- 1 What is a Spell?
- 2 Casting Spells
- 2.1 Choosing a Spell
- 2.2 The Action of Casting a Spell
- 2.3 Concentration
- 2.4 Caster Checks
- 2.5 Attacks of Opportunity
- 2.6 Casting on the Defensive
- 2.7 Touch Spells in Combat
- 2.8 Using Metamagic Feats
- 2.9 Cast a Quickened Spell
- 2.10 Direct or Redirect a Spell
- 2.11 Dismiss a Spell
- 2.12 Caster Level
- 2.13 Mana and Mana-Burning
- 2.14 Spell Failure
- 2.15 The Spell's Result
- 2.16 Special Spell Effects
- 2.17 Combining Magic Effects
- 2.18 School (Subschool)
- 2.19 Components
- 2.20 Casting Time
- 2.21 Range Modifiers for Spells
- 2.22 Range or Area of Effect of a Spell
- 2.23 Areas of Effect
- 2.23.1 Placement Rules
- 2.23.2 Conversion of Areas of Effect
- 2.23.3 Cone Areas of Effect
- 2.23.4 Radius Areas of Effect
- 2.23.5 Defining and Using Areas of Effect
- 2.24 Line of Effect
- 2.25 Line of Sight
- 2.26 Duration
- 2.27 Saving Throws
- 2.28 Saving Throw Difficulty Class
- 2.29 Spell Resistance
- 2.30 Descriptive Text
- 2.31 Synergies
- 2.32 Arcane or Divine Charge
- 2.33 Dual Charges
- 2.34 Communal Spells
- 2.35 Extradimensional Spaces
- 3 Arcane Spells
- 3.1 Preparing Wizard Spells
- 3.2 Preparing Sorcerer and Bard Spells
- 3.3 Rest
- 3.4 Recent Casting Limit/Rest Interruptions
- 3.5 Preparation Environment
- 3.6 Wizard Spell Preparation Time
- 3.7 Spell Selection and Preparation
- 3.8 Spell Slots
- 3.9 Prepared Spell Retention
- 3.10 Death and Prepared Spell Retention
- 3.11 Arcane Magical Writings
- 3.12 Wizard Spells and Borrowed Spellbooks
- 3.13 Adding Spells to a Wizard's Spellbook
- 3.14 Replacing and Copying Spellbooks
- 3.15 Selling a Spellbook
- 3.16 Sorcerers And Bards
- 4 Divine Spells
- 5 Special Abilities
Links to all spells, sorted by class:
- Alchemist Extracts
- Bard Spells
- Cleric Spells
- Druid Spells
- Paladin Spells
- Ranger Poultices
- Sorcerer/Wizard Spells
What is a Spell?
In Epic Path mechanics, a 'Spell' is a very common class feature. In various incarnations