False Priest (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

False priests have a knack for disguising their arcane or psychic magic as god-given divine magic, and in the use of divine scrolls, staves, and wands. They roam the lands as false prophets, using their power to convince the unfaithful of their misplaced loyalties in other gods and governments and to defeat those who oppose them.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype. The false priest is an arcane spellcaster that fakes divine magic.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Prestige Class: Razmiran priest from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige, along with the razmiran priest sorcerer archetype and the False Casting and False Focus feats from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic.

Build Classes: The false priest is built on the wizard, but the following alternate build classes are described below: arcanist, psychic, sorcerer, or summoner.

Role: The false priest brings a message to the masses. He can sway onlookers in his favor and discredit divine authority.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d6.

Starting Wealth: 2d6 × 10 gp (average 70 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The false priest's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

These are all the class features of the false priest.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A false priest is proficient in simple weapons, but not with any armor or shields. A false priest that casts arcane spells with somatic components in armor risks arcane spell failure.


The false priest learns and casts spells exactly like a wizard, including using arcane magic, the effect of Intelligence on spellcasting, spellbooks, automatically learned spells, and cantrips.

Build Class

The false priest inherits the arcane bond class feature from the wizard. If he chooses the bonded object option, he can choose a divine focus item as his bonded item.


A false priest may select one cleric domain. He may select an alignment domain only if he shares that alignment. A false priest gains the granted powers of the chosen domain, using his spellcaster level as his cleric level. He adds any domain spells to his spell list as arcane spells, these spells are learned and cast normally.

Illusory Healing (Ex)

Whenever a false priest spell would heal hit point damage, that spell is modified. The spell becomes an illusion (shadow) spell with a duration of 10 minutes/level. Any hit points healed are illusory healing, temporary hit points that stack with other illusory healing but cannot exceed the damage the creature has currently taken. Illusory healing does not stack with normal temporary hit points. Illusory healing does not apply to spells the false priest casts from magic items.

False Casting

When a false priest uses a magic item or a spell-like ability to create a magical effect, he may add additional magic-seeming words and hand gestures to trick onlookers into believing he cast the spell himself. If using an item that is recognizable as a magical implement (such as a wand or ring), he can trick viewers into thinking he is just using the item as a focus component.

Onlookers who have no ranks in Spellcraft have no knowledge of what is genuine spellcasting, and automatically believe the false priest is casting a divine spell. If an onlooker attempts a Spellcraft check to identify the “casting,” his check is opposed by the false priest's Bluff check. If he succeeds, he realizes the spell is not a divine spell or that the false priest is using an item. Regardless of the result of that opposed check, he uses the result of that Spellcraft check to identify the spell cast, except the DC is 20 + the spell’s level instead of 15 + the spell’s level.

When using false casting to cast a spell on the cleric spell list of a spell level he can cast, he receives a +10 circumstance bonus on the Bluff check made when casting the spell.

False Ritual (Su)

A false priest adds a number of spells what are normally divine spells as arcane spells to his spell list and to his spell book, familiar, or list of known spells, as appropriate. He gains each spell as soon as he can cast spells of that level.

0—bleed, stabilize.
1st—Bless, cure light wounds.
2nd—Aid, spiritual weapon.
3rd—Cure moderate wounds, remove disease.
4th—Cure serious wounds, prayer.
5th—Cure critical wounds, neutralize poison.
6th—Cure light wounds (mass), flame strike.
7th—Cure moderate wounds (mass), heroe's feast.
8th—Cure serious wounds (mass), heal.
9th—Cure critical wounds (mass), miracle.

Master of Lies (Ex)

At 2nd level a false priest adds half his class level to all Bluff checks. In addition, whenever he is subject to a spell or special ability that can discern whether or not he is telling the truth, he is automatically aware of such magic. He is not immune to such spells or abilities, but he can choose to remain silent or avoid answering questions.

False Channel (Su)

Starting at 3rd level, a false priest can channel shadow energy to give illusory healing (see above) to all living creatures within 30 ft., healing 1d6 points of damage. The amount healed increases to 2d6 at level 7 and by another d6 for every four levels after level seven. This looks and feels just like a cleric channeling positive energy to heal. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to half his false priest level.

False Piety (Ex)

At 5th level a false priest adds half his class level to Use Magic Device checks.

False Focus (Ex)

At 5th level, using a divine focus as part of casting, the false priest can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component. For example, if he uses a silver holy symbol worth 25 gp, he does not have to provide material components for an arcane spell if its components are worth 25 gp or less. If the spell requires a material component that costs more than the value of the divine focus, the false priest must have the material component on hand to cast the spell, as normal.

