- 1 Casting Spells
- 1.1 Choosing a Spell
- 1.2 The Action of Casting a Spell
- 1.3 Concentration
- 1.4 Attacks of Opportunity
- 1.5 Casting on the Defensive
- 1.6 Touch Spells in Combat
- 1.7 Using Metamagic Feats
- 1.8 Cast a Quickened Spell
- 1.9 Direct or Redirect a Spell
- 1.10 Dismiss a Spell
- 1.11 Caster Level
- 1.12 Spell Failure
- 1.13 The Spell's Result
- 1.14 Special Spell Effects
- 1.15 Combining Magic Effects
- 1.16 Stacking Effects
- 1.17 School (Subschool) [Descriptor]
- 1.18 Components
- 1.19 Casting Time
- 1.20 Range of a Spell
- 1.21 Range Modifiers for Spells
- 1.22 Aiming a Spell
- 1.23 Line of Effect
- 1.24 Line of Sight
- 1.25 Areas of Effect
- 1.26 Duration
- 1.27 Saving Throws
- 1.28 Spell Resistance
- 1.29 Descriptive Text
- 1.30 Communal Spells
- 1.31 Extradimensional Spaces
- 2 Arcane Spells
- 2.1 Preparing Wizard Spells
- 2.2 Preparing Sorcerer and Bard Spells
- 2.3 Rest
- 2.4 Recent Casting Limit/Rest Interruptions
- 2.5 Preparation Environment
- 2.6 Wizard Spell Preparation Time
- 2.7 Spell Selection and Preparation
- 2.8 Spell Slots
- 2.9 Prepared Spell Retention
- 2.10 Death and Prepared Spell Retention
- 2.11 Arcane Magical Writings
- 2.12 Wizard Spells and Borrowed Spellbooks
- 2.13 Adding Spells to a Wizard's Spellbook
- 2.14 Replacing and Copying Spellbooks
- 2.15 Selling a Spellbook
- 2.16 Sorcerers And Bards
- 3 Divine Spells
- 4 Special Abilities
Links to all spells, sorted by class:
- Alchemist Extracts
- Bard Spells
- Cleric Spells
- Druid Spells
- Paladin Spells
- Ranger Poultices
- Sorcerer/Wizard Spells
Caution: Many of the rules below have been updated, but many have not. Check with your DM to see the current state of affairs. :)
A spell is a one-time magical effect. Spells come in two types:
- Arcane (cast by bards, sorcerers, and wizards) and
- Divine (cast by clerics, druids, and experienced paladins)
In addition, alchemists can create extracts and rangers can create poultices. While these are not spells, their effects are defined the same way as spells. Both poultices and extracts are arcane in nature.
Some spellcasters select their spells from a limited list of spells known, while others have access to a wide variety of options.
Most spellcasters prepare spells in advance — whether from a spellbook or through prayers - while some cast spells spontaneously without preparation. Despite these different ways characters use to learn or prepare their spells, when it comes to casting them, the spells are very much alike.
Whether a spell is arcane or divine, and whether a character prepares spells in advance or chooses them on the spot, casting a spell works the same way.
Choosing a Spell
- First you must choose which spell to cast. If you are a cleric, druid, experienced paladin, experienced ranger, alchemist, or wizard, you select from among spells (or extracts and poultices) prepared earlier in the day and not yet cast (see Preparing Wizard Spells and Preparing Divine Spells).
- If you are a bard or sorcerer, you can select any spell you know, provided you are capable of casting spells of that level or higher.
The Action of Casting a Spell
- You must have the spell available to you (i.e., you haven't forgotten to memorize it or already used it up without recovering it somehow).
- Casting a spell almost always requires a Standard action. Some combat or defensive spells (Feather Fall (Spell), for example) are immediate actions. Spells with one or more metamagic feats have their casting times increased to full round actions as a result of applying the metamagic feat to them, but they're generally Worth It.
- To cast a spell, you must be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate the material components or focus (if any). Additionally, you must concentrate to cast a spell. Drawing a material component for a spell (if any) is always treated as part of the action of casting the spell.
- If a spell has multiple versions, you choose which version to use when you cast it. You don't have to prepare (or learn, in the case of a bard or sorcerer) a specific version of the spell.
- Once you've cast a prepared spell, you can't cast it again until you prepare it again. (If you've prepared multiple copies of a single spell, you can cast each copy once.) If you're a bard or sorcerer, casting a spell counts against your daily limit for spells of that spell level, but you can cast the same spell again if you haven't reached your limit.
Concentration checks are performed by making a bailiwick skill check. See Spellcraft#Concentrate for details.
Attacks of Opportunity
Generally, if you cast a spell, you provoke attacks of opportunity from threatening enemies, unless you make a Spellcraft#Concentration check to cast defensively (see below). If you take damage from an attack of opportunity due to casting a spell without casting defensively, you must still make a caster check to cast the spell, but now suffer a -5 penalty on the check. If you fail the concentration check, you lose the spell as though it were cast to no effect, and waste the action used to cast it.
Spells that require only immediate, swift, or free actions to cast don't provoke attacks of opportunity.
Casting on the Defensive
Casting a spell while on the defensive does not provoke an attack of opportunity. It does, however, require a Spellcraft#Concentration check, using your bailiwick skill, to concentrate (DC 10 + (spell level x 4)) to successfully cast the spell. Failure means that the memorized spell, or the spell slot, is used up, in addition to wasting the action used to make the attempt.
Touch Spells in Combat
Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.
- Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch Attacks come in two types: melee Touch Attacks and ranged Touch Attacks. You can score critical hits with either type of attack as long as the spell deals damage. Normally only a natural 20 on the attack roll threatens a critical, and if confirmed, the hit point damage (if any) inflicted by the spell is doubled. Your opponent's AC against a Touch Attack does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus, and is usually listed separately on a monster's blueprint.
- Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can 'hold the charge' of the attack energy in your hand and continue to make Touch Attacks round after round. If you wish, you can hold the charge for up to an entire day. This allows you to 'pre-cast' one touch-attack spell and have it ready throughout the day, if you desire, but this does carry some risk. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.
- Ranged Touch Spells in Combat: Some spells allow you to make a ranged Touch Attack as part of the casting of the spell. These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. Ranged Touch Attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively. Unless otherwise noted, ranged Touch Attacks cannot be held until a later turn. As a note, if you cast a spell that allows you to make a ranged Touch Attack (such as scorching ray), and an enemy is within reach, do you do not provoke two attacks of opportunity (since no creature can make more than one attack of opportunity as a result of a single action, even if the action appears to provoke AOO's multiple times).
Using Metamagic Feats
As a spellcaster's knowledge of magic grows, he can learn to cast spells in ways slightly different from the norm. Preparing and casting a spell in such a way is harder than normal but, thanks to metamagic feats, is at least possible. Spells modified by a metamagic feat use a spell slot higher than normal. This does not change the level of the spell, so the DC for saving throws against it does not go up. Metamagic feats do not affect spell-like abilities.
- Wizards and Divine Spellcasters:
- Wizards and divine spellcasters must prepare their spells in advance. During preparation, the character chooses which spells to prepare with metamagic feats (and thus which ones take up higher-level spell slots than normal).
- Sorcerers and Bards:
- Sorcerers and bards choose spells as they cast them. They can choose when they cast their spells whether to apply their metamagic feats to improve them. As with other spellcasters, the improved spell uses up a higher-level spell slot. Because the sorcerer or bard has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell's normal casting time is a standard action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard. (This isn't the same as a 1-round casting time.) The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, which can be cast as normal using the feat.
- For a spell with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell.
- Spontaneous Casting and Metamagic Feats:
- A cleric spontaneously casting a cure or inflict spell, or a druid spontaneously casting a summon nature's ally spell, can cast a metamagic version of it instead. Extra time is also required in this case. Casting a standard action metamagic spell spontaneously is a full-round action, and a spell with a longer casting time takes an extra full-round action to cast. The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell feat, which can be cast as a swift action.
- Effects of Metamagic Feats on a Spell:
- A metamagic spell's variables are determined using its original spell level, even though it is prepared and cast using a higher-level spell slot. So, for example, saving throw DC's are not changed unless the metamagic feat specifically states otherwise. The modifications made by these feats only apply to spells cast directly by the feat user. A spellcaster can't use a metamagic feat to alter a spell being cast from a wand, scroll, or other device. Metamagic feats that eliminate components of a spell don't eliminate the attack of opportunity provoked by casting a spell while threatened. Metamagic feats cannot be used with all spells. See the specific metamagic feat descriptions for the spells that a particular feat can't modify.
