted below. A header in brown indicates a new ability for this archetype, while headers in black are abilities shared with the animist class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
An azusa miko is proficient with the club, dagger (tanto), fighting fan, hanbo, and with the composite long bow. She is not proficient in any armor or shield.
An animist casts divine spells drawn from the druid and ranger spell lists. For spells that are on both the druid and ranger spell lists, use the druid spell level. Add beast shape I (3rd), beast shape II (4th), beast shape III (5th), and beast shape IV (6th) to the animist's spell list at the indicated levels. These spells are not learned automatically, each must be picked as a known spell.
An animist can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, an animist must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an animist’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the animist’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, an animist can cast only a certain number of spells per day of each spell level. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Animist. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).
An animist’s selection of spells is extremely limited. An animist begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new animist level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Animist Spells Known. Unlike spells per day, the number of spells an animist knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Animist Spells Known are fixed.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered animist level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), an animist can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the animist loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. An animist may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.
Aligned Spells An animist can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own, either on the good— evil or law— chaos axis. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions. Note that summoning spells have the alignment as the alignment subtype of the creature summoned.
Orisons Animists learn a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Animist Spells Known. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.
When an animist gains access to a a new level of spells, he immediately gains the summon nature's ally spell of that level as a known spell. These spells cannot be exchanged for different spells at higher levels.
Detect Youkai (Sp)
The animist perceives nearby yourkai. At will, the animist can use detect youkai as a spell-like ability. It functions just like detect undead, except it detects youkai. An animist can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is a youkai or has been in contact with youkai, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the animist does not detect youkai in any other object or individual within range.
An azusa miko has a bond with her bow that works like an arcane bond. She can use it to cast any one spell of a level she can cast on the druid or ranger spell list once per day, even one that is not among her spells known.
The hama yumi allows the azusa miko to fulfill the prerequisites for the Summon Quick Ally feat for any one type of creature. At level 6 and every six levels thereafter, the youkai guide fulfills the prerequisites for one additional type of creature. The azusa miko must still take the feat normally.
This ability replaces the spirit guide and guide concentration abilities.
An azusa miko adds mage armor to her spell list and list of spells known.
At 4th level the azusa miko becomes a master at using force armors, and the armor bonus of mage armor and bracers of armor stack when worn by an azusa miko.
Exorcist Arrow (Su)
An azusa miko can release energy by channeling the power of the spirit world through an arrow to cause damage to youkai. This is similar to the cleric ability channel energy, but there is no relation to positive or negative energy, alignment, or the undead; the azusa miko hurts all youkai and can also damage haunts as if the exorcist arrow damage was positive energy. When an exorcist arrow hits a creature that is possessed, the spiritual damage is inflicted on the possessing creature and not on the possessed body.
Exorcist arrows are charged as a free action, then fired from a bow. An arrow that isn't fired loses its charge after one round. The damage dealt is 1d6, plus 1d6 points of damage for every two azusa miko levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Exorcist arrows can be purely spiritual, which make them touch attacks, or use a material arrow as a focus in which case they are normal attacks and add the damage of the exorcist arrow to that on the normal arrow. Such additional damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. When causing damage with an exorcist arrow, the azusa miko can choose to cause lethal or subdual damage. This is spiritual damage and does full damage to ethereal and incorporeal targets and is not subject to damage reduction or damage resistance.
An azusa miko may use exorcist arrow a number of times per day equal to 3 + 1/2 her level + her Charisma modifier. A exorcist arrow only works for the azusa miko who made it.
This is a variant of the cleric's channel energy ability and works with channeling feats as if the azusa miko was as a cleric of her azusa miko level. Channeling feats that allow a saving throw have a save DC of 10 + 1/2 the asuza miko's class level + her Charisma modifier. Succeeding at this saving throw negates the effect of the channeling feat, but does not reduce the damage of the attack. Only the first exorcist arrow fired each round can carry one additional effect, either from a channeling feat or from a class feature that adds an effect to exorcist arrows, but not both.
