Caver (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Cavers are abolitionists that help slaves escape.


Slavery is a scourge across much of the world, and many slaves do the best they can to escape or resist their owners. Over time, underground networks have formed to move escaped slaves to freedom. Made up mainly of slaves and former slaves, this network goes under the moniker the ”Dark” and the guides that lead slaves to freedom are called cavers.

Cavers employ spelunking and mining euphemisms to mask their activities from unfriendly ears— referring to their secret hideouts as “caves”, the former slaves they escort as their “tubs”, secret messages “lights”, signposts “lanterns”, places where slaves are held “mines”, slaves still in bondage are “miners” and the secret paths they take are “tunnels” or “shafts”. A few escape routes are literally underground, but these terms are used on the surface too.

The Dark is not one worldwide organization but a multitude of independent networks. Cavers often meet in secret to discuss which routes are safest, how much to bribe certain officials, what tactics work best, and to share skills to improve chances of evading capture. But there exists no chain of command, and cavers usually keep their activities and civilian identities secret from one another.

Not only cavers speak of caves, mines, and spelunking, adventurers do too. Sometimes heroes unaffiliated with The Dark fall under suspicion for using the language of the cavers, resulting in violence. While this is generally good for the cause, it has given The Dark a bad reputation among adventurers.

Finally, the skills of the caver can easily be turned to other uses. Traffickers, smugglers, insurgents, and even slavers in areas where slavery is illegal can put the methods developed by cavers to good use. Some renegade cavers have been practicing their skills outside of The Dark for generations and think of them as secrets of their own guild or order.

Cavers of Porphyra

Slavery is prolific all over Porphyra, but the most iconic slaves are the dhosari of Erkusaa. This is where the lingo of the Dark comes from. Erkusaa is riddled with caves and these caves are the ancestral habitat of the dhosari. This made it natural to use caves as safe houses and escape routes. Exaggerated tales of what the Dark have done on Erkusaa are told all over the world, making these expressions famous. Dhosari might be the iconic slave race on Porphyra, but they are just a minority among slaves. Almost all races are enslaved somewhere, and the ideas and dreams of the Dark are worldwide.

Tulia and Rolterra are the primary divine sponsors of the Dark, and the movement combines the idealism of Tulia with the subterfuge and organization of Rolterra. However, the two faiths are hostile to each other and constantly battle for the hearts and minds of both cavers and slaves.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype built on the harvester tiller prestige class.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Alignment: Any. Cavers don't conform to alignment norms. They are anti-establishment and demand individual liberties, which marks them as chaotic, but they are also highly organized, which makes them lawful. Their ideals are good but vengeance can easily flip them into evil. In the end, it is the methods of the individual caver that decides their alignment. Individualistic cavers with vague goals are chaotic, while deliberate cell leaders with defined goals are lawful. Altruistic, non-violent cavers are good, while those who kill anything in their path are evil. The norm is neutral good.

Hit Dice: d8.

Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The caver’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are all the class features of the caver.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A caver is proficient with simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, long sword, rapier, sap, scorpion whip, short sword, and sword cane. She is also proficient with light armor, but not with any shields. A caver can cast caver spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a caver wearing medium or heavy armor or that uses a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass caver still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.


Table: Caver Spells Known
Level Spells Known
Zero 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st 2
2nd 3
3rd 4
4th 4 2
5th 4 3
6th 5 4
7th 5 4 2
8th 5 4 3
9th 6 5 4
10th 6 5 4 2
11th 6 5 4 3
12th 6 6 5 4
13th 6 6 5 4 2
14th 6 6 5 4 3
15th 6 6 6 5 4
16th 6 6 6 5 4
17th 6 6 6 5 4
18th 6 6 6 6 5
19th 6 6 6 6 5
20th 6 6 6 6 5

A carver casts arcane, divine, or psychic spells of level 0 to 4 from a spell list given by her career choice. Spells of level 5 and higher are not on her spell list and she cannot use her spell list to activate spell trigger (wand) or spell completion (scrolls) items with such spells. A caver that casts arcane spells can cast spells learned from the caver class while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.