- Multiple Metamagic Feats on a Spell:
- A spellcaster can apply multiple metamagic feats to a single spell. Changes to its level are cumulative. You can't apply the same metamagic feat more than once to a single spell, no matter how cool a double-maximized Fireball might seem to be.
- Metamagic Uses Per Round:
- A spellcaster may not use the same metamagic feat more than once per round. If the spellcaster is able to cast multiple spells per round, these additional spells must use different metamagic feats (if any) than the first spell used. A spellcaster cannot cast, for example, two quickened spells, but could cast a quickened and a maximized. This rule also applies to metamagic rods, even if multiple rods of the same type are owned.
- Magic Items and Metamagic Spells:
- Spell effects cannot be enchanted into items with metamagic feats added to them. Some pre-built items that provide the effects of metamagic feats do exist, however, such as metamagic rods.
Cast a Quickened Spell
- Swift Action
You can cast a quickened spell (see the Quicken Spell (Feat) metamagic feat), or any spell whose casting time is designated as a free or swift action, as a swift action. Only one such spell can be cast in any round, and such spells don't count toward your normal limit of one spell per round. Casting a spell as a swift action doesn't incur an attack of opportunity.
Direct or Redirect a Spell
- Move Action
Some spells allow you to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after you cast the spell. Redirecting a spell requires a move action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity or require concentration.
Dismiss a Spell
- Standard Action
Dismissing an active spell is a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.
A spell’s power often depends on its caster level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to their class level in the class they are using to cast the spell.
You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.
In the event that a class feature or other special ability provides an adjustment to your caster level, that adjustment applies not only to effects based on caster level (such as range, duration, and damage dealt), but also to your Caster Check to overcome your target’s Spell Resistance and to the caster level used in dispel checks (both the dispel check and the DC of the check).
If you ever try to cast a spell in conditions where the characteristics of the spell cannot be made to conform, the casting fails and the spell is wasted.
Spells also fail if your concentration is broken and might fail if you're wearing armor while casting a spell with somatic components.
The Spell's Result
Once you know which creatures (or objects or areas) are affected, and whether those creatures have made successful saving throws (if any were allowed), you can apply whatever results a spell entails.
Special Spell Effects
Many special spell effects are handled according to the school of the spells in question. Certain other special spell features are found across spell schools.
- Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.
- Usually, a bonus has a type that indicates how the spell grants the bonus. The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don't generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works. The same principle applies to penalties- a character taking two or more penalties of the same type applies only the worst one, although most penalties have no type and thus always stack. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.
Bringing Back the Dead
- Several spells have the power to restore slain characters to life. When a living creature dies, its soul departs its body and moves to some mysterious afterlife that is unknowable to those still alive. Spells which restore a character back to life pull the soul back into the body of the slain creature.
- Essence Destruction
- Any creature brought back to life usually gains one or more points of Essence Destruction, which suppresses the use of one or more abilities, feats, or spell levels of the victim until healed. Essence Destruction will never heal on its own, but can be cured with Restoration and Greater Restoration spells, or effects which mimic these spells.
- Preventing Revivification
- Enemies can take steps to make it more difficult for a character to be returned from the dead. Keeping the body prevents others from using raise dead or resurrection to restore the slain character to life. Casting trap the soul prevents any sort of revivification unless the soul is first released.
- Revivification against One's Will
- A soul can't be returned to life if it doesn't wish to be. A soul knows the name, alignment, and patron deity (if any) of the character attempting to revive it and may refuse to return on that basis.
Combining Magic Effects
Spells or magical effects usually work as described, no matter how many other spells or magical effects happen to be operating in the same area or on the same recipient. Except in special cases, a spell does not affect the way another spell operates. Whenever a spell has a specific effect on other spells, the spell description explains that effect. Several other general rules apply when spells or magical effects operate in the same place:
Spells that provide bonuses or penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other attributes usually do not stack with themselves. More generally, two bonuses of the same type don't stack even if they come from different spells (or from effects other than spells; see Bonus Types, above).
Different Bonus Types
- The bonuses or penalties from two different spells stack if the modifiers are of different types. A bonus that doesn't have a type stacks with any bonus. See FAQ at right for some additional information.
Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths
- In cases when two or more identical spells are operating in the same area or on the same target, but at different strengths, only the one with the highest strength applies.
Same Effect with Differing Results
- The same spell can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient more than once. Usually the last spell in the series trumps the others. None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled, but their effects become irrelevant while the final spell in the series lasts.
One Effect Makes Another Irrelevant
- Sometimes, one spell can render a later spell irrelevant. Both spells are still active, but one has rendered the other useless in some fashion.
Multiple Mental Control Effects
- Sometimes magical effects that establish mental control render each other irrelevant, such as spells that remove the subject's ability to act. Mental controls that don't remove the recipient's ability to act usually do not interfere with each other. If a creature is under the mental control of two or more creatures, it tends to obey each to the best of its ability, and to the extent of the control each effect allows. If the controlled creature receives conflicting orders simultaneously, the competing controllers must make opposed Charisma checks to determine which one the creature obeys.
Spells with Opposite Effects
- Spells with opposite effects apply normally, with all bonuses, penalties, or changes accruing in the order that they apply. Some spells negate or counter each other. This is a special effect that is noted in a spell's description.
- Two or more spells with instantaneous durations work cumulatively when they affect the same target.
School (Subschool) [Descriptor]
Beneath the spell name is a line giving the school of magic (and the subschool, if any) to which the spell belongs.
Almost every spell belongs to one of eight schools of magic. A school of magic is a group of related spells that work in similar ways. A small number of spells (Arcane Mark (Spell), Wish, Limited (Spell), Permanency (Spell), Prestidigitation (Spell), and Wish (Spell)) are Universal, belonging to no school.
- Abjurations are protective spells. They create physical or magical barriers, negate magical or physical abilities, harm trespassers, or even banish the subject of the spell to another plane of existence.
- If one abjuration spell is active within 10 feet of another for 24 hours or more, the magical fields interfere with each other and create barely visible energy fluctuations. The DC to find such spells with the Perception skill drops by 4.
- If an abjuration creates a barrier that keeps certain types of creatures at bay, that barrier cannot be used to push away those creatures. If you force the barrier against such a creature, you feel a discernible pressure against the barrier. If you continue to apply pressure, you end the spell.
- Each conjuration spell belongs to one of five subschools. Conjurations transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane (calling); create objects or effects on the spot (creation); heal (healing); bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning); or transport creatures or objects over great distances (teleportation). Creatures you conjure usually- but not always- obey your commands.
- A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.
- The creature or object must appear within the spell’s range, but it does not have to remain within the range
- Calling: A calling spell transports a creature from another plane to the plane you are on. The spell grants the creature the one-time ability to return to its plane of origin, although the spell may limit the circumstances under which this is possible. Creatures who are called actually die when they are killed; they do not disappear and reform, as do those brought by a summoning spell (see below). The duration of a calling spell is instantaneous, which means that the called creature can’t be dispelled.
- Creation: A creation spell manipulates matter to create an object or creature in the place the spellcaster designates. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, magic holds the creation together, and when the spell ends, the conjured creature or object vanishes without a trace. If the spell has an instantaneous duration, the created object or creature is merely assembled through magic. It lasts indefinitely and does not depend on magic for its existence.
- Healing: Certain divine conjurations heal creatures or even bring them back to life.
- Summoning: a summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can’t be summoned again.
- When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have.
- Teleportation: a teleportation spell transports one or more creatures or objects a great distance. The most powerful of these spells can cross planar boundaries. Unlike summoning spells, the transportation is (unless otherwise noted) one-way and not dispellable.
- Teleportation is instantaneous travel through the Astral Plane. Anything that blocks astral travel also blocks teleportation.
- Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior.
- All enchantments are mind-affecting spells. Two subschools of enchantment spells grant you influence over a subject creature.
- Charm: A charm spell changes how the subject views you, typically making it see you as a good friend.
- Compulsion: A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way its mind works. Some compulsion spells determine the subject’s actions or the effects on the subject, others allow you to determine the subject’s actions when you cast the spell, and still others give you ongoing control over the subject.
- Evocation spells manipulate magical energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.
- Illusion spells deceive the senses or minds of others. They cause people to see things that are not there, not see things that are there, hear phantom noises, or remember things that never happened.
- Figment: A figment spell creates a false sensation. Those who perceive the figment perceive the same thing, not their own slightly different versions of the figment. It is not a personalized mental impression. Figments cannot make something seem to be something else. A figment that includes audible effects cannot duplicate intelligible speech unless the spell description specifically says it can. If intelligible speech is possible, it must be in a language you can speak. If you try to duplicate a language you cannot speak, the figment produces gibberish. Likewise, you cannot make a visual copy of something unless you know what it looks like (or copy another sense exactly unless you have experienced it).
