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Iconic Design: I Can See Your Future….

Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to looking at an iconic design for the Harrower Prestige Class.

Harrow Month rolls on, and it simply wouldn’t be Harrow Month if I didn’t do an Iconic Design that was built off of the Harrower Prestige Class! Let’s get to work, shall we?

… I wonder how many of you are actually reading this on August 15th? :mumbles about not being able to go to GenCon:

Build Concept

Here’s the rundown:

  • Harrower: This is a fortune-telling prestige class out of Paizo Publishing’s Inner Sea World Guide. It was the only way to play a Harrower character until the Harrow Handbook was released in May 2014. Since we’ve done a few weird builds for Harrow Month, we’re going to go back to the concept’s roots with a Harrower prestige class build.
  • Sorcerer (Crossblooded): Every Harrower needs a base spellcasting class, and I chose the sorcerer to do the job. The newly created Harrow bloodline has a nifty special ability that interacts with divination magic that I love. To my dismay, however, the Harrowed bloodline doesn’t have access to divination, so I decided to Crossblood this build with the Dreamspun Bloodline in order to add divination (as well as some other cool tricks) to the build’s arsenal.

That’s it! Let’s get on to the good part of the article: the build.

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: Sorcerer (Crossblooded) 7
  • Feats: Harrowed (1st). Harrowed Summoning (3rd), Spell Focus: Conjuration (5th), Augment Summoning (7th), Mage’s Tattoo: Conjuration (Bloodline)
  • Abilities: Bloodline Powers (lullaby, see it coming +2), Bloodline Spells (ill omen, augury, harrowing), Crossblooded (Dreamspun, Harrowed), Drawback, Eschew Materials
  • Traits: Fate’s Favored (Faith)
  • 3rd-Level Sorcerer Spells: harrowing, summon monster III
  • 2nd-Level Sorcerer Spells: acid arrow, augury, web
  • 1st-Level Sorcerer Spells: ill omen, sleep, +3

The neat thing about the dreamspun and harrowed bloodlines is that they complement each other very well in terms of their bonus spells, which is why I choose them. This build is very harrowed-oriented, though we get some neat tricks from dreamspun. At 1st level, you get the lullaby power. This is an extra-strength version of the lullaby cantrip, which is usually bard-only, except it is improved to allow you to actually take advantage of it. Plus the penalty on saves against sleep effects is upped. This early in the game, sleep should be your #1 choice for spells. Grab it, and use it while its still useful. Note that I never trade out spells in these guides, but sleep might be worth trading away via sorcerer spellcasting if it isn’t doing anything for you after the HD cap has come and gone.

Another useful aspect of this combination is see it coming, one of the Harrowed Bloodline’s bloodline powers. This nifty ability allows you to pick a saving throw and gain a luck bonus on that type of saving throw. I chose the Fate’s Favored faith trait (Ultimate Campaign) in order to boost all of the character’s luck bonuses by +1, so this bonus is always +1 higher than usual. Even if you just choose will, this ability will cancel the Crossblooded Drawback to Will saves at 3rd level and improve to +3 at 7th level.

The gems in this early build are Harrowed Summoning (you’ll likely want to take summon monster I early since you’ll be grabbing this feat at 3rd level) and its combination with Augment Summoning. Yes, the enhancement bonuses don’t stack, but if you don’t pull a Strength or Constitution card from the Harrow Deck, you end up with an enhancement bonus in up to four statistics per monster summoned. That’s pretty crazy. Even if you pull Strength or Constitution with Harrowed Summoning, the Harrow version of the feat can sometimes exceed augment summoning, which can be a nice treat. We’ll be capitalizing on these feats later.

In order to make use of Spell Focus: conjuration, I took web. Web is an excellent low-level conjuration spell with a saving throw because even if all of your target succeed on their saving throw, they still have to wade through your webbing in order to reach you. I also recommend acid arrow to everyone who’ll listen to me. Acid arrow is one of the only spells that does not require a save and ignores spell resistance, making it useful for every spellcaster. On top of this, Mage’s Tattoo gives you a +1 to your caster level for all conjuration effects, including the two listed above, which means longer acid arrow and longer summon monster spells.

Since we’re working towards the Harrower prestige class, I’ve made sure to start picking up my divination spells. You can qualify fairly early on; as long as you choose detect magic as a cantrip, the build listed above qualifies just fine. Another neat thing about the harrowed bloodline is its ability to reroll all percentile dice associated with divinations. For example, if you fail your augury roll, you get a free reroll because of the harrowed bloodline.