To learn or cast a spell, a carver must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. The saving throw DC against a carver’s spell is equal to 10 + the spell level + the carver’s Wisdom modifier.

A carver can cast only a certain number of spells of each level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Carver. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score.

The carver’s selection of spells is limited. At 1st level, a carver knows two 0-level spells of her choice. At each new level, the carver learns one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Carver Spells Known. Unlike her spells per day, the number of spells a carver knows is not affected by her Wisdom score; the numbers on the table are fixed. A caver cannot choose a spell that affects class features she does not have, like an inquisitor's judgment or a ranger's favored enemies. At 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, a carver can learn a single new spell in place of one she already knows. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and she must choose whether to swap the spell at the same time she gains new spells known for the level.

Carvers learn a number of 0-level spells (cantrips, knacks, or orisons) as noted on Table: Carver Spells Known. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they don’t consume slots and can be used again.


At 1st level, a caver chooses a career as the basis for her activities, picking one of the options below.

  • Bard: The bard caver knows how to keep up the spirits of her tub. She gains the bard's bardic performance class feature, counting caver levels as bard levels. She can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 2 + her Wisdom modifier. At each level after 1st a bard caver can use bardic performance for 2 additional rounds per day. She can use the following bardic performances: countersong (level 1), inspire courage (level 1), inspire competence (level 3), dirge of doom (level 8), and soothing performance (level 12). When using the inspire competence bardic performance she improves the chosen skill in herself and her entire caver tub. A caver bard casts arcane spells from the bard spell list.
  • Bloodrager: A caver rager has awakened a monstrous heritage in her rage against slavery. She casts arcane spells from the bloodrager spell list. Since there are no bloodrager cantrips, she uses the bard list of level zero spells. The bloodrager caver also gains a bloodrager bloodline and bloodline powers at 1st level, 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. Each bloodline offers certain spells. The first spell a caver rager must learn of each spell level is the spell offered by her bloodline. Add these spells to the bloodrager caver's spell list if they are not already.
  • Medium: A caver medium casts psychic spells from the medium spell list. She uses the psychic spell list for knacks (level zero spells) only. She gains the following medium class features: haunt channeler (level 3), location channel (level 5), connection channel (level 7), ask the spirits (level 13), and astral journey (level 14).
  • Ranger: A ranger caver is in touch with nature along. She casts divine spells from the ranger spell list. She uses the druid spell list for orisons (level zero spells) only. The caver ranger also gains certain ranger class features as she advances in level: Endurance (level 1), wild empathy (level 1), combat style (level 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18), camouflage (level 12), and hide in plain sight (level 17). She uses these abilities as a ranger of her caver level. Camouflage and hide in plain sight works in a community covered by the favored cave ability instead of in favored terrains.
  • Zealot: A caver zealot casts divine spells from the inquisitor spell list. A zealot gains certain rogue class features as she advances in level: sneak attack at level 1, uncanny dodge at level 4, and improved uncanny dodge at level 8. She uses these abilities as a rogue of her caver level, including increasing sneak attack damage every 2 levels after level 1.

Cave Urchin (Ex)

An anthodite is a rare crystal formation found in caves that looks a bit like a spiky sea urchin. Its sharp spikes inspire cavers in the defense of their tub. A caver receives a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls against creatures that have attacked members of her caver tub within the last minute. In addition, whenever she uses the aid another action for a member of her tub, she adds the cave urchin bonus to the normal +2 bonus conferred by aid other. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

Caver Tub (Ex)

As a standard action, a caver can designate herself and a number of allies up to 3 + her Wisdom modifier as part of her caver tub. She is always a member of her own caver tub, even when not using this ability. Members of a tub must be within 30 feet of the caver at any point in each of the caver's turns or they are no longer members of the tub. The caver must designate such allies again for them to be returned to her tub.

Members of the caver's tub share the benefits of her favored cave abilities and gain the use of any tactical feats the caver knows. The members of the tub need not fulfill the prerequisites of these tactical feats. A carver tub can travel swiftly overland. Each member can use either the caver’s speed or their own for overland travel, whichever is better.