- Because figments and glamers are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can. Figments and glamers cannot cause damage to objects or creatures, support weight, provide nutrition, or provide protection from the elements. Consequently, these spells are useful for confounding foes, but useless for attacking them directly.
- A figment’s AC is equal to 10 + its size modifier.
- Glamer: A glamer spell changes a subject’s sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear.
- Pattern: Like a figment, a pattern spell creates an image that others can see, but a pattern also affects the minds of those who see it or are caught in it. All patterns are mind-affecting spells.
- Phantasm: A phantasm spell creates a mental image that usually only the caster and the subject (or subjects) of the spell can perceive. This impression is totally in the minds of the subjects. It is a personalized mental impression, all in their heads and not a fake picture or something that they actually see. Third parties viewing or studying the scene don’t notice the phantasm. All phantasms are mind-affecting spells.
- Shadow: A shadow spell creates something that is partially real from extradimensional energy. Such illusions can have real effects. Damage dealt by a shadow illusion is real.
Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief)
- Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.
- A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.
- A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. a character faced with proof that an illusion isn’t real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.
- Necromancy spells manipulate the power of death, unlife, and the life force. Spells involving undead creatures make up a large part of this school.
- Transmutation spells change the properties of some creature, thing, or condition.
- Polymorph: A polymorph spell transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature. While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature. Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor. In addition, each polymorph spell can grant you a number of other benefits, including movement types, resistances, and senses. If the form you choose grants these benefits, or a greater ability of the same type, you gain the listed benefit. If the form grants a lesser ability of the same type, you gain the lesser ability instead. Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume. If the form grants a swim or burrow speed, you maintain the ability to breathe if you are swimming or burrowing. The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.
- In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses.
- Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature’s type. Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature.
- When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials (Feat) or Natural Spell (Feat)), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon. Other polymorph spells might be subject to this restriction as well, if they change you into a form that is unlike your original form (subject to GM discretion). If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.
- While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as Scent and Darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.
- You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.
- If a polymorph spell is cast on a creature that is smaller than Small or larger than Medium, first adjust its ability scores to one of these two sizes using the following table before applying the bonuses granted by the polymorph spell. (see Table: Ability Adjustments from Size Changes)
- Some spells are Universal, belonging to no school. All arcane casters have access to all Universal spells. Many Universal spells are 'the base of magic', those core abilities that make an arcane spellcaster wjat they are. They include the basic ability to read magic, the ability to summon monsters to your side as allies, the ability to form magically improved materials, many spells that grant senses and the ability to scry at a distance, and at the upper levels, the most basic and powerful of spells, Wish, that allows a powerful enough practicioner of magic do cast any spell or do many other effects besides...for a price.
- Some universal spells grant eerie supernatural senses, and usually have cone-shaped areas. These move with you and extend in the direction you choose. The cone defines the area that you can sweep each round. If you study the same area for multiple rounds, you can often gain additional information, as noted in the descriptive text for the spell.
- Scrying: A scrying spell creates an invisible magical sensor that sends you information. Unless noted otherwise, the sensor has the same powers of sensory acuity that you possess. This level of acuity includes any spells or effects that target you, but not spells or effects that emanate from you. The sensor, however, is treated as a separate, independent sensory organ of yours, and thus functions normally even if you have been blinded or deafened, or otherwise suffered sensory impairment.
- A creature can notice the sensor by making a Perception check with a DC 10 + 4x the spell level. The sensor can be dispelled as if it were an active spell.
- Lead sheeting or magical protection blocks a scrying spell, and you sense that the spell is blocked.
- Appearing on the same line as the school and sub-school, when applicable, is a descriptor that further categorizes the spell in some way. Some spells have more than one descriptor.
- The descriptors are acid, air, chaotic, cold, curse, darkness, death, disease, draconic, earth, electricity, emotion, evil, fear, fire, force, good, language-dependent, lawful, light, meditative, mind-affecting, pain, poison, shadow, sonic, and water.
- Most of these descriptors have no game effect by themselves, but they govern how the spell interacts with other spells, with special abilities, with unusual creatures, with alignment, and so on.
- Acid: Acid effects deal damage with chemical reactions rather than cold, electricity, heat, or vibration. This descriptor includes both actual acids and their chemical opposites, called bases or alkalines (such as ammonia and lye).
- Air: Spells that create air, manipulate air, or conjure creatures from air-dominant planes or with the air subtype should have the air descriptor.
- Chaotic: Spells that draw upon the power of true chaos or conjure creatures from chaos-aligned planes or with the chaotic subtype should have the chaos descriptor.
- Cold: Cold effects deal damage by making the target colder, typically by blasting it with supernaturally cooled matter or energy. Cold effects also include those that create ice, sleet, or snow out of nothing. They can cause frostbite, numbness, coordination problems, slowed movement and reactions, stupor, and death.
- Additional Curse info: Many spells can place curses on unfortunate victims. Their effects are usually simple and can be ended with the right spell (but never Dispel Magic (Spell)). All curse spells have the curse descriptor. The most well-known is Bestow Curse (Spell), which allows the caster to invent her own effect in line with the listed options (no worse than a 50% chance of losing actions, a –4 penalty on checks, or a –6 penalty to an ability score). Effects in line with that power level include the following, though ultimately they are limited only by the caster’s imagination and the GM’s discretion.
- When the victim is adjacent to the area of a damaging spell or spell-like effect (even one he created himself ), the area expands to include the victim.
- The victim can’t heal naturally, and magical healing heals the victim by only half the usual amount (minimum 1 point). The victim’s fast healing and regeneration, if any, are likewise halved.
- The victim is plagued by cacophonous sounds and strobing lights that only she can hear and see. She is distracted (–5 penalty on Perception checks), cannot take 10 on skill checks, and must succeed at a Caster Check (DC = 20 + spell level) to successfully cast spells. Any time the victim picks up or retrieves an object (including drawing a weapon or ammunition), there is a 50% chance that she immediately drops it. If she drops ammunition while attempting to make a ranged attack, that particular attack is lost.
- Save DCs: The stat block for a curse lists the save DC. For curses that can be created by a spell, this usually represents the minimum DC. If a spell is used to create a curse in your game, calculate the DC using the caster’s ability score and the spell level as normal.
- Darkness: Spells that create darkness or reduce the amount of light should have the darkness descriptor. Giving a spell the darkness descriptor indicates whether a spell like Daylight (Spell) is high enough level to counter or dispel it.
- Disease: Disease effects give the target a disease, which may be an invading organism such as a bacteria or virus, an abnormal internal condition (such as a cancer or mental disorder), or a recurring magical effect that acts like one of the former. Creatures with resistance or immunity to disease apply that resistance to their saving throw and the effects of disease spells.
- Creatures of the dragons type with 5 or more racial hit dice can select a draconic spell as a spell known regardless of the class spell list it’s on. Each time such a creature gains an additional racial hit die, it can select a draconic spell in place of an existing spell known of the same or higher spell level.
- Earth: Spells that manipulate earth or conjure creatures from earth-dominant planes or with the earth subtype should have the earth descriptor.
- Electricity: Electricity effects involve the presence and flow of electrical charge, whether expressed in amperes or volts. Electricity deals damage to creatures by disrupting their biological systems. It deals damage to objects (as well as creatures) by heating the material it passes through, and thus technically many electricity spells could also be treated as fire spells, but for sake of game simplicity, it is better to just let electricity-based spells deal electricity damage. Electricity effects may stun, paralyze, or even kill.
- Evil: Spells that draw upon evil powers or conjure creatures from evil-aligned planes or with the evil subtype should have the evil descriptor.
- Casting an evil spell is an evil act, but for most characters simply casting such a spell once isn’t enough to change her alignment; this only occurs if the spell is used for a truly abhorrent act, or if the caster established a pattern of casting evil spells over a long period. A wizard who uses Animate Dead (Spell) to create guardians for defenseless people won’t turn evil, but he will if he does it over and over again. The GM decides whether the character’s alignment changes, but typically casting two evil spells is enough to turn a good creature nongood, and three or more evils spells move the caster from nongood to evil. The greater the amount of time between castings, the less likely alignment will change. Some spells require sacrificing a sentient creature, a major evil act that makes the caster evil in almost every circumstance.
- Those who are forbidden from casting spells with an opposed alignment might lose their divine abilities if they circumvent that restriction (via Use Magic Device, for example), depending on how strict their deities are.