The early level for this build is neat. Let’s see how it holds up at later levels.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: Sorcerer (Crossblooded) 9, Harrower 5
  • Feats: Harrowed (1st). Harrowed Summoning (3rd), Spell Focus: Conjuration (5th), Augment Summoning (7th), Mage’s Tattoo: Conjuration (Bloodline), Superior Summoning (9th), Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration (11th), Spell Penetration (13th)
  • Abilities: Blessing of the Harrow, Bloodline Powers (lullaby, see it coming +2, dreamshaper), Bloodline Spells (ill omen, augury, harrowing, divination), Crossblooded (Dreamspun, Harrowed), Drawback, Eschew Materials, Harrow Casting (Tower of Intelligence, Tower of Strength, Tower of Charisma), Spirit Deck
  • Traits: Fate’s Favored (Faith)
  • 6th-Level Sorcerer Spells: greater harrowing
  • 5th-Level Sorcerer Spells: acidic spray, black tentacles, hungry pit
  • 4th-Level Sorcerer Spells: divination, scrying, summon monster IV
  • 3rd-Level Sorcerer Spells: deep slumber, harrowing, haste, summon monster III
  • 2nd-Level Sorcerer Spells: acid arrow, augury, web, +2
  • 1st-Level Sorcerer Spells: ill omen, sleep, +3

Since I’m not specifically building a certain character, I have a lot of freedom with what spells to choose from, so I’ve picked spells that I’m fond of. In other words, you shouldn’t feel limited to my list. Instead of telling you why my choices are awesome, I’m going to explain why I made my choices, and the reason is the Harrower.

At 10th level, you’ll be grabbing your first level of harrower. Note that you can actually qualify as early as 8th level, but I chose to delay the Prestige Class in favor of grabbing divination as a bloodline spell. Divination is one of the few spells that the harrowed bloodline applies to, and its actually one of the main reasons I combined Harrowed and Dreamspun; Dreamspun is one of the few ways that a sorcerer can add divination to her spell list. You don’t have to wait until 9th level to enter the class, but I felt that it was worth it to me.

Now, the build does get significantly cooler when you become a Harrower. Blessing of the Harrow is wicked cool; it can very quickly provide your allies with a substantial insight bonus on some very important statistics. Drawing a few Charisma cards with harrowed blessing is especially nice because it further improves your caster level. Speaking of improvements, let’s talk about the reason that I chose the spells I did: the towers. As you level up in the Harrower prestige class, you unlock an ability that allows you to draw three cards from your harrow deck as you cast the spell. Your spell then gains benefits based upon the cards you draw, assuming that you have the appropriate tower abilities. Here’s a list of what you get from each tower (note that these bonuses stack).

  • Intelligent (Books): +1 on caster level checks made to penetrate spell resistance per Int card drawn.
  • Strength (Hammers): +1 damage per die per Str card drawn.
  • Charisma (Crowns): +1 to the spell’s save DC per Cha card drawn.

That’s some pretty nice benefits, and we’ve only unlocked half of the towers in the class by 14th level! Spells like acidic spray were chosen because they are affected by spell resistance (Int), have a save DC (Cha), and deal hit point damage with multiple dice (Str). In addition, acidic spray is a conjuration spell, so our Spell Focus: Conjuration ability applies to it. Virtually all of your spells can benefit from the towers by 10th level, but for now it helps to have at least one spell that will always benefit. So yeah, as you pick your spells try to choose ones that will benefit from harrow casting.

The true fun in this class, however, doesn’t come until you’ve collected all the towers. Let’s finish up this build.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: Sorcerer (Crossblooded) 10, Harrower 10
  • Feats: Harrowed (1st). Harrowed Summoning (3rd), Spell Focus: Conjuration (5th), Augment Summoning (7th), Mage’s Tattoo: Conjuration (Bloodline), Superior Summoning (9th), Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration (11th), Spell Penetration (13th)
  • Abilities: Blessing of the Harrow, Bloodline Powers (lullaby, see it coming +2, dreamshaper), Bloodline Spells (ill omen, augury, harrowing, divination), Crossblooded (Dreamspun, Harrowed), Divination, Drawback, Eschew Materials, Harrow Casting (Tower of Intelligence, Tower of Strength, Tower of Charisma, Tower of Constitution, Tower of Dexterity, Tower of Wisdom), Read the Signs, Spirit Deck
  • Traits: Fate’s Favored (Faith)
  • 9th-Level Sorcerer Spells: clashing rocks, summon monster IX
  • 8th-Level Sorcerer Spells: greater prying eyes, summon monster VIII
  • 7th-Level Sorcerer Spells: caustic eruption, vision
  • 6th-Level Sorcerer Spells: greater harrowing, summon monster VI
  • 5th-Level Sorcerer Spells: acidic spray, black tentacles, hungry pit
  • 4th-Level Sorcerer Spells: divination, scrying, summon monster IV
  • 3rd-Level Sorcerer Spells: deep slumber, harrowing, haste, summon monster III
  • 2nd-Level Sorcerer Spells: acid arrow, augury, web, +2
  • 1st-Level Sorcerer Spells: ill omen, sleep, +3

Well, here we are! End game. Lots of nice spells to use with the harrow casting ability. Let’s look at those last three towers while we’re thinking of it.