Miko wear distinctive white and red robes that the youkai know and react to. In lands where miko are common, they are instantly recognizable as miko in this dress. There are subtle differences between the vestments of miko and azusa miko identifiable with a DC 15 Knowledge (religion) check. These clothes are a variant of a monk's outfit and function as a divine focus for the azusa miko. An azusa miko not wearing the proper vestments cannot cast any spell with a divine focus component.
Mystic Spellstrike (Su)
At 2nd level, whenever an azusa miko casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the druid or ranger spell list, she can deliver the spell through any bow she is wielding as part of a ranged attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, an azusa miko can make one free ranged attack with her weapon (at her highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. This can be a a spell arrow or a physical arrow. A spell arrow is a ranged touch attack that delivers the spell with no additional damage. A physical arrow is a normal ranged attack that deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell.
This attack uses the weapon’s critical range, modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects, but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. Only damage is ever multiplied this way; other spell effects remain unchanged on a critical hit.
A willing target can choose to automatically be hit by a spell arrow.
This otherwise functions as a magus' spellstrike ability, see FAQ/Errata for that ability for more information. This replaces placate youkai.
Protection from Youkai (Sp)
At 3rd level, an animist can perform a 1-minute rite to gain protection from youkai. The protection functions just like protection from evil, except it is personal and protects against youkai rather than evil and lasts until dispelled or negated. If this ability is dispelled, the animist can recreate it simply by taking a minute to do so.
Ghost Hunter (Su)
At 4th level, the animist confers the ghost touch quality to her armor and weapons. Her hama yumi becomes a ghost touch weapon for as long as she uses it. This replaces ghost warrior.
See the Unseen (Su)
At 5th level the animist can see invisibility for one round as a move action. She can do this at will and it can be kept up continuously by continuing to spend move actions to concentrate on maintaining it each round.
Summoning Arrow (Su)
At 6th level, an azusa miko gains the ability to place an summoning spell upon a physical arrow. When the arrow is fired, the creature is summoned where the arrow lands. This ability allows the archer to use the bow's range rather than the spell's range. A spell cast in this way uses its standard casting time and the azusa miko can fire the arrow as part of the casting. The arrow must be fired when the casting is completed or the spell is wasted. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted. If the arrow hits a creature, the creatures(s) summoned will also attack that creature. This replaces youkai ward.
Youkai Entangling Arrow (Sp)
At 6th level the azusa miko learns to use arrows to entangle a youkai, preventing it from using certain abilities that exploit its spirit form. This has the effect of dimensional anchor. Additionally, the creature cannot assume the form of another creature or object, though it can return to its natural form. The save DC is to 10 + ½ the azusa miko's level + the azusa miko's Charisma modifier. This replaces placate the dead.
Bind Youkai (Sp)
At 7th level the animist can bind a youkai. This works like the binding spell, but only against a willing or helpless youkai and with no saving throw. Coercion is acceptable, and common practice is to defeat the youkai in combat before binding it. Animist binding is comfortable, and youkai with knowledge about animists are generally willing to bargain about being bound under the right conditions. If the conditions made in a negotiated binding are not met, the youkai is freed. A youkai bound by this ability is automatically stabilized and heals damage normally while bound.
Sealing Arrow (Sp)
At 8th level the azusa miko learns to use arrows to seal a creature, preventing it from using cerain spiritual abilities. This has the effect of sessile spirit, except that a possessing creature is immediately expelled and cannot possess another creature for 1 hour. The save DC of sessile spirit is to 10 + ½ the azusa miko's level + the azusa miko's Charisma modifier. This replaces exorcism.
Spirit Quest (Sp)
At 9th level an animist learns how she and her companions can vanish bodily into other planes once per day, plus one additional time per day per 5 levels after 9. This ability functions like the spell plane shift but takes 10 minutes to activate.