- Though this advice talks about evil spells, it also applies to spells with other alignment descriptors.
- Fear: Spells with the fear descriptor create, enhance, or manipulate fear. Most fear spells are necromancy spells, though some are enchantment spells. Fear-based status arrays are:
- Fire: Fire effects make the target hotter by creating fire, directly heating the target with magic or friction. Lava, steam, and boiling water all deal Fire Damage. Fire effects can also cause confusion, dizziness, exhaustion, fatigue, nausea, unconsciousness, and death. Spells that manipulate fire or conjure creatures from fire-dominant planes or with the fire subtype should have the fire descriptor.
- Force: Spells with the force descriptor create or manipulate magical force. Force spells affect incorporeal creatures normally (as if they were corporeal creatures).
- Good: Spells that draw upon the power of true goodness or conjure creatures from good-aligned planes or with the good subtype should have the good descriptor.
- Language-Dependent: A language-dependent spell uses intelligible language as a medium for communication. If the target cannot understand or hear what the caster of a language-dependent spell says, the spell has no effect, even if the target fails its saving throw.
- Lawful: Spells that draw upon the power of true law or conjure creatures from law-aligned planes or with the lawful subtype should have the law descriptor.
- Light: Spells that create significant amounts of light or attack darkness effects should have the light descriptor. Giving a spell the light descriptor indicates whether a spell like darkness is high enough level counter or dispel it.
- Meditative: Meditative spells fall into an unusual category and share the “meditative” descriptor. Meditative spells are not cast like other spells—they are cast during the period of the day when a spellcaster prepares her spells. A meditative spell must already be prepared at the time when you start your 1-hour spell preparation ritual, and at the end of that time, the meditative spell of your choosing is cast, leaving you with that one spell slot used for the remainder of the day. You can have only one meditative spell in effect on you at any one time. All meditative spells have a range of personal and a target of you, and they can’t be brewed into potions or part of similar one-use items like elixirs. A meditative spell can be placed on a scroll or in a wand, but the act of casting the spell must always be incorporated into the user’s spell-preparation time; it also takes 1 hour for a character who succeeds at an appropriate Use Magic Device check to operate such an item.
- Poison: Poison effects use poison, venom, drugs, or similar toxic substances to disrupt and damage living creatures through chemical reactions. Technically, acids and poisons are both chemical reactions, but for the purpose of this game, they are categorized as different effects, with acids dealing hit point damage and poisons causing ability damage, ability drain, bleeding, confusion, convulsions, nausea, paralysis, reduced healing, suffocation, unconsciousness, or death. Creatures with resistance to poison (such as dwarves) apply that resistance to their saving throws and the effects of poison spells. Creatures with immunity are immune to poisonous aspects of poison spells, but not necessarily all effects of the spell (for example, a spell that creates a pit full of liquid poison could still trap or drown a poison-immune creature).
- Ruse: The “ruse” descriptor applies to spells that appear to be other, usually more harmless spells in order for the caster to fool her opponents. Spells with the ruse descriptor are easily mistaken for other spells and are intended to confuse even onlookers trained in Spellcraft or Knowledge (arcana). Attempts to identify a ruse spell by its effects, its aura, its components, or other attributes with a skill check treat the spell as though it were a different spell, as indicated in the spell’s description. The one attempting the check can correctly identify the spell only by exceeding the DC by 10. The false spell is typically a level lower than the ruse spell, so skill checks use the DC for the lower-level spell. Even detect magic and most similar spells don’t prevent the caster from being fooled by a ruse spell. Analyze dweomer, greater arcane sight, and similar spells of the same or higher spell level that automatically identify spells reveal a ruse spell for what it is. Ruse spells that mimic harmless spells still list harmless on their saving throw or spell resistance lines; a creature that knows or suspects the true nature of the spell typically chooses to attempt the save. Source: PRG:UI.
- Shadow: Shadow spells manipulate matter or energy from the Shadow Plane, or allow transport to or from that plane.
- Sonic: Sonic effects transmit energy to the target through frequent oscillations of pressure through the air, water, or ground. Sounds that are too high or too low for the humanoid ear to detect can still transmit enough energy to cause harm, which means that these effects can even affect deafened creatures. Sound effects can cause hit point damage, deafness, dizziness, nausea, pain, shortness of breath, and temporary blindness, and can detect creatures using batlike echolocation.
- Water: Spells that manipulate water or conjure creatures from water-dominant planes or with the water subtype should have the water descriptor.
A spell’s components explain what you must do or possess to cast the spell. The components entry in a spell description includes abbreviations that tell you what type of components it requires. Specifics for material and focus components are given at the end of the descriptive text. Usually you don’t need to worry about components, but when you can’t use a component for some reason or when a material or focus component is expensive, then the components are important.
- Verbal (V): A verbal component is a spoken incantation. To provide a verbal component, you must be able to speak in a strong voice. A silence spell or a gag spoils the incantation (and thus the spell). a spellcaster who has been deafened has a 20% chance of spoiling any spell with a verbal component that he tries to cast.
- Somatic (S): A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand. You must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component.
- Material (M): A material component consists of one or more physical substances or objects that are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process. Unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible. Don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch.
- Focus (F): A focus component is a prop of some sort. Unlike a material component, a focus is not consumed when the spell is cast and can be reused. As with material components, the cost for a focus is negligible unless a price is given. Assume that focus components of negligible cost are in your spell component pouch.
- Divine Focus (DF): A divine focus component is an item of spiritual significance. The divine focus for a cleric or a paladin is a holy symbol appropriate to the character’s faith. The divine focus for a druid or a ranger is a sprig of holly, or some other sacred plant.
- If the Components line includes F/DF or M/DF, the arcane version of the spell has a focus component or a material component (the abbreviation before the slash) and the divine version has a divine focus component (the abbreviation after the slash).
A spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action, and comes into effect at the end of your current turn.
A spell that takes 1 minute to cast comes into effect at the end of your tenth round of casting (and for each of those 10 rounds, you are casting a spell as a full-round action, just as noted above for 1-round casting times). These actions must be consecutive and uninterrupted, or the spell automatically fails.
When you begin a spell that takes more than one round to cast, you must continue the concentration from the current round to the end of your turn in whatever round the casting time is completed (at least). If you lose concentration before the casting is complete, you lose the spell.
A spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn’t count against your normal limit of one spell per round. However, you may cast such a spell only once per round. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
Range of a Spell
- Personal: This spell only affects you, and can't even be placed in a magic item.
- Touch: This spell affects one or more things that you can reach out and touch with your body. This usually means they can touch you back (such as by attacking you) unless you've taken steps to avoid such things.
- Cones or Bursts: This spell affects everything in an area which must be adjacent to your space by at least one edge or corner. Every creature and/or object in the area, partially or fully, may be affected to some extent by the spell.
- Close Range: This spell affects things within a distance from your space of 25 feet plus 5 feet per two full caster levels you possess when casting. At fifth level, a close range spell reaches out 50 feet. Read the spell itself for what it does when it gets to where it's going.
- Medium Range: This spell affects things within a distance from your space of 100 feet plus 10 feet per full caster level you possess when casting. At fifth level, a medium range spell reaches out 150 feet. Read the spell itself for what it does when it gets to where it's going.
- Long Range: This spell affects things within a distance from your space of 200 feet plus 20 feet per full caster level you possess when casting. At fifth level, a long range spell reaches out 300 feet. Read the spell itself for what it does when it gets to where it's going.
- Unlimited: This spell can potentially reach anywhere at all, as long as it's on the same plane of existence. This is a very powerful and rare effect! Usually used for movement, not damage, because, wow.
- Defined Range: This spell has its range defined in the spell itself. This might be a small distance in feet, or a very long distance in miles, or even how many planes of existence it can skip over to get where its going. Refer to the spell description for details.
Range Modifiers for Spells
In general, spells don't take range modifiers. Even Rays, which follow some weapon rules, don't take conventional range modifiers. If you are within the range of the spell, you are easy to hit. This is in marked contrast to ranged weapons, which take quite heavy range modifiers. To balance this out a bit, some ranged weapons (projectile weapons and siege weapons, mainly) have longer ranges than spells. It is possible to get outside the range of a spell and plink away at the caster, except for those pesky Unlimited and Defined Range spells, which keep things interesting for everybody.
Of course, like all things with spells, there are exceptions to every rule, so read the spell description. The spell description is the final written rule on all aspects of spells. Of course, all DM rulings on spells are final, as they are on everything else.
Aiming a Spell
You must make choices about whom a spell is to affect or where an effect is to originate, depending on a spell's type. The next entry in a spell description defines the spell's target (or targets), its effect, or its area, as appropriate.
