Unfamiliar Faces: A Preview

Next Monday, March 28th, we will be releasing Unfamiliar Faces: New Medium Spirits. This 48-page book presents an alternative approach to the spirits associated with the medium class from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures, which takes them back to their roots in the public playtest of that book, where they had access to a wide variety of very unique and flavorful spirits, instead of a selection of six general groups of spirits. Featuring 20 new spirits for mediums to channel, each with a rich personality and detailed background (not to mention new spirit powers, taboos, spirit bonuses, influence penalties, and so on), the book greatly increases the options available for mediums.


Before the book comes out, we wanted to give you a little taste, with a sample from three of the spirits in the book. For each of these five, we're providing a portion of their background information, plus all the mechanical information to use them up to their intermediate spirit power.



Big Jambu

Long ago, in ancient days, before man or dwarf or even elf walked upon the earth, before the first creature crawled up out of the sea to invade the land, there was Big Jambu. He is an ancient spirit, one with the land and the sea, who has little patience for or interest in the trappings of civilization. More than just a spirit of nature, he is a reminder that there was a time before humanoid life rose to prominence, and an unspoken promise that some day, civilization will pass, and primordial forces will reclaim their ancient dominion. But until that time, Big Jambu is willing to be patient, and, occasionally, to entreat with certain mortals who show him the proper respect.

Big Jambu is often depicted in the form of a massive tortoise, so large and ancient that its shell is home to entire mountain ranges, which have grown up during its millennia-long slumber. Trees and brush cover his skin like an infecting fungus. Other times, Big Jambu is depicted as a serpent, though of similarly epic scale, and sometimes even shown to be encircling the entire world. Big Jambu does not have a human guise, and is never depicted as or encountered as a human.

Spirit Bonus: When you channel Big Jambu, your spirit bonus applies on Will saves made to resist charm and compulsion effects. Additionally, your natural armor bonus to AC increases by an amount equal to 1/2 your spirit bonus.

Séance Boon: You gain a +2 bonus on Handle Animal checks, and on Diplomacy checks made with creatures of the dragon or fey types. Additionally, any animal, dragon, or fey that would have a starting attitude of indifferent or friendly towards you has its starting attitude improved by one step.

Favored Locations: Natural caverns, old-growth forests, meadows, underwater.

Influence Penalty: You are so focused on the long view of things that you are slow to react. You suffer a penalty equal to your spirit bonus on Initiative checks and on attack rolls made as part of an attack of opportunity.

Taboos: Choose one: you must do no harm to plants, including plant creatures, even if they attack you or otherwise attempt to harm you; you cannot wear or wield any clothing, armor, weapons, or equipment that you did not create yourself; you must not move more than your movement speed on any single round.

Spirit Powers: Big Jambu offers the following spirit powers.

Slow and Steady (Lesser, Su): At the beginning of your turn each round, you can choose to gain the staggered condition until the beginning of your next turn. If you do, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to AC, and a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls, ability checks, saving throws, and skill checks. These bonuses last until the beginning of your next turn. At 8th level, these bonuses increase to +4, and at 15th level they increase to +6.

Primordial Protection (Intermediate, Su): Big Jambu existed before magic, at least as humanoids know it, ever existed, and the spells of mortals have little hold on him, or on you. You gain spell resistance equal to three times your spirit bonus. At any time, as a full-round action, you can allow Big Jambu to gain 2 points of influence over you. If you do, this spell resistance increases to six times your spirit bonus for the remainder of the day.


Mister Turnip

Wherever there is delicious cuisine expertly prepared, the satisfied feeling of warmth and contentment that comes from eating delicious food, or even simple meals cooked with love over a family hearth, there is Mister Turnip, a spirit of good food and good nature.

Mister Turnip is depicted as a smiling and garrulous gentleman whose (slightly rotund) body is made up of a composite of herbs and vegetables, with radishes for eyes, a tomato for a nose, broccoli hair and an oversized turnip for a head.

Spirit Bonus: When you channel Mister Turnip, your spirit bonus applies on Fortitude saves and Constitution checks. Additionally, when you begin channeling Mister Turnip, your maximum and current hit points increase by an amount equal to 5 times your spirit bonus. When you stop channeling Mister Turnip, your maximum hit points are reduced by this amount, but your current hit point total remains the same (or reduced to your maximum, if it would be higher).

Séance Boon: You gain a +4 bonus on saving throws made to resist fear and emotion effects.

Favored Locations: Farms, kitchens, markets, restaurants.

Influence Penalty: Mister Turnip is not a spirit of violence, and your combat abilities suffer while channeling him. You suffer a penalty equal to 1/2 your spirit bonus (rounded up) on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Reflex saves, as well as to AC, CMB, and CMD.

Taboos: Choose one: you must offer a food item, prepared by yourself, to each non-hostile creature you interact with the first time you interact with them; you must never pass up offered food, or fail to finish any food that you put on your plate; you must never miss a meal, and must eat each meal at a table with proper plates, cutlery, serving dishes, and etiquette.

Spirit Powers: Mister Turnip offers the following spirit powers.

Magic Cooking (Lesser, Sp): You gain the ability to cook wondrous foods that are infused with magic. These food items can take any form, but function similarly to a potion. Most mediums choose to make stews or small pastries that are easily consumed (a move action), but you can choose to use this ability when creating any type of food (however, a single creature must consume the entire food item in order to gain any benefit from it, and larger foodstuffs may also take longer to consume).