Ghost Champion (Sp)
At 10th level, as a standard action, the animist can confer the ghost touch special ability on all of the weapons and armor used by one of her allies within 30 ft. Any weapon weilded by a beneficiary of this power becomes ghost touch weapon and any armor worn becomes ghost touch armor. This includes unarmed attacks, natural attacks, and natural armor. Ghost champion can be used at will and lasts one round per level of the animist. Only one ally can benefit form ghost champion at a time, the animist cannot use it again while it is already in effect. If the beneficiary dies or falls unconscious, the effect ends.
Dismissing Arrow (Sp)
At 11th level the azusa miko learns to use arrows to banish extra-planar creatures and dispel many effects. When a youkai arrow hits it has the effect of dismissal and break enchantment. The save DC against dismissal is 10 + ½ the azusa miko's level + the azusa miko's Charisma modifier. A possessing youkai must first be made manifest (such as by using sealing arrow) before it can be dismissed. This replaces banish youkai.
Imbue Arrow (Su)
At 12th level, an azusa miko gains the ability to place an area spell upon an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spell's area is centered where the arrow lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster. This ability allows the archer to use the bow's range rather than the spell's range. A spell cast in this way uses its standard casting time and the azusa miko can fire the arrow as part of the casting. The arrow must be fired during the round that the casting is completed or the spell is wasted. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted. This replaces greater youkai protection.
Shadow Walk (Sp)
At 14th level the animist learns how to travel trough the borders of the shadow world once per day. This ability functions like the spell shadow walk. At level 18, the animist can use this ability twice per day.
Youkai Pinning Arrow (Sp)
At 16th level the azusa miko learns to use arrows to pin extra-planar creatures when damaging them with her youkai arrow ability. The duration of this ability is random. For each "1" rolled on the youkai arrow damage, the youkai is tied down for one round. Youkai s that make a Will saving throw (DC 10 + ½ the azusa miko's level + the azusa miko's Charisma modifier) are unaffected. When a youkai is tied down, it loses any spell resistance, energy resistance, energy immunity, damage reduction, and cannot remain or become incorporeal, astral, ethereal, or use teleport abilities. A youkai tied down in an impossible location (such as in incorporeal youkai tied down while inside an object) is harmlessly pushed away from the azusa miko into the nearest legal space. This replaces tie down youkai.
Spirit Destination (Sp)
At 17th level, when using spirit quest to plane shift, the animist now arrives within one to six miles of her intended destination.
Living Purity (Su)
At 18th level, azusa miko can affect all kinds of creatures with their exorcist arrow ability, not just youkai. This replaces guide walk.
Ghost General (Su)
At 19th level, as a standard action, the animist confers the ghost touch special ability to any weapon or armor worn by her allies within 30 ft. when she uses this ability. This works like ghost champion above, except there is no limit on how many can benefit at any one time. Ghost general can be used at will and lasts one minute per level of the animist.
Planar Deputation (Sp)
At 20th level an animist can head a planar deputation. This functions as gate, but it can only be used to travel; the animist cannot use it to call extra-planar creatures. She can still create the gate next to a willing named extra-planar being in order to travel to its location, and creatures on the other side can voluntarily come to the animists side but the animist has no control over them. Planar deputation has a duration of 10 minutes/level and is dismissible. It is a 10 minute ritual that can be used once per day.