Target or Targets
Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.
If the target of a spell is yourself (the Target line of the spell description includes “You”), you do not receive a saving throw, and spell resistance does not apply. The saving throw and spell resistance lines are omitted from such spells.
Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if you're flat-footed or it isn't your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing.
Some spells allow you to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after you cast the spell. Redirecting a spell is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.
You must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear, but if the effect is mobile, after it appears it can move regardless of the spell's range.
- Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged Touch Attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, you can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope you hit something. You don't have to see the creature you're trying to hit, as you do with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature at which you're aiming.
- If a ray spell has a duration, it's the duration of the effect that the ray causes, not the length of time the ray itself persists.
- If a ray spell deals damage, you can score a critical hit just as if it were a weapon. A ray spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit.
- Note that rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells, feats and effects that affect weapons. For example, a bard's inspire courage ability says it affects "weapon damage rolls," which is worded that way so you don't try to add the bonus to a spell like fireball. However, rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source, so the inspire courage bonus applies to ray attack rolls and ray damage rolls.
- The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon - effects that affect weapons work on these spells.
- Some effects, notably clouds and fogs, spread out from a point of origin, which is defined in the spell, and is often a grid intersection. Spreads are 'soft' and malleable, and thus the effect can extend around corners and into areas that you can't see. (Line of effect, but not line of sight.) Figure distance by actual distance traveled, taking into account turns the spell effect takes. When determining distance for spread effects, count around walls, not through them. As with movement, all squares are counted as 1-for-1. You must designate the point of origin for such an effect, but you need not have line of effect (see below) to all portions of the effect.
- Some spells affect an area. Usually a spell description specifies a specially defined area, but usually an area falls into one of the categories defined below.
- Regardless of the shape of the area, you select the point where the spell originates, but otherwise you don't control which creatures or objects the spell affects. The point of origin of a spell is always a grid intersection or a target square. When determining whether a given creature is within the area of a spell, count out the distance from the point of origin in squares just as you do when moving a character or when determining the range for a ranged attack (1-for-1 counting).
- If the far edge of a square is within the spell's area, anything and everything within that square is within the spell's area. If the spell's area only touches the near edge or a corner of a square, anything within that square is unaffected by the spell.
Burst, Emanation, or Spread
- Most spells that affect an area function as a burst, an emanation, or a spread. In each case, you select the spell's point of origin and measure its effect from that point.
- A burst spell affects whatever it catches in its area, including creatures that you can't see. It can't affect creatures with total cover from its point of origin (in other words, its effects don't extend around corners, and you must have line of effect, but not line of sight, from the point of origin to all affected squares). The default shape for a burst effect is abstracted as a cube, but for story purposes is often described as a sphere or other interesting effect, because magic is cool like that. A burst's area defines how far from the point of origin the spell's effect extends.
- An emanation spell functions like a burst spell (you must have line of effect but not line of sight, to all affected squares from the point of origin), except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin for the duration of the spell. Emanations are abstracted as cubes, but may have many colorful, fanciful, and exciting descriptive elements added.
- A spread spell extends out like a burst but can turn corners. You select the point of origin, and the spell spreads out a given distance in all directions. Figure the area the spell effect fills by taking into account any turns the spell effect takes. In other words, as long as an open path exists (such as for low-pressure fire or poison gas) within reach of the point of origin, the spread will spread out to fill it.
Cone, Cylinder, Line, or Sphere
- Most spells that affect an area have a particular shape.
- A cone-shaped spell is abstracted as a square that shoots away from you in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner or side of your square. Most cones are either bursts or emanations (see above), and thus won't go around corners.
- When casting a cylinder-shaped spell, you select the spell's point of origin. This point is the center of a horizontal square (the cylinder's shape is abstracted), and the spell shoots down from the circle, filling the area. A cylinder-shaped spell ignores any obstructions within its area.
- A line-shaped spell shoots away from you in a line in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner or side your square and extends to the limit of its range or until it strikes a barrier that blocks line of effect. A line-shaped spell affects all creatures in squares through which the line passes. The DM adjudicates any unusual or close calls (see below).
- A sphere-shaped spell is abstracted to expand from its point of origin to fill a cubical area. Spheres may be bursts, emanations, or spreads.
- A spell with this kind of area affects creatures directly (like a targeted spell), but it affects all creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures you select. The area might be a spherical burst, a cone-shaped burst, or some other shape, although all areas are abstracted to cubes for play on a grid.
- Many spells affect “living creatures,” which means all creatures other than constructs and undead. Creatures in the spell's area that are not of the appropriate type do not count against the creatures affected.
- A spell with this kind of area affects objects within an area you select (as Creatures, but affecting objects instead).
- A spell can have a unique area, as defined in its description.
- If an area or effect entry ends with “(S),” you can shape the spell. A shaped effect or area can have no dimension smaller than 10 feet. Many effects or areas are given as cubes to make it easy to model irregular shapes. Three-dimensional volumes are most often needed to define aerial or underwater effects and areas.
Line of Effect
A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.
A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).
An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.
Line of Sight
A line of sight is the same as a Line of Effect but with the additional restriction that that it is blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight (such as Concealment).
Areas of Effect
Accounting for distance and movement is a complex topic, and large amounts of thought went into this. In Epic Path, we simplify areas and movement by using a straight '1 for 1' counting convention. In detail, measure all movement in squares. All face-to-face moves (across an edge of a square) are 1 for 1, and diagonal moves (across a corner of a square) are 1 for 1.
ALL distances and movement are counted as "1 for 1." There is no penalty for moving in diagonal lines. This has the effect of greatly simplifying the work of determining ranges and allows high-maneuverability classes to play much faster.
ALL areas of effect are simplified.
Templates are no longer used for circles or cones. The area of effect for all common cones and circles are reduced to squares, based upon the conversions below. This simplifies placing AOE's considerably, and allows custom sizes or widened spells to be used easily.
No-range attacks (usually cones) are placed by ensuring that any square of the AOE must have one point of adjacency, either a side or a corner, with one of the attacker's squares. For example, a size Medium wizard uses Burning Hands. This spell has a fifteen-foot-cone area of effect. In these rules, the cone template is not used, and instead the Area of Effect is converted to a three by three square. The location of the effect of the spell must be adjacent to either a side or a corner of one of the caster's squares. Since the wizard is size Medium and thus has only one square, the Burning Hands AOE must be adjacent to either a side or a corner of that square.
A size Huge dragon breathing a sixty foot cone of fire is resolved as follows: A size Huge creature occupies a three by three square. A sixty foot cone is defined as an 8x8 square. The 8x8 square of the area of effect must be placed so that it is 'touching' any edge or corner of the 3x3 square of the dragon's space.
Ranged area of effect attacks are not determined by adjacency to the attacker's square. Instead, they are counted out from a central target point. All 'odd number' areas of effect are centered upon a target square. All 'even number' areas of effect are centered upon an intersection 'targeting cross-hair' formed by four squares.
Conversion of Areas of Effect
To simplify interoperation with other d20 games (such as the classic 3.5 and Pathfinder), we define some simple area of effect conversions, below.
Many of the larger areas of effect have been slightly reduced in size to balance the fact that corners are no longer being cut out by the old 3:2 diagonal rules. The total affected area is still usually greater under these variant rules. This reduction also allows for simplification of the Widen Spell metamagic feat, which simply doubles the listed axis values. For example, a "30-foot cone" area of effect, defined below as a 5x5 square, with Widen Spell applied grows from a 5x5 square to a 10x10 square.
Line Areas of Effect
To determine which creatures are struck by a line attack, choose the origin square (any square adjacent to the caster) and any target square within range, and draw a straight line between the center of the two squares. The target square may be closer than the line's maximum range but it may not be further. Note that the line's range is not shortened by choosing a square closer than the maximum range; the effect simply passes through that square to its maximum range. Any square that the line crosses, even partially, is considered to be within the line's area of effect. If there is some doubt that the line has actually passed through a square, rather than just nicking its edge or corner, the GM should generally rule conservatively, (i.e. the line doesn't cross that square), since lines are intended to be somewhat limited in area of effect.
Cone Areas of Effect
- 15 foot cone becomes a 3x3 square around a target square
- 30 foot cone becomes a 5x5 square around a target square
- 60 foot cone becomes an 8x8 square around a target intersection point
Radius Areas of Effect
- 5 foot radius becomes a 2x2 square around a target intersection point
- 10 foot radius becomes a 4x4 square around a target intersection point
- 15 foot radius becomes a 5x5 square around a target square
- 20 foot radius becomes a 7x7 square around a target square
- 30 foot radius becomes a 9x9 square around a target square
- 40 foot radius becomes a 12x12 square around a target intersection point
A spell's duration entry tells you how long the magical energy of the spell lasts.