  • Constitution (Shields): Heal 1d6 points of damage per Con card drawn.
  • Dexterity (Keys): +1 on Reflex saves and to AC until beginning of next turn per Dex card drawn.
  • Wisdom (Stars): +1 caster level per Wis card drawn.

Keys and Stars are especially useful; that’s up to another +3 caster level if you get lucky and draw three Wisdom cards. Then if you really need a specific type of card, the Harrower’s capstone allows you to draw an extra card from using a class ability (such as Harrow Casting) and ignore one card of your choice, shuffling it back into the deck. This gives you greater variety in your harrow abilities, and if you choose the Harrowed Bloodline’s 9th level power instead of dreamshaper (your call, though I think the later is more appropriate) you can use the capstone with this ability too.

Other then that, this build is more of the same until the end. Now we have a good array of summoning and damaging spells, plus lots of nifty divination effects. Although this isn’t a build that I would personally want to play (I’m more of a blasty mage myself), this is definitely an effective build if you want to know everything and play your spellcaster with a splash of fate and fortune.

And that, folks, is our build for today! What did you think? Is this a build that you’d play? If not, how would you use this Harrower at your table? Did I miss anything important in building this character? How would you change up the spell list? Leave your answers and comments below and I’ll see you next time at Guidance for another Iconic Design.

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex’s favorite color is blue, his favorite Pathfinder Race/Class combination is kitsune harrower, and his favorite pastime is gazing into his crystal ball to find new topics for Guidance.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC. If you like Alex's writing and are interested in supporting him while getting professional-quality material for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game while doing so, check out the Everyman Gaming, LLC catalog, which is listed under Rogue Genius Games at the following locations: http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6101/Rogue-Genius-Games/subcategory/19574_25289/Everyman-Gaming-Catalog



  1. Darrell Vin Zant Reply to Darrell

    Probably wouldn’t play it myself, divination spells tend to need a GM that is really willing to work with you to function. Otherwise, they don’t function much do to metagame. Kind of like, no matter how fast you travel, you will always arrive precisely when the GM wishes you to.

    As a large table player, we tend to avoid summon spells or builds, so a divination/summoner doesn’t work much for my group. So we end up just buffing, controlling or blasting, where as I personally prefer buffing and blasting. Buffing makes everyone better, blasting is just fun, but if you throw lots of control around, it just becomes, “Caster goes, Caster wins, Martials mop up” which is no fun.

  2. Hello, sorry to necro this post, but i have two questions about the harrower PrC. First, about harrow’s blessing. What is so significant about this ability? It will never be more than a +1 insight bonus on a type of check for the day. +1 is significant in the first 4 lvl. But here, we are talking about a PRC, so we are more likely to be in the 7 to 10th lvl. Is there something i didn’t understand correctly about this ability?

    • Alex Augunas Reply to Alex

      Its a +1 bonus to a huge suit of checks and rolls that lasts all day and affects the entire party without consuming an action in combat. A bonus like that is always relevant for the same reasons that a +2 to an ability score is always relevant.

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  3. Sorry for the double post, it seems that we have limited space to write. My second question is about the spirit deck ability. Is this ability supposed to have any kind of usefulness? Because, at the lvl you get it, let’s say lvl 12 or 13, you’ll have an ability that make most of the time between 10 or 12 damages points. 25 points of damage in the best case scenario (0.00000189 over one chance except if your are a great trickster :p). I would have thinked that abilities that relies on pure luck should have more range in their effects. In the present case, i see absolutely no reason to cast this thing. Am i Wrong?

    • Alex Augunas Reply to Alex

      The big picture idea that you’re missing is that this ability costs nothing to use, requires no attack roll, and has no saving throw. The absolute minimum damage that you can deal with this ability (which two billionths of a chance of occurring) is 4 damage, which is about the same amount of damage as a CL 1 wand of magic missiles dealt to everything in a 30-foot spread.

      If we assume that each deck has 6 cards that deal 6 damage, 6 that deal 0 damage, 24 cards that deal 3 damage, and 18 cards that deal 1 damage, then we’ve got an average damage of X. (((6 x 6 = 36) + (6 x 0 = 0) + (24 x 3 = 72) + (18 x 1 = 18)) / 54 = 2.3 damage per card)

      With this average, we can assume that at 10th level, we will deal an average of 23 damage to all opponents in a 30 foot area with no saving throw allowed, no attack roll required, and as written, damage that bypasses all energy resistances and damage reduction.

      Is this the absolute best ability in the world? No, but it makes a great ability to use when you need to deal some damage and your opponents have lots of weird resistances or damage reduction or are hard to hit. Heck, as a supernatural ability it even bypasses spell resistance.

      Spirit deck is not an ability that you want to spam, but with its limited duration it isn’t an ability that you need to spam either.

      If we assume that you never match a card ever, then you’re still talking about dealing up to 10 damage to all creatures in a 30-foot

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