"ELEMENTALY, my dear Watson" by Matteo Brizio.

Fox’s Cunning – Elementary, My Dear Watson! The Bubble Witch and Paflomancer Wizard

This article is inspired by this article’s wonderful piece of marvelous art (and pun) by Matteo Brizio. You can find him and his mind-blowing work on Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook! The first article I wrote on characters using bubbles gave class options for Alchemists and Investigators. And while I felt that’d be enough to get people thinking of how other classes could use bubbles, I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head and wanted to explore some more bubble-themed class options. But first, the skill feat these classes need to operate:

Bubble Blowing [one-action]

General, Skill, Hybrid
Prerequisites trained in Performance and Crafting
Requirements A blowgun, staff, or two-wands

You can create and control fantastical bubbles in mesmerizing performances. The bubble moves in a single direction of your choice at a rate of 10-feet per round. Wind and other conditions can affect a bubble’s direction and velocity. A bubble is destroyed when it takes any damage or becomes the target of an Interact action or Strike (AC 5). When you blow a bubble, you can choose to make it destroy itself when it comes into contact with any solid surface (including solid creatures).

If you’re an expert in Performance, you can increase the speed of your bubble to 15-feet per round and can change the direction of your bubble with an Interact action using the same item you used to blow the bubble. If you’re a master in Performance, you can increase the speed of your bubble to 20-feet per round and can change the direction of any bubble in any square you move through during a Move action. If you’re legendary in Performance, you can split a bubble with an Interact action, causing it to move in two different directions. If a bubble combined with an alchemical item or spell is split only one of the split bubbles retains the effect.

If you’re an expert in Crafting, you can make more potent bubbles that no longer pop when it becomes the target of an Interact action. If you’re a master in Crafting, you can make larger bubbles that fill a 5-foot-by-5-foot space. Larger bubbles do not hinder movement and are moved to a random adjacent square if they would otherwise block the path of a creature moving or being moved through their square. If you’re legendary in Crafting, you can make giant bubbles that fill a 10-foot-by-10-foot-space and you can choose to give them a special coating that allows creatures to move through them without moving the bubble itself.

Note Soap and alchemist tool’s can be used to make the fluid for Alchemical Soap Bubbles in 10-minutes. Normally having this fluid available and the method by which the bubble blower applies it to their instrument(s) of choice is up to the character in question and does not change the requirements of the Bubbling Blowing action.

Lesson of Bubbles [Witch Basic Lesson]

This lesson exposes the witch’s mind to the idea that reality is an ephemeral bubble sustained only by the whims of fate. Depending on that witch’s patron the bubbles could represent planes, multiverses, or even timelines. Once a witch’s perspective shifts to this model, a witch is able to impart their own reality in self-contained bubbles. Using a physical bubble as a focus, a so-called “bubble witch” can release this magical energy when this otherwise mundane bubble pops. Most bubble witches tend to have aquatic familiars, who can freely float alongside them by taking the Flier familiar ability.

Lesson Type: Basic
You gain the bubble spell hex, and your familiar learns air bubble. You gain the Bubble Blowing skill feat and become trained in Performance.

Bubble Spell [Focus 1]

Uncommon, Abjuration, Hex, Metamagic, Witch
Lesson lesson of bubbles
Cast Free-Action
Duration 10 minutes (see below)
You encase your spell in a bubble, ready to unleash its power when popped. Blow a bubble. If the next action you use is to Cast a Spell with the conjuration or illusion trait that summons a creature or creates an illusion, that spell has no effect when cast and becomes contained in the bubble you blew instead. You can only have one such contained spell at a time, and using this metamagic a second time causes the first bubble to pop without discharging any spell. When your bubble is destroyed, the spell discharges as though it were cast from the bubble’s current square.
Exploration A witch may keep its bubble in exploration mode for up to 10-minutes before it is destroyed, but cannot move faster than the bubble (10-feet per round if trained in performance).
Special You may cast a second spell with the hex trait on the same turn you cast this hex spell if the second hex spell is modified with the bubble spell metamagic. If you do, reduce the focus point cost of that hex spell by 1.

Paflomancy [Wizard Thesis]

A paflomancer is a wizard who has mastered the art of blowing magic-infused bubbles using modified staves. You gain the Bubbling Blowing skill feat and are trained in Crafting. You begin play with a makeshift hooped staff of your own invention. It can be used for the Blow Bubbles skill feat and generates soap on its own whenever the staff is used to blow bubbles. It contains one cantrip and one 1st-level spell that targets creature(s) or an area, both from your spellbook, but it gains no charges normally during your preparations; you must expend a spell slot to grant it charges in the same way you would add additional charges to a normal staff. You can Craft your makeshift staff into any other type of staff for the new staff’s usual cost, adding the two spells you originally chose to the staff you Craft.

Only Paflomancers can use your staff. You may only cast spells from your staff targetting one or more creatures, or affecting creatures in an area (such as a cone or burst). Spells cast using your staff are imbued in bubbles that shimmer with scintillating runes, blowing a bubble with the Bubble Blowing skill feat as part of the same action as casting the spell. The spell has no effect until your bubble is destroyed, at which point it discharges as though it were just cast. A spell with an area effect discharges from one corner of the bubble’s square. A spell that targets one or more creatures targets the most adjacent creature first then goes in a direction of the caster’s choosing until it exceeds the spell’s original range or the number of targets. A paflomancer may keep its bubble in exploration mode for up to 10-minutes before it is destroyed, but cannot move faster than the bubble (10-feet per round if trained in performance).

At 8th level, you can expend two spells instead of one when preparing your staff, adding additional charges equal to the combined levels of the expended spells. At 16th level, you can expend up to a total of three spells to add charges to the staff, adding additional charges equal to the combined levels of all three spells.

Dustin Knight

Dustin has been playing and improving on RPGs since AD&D in 1999. He ran games and conventions around California while studying Graphic Design, Philosophy, English & Architecture. After developing a tabletop game seminar he began working freelance for Alderac Entertainment Games. During his stint on the East Coast, he became a Venture Lieutenant and began reviewing Pathfinder mechanics for Organized Play. After moving to Washington in 2019, he met Alex Augunas at Paizocon and developed, designed and wrote for Everybody Games LLC. He has since published work with Rogue Genius Games and Paizo. He can be found on the Know Direction discord where he goes by the username "KitsuneWarlock".