- Timed Durations
- Many durations are measured in rounds, minutes, hours, or other increments. When the time is up, the magic goes away and the spell ends. If a spell's duration is variable, the duration is rolled secretly so the caster doesn't know how long the spell will last.
- The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.
- The energy remains as long as the effect does. This means the spell is vulnerable to dispel magic.
- The spell lasts as long as you concentrate on it. Concentrating to maintain a spell is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Anything that could break your concentration when casting a spell can also break your concentration while you're maintaining one, causing the spell to end. See concentration.
- You can't cast a spell while concentrating on another one. Some spells last for a short time after you cease concentrating.
- Subjects, Effects, and Areas
- If the spell affects creatures directly, the result travels with the subjects for the spell's duration. If the spell creates an effect, the effect lasts for the duration. The effect might move or remain still. Such an effect can be destroyed prior to when its duration ends. If the spell affects an area, then the spell stays with that area for its duration.
- Creatures become subject to the spell when they enter the area and are no longer subject to it when they leave.
- Touch Spells and Holding the Charge
- In most cases, if you don't discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make Touch Attacks round after round until the spell is discharged. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.
- Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can't hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.
- Occasionally a spells lasts for a set duration or until triggered or discharged.
- (D) Dismissible
- If the duration line ends with “(D),” you can dismiss the spell at will. You must be within range of the spell's effect and must speak words of dismissal, which are usually a modified form of the spell's verbal component. If the spell has no verbal component, you can dismiss the effect with a gesture. Dismissing a spell is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
- A spell that depends on concentration is dismissible by its very nature, and dismissing it does not take an action, since all you have to do to end the spell is to stop concentrating on your turn.
Usually a harmful spell allows a target to make a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect. The saving throw entry in a spell description defines which type of saving throw the spell allows and describes how saving throws against the spell work.
- The spell has no effect on a subject that makes a successful saving throw.
- The spell has an effect on its subject. A successful saving throw means that some lesser effect occurs.
- The spell deals damage, and a successful saving throw halves the damage taken (round down).
- No saving throw is allowed.
- A successful save lets the subject ignore the spell's effect.
- The spell can be cast on objects, which receive saving throws only if they are magical or if they are attended (held, worn, grasped, or the like) by a creature resisting the spell, in which case the object uses the creature's saving throw bonus unless its own bonus is greater. This notation does not mean that a spell can be cast only on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects. A magic item's saving throw bonuses are each equal to 2 + 1/2 the item's caster level.
- The spell is usually beneficial, not harmful, but a targeted creature can attempt a saving throw if it desires.
Saving Throw Difficulty Class
A saving throw against your spell has a DC of 10 + the level of the spell + your bonus for the caster ability modifier (Intelligence for a wizard, Charisma for a bard, paladin, or sorcerer, or Wisdom for a cleric, druid, or ranger). A spell's level can vary depending on your class. Always use the spell level applicable to your class.
- Succeeding on a Saving Throw
- A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.
- Automatic Failures and Successes
- A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on a saving throw is always a failure. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a success.
- Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw
- A creature can voluntarily forgo a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality (though suppressing spell resistance often requires an action of some kind — it usually cannot be done outside of your turn).
- Items Surviving after a Saving Throw
- Unless the descriptive text for the spell specifies otherwise, all items carried or worn by a creature are assumed to survive a magical attack.
Spell resistance (abbreviated SR) is the extraordinary ability to avoid being affected by spells. Some spells also grant spell resistance.
To affect a creature that has spell resistance, a spellcaster must make a Caster Check with a result that is greater than or equal to the creature’s spell resistance. The defender’s spell resistance is like an Armor Class against magical attacks. If the caster fails the check, the spell is wasted, having no effect on the target creature. The possessor does not have to do anything special to use spell resistance. The creature need not even be aware of the threat for its spell resistance to operate.
Only spells and spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance. Extraordinary and supernatural abilities (including enhancement bonuses on magic weapons) are not. A creature can have some abilities that are subject to spell resistance and some that are not. In addition, some spells ignore spell resistance; see When Spell Resistance Applies, below.
Monsters attempting to use a spell or spell-like ability against a player character roll 1d20 + their Hit Dice, and compare that value against the target's Spell Resistance value. If the result equals or exceeds the target's Spell Resistance, the spell works. If it does not, the spell (and the action to cast it) are wasted, having no effect on the target.
A creature can voluntarily lower its spell resistance. Doing so usually requires a Standard Action that does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity. Once a creature lowers its resistance, it remains down until the creature’s next turn. At the beginning of the creature’s next turn, the creature’s spell resistance automatically returns unless the creature intentionally keeps it down (requiring a new standard action each round).
A creature’s spell resistance never interferes with its own spells, items, or abilities.
A creature with spell resistance cannot impart this power to others by touching them or standing in their midst. Only the rarest of creatures and a few magic items have the ability to bestow spell resistance upon another.
Spell resistance does not stack. If a creature has more than one source of Spell Resistance, only the highest available value is used.
When Spell Resistance Applies
- Each spell includes an entry that indicates whether spell resistance applies to the spell. In general, whether spell resistance applies depends on what the spell does.
- Spell resistance applies if the spell is targeted at the creature. Some individually targeted spells can be directed at several creatures simultaneously. In such cases, a creature’s spell resistance applies only to the portion of the spell actually targeted at it. If several different resistant creatures are subjected to such a spell, each checks its spell resistance separately.
- If a spell uses the terms “object” or “harmless”, they mean the same thing for spell resistance as they do for saving throws. A creature with spell resistance must voluntarily lower the resistance (a standard action) in order to be affected by such spells without forcing the caster to make a Caster Check.
- Spell resistance applies if the resistant creature is within the spell’s area. It protects the resistant creature without affecting the spell itself.
- Most effect spells summon or create something and are not subject to spell resistance. Sometimes, however, spell resistance applies to effect spells, usually to those that act upon a creature more or less directly, such as web.
- Spell resistance can protect a creature from a spell that’s already been cast. Check spell resistance when the creature is first affected by the spell.
- Check spell resistance only once for any particular casting of a spell or use of a spell-like ability. If spell resistance fails the first time, it fails each time the creature encounters that same casting of the spell. Likewise, if the spell resistance succeeds the first time, it always succeeds. If the creature has voluntarily lowered its spell resistance and is then subjected to a spell, the creature still has a single chance to resist that spell later, when its spell resistance is back up.
- Spell resistance has no effect unless the energy created or released by the spell actually goes to work on the resistant creature’s mind or body. If the spell acts on anything else and the creature is affected as a consequence, no roll is required. Spell-resistant creatures can be harmed by a spell when they are not being directly affected.
- Spell resistance does not apply if an effect fools the creature’s senses or reveals something about the creature.
- Magic actually has to be working for spell resistance to apply. Spells that have instantaneous durations but lasting results aren’t subject to spell resistance unless the resistant creature is exposed to the spell the instant it is cast.
Successful Spell Resistance
- Spell resistance prevents a spell or a spell-like ability from affecting or harming the resistant creature, but it never removes a magical effect from another creature or negates a spell’s effect on another creature. Spell resistance prevents a spell from disrupting another spell.
- Against an ongoing spell that has already been cast, a failed check against spell resistance allows the resistant creature to ignore any effect the spell might have. The magic continues to affect others normally.
This portion of a spell description details what the spell does and how it works. If one of the previous entries in the description includes “see text,” this is where the explanation is found.
Communal spells function like other spells, except they allow you to divide the duration among multiple targets, treating each target as a subject of the spell. When you divide the duration, you must divide it as evenly as possible among the targets. Furthermore, unless a communal spell's description indicates otherwise, no target can receive a duration increment smaller than the smallest increment of duration given in the spell description. For example, if you are 5th level, your communal spell's duration is 10 minutes per level, and you have four targets, then each target must receive 10 minutes of duration. The extra 10 minutes of duration must be assigned to one of the four targets (your choice) or it is wasted.
A number of spells and magic items utilize extradimensional spaces, such as Rope Trick (Spell), a Bag of Holding (Magic Item), a Handy Haversack (Magic Item), and a Portable Hole (Magic Item). These spells and magic items create a tiny pocket space that does not exist in any dimension. Such items do not function, however, inside another extradimensional space. If placed inside such a space, they cease to function until removed from the extradimensional space. For example, if a Bag of Holding (Magic Item) is brought into a Rope Trick (Spell), the contents of the Bag of Holding (Magic Item) become inaccessible until the Bag of Holding (Magic Item) is taken outside the Rope Trick (Spell). The only exception to this is when a Bag of Holding (Magic Item) and a Portable Hole (Magic Item) interact, forming a rift to the Astral Plane, as noted in their descriptions.