At 9th level, the range increases to 60 feet. At level 13 the caver can designate tub members as a swift action. At 17th level, this range increases to 90 feet. At level 19, the caver can designate tub members as an immediate action.

Swift Putter (Ex)

A caver’s base land speed is 10 feet faster than the norm for her race. At 12th level, the bonus to speed increases to +20 feet.


At 2nd level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the caver learns secret techniques known as capers.

  • Bluster (Ex): The caver takes no penalty on Intimidate checks against larger creatures, and larger creatures gain no bonus on Intimidate checks against her or members of her tub.
  • Bonus Feat (Feat): The caver can choose one of the following as a bonus feat: any teamwork feat, Advanced Ranger Trap, Alertness, Agile Maneuvers, Body Shield, Antagonize,, Combat Expertise, Enforcer, Felling Escape, Greater Dirty Trick, Greater Disarm, Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Disarm, Learn Ranger Trap, Stealthy, Under and Over. She can ignore the prerequisites of these feats. A caver can select this caper multiple times, selecting a different feat each time.
  • Buffoon (Ex): When the caver uses the full defense action in combat, she can also use the Diplomacy or Sense Motive skills as if she spent a full-round action using them.
  • Caver's Code (Ex): The caver gains a bonus on Bluff checks to convey secret messages and Sense Motive checks to discern secret messages to close friends and other cavers equal to her class level. This bonus also applies to Linguistics checks to communicate in code. Half this bonus applies when communicating with strangers.
  • Conceal Thoughts (Su): If the caver is targeted with detect good, detect thoughts or a similar effect can choose what alignment and thoughts are actually detected, while her true alignment and thoughts remain private. She can use this as an immediate action when she notices detection of this kind, or set up an alignment and thought pattern ahead of time.
  • Hidden Stash (Ex/Sp): The caver gains a bonus equal to her class level on Sleight of Hand checks to hide objects on her person. Once per day, she can hide the magical properties of one item as per magic aura, with a caster level equal to her class level.
  • Hurrier (Ex): If the caver acts before all enemies in a combat, and makes a successful Stealth check to hide as a part of her first action, she is completely unobserved and enemies do not know of her presence.
  • Immediate Aid (Ex): The agent can use the aid another action as an immediate action instead of as a standard action.
  • Malice (Su): The caver focuses her malice on one creature within 30 feet as a swift action. That creature takes a –1 penalty on Will saving throws until the end of the caver's turn. This penalty increases by one for every 4 levels beyond level 7. The caver must be level 7 to select this caper. The penalties from multiple uses of malice don’t stack, nor do they stack with penalties from the mesmerist's hypnotic stare, witches‘ evil eye hex, and similar abilities.
  • Poison Use (Ex): The caver is trained in the use of poison and cannot accidentally poison herself when applying poison to a weapon.
  • Rogue Talent: A caver can select this caper to learn a rogue talent, counting caver levels as rogue levels when learning and using these talents. She must fulfill all prerequisites, and she cannot learn rogue talents that affect rogue abilities she does not have. A 10th level caver with rogue as her career choice can select an advanced talent instead. Talents that improve rogue class features the agent doesn't have cannot be selected, nor can the agent gain a ki pool or learn ninja tricks this way. This caper can be selected multiple times, choosing a new rogue talent each time.
  • Silent Sunder (Ex): The caver learns methods of applying force and striking objects in such a way as to minimize noise and maximize damage. She can use Stealth at only a -5 penalty when making a sunder attack action or attempting to break an object with a Strength check. She also adds her level to the damage of attacks against objects.
  • Snap (Ex): In a surprise round the caver can take a move action at her normal initiative, even when she would normally not be allowed to act at all. This action ends the flat-footed condition.
  • Social Talent: A caver can select this caper to learn a vigilante social talent, counting caver levels as vigilante levels when learning and using these talents. Talents that improve vigilante class features the agent doesn't have cannot be selected. This caper can be selected multiple times, choosing a new vigilante social talent each time.
  • Telling Shot (Ex): The caver selects one type of crossbow or firearm. When attacking with this weapon, she can add her Dexterity bonus to damage.
  • Telling Strike (Ex): The agent selects one melee weapon she can use with Weapon Finesse. When attacking with this weapon, she adds her Dexterity bonus to damage instead of her Strength bonus. Anything that would cause her to lose some or all of her Strength bonus to damage (such as using an off-hand weapon) instead reduces her Dexterity bonus to damage in the same way, but things that enhance the Strength bonus to damage (such as using a two-handed weapon) do not increase damage. The caver must be at least level 4 to select this caper. This talent can be taken multiple times, selecting a different weapon each time.
  • Trap Ambush (Ex): The caver can specially rig a trap she has either crafted or bypassed. A trap so rigged can be triggered by the caver as an immediate action as long as she is within 30 ft. of the trap. If the trap deals hit point damage, she adds her class level to the damage the trap deals when triggered this way.
  • Trap Breaker: The caver can use Disable Device to disable magical traps, like a rogue with Trapfinding. She can choose bypass any trap that she successfully disarms, reactivating it after she (and her party) passes. She is never flat-footed against attacks by traps. The caver counts as having the rogue's trapfinding ability for prerequisites only.

