Though known to almost any culture that practices ritual tattooing, tattoo magic is most often employed by Varisian spellcasters. Their tattooed sorcerers bind magic into intricate patterns upon their flesh, and even awaken tattoos into sentient art (details on the tattooed sorcerer archetype can be found on page 40). Yet the wonders of tattoo magic are not limited to sorcerers—any spellcaster can craft magical tattoos, given the proper training.
Inscribe Magical Tattoo (Item Creation)
You can craft magical tattoos.
Prerequisites: Craft (calligraphy, paintings, or tattoos) 5 ranks, caster level 5th.
Benefit: You can create magical tattoos, magic items inked directly into the flesh of a willing or helpless creature. Both you and the recipient of the tattoo (if the recipient is not yourself) must be present during the entire tattooing process. Magic tattoos must be placed on a part of the body normally able to hold a magic item slot, but they do not count against or interfere with magic items worn on those slots. A single slot can only hold one magical tattoo (nonmagical tattoos and tattoos acquired from the tattooed sorcerer archetype do not count against this limit). Tattoos may be inscribed on the following slots: belt, body, chest, feet, hands, head, neck, shoulder, ring (up to two), or wrist. They cannot be inscribed on armor, eye, headband, or shield slots.
Magical tattoos are difficult to destroy, though they count as magic items for the purposes of dispel magic. The spell erase can permanently destroy a magical tattoo, but the bearer of the tattoo can resist the spell with a Will save, in addition to the caster needing to make a successful caster level check to erase the tattoo. Physically removing a magical tattoo with a sharp instrument or defacing it with fire or acid can destroy it as well. Doing so is a full-round action that not only requires the target to be willing or helpless, but also provokes attacks of opportunity. At least 2 points of damage per caster level of the tattoo must be dealt to destroy a magical tattoo in this manner.
Magical tattoos follow the rules for magic item creation as though they were wondrous items, except that they can use the Craft (calligraphy, paintings, tattoos) skill. New magical tattoos can be researched and designed using the guidelines for pricing new magic items. Magical tattoos are treated as slotless magical items for pricing purposes.
Aura faint (lesser), moderate (normal), or strong (greater) evocation; CL 5th (lesser), 11th (normal), or 17th (greater)
Slot none; Price 6,000 gp (lesser), 21,000 gp (normal), 48,000 gp (greater)
A caster’s tattoo is infused with potential magical energy that aids in casting spells that normally utilize verbal and somatic components. Once per day, a spellcaster may activate her caster’s tattoo as a swift action to automatically enhance the next spell she casts in that round with both the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats. When she casts the spell, the caster’s tattoo flares with light for a moment, then grows faint and faded—it replenishes its energy in 24 hours, after which it becomes bold and colorful and can be used again. Required material components or foci must be in the creature’s possession to cast the spell (and are consumed as normal), but need not be held when the spell is cast.
Caster’s tattoos are available in lesser, standard, and greater versions, allowing the modified casting of a spell of up to 3rd level, 6th level, or 9th level respectively.
Requirements Inscribe Magical Tattoo, Silent Spell, Still Spell; Cost 3,000 gp (lesser), 10,500 gp (normal), 24,000 gp (greater)
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 10,000 gp
Once per day as a standard action, the bearer can transfer into the tattoo an ongoing single-target spell (of up to 3rd level). The spell must be one the bearer cast on itself. While stored in the tattoo, the spell’s effects are suppressed, and the spell’s duration is similarly suspended. As a standard action, the bearer can bring the spell back into effect on itself. Spells stored in reservoir tattoos are lost when the bearer next prepares spells.
Requirements Inscribe Magical Tattoo; Cost 5,000 gp
Aura varies; CL varies
Slot none; Price varies
A spell tattoo is essentially a wearable scroll inscribed on flesh instead of on parchment or vellum. These tattoos appear as colorful and intricate patterns rather than magical writing. The tattoo is a silent, spell completion item that only the bearer can activate. It vanishes when activated. A spell tattoo must be visible to the bearer and must be touched as part of its activation. These magical tattoos are not normally placed on the head, neck, or back as a result, since most creatures would require mirrors to activate them. A spell tattoo’s aura and caster level varies as per the scroll it emulates. A spell tattoo has a market price four times as much as an equivalent scroll.
Requirements Inscribe Magical Tattoo, the spell to be inscribed; Cost varies