Wizards, sorcerers, and bards cast arcane spells. Compared to divine spells, arcane spells are more likely to produce dramatic results.
Preparing Wizard Spells
A wizard, sorcerer, or bard’s level limits the number of spells she can prepare and cast. Her high Intelligence score might allow her to prepare a few extra spells. She can prepare the same spell more than once, but each preparation counts as one spell toward her daily limit. To prepare a spell the wizard must have an Ability score of at least 10 + the spell’s level. The process of preparing a spell empowers the caster's aura with magic energy that she may use to cast the spell. No matter how well she knows each of her spells, if she has not taken the time to charge her aura with energy, she may not cast it.
Preparing Sorcerer and Bard Spells
Sorcerers and bards cast arcane spells, but they do not use spellbooks or prepare spells. Their class level limits the number of spells she can cast (see these class descriptions). Her high Charisma score might allow her to cast a few extra spells. A member of either class must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the spell's level to cast the spell.
Daily Readying of Spells
Each day, sorcerers and bards must focus their minds on the task of casting their spells. A sorcerer or bard needs 8 hours of rest (just like a wizard), after which she spends 15 minutes concentrating. (A bard must sing, recite, or play an instrument of some kind while concentrating.) During this period, the sorcerer or bard readies her mind and aura to cast her daily allotment of spells. Without such a period to refresh herself, the character does not regain the spell slots she used up the day before.
To prepare her daily spells, an arcane caster must first sleep for 8 hours. The wizard, sorcerer, or bard does not have to slumber for every minute of the time, but she must refrain from movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, conversation, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental task during the rest period. If her rest is interrupted, each interruption adds 1 hour to the total amount of time she has to rest in order to clear her mind, and she must have at least 1 hour of uninterrupted rest immediately prior to preparing her spells. If the character does not need to sleep for some reason, she still must have 8 hours of restful calm before preparing any spells.
Recent Casting Limit/Rest Interruptions
If a wizard, sorcerer, or bard has cast spells recently, the drain on her aura reduces her capacity to prepare new spells. When she prepares spells for the coming day, all the spells she has cast within the last 8 hours count against her daily limit.
To prepare any spell, any arcane caster must have enough peace, quiet, and comfort to allow for proper concentration. The caster’s surroundings need not be luxurious, but they must be free from overt distractions. Exposure to inclement weather prevents the necessary concentration, as does any injury or failed saving throw the character might experience while studying. Wizards also must have access to their spellbooks to study from and sufficient light to read them by. There is one major exception: A wizard can prepare a read magic spell even without a spellbook.
Wizard Spell Preparation Time
After resting, a wizard must study her spellbook to prepare any spells that day. If she wants to prepare all her spells, the process takes 1 hour no matter how many spells that may be. Preparing some smaller portion of her daily capacity takes a proportionally smaller amount of time, but always at least 15 minutes, the minimum time required to achieve the proper mental state.
Spell Selection and Preparation
Until she prepares spells from her spellbook, the only spells an arcane caster has available to cast are the ones that she already had prepared from a previous day and has not yet used. In general, an arcane caster must prepare spells at least once per year, although they usually do it far more frequently. During the study period, she chooses which spells to prepare. If a wizard already has spells prepared (from the previous day) that she has not cast, she can abandon some or all of them to make room for new spells.
When preparing spells for the day, a wizard can leave some of these spell slots open. Later during that day, she can repeat the 15 minute preparation process as often as she likes, time and circumstances permitting. During these extra sessions of preparation, the wizard can fill these unused spell slots with any spell in her spellbook. She cannot, however, abandon a previously prepared spell to replace it with another one or fill a slot that is empty because she has cast a spell in the meantime. That sort of preparation requires a mind fresh from rest. Like the first session of the day, this preparation takes at least 15 minutes, and it takes longer if the wizard prepares more than one-quarter of her spells.
The various character class tables show how many spells of each level an arcane spell caster can cast per day. These openings for daily spells are called spell slots. A spellcaster always has the option to fill a higher-level spell slot with a lower-level spell. A spellcaster who lacks a high enough ability score to cast spells that would otherwise be his or her due still gets the slots but must fill them with spells of lower level.
Prepared Spell Retention
Once an arcane caster prepares a spell, it remains in her mind and aura as a nearly cast spell until she uses the prescribed components to complete and trigger it or until she abandons it. Certain other events, such as the effects of magic items or special attacks from monsters, can wipe a prepared spell from a character’s mind. Arcane spells must be refreshed at least annually.
Death and Prepared Spell Retention
If a spellcaster dies, all prepared spells stored in his or her mind and aura are wiped away. Potent magic (such as raise dead, resurrection, or true resurrection) can recover the lost energy from the caster's aura when it recovers the character. Thus, raising a caster in battle brings them back with their un-used spells intact.
Arcane Magical Writings
To record an arcane spell in written form, a character uses complex notation that describes the magical forces involved in the spell. This is not a language. All arcane casters use the same system of symbols no matter what her native language or culture. However, each character uses the system in her own way. Another person’s magical writing remains incomprehensible to even the most powerful wizard until she takes time to study and decipher how it was used.
To decipher an arcane magical writing (such as a single spell in written form in another’s spellbook or on a scroll), an arcane caster must make a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the spell’s level). If the skill check fails, the character cannot attempt to read that particular spell again until the next day. A read magic spell automatically deciphers a magical writing without a skill check. If the person who created the magical writing is on hand to help the reader, success is also automatic.
Once a character deciphers a particular magical writing, she does not need to decipher it again. Deciphering a magical writing allows the reader to identify the spell and gives some idea of its effects (as explained in the spell description). If the magical writing was a scroll and the reader can cast arcane spells, she can attempt to use the scroll.
Wizard Spells and Borrowed Spellbooks
A wizard can use a borrowed spellbook to prepare a spell she already knows and has recorded in her own spellbook, but preparation success is not assured. First, the wizard must decipher the writing in the book (see Arcane Magical Writings, above). Once a spell from another spellcasters book is deciphered, the reader must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell’s level) to prepare the spell. If the check succeeds, the wizard can prepare the spell. She must repeat the check to prepare the spell again, no matter how many times she has prepared it before. If the check fails, she cannot try to prepare the spell from the same source again until the next day. (However, as explained above, she does not need to repeat a check to decipher the writing.)
Adding Spells to a Wizard's Spellbook
Wizards can add new spells to their spellbooks through several methods. A wizard can only learn new spells that belong to the wizard spell lists.
Spells Gained at a New Level
Wizards perform a certain amount of spell research between adventures. Each time a character attains a new wizard level, he gains two spells of his choice to add to his spellbook. The two free spells must be of spell levels he can cast.
Spells Copied from Another's Spellbook or a Scroll
A wizard can also add a spell to his book whenever he encounters one on a magic scroll or in another wizard's spellbook. No matter what the spell's source, the wizard must first decipher the magical writing (see Arcane Magical Writings). Next, he must spend 1 hour studying the spell. At the end of the hour, he must make a Spellcraft check (DC 10 + 4x spell's level). A wizard who has specialized in a school of spells gains a +2 bonus on the Spellcraft check if the new spell is from his specialty school. If the check succeeds, the wizard understands the spell and can copy it into his spellbook (see Writing a New Spell into a Spellbook). The process leaves a spellbook that was copied from unharmed, but a spell successfully copied from a magic scroll disappears from the parchment.
If the check fails, the wizard cannot understand or copy the spell. He cannot attempt to learn or copy that spell again until one week has passed. If the spell was from a scroll, a failed Spellcraft check does not cause the spell to vanish.
In most cases, wizards charge a fee for the privilege of copying spells from their spellbooks. This fee is usually equal to half the cost to write the spell into a spellbook (see Writing a New Spell into a Spellbook). Rare and unique spells might cost significantly more.
A wizard can also research a spell independently, duplicating an existing spell or creating an entirely new one. The cost to research a new spell, and the time required, are left up to GM discretion, but it should probably take at least 1 week and cost at least 1,000 gp per level of the spell to be researched. This should also require a number of Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks.
The process of writing a spell into a spellbook takes 24 hours, regardless of the spell’s level.
Space in the Spellbook
A spell takes up one page of the spellbook no matter how high its level. Even a 0-level spell (cantrip) takes one page. A standard spellbook has one hundred pages and weighs five pounds.