The amount of time it takes to prepare the food item is at least 5 minutes (certain food items, such as cakes or whole turkeys, may take considerably longer). You must declare which spell will be stored in the food item when you begin making it, and it must be chosen from the following list:

1st-level: ant haul (APG), cure light wounds, endure elements, enlarge person, polypurpose panacea (UM), reduce person, remove fear, remove sickness (UM), or vocal alteration (UM).

2nd-level: aid, alter self, bear’s endurance, blur, bull’s strength, calm emotions, cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, delay painUM, eagle’s splendor, fox’s cunning, lesser restoration, levitate, owl’s wisdom, remove paralysis, or see invisibility.

3rd-level: arcane sight, beast shape I, cure serious wounds, dispel magic, fly, haste, heroism, remove disease, water breathing, or water walk.

4th-level: beast shape II (Tiny, Small, or Medium animals only), cure critical wounds, death ward, neutralize poison, remove curse, restoration, stoneskin, true form (APG).

You must be at least 4th level to create foods that replicate 2nd-level spells, at least 7th-level to create foods that replicate 3rd-level spells, and at least 10th level to create foods that replicate 4th-level spells. You can create a total number of spell levels worth of magic foodstuffs each day equal to 1 + 1/2 your class level. Magic foodstuffs created with this ability have the minimum possible caster level and saving throw DC. If a magic foodstuff replicates a spell with a costly material component, you must provide that component. Any magic foodstuffs that have not been consumed by the time you stop channeling Mister Turnip lose their magical properties, but may still be consumed as normal food.

Vine Whip (Intermediate, Ex): As a swift action, you can summon an animated vine in your hand, which can be wielded as a surprisingly effective whip. You are automatically treated as being proficient with it, it has an enhancement bonus equal to your spirit bonus, and you treat your CMB as being equal to your base attack bonus for all combat maneuvers made with it. The whip disappears if you let go of it or give it to another creature, but otherwise lasts indefinitely.




Indulgence and temptation are tricky things. It’s easy to give in and allow yourself to follow your heart to dark places you shouldn’t go, but if you don’t let loose now and again, you set yourself up to binge even more later on. It is a treacherous path to navigate, and no one knows it better than the spirit known as Skullface. A spirit of indulgence, Skullface represents both an urging to live life while you still can, and a warning of what happens to those who overindulge.

Skullface is universally depicted as a human skeleton, with bones as black as midnight, dressed in resplendent purple clothing (the exact style varies from region to region, but it is always ostentatious and fashionable, and nearly always includes some kind of garish hat), and holding a golden cane or staff in one hand. In everything it does, Skullface always moves with rhythm, and even simply walking appears to be dancing, when Skullface does it.

Spirit Bonus: When you channel Skullface, your spirit bonus applies on all saving throws, except for those made to resist charm effects, the effects of drugs, and the effects of addiction. The bonus also applies on Bluff checks (except those made to feint), and on Diplomacy checks to make a request.

Séance Boon: Whenever you gain a morale bonus, that morale bonus is increased by +1.

Favored Locations: Alehouses, brothels, drug dens, graveyards.

Influence Penalty: Skullface encourages you to indulge yourself, causing you to suffer a penalty equal to your spirit bonus on saving throws made to resist charm effects, as well as on saving throws made to resist the effects of drugs, or to resist the effects of addiction.

Taboos: Choose one: you must not refuse any food or drink offered to you, and must engage in at least one act of debauchery every 4 hours (such as a kiss with a stranger, consuming an alcoholic beverage, or consuming a full day’s meal in a single sitting); you must not speak ill of the dead, nor take any actions that might offend them, such as taking their possessions, or leaving their bodies exposed to the elements (this does not prevent you from defending yourself against undead attackers, although attacking an undead creature unprovoked would break this taboo); choose a pleasurable or hedonistic experience that you have not had before: you must achieve that experience by the end of the day, and if you fail to do so, you suffer the penalty for breaking the taboo all day the following day (the GM determines which goals are suitable and which are not. In general, they should be reasonably possible to accomplish, but require some effort on your part to do so).

Spirit Powers: Skullface offers the following spirit powers.

Channel Energy (Lesser, Su): You gain the ability to channel energy. This functions as the cleric class feature of the same name, using your medium level as your cleric level. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier without needing to allow Skullface to gain any influence over you, but after that, each time you use this ability you must also allow Skullface to gain 1 point of influence over you. As long as you can continue to allow Skullface to gain influence over you, you can continue to use this ability as much as you want. You choose each time you channel energy whether to channel positive or negative energy, and you can do so regardless of alignment.

Live for the Moment (Intermediate, Su): As a swift action, you can focus your awareness in the present, allowing you to act more swiftly now, at the cost of losing future actions. At the beginning of your turn, you may declare that you are using this ability. If you do, you may take up to two full rounds worth of actions during that turn (such as using the full attack action twice, or moving, drawing a potion, drinking it, and then casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action, etc.). At the end of your turn, you gain the staggered condition for 1d4 rounds. You can use this ability 3 times per day without needing to allow Skullface to gain any influence over you, but after that, each time you use this ability you must also allow Skullface to gain 1 point of influence over you. You cannot use this ability while staggered.