How to create a mermaid using Spheres of Power?

Spheres of Power and its related splatbooks recently came under the valid books my RPG group is allowed to use.

The system is quite something, and far different from anything I have ever used in Pathfinder. So far, I’m liking it quite a lot, and my group is having a blast building characters with those new options in mind.

One of the players wants to RP as a mage-like character that happens to be a mermaid. Her plan is to emulate this "mermaidness" not by picking a different race, but by using the feats Transformation and Hybrid Transformation. (Check this link for details on them.)

Transformation says:

Benefit: Choose one (transformation) Alteration sphere talent that does not cost a spell point. If you choose Anthropomorphic Transformation and are humanoid or of a similar body plan, choose one other (transformation) or (body) talent to use when choosing traits to be granted by Anthropomorphic Transformation.

As a full-round action, you may assume the form of a single creature whose type corresponds to this form talent per the shapeshift ability of the Alteration sphere as a supernatural ability.

The same creature (wolf, spider, treant, etc.) is mimicked and the appearance of that creature is retained each time. The chosen form may be the same as your base size or else Medium or Small, applying size change bonuses and penalties as appropriate if this is not your usual size. When assuming your chosen form, you gain the chosen size. This transformation lasts until you choose to revert to your original form as a full-round action.

You gain all the abilities granted by this form (movement modes, natural attacks, special abilities, etc.) but do not gain any traits from the Alteration sphere as part of this transformation. Treat your Hit Dice as your caster level for the purposes of this effect. This is a polymorph effect. Possessing this feat gives you the shapechanger subtype.

So, from reading this, transformation could be used to, for example, transform her mage into a fish, dolphin or similar creature if she picked "Aquan Transformation". She couldn’t transform into a mermaid, however, since the Aquan Transformation doesn’t have limbs besides a head and a tail by default.

Hybrid Transformation grants a few new options.

Benefit: When changing into a form granted by the Transformation feat, you may instead assume a hybrid form, blending your base form and your transformation form. This cannot be used if your transformation form is already similar to your base form, such as a humanoid using Anthropomorphic Transformation.

When in hybrid form, you gain all limbs, natural attacks, special abilities, and movement modes from your transformation form, but without changing your basic shape nor melding your equipment. You may choose to retain limbs and movement speeds from your base form if your transformation form lacks them or has lesser versions, such as a humanoid keeping arms when assuming a hybrid form based on Serpentine Transformation or Vermin Transformation, adding legs to Aquan Transformation, or a winged creature retaining its wings under Animalistic Transformation.

If your transformation would grant you additional legs, you may instead gain them as arms, although they do not grant any additional attacks, are not strong enough to gain any natural attacks, and may not assist in wielding weapons, activate magic items, or wield a shield. They may hold items and as a swift action you can use them to draw a sheathed or hidden weapon, don a shield, retrieve a stored item, load a crossbow, open a door, pick up an unattended item, sheathe or store an item, or take other non-offensive actions involving manipulating objects. Items do not automatically merge with the new form if it is capable of wearing them, but the size of the items does not change if they do not resize on their own.

From our reading from it, if one can add arms to a Vermin or Serpentine transformation, or legs to an Aquan Transformation, one can deduce that it is possible to put arms on an Aquan Transformation, thus emulating the desired mermaid form as many times and as long as she wants during the adventuring day.

However, since I’m extremely unfamiliar with spheres of power, I have no idea if I’m missing something.

Is this strategy legal? Is it possible to create a mermaid-like character by picking up those two feats?

Using Armorist without Spheres of Power

Having recently come across this question and subsequently being introduced to the Armorist class I had one inkling I can’t shake: Could I finally make a great armor summoner ala Erza?

The mechanics of being able to summon and equip lots of different magical gear is the thing that makes this concept possible. That said, I’d not even looked at Spheres of Power, nor do I really have any desire to ask for it’s use.

Which leads to this question. On it’s head, the armorist allows almost mirror progression to the Fighter (with a few tweaks here and there). So, how much of a disadvantage would it be to simply strip the magic talents and caster level away from the class, leaving it more comparable in vanilla Pathfinder?

The goal, as with any character I try to create, is not immense power or optimization. I simply want a character that fits within the general structure without feeling too strong or too weak.

Frame challenge answers that explore other options for this character that don’t have to use the Armorist class are more than welcome.

Is there an algorithm to check if two spheres are in collision and whether they’re colliding on the x or the x axis?

I was wondering if there was a way to find out whether a spheres is intersecting another sphere on either its x or its z axis. For instance, Planet A is moving along the Z Axis towards Planet B a stationary object and when collision occurs I would like to get a reponse that tells me that they collided on the zAxis. I can find out if a collsion has occured using the code below however I’m not sure on how to impliment the directional aspect of this. Any help would be appreciated.

    enum ECol { x_Axis, z_Axis, none };      // Collision detection between two spheres      distanceX = sphere2XPosition - sphere1XPosition;     distanceZ = sphere2ZPosition - sphere1ZPosition;     distance = sqrt(distanceX * distanceX + distanceZ * distanceZ );      if (distance < (sphere1Radius + sphere2Radius))     { // Collision occurred } 

Can creatures outside of Crystal Spheres dream?

Assumptions: all material from spelljammer, 3.0, 3.5, web/dragon and Pathfinder are available. Everything in this campaign setting is being converted to Pathfinder. All available separate campaign settings are their own crystal spheres. I try to remove as much DM fiat as I can, but some is required to do conversions and a lot is required to implement spelljammer, which this question is based around.

This section will be updated based on clarification request. Please comment to suggest clarifications.

Problem: Inter-planar travel is not possible outside of a crystal sphere. The dimension of dreams / region of dreams exist as kinda sort of part of the ethereal plane. If you can dream, you go to those places as a mental projection and play around in your dream demiplane. Some crystal spheres have more danger here than others depending on local creatures.

If you’re outside of the spheres however Inter-planar spells and abilities don’t work. Can you still enter the Dream world via sleeping? If the answer is yes, can you do so with spells/powers/abilities? Are there Night Hags prowling the spaces between spheres through the dreams of creatures traveling in the phlogiston?

Did the spellplague change the cosmology of other crystal spheres too, or just realmspace?

The spellplague changed the cosmology of Forgotten Realms into the world axis cosmology. Great wheel no more, world tree no more (it seems I missed/skipped this one).

But did the spellplague affected the entire prime material, or just the realmspace crystal sphere. Each campaign setting is inside its own crystal sphere, and the spheres float amidst the phlogiston of the prime material plane. Did the spellplague also affected the cosmology of other crystal spheres / game settings? Like Krynn, Oerth, Mystara, etc?

Can Otiluke’s Freezing Spheres be stockpiled?

In the final paragraph of Otiluke’s freezing sphere it states:

You can refrain from firing the globe after completing the spell, if you wish. A small globe about the size of a sling stone, cool to the touch, appears in your hand. At any time, you or a creature you give the globe to can throw the globe (to a range of 40 feet) or hurl it with a sling (to the sling’s normal range). It shatters on impact, with the same effect as the normal casting of the spell. You can also set the globe down without shattering it. After 1 minute, if the globe hasn’t already shattered, it explodes.

I interpreted this to mean that my players cannot generate a stockpile of spheres. But the wizard at our table made an argument that the last bit merely means that if she left it on the ground it would explode after a minute, like a time bomb, but if she were to store them in a bag (like sling stones) the spheres wouldn’t explode. Am I screwing over my players? What is the correct interpretation?