Table: Azusa Miko
| Base Attack
|Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Allied spirits, detect youkai, exorcist arrow 1d6, hama yumi, mage armor, orisons, vestments||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Exorcist arrow 2d6, protection from youkai||5||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Ghost hunter, mage armor (stacking)||6||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Exorcist arrow 3d6, see the unseen||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+5||+2||+2||+5||Exorcist arrow 4d6, bind youkai||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+3||+6||Exorcist arrow 5d6, spirit quest||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+3||+7||Exorcist arrow 6d6 , dismissing arrow||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+4||+8||Exorcist arrow 7d6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+5||+9||Exorcist arrow 8d6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+5||+10||Youkai pinning arrow||6||6||6||6||6||6||5||3||—|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+5||+10||Exorcist arrow 9d6, spirit destination||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||Exorcist arrow 10d6, ghost general||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4|
Summary of Changed Class Abilities
These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:
- Weapon and Armor Proficiency
- Animist Taboos
- Youkai Guide
- Placate Youkai
- Youkai Ward
- Greater Youkai Protection
- Guide Concentration
- Guide Walk
Spirit magic is magic learned from and empowered by spirits, little gods that exist everywhere, mystic energies that can be communed with to work magic. A spirit magician learns to see and commune with spirits and to use their gifts. This is based on a belief called animism and is inherently divine magic, but can be combined with other magic traditions. On its own, it is sometimes called primal magic. Spirit magicians and occult casters share an interest in spirits, but occultists focus on spirits of the dead while spirit magicians commune mostly with spirits of nature.
A series of articles will present three classes grounded in animism, the animist, shugenja, and wu-jen. These classes share a similar animistic view of the world, and are collectively called spirit magicians. Each class uses spirit magic differently, but they all gain power from spirits to work magic. Spirit magicians are no meek clerics who offer worship. A spirit can be bribed and persuaded by offers of service and loyalty, but it can also be coerced or defeated in combat to bind it into service.
Animism is the belief that inside all things are spirits, and these spirits can be befriended, cajoled, or browbeat into cooperation. This belief is common in tribal cultures that live close to nature. Often looked down upon in the west, animism has been suppressed by monotheistic religions but often survives in splinter groups or mixed into the practice of other faiths. Asian cultures tend to be more accepting of faith in spirits, allowing animism to develop more specialized forms, such as that of the shugenja and wu-jen. Druidism can be seen as a variant of animism. The most well-known animist religion today is Shinto, but Taoism and Vodou also has significant animist elements. Feel free to use spirit magic in any campaign, animism exists in innumerable forms all over the world.
Spirit magic is magic empowered by the spirits and spirit magicians live on the border between the world of folk and the many worlds of the spirits. Those who use spirit magic are here collectively called spirit magicians. Most spirit magicians live in two societies at once, the society of folk and the society of spirits. They help and protect their allies in both groups, counting on their assistance in return. When the threat of planar incursion looms, most spirit magicians are staunch defenders of planar boundaries. Good spirit magicians help folk and spirits live together. Their traditional duties are both to facilitate contact with spirits and to delineate a border between the mystical and the mundane. While rarely lawful the way civilized people see things, they help maintain the world order by guarding the border between the domains of folk, the dead, nature, and monsters. Some spirit magicians side entirely with one side, exploiting spirits for benefit of folk or the other way around, while a few are renegades who use both folk and spirits strictly for their own benefit. Powerful spirit magicians explore the planes to find power, wisdom, and solutions to problems. They often bring others along as guards, assistants, or to provide them with spiritual education.
Most of the spirits spirit magicians interact with are imperceptible to everyone else. Spirit magicians see spirits where others find only dead matter or impersonal magical energies. Wizards and clerics often claim these spirits do not exist, as they cannot be observed. This is laughable to spirit magicians, who see their powers as proof of the power of spirits. This creates some bad will between spirit magicians and followers of more structured traditions of magic.
What is a Spirit?
Spirits come in four forms; objects, mundane creatures, youkai, and immaterial spirits. Objects are dormant spirits. They take no action until awakened by magic. Spells like animate object can turn an object into a youkai. Mundane Creatures are spirits that have taken a living, physical form, but that have very little inherent magic. This includes all animals and humanoids. Mundane creatures can awaken their spirit natures to work magic, but unless they change their very nature they are not youkai. Youkai are spirits that can interact with mundane creatures, such as ghosts, as well as spirits that have materialized or taken possession of a mundane object or creature to become a magical creature. Most monsters are youkai. Immaterial Spirits are spells and supernatural abilities. Spirit magic is the work of immaterial spirits allied to or bound by a magician. Youkai and some mundane creatures can manipulate immaterial spirits, and the immaterial spirits in turn can manipulate all other kinds of spirits.