Favored Cave (Ex)

At 3rd level, a caver grows familiar with and develops trusted contacts in a particular community, called a cave. While inside the limits of this community, she gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (local), Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks. Any ally designated as part of the caver’s crop receives a bonus on these skills equal to half the caver's bonus. The DC of any attempt to track her or her carver tub is increased by her Survival skill bonus.

Provided that she isn’t in immediate danger (such as fleeing from pursuers right on her heels), a caver can always find a safe place for her and members of her crop to rest in her chosen community. At such a location, she and her allies are fed, clothed, and provided with basic medical attention (as if attended by a person with a Heal bonus of +10).

At 7th level and every four levels thereafter, the caver can select an additional community in which to receive these bonuses. Each time she selects a new community, the skill bonus and initiative bonus in any one chosen community (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.

For the purposes of this ability, a community can be any settlement of 100 to 10,000 individuals. She can select parts of a larger community. Outlying farms, fields, and houses are considered part of a community.

End of the Tunnel (Ex/Sp)

Once per week at 20th level a caver can make a call for rebellion as a full-round action, briefly explaining her goals and asking for support. All creatures within 1,000 ft. who hear this message can choose to join the caver's tub and remain part of the tub for one hour, as long as they stay within 1,000 ft. Upon first joining the tub, they gain the benefits of break enchantment (caster level checks are automatically successful) and freedom of movement for one round, which is enough to free themselves of any physical confinement. This is a sonic, mind-affecting, language-dependent effect.

Table: Caver

Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Career, cave urchin (+1), caver's tub, swift putter (+10 ft.)
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Caper
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 1st favored cave
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Caper 0
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Cave urchin (+2) 1
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Caper 1
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 2nd favored cave 1 0
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Caper 1 1
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Caver's tub (60 ft.) 2 1
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Caper, cave urchin (+3) 2 1 0
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 3rd favored cave 2 1 1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Caper, swift putter (+20 ft.) 2 2 1
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Caver's tub (swift.) 3 2 1 0
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Caper 3 2 1 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Cave urchin (+4), 4th favored cave 3 2 2 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Caper 3 3 2 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Caver's tub (90 ft.) 4 3 2 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Caper 4 3 2 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Caver's tub (immediate), 5th favored cave 4 3 3 2
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Caper, cave urchin (+5), end of the tunnel. 4 4 3 3

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Dwarf: Gain a +1/2 bonus on Perception checks when underground.
  • Elf: Add +1/2 on all Use Magic Device checks.
  • Gnome: Members of the caver's tub gain +1/4 bonus on saving throws against illusion effects.
  • Half-Elf: Gain +1/4 additional class skill.
  • Half-Orc: Gain a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made when using the attack bonus from caver's tub (maximum bonus of +5). When the bonus reaches +5, the caver can continue to spend points, gaining a bonus on confirmation rolls with all attacks. This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
  • Halfling : Add +1/4 on all Perception checks.
  • Human: Gain 1/3 additional favored cave. This does not increase the bonus with any other favored cave.