Replacement Channel (Su)

At 9th level, the false priest can use his own magic to power spell completion and spell trigger items that uses divine spells. He expends a spell slot or prepared spell that is at least 1 level higher than the level of the spell he’s trying to activate, then makes a Use Magic Device check. If he succeeds, the item’s spell occurs and the item or charge is not expended. If he fails, the item fails to activate but the spell or spell slot is still spent.

False Spell List (Su)

At 13th level, when determining what spell trigger and spell completion magic items he can use, the false priest acts as though all cleric spells were on his spell list. This makes it so that he does not need to make a Use Magic Device skill check when using such items, but he must still make Bluff skill checks when using False Casting with such spells.

Conversion (Su)

At 17th level, whenever a false priest heals himself using false channel, the effect heals damage instead of giving illusory healing. False channel still gives illusory healing to others in the area of effect.

True Pretender (Su)

At 20th level, a false priest attains true power. Whenever he uses an effect that heals hit point damage, he can spend one use of false channel to avoid using the illusory healing ability and perform actual healing.

Table: False Priest

Special Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Build class, domain, illusory healing, false casting, false ritual 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Master of lies 4 2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 False channel 1d6 4 2 1
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 3 2
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 False piety 4 3 2 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 3 3 2
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 False channel 2d6 4 4 3 2 1
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Replacement channel 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 4 4 3 3 2
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 False channel 3d6 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 False spell list 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 False channel 4d6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Conversion 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 False channel 5d6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 True pretender 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Alternate Build Classes

The false priest can be built on these alternate classes: arcanist, psychic, sorcerer, or summoner.

A false priest learns and casts spells exactly like the build class, including type of magic (arcane or psychic), the effect of ability scores on spellcasting and cantrips or knacks. He only suffers arcane spell failure in armor if he casts arcane spells.

In addition, the false priest inherits the following class features from the build class. This replaces the build class feature, above.

Arcanist The arcanist false priest gains an arcanist exploit at level 4, 8, and 12. He cannot choose greater exploits. He can spend uses of false channel as if it was arcane pool to power arcane exploits.

Psychic Replace all references to arcane magic in the class description with psychic magic (except for arcane spell failure). The psychic false priest gains the psychic's psychic discipline class feature, including discipline spells and discipline powers. He does not gain a phrenic pool. Instead, when using his psychic discipline, he gains and spends uses of false channel as if it was phrenic pool.

Sorcerer The sorcerer false priest gains Eschew Materials as a bonus feat at level 1 and adds the spells gained from false ritual to his list of known spells in addition to those from Table: Sorcerer Spells Known. Many sorcerer false priests delude themselves into believing in their creed, this faith is often responsible for awakening their sorcerous powers. This makes them dangerous wild cards for any hierarchy of false priests.

Summoner A false priest summoner gains all the class features of the summoner, including spellcasting, spell-like abilities, eidolon, and summon monster. He does not gain the summoner's weapon and armor proficiency, Hit Dice, base attack, base saves, or class skills. He gains two additional skill points per level.

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 who have false priest as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Dwarf: Select one item creation feat known you know. Whenever crafting an item using that feat, the amount of progress made in an 8-hour period increases by 200 gp (50 gp if crafting while adventuring). This does not reduce the cost of the item; it just increases the rate at which the item is crafted.
  • Elf: Add 1/2 to your Spellcraft skill bonus.
  • Gnome: Gain 1/10 additional domain.
  • Half-Elf: Add 1/4 to your skill bonus in Bluff and Diplomacy.
  • Half-Orc: Add 1/4 to your skill bonus in Bluff and Intimidate.
  • Halfling: Add 1/4 to your skill bonus in Bluff and Sleight of Hand.
  • Human: Add 1/4 daily use of false channel.

  • Aasimar: ACG Add 1/4 to your skill bonus in Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate.
  • Avodim: FEC Add 1/2 to your skill bonus in Intimidate.
  • Dhamphir: ACG When you use false channel and living creatures besides you benefit, you heal one hit point of damage.
  • Goblin ARG Add 1/4 to your skill bonus in Use Magic Device.
  • Kitsune ARG Add 10 minutes to the duration of any illusory healing you use.
  • Samsaran: ACG When you use illusory healing, 1 hit point of the illusory healing becomes real healing.
  • Tengu ARG Add 1/4 daily use of false channel.

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Section 15 Addendum

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, Russ Taylor.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Matt Goodall, and Jason Nelson.