Note that there are no clear lines between these classifications, and combinations are common. A magic item is an object tied to an immaterial spirit. A summoned creature is an immaterial spirit that has taken the form of a youkai. Spellcasters are usually a mundane creatures, but can cajole immaterial spirits to work for them.
Spirit magicians regard most monsters as spirits, and may have abilities gives them power over a wide range of supernatural creatures. To avoid confusion, these rules call creatures imbued with spirit powers youkai, which is Japanese for monster. To a spirit magician an earth elemental is an awakened earth spirit—a youkai—while a rock is an earth spirit at rest—an object. They are both the same, just that one is active and awake while the other is dormant. This confounds and annoys those who try to rationally classify what is supernatural and what is mundane. Nevertheless, for rules purposes, we need to know exactly what a youkai is, as many of the animists' and shugenja's abilities only work on youkai. For purposes of the these abilities, youkai includes all of the following creatures:
- All aberrations
- Constructs except the clockwork and robot subtypes
- All dragons
- All fey
- All magical beasts
- All monstrous humanoids
- Humanoids of the giant or shapechanger subtypes
- All outsiders
- All creatures of the Plant type (not normal plants)
- All undead
- Creatures created by spells, such as animate object.
- Creatures summoned by spells, such as summon nature's ally.
- Creatures in astral, ethereal, or incorporeal form, or who are possessing another creature or object, such as by the magic jar spell.
Spirit magicians see elementals and fey as youkai of nature and undead as youkai of the dead. Magical beasts, constructs, plants, giants, monstrous humanoids, and aberrations are either youkai-possessed or youkai bound in corporeal form. Most spirit magicians consider youkai to be unruly but lovable rascals. While youkai have a definite place in the world order, their place is in the wilds, on other planes, and in shrines—not roaming wild in the lands of folk. Youkai that cause trouble are often bound and enshrined, placated by treating them as little gods.
In cultures where animists and shugenja are common, it is normal practice to enshrine youkai. This practice is also known as binding or sealing the youkai, and is done using the Bind Youkai ability. Coercion is acceptable, and it is common practice to defeat a hostile youkai in combat in order to bind it. A youkai bound by this ability is automatically stabilized and heals damage normally while bound.
Being enshrined is restful and comfortable to the youkai, and those with knowledge of animists are generally willing to bargain about being enshrined under the right conditions. If the conditions made in a negotiated binding are broken, the youkai is freed. As long as binding is used again before the current binding ends, the effect is automatically extended for the duration of the new binding.
An enshrined youkai is not hidden away. Rather it is made into the focal point of a shrine or temple, venerated, and thus kept placated. Whole religious orders can be dedicated to keeping a powerful youkai sealed. Shugenja seek out such shrines because they can learn spells from them, but shrine guardians usually demand some kind of service or offering from a strange shugenja before they let them into the presence of the youkai. A normal cost is the same as that for casting a spell of the level the youkai can teach.
Spirit magicians are often good summoners because of their close tie to the spirits. A summoned creature is an immaterial spirit that takes on a physical form and is always considered a youkai, even if the summoned creature is an animal. To reflect the the close ties to the spirits, the Summon Quick Ally feat allows druids and other spirit magicians to summon creatures more quickly.
Summon Quick Ally (General)
|Fey||Resist nature's lure|
|Humanoid||A thousand faces|
|Magical Beast||Beast shape III|
|Outsider||Elemental body III|
|Vermin||Wild empathy usable with vermin|
Prerequisite: Ability to cast summon nature's ally, animist class feature or a another class feature, see table.
Benefit: Choose one creature type from Table: Quick Allies that you fulfill the prerequisite for. When you cast a summon nature's ally spell to summon a creature of this type, the casting time of the spell becomes 1 standard action. This does not work on creatures that have a template.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each time, select a different type of creature.
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