Materials and Costs
Materials for writing a 0-level spell cost 5 gold. Materials for writing any higher level spell cost 10 gp per spell level cubed. Thus:
- A level 1 spell costs 1 x 1 x 1 x 10gp = 10 gp.
- A level 2 spell costs 2 x 2 x 2 x 10gp = 80 gp.
- A level 3 spell costs 3 x 3 x 3 x 10gp = 270 gp.
- A level 4 spell costs 4 x 4 x 4 x 10gp = 640 gp.
- A level 5 spell costs 5 x 5 x 5 x 10gp = 1,250 gp.
- A level 6 spell costs 6 x 6 x 6 x 10gp = 2,160 gp.
- A level 7 spell costs 7 x 7 x 7 x 10gp = 3,430 gp.
- A level 8 spell costs 8 x 8 x 8 x 10gp = 5,120 gp.
- A level 9 spell costs 9 x 9 x 9 x 10gp = 7,290 gp.
At Epic levels, True Dweomers cost much more to place into a spellbook, namely:
- A level 10 spell costs 10x10x10 x 100gp = 100,000 gp.
- A level 11 spell costs 11x11x11 x 100gp = 133,100 gp.
- A level 12 spell costs 12x12x12 x 100gp = 172,800 gp.
- A level 13 spell costs 13x13x13 x 100gp = 219,700 gp.
- A level 14 spell costs 14x14x14 x 100gp = 274,400 gp.
Note that a wizard does not have to pay these costs in time or gold for the spells she gains for free at each new level below Epic. No caster ever gains True Dweomer spells for free.
Replacing and Copying Spellbooks
A wizard can use the procedure for learning a spell to reconstruct a lost spellbook. If she already has a particular spell prepared, she can write it directly into a new book at a cost of 100 gp per page. The process wipes the prepared spell from her mind and aura, just as casting it would. If she does not have the spell prepared, she can prepare it from a borrowed spellbook and then write it into a new book.
Note that duplicating or replacing a spellbook is MUCH less expensive than preparing your main spellbook. Most wizards keep a spare or three hidden away in very safe places, just in case.
Selling a Spellbook
Captured spellbooks can be sold for a gp amount equal to one-half the cost of purchasing and inscribing the spells within. A spellbook entirely filled with spells of a reasonable level is worth a LOT. There is a reason why Wizards are very touchy about their spellbooks.
Sorcerers And Bards
Sorcerers and bards cast arcane spells, but they do not have spellbooks and do not prepare their spells. A sorcerer’s or bard’s class level limits the number of spells he can cast. His high Charisma score might allow him to cast a few extra spells. A member of either class must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + a spell’s level to cast the spell. Daily Readying of Spells
Each day, sorcerers and bards must focus their minds on the task of casting their spells. A sorcerer or bard needs 8 hours of rest (just like a wizard), after which he spends 15 minutes concentrating. (A bard must sing, recite, or play an instrument of some kind while concentrating.) During this period, the sorcerer or bard readies his mind to cast his daily allotment of spells. Without such a period to refresh himself, the character does not regain the spell slots he used up the day before. Recent Casting Limit
As with wizards, any spells cast within the last 8 hours count against the sorcerer’s or bard’s daily limit. Adding Spells to a Sorcerer’s or Bard’s Repertoire
A sorcerer or bard gains spells each time he attains a new level in his class and never gains spells any other way. When your sorcerer or bard gains a new level, consult Table: The Bard or Table: Sorcerer Spells Known to learn how many spells from the appropriate spell list he now knows. With permission, sorcerers and bards can also select the spells they gain from new and unusual spells that they have gained some understanding of.
Clerics, druids, and experienced paladins can cast divine spells. Unlike arcane spells, divine spells draw power from a divine source. Clerics gain spell power from deities or from divine forces. The divine force of nature powers druid spells. The divine forces of law, good, and evil power paladin spells. Divine spells tend to focus on healing and protection and are less flashy, destructive, and disruptive than arcane spells.
Preparing Divine Spells
Divine spellcasters prepare their spells in largely the same manner as wizards do, but with a few differences. The relevant ability for divine spells is Wisdom or Charisma. To prepare a divine spell, a character must have an Ability score of 10 + the spell’s level. Likewise, bonus spells are based on Wisdom or Charisma.
Time of Day
A divine spellcaster chooses and prepares spells ahead of time, just as a wizard does. However, a divine spellcaster does not require a period of rest to prepare spells. Instead, the character chooses a particular part of the day to pray and receive spells. The time is usually associated with some daily event. If some event prevents a character from praying at the proper time, he must do so as soon as possible. If the character does not stop to pray for spells at the first opportunity, he must wait until the next day to prepare spells. Spell Selection and Preparation
A divine spellcaster selects and prepares spells ahead of time through prayer and meditation at a particular time of day. The time required to prepare spells is the same as it is for a wizard (1 hour), as is the requirement for a relatively peaceful environment. A divine spellcaster does not have to prepare all his spells at once. However, the character’s mind is considered fresh only during his or her first daily spell preparation, so a divine spellcaster cannot fill a slot that is empty because he or she has cast a spell or abandoned a previously prepared spell.
Divine spellcasters do not require spellbooks. However, such a character’s spell selection is limited to the spells on the list for his or her class. Clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers have separate spell lists. A cleric also has access to two domains determined during his character creation. Each domain gives him access to a domain spell at each spell level from 1st to 9th, as well as a special granted power. With access to two domain spells at each spell level—one from each of his two domains—a cleric must prepare, as an extra domain spell, one or the other each day for each level of spell he can cast. If a domain spell is not on the cleric spell list, it can be prepared only in a domain spell slot.
Spontaneous Casting of Cure and Inflict Spells
A good cleric (or a cleric of a good deity) can spontaneously cast a cure spell in place of a prepared spell of the same level or higher, but not in place of a bonus domain spell. An evil cleric (or a cleric of an evil deity) can spontaneously cast an inflict spell in place of a prepared spell (that is not a domain spell) of the same level or higher. Each neutral cleric of a neutral deity spontaneously casts either cure spells like a good cleric or inflict spells like an evil one, depending on which option the player chooses when creating the character. The divine energy of the spell that the cure or inflict spell substitutes for is converted into the cure or inflict spell as if that spell had been prepared all along.
Spontaneous Casting of Summon Nature's Ally Spells
A druid can spontaneously cast summon nature's ally in place of a prepared spell of the same level or higher. The divine energy of the spell that the summon spell substitutes for is converted as if that spell had been prepared all along.
The character class tables show how many spells of each level a divine character can cast per day.
These openings for daily spells are called spell slots. A divine spellcaster always has the option to fill a higher-level spell slot with a lower level spell. A spellcaster who lacks a high enough ability score to cast spells that would otherwise be his or her due still gets the slots but must fill them with spells of lower level.
Recent Casting Limit
As with arcane spells, at the time of preparation any spells cast within the previous 8 hours count against the number of spells that can be prepared.
Writing Divine Spells
Divine spells can be written down and deciphered just as arcane spells can (see Arcane Magical Writings). Any character with the Spellcraft skill can attempt to decipher the divine magical writing and identify it. However, only characters who have the spell in question (in its divine form) on their class spell list can cast a divine spell from a scroll.
New Divine Spells
Divine spellcasters most frequently gain new spells in one of the following two ways.
Spells Gained at a New Level
Characters who can cast divine spells undertake a certain amount of study between adventures. Each time such a character receives a new level of divine spells, he or she learns new spells from that level automatically.
An extremely faithful and spiritual divine spellcaster also can research a spell independently, much as an arcane spellcaster can. Only the creator of such a spell can prepare and cast it, unless he decides to share it with others.
A number of classes and creatures gain the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells.
- Spell-Like Abilities (Sp)
- Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.
- A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.
- Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated. Spell-like abilities cannot be used to counterspell, nor can they be counterspelled.
- If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability's effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is gained.
- Activating a spell-like ability provokes attacks of opportunity, unless a Caster Check is made to cast defensively.
- Supernatural Abilities (Su)
- These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas.
- Activating a supernatural ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
- Extraordinary Abilities (Ex)
- These abilities cannot be disrupted in combat, as spells can, and they generally do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Effects or areas that negate or disrupt magic have no effect on extraordinary abilities. They are not subject to dispelling, and they function normally in an antimagic field. Indeed, extraordinary abilities do not qualify as magical, though they may break the laws of physics.
- Activating an extraordinary ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
- Natural Abilities
- This category includes abilities a creature has because of its physical nature. Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like.
- Activating a natural ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.