  • Aasimar: Add 3 ft. to the range of the aasimar's darkvision. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Anpur: Select one graveyard, temple, or tomb. This area counts as a favored cave, but no services are available there.
  • Avodim: Add +1/2 to the damage bonus from cave urchin against creatures of the outsider type.
  • Catfolk: Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and Sleight of Hand checks to pickpocket.
  • Dhamphir: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks and Perception checks made in dim light or darkness.
  • Dragonblood: Gain blindsense with a range of 1 ft. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Drow: Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and pass secret messages.
  • Erkunae: Gain a +1/4 bonus on Perception and Disable Device checks against magical traps.
  • Fetchling: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth and Sleight of Hand checks made while in dim light or darkness.
  • Goblin: Add a +1/2 bonus on damage rolls made before the target has acted in combat.
  • Grippli: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks and Perception checks made in marsh, shallow bog, and deep bog terrain.
  • Hobgoblin: Reduce the penalty for not being proficient with one weapon by 1. When the non-proficiency penalty for a weapon becomes 0 because of this ability, the hobgoblin is treated as having the appropriate Martial or Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for that weapon.
  • Ifrit: Add a +1/2 bonus on Acrobatics checks to jump and a +1/2 bonus on Intimidate checks to demoralize enemies.
  • Kitsune: Gain 1/6 additional caper.
  • Kobold: Add +1/4 dodge bonus to AC.
  • Merfolk: Add +1/2 to the caver’s Stealth and Swim checks underwater.
  • Oread: Gain 1/3 additional favored cave. This cave must be underground or in mountains. This does not increase the bonus with any other favored cave.
  • Qit'ar: Gain +1/4 to saves vs. mind-affecting spells and effects, and poison.
  • Ratfolk: Add a +1/4 bonus on Climb, Disable Device, and Escape Artist checks.
  • Samsaran: 1/5 times per day, the caver can gain the use of any caper she qualifies for 1 minute. Activating this ability is a full-round action.
  • Shibaten: Increase the range of the seed finder racial trait by 1 ft. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Sylph: Add a +1/2 bonus on Acrobatics checks.
  • Tengu: Gain a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made with one specific melee weapon listed under the tengu’s swordtrained ability (maximum bonus of +5). When the bonus reaches +5, the caver can continue to spend points, gaining a bonus on confirmation rolls with all such weapons. This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
  • Tiefling: Add 1/2 to the resistances gained from the tiefling's fiendish resistance ability.
  • Undine: Add +1/2 to the caver’s Stealth and Swim checks underwater.
  • Vanara: Add a +1/4 bonus on Acrobatics, Climb, and Escape Artist checks.
  • Wayang: Add 3 ft. to the range of the wayang's darkvision. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Zif: Add +1/2 to the caver’s Climb checks. The caver can climb absolutely smooth surfaces like a wall of force with a DC of 40.


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Section 15 Addendum

  • System Reference Document © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
  • Genie, Marid from the Tome of Horrors Complete © 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author: Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.
  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook © 2009, Paizo Inc.; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Adventurer’s Guide © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Benjamin Bruck, John Compton, Crystal Frasier, Tim Hitchcock, Jenny Jarzabski, Isabelle Lee, Joe Pasini, Jessica Price, David Schwartz, and Josh Vogt.
  • Lands of Porphyra © 2015, Purple Duck Games; Authors: Ken Austin, Thomas Baumbach, Carl Cramér, Daniel Denehy, Perry Fehr, Mark Gedak, August Hahn, Noble Hays, John Hazen, Sam Hing, Sean Holland, N. Jolly, Christopher Kaiser, James H. Lewis, Chris Longhurst, Liz Mackie, Josh McCrowell, Christopher Mennell, Scott Messer, Angel “ARMR” Miranda, Julian Neale, Daniel M. Perez, David Pryzbyla, Marc Radle, David N. Ross, Treyson Sanders, Justin Sluder, Todd Stewart, Stefen Styrsky, Mike Welham, Jeremy Whelan, Patricia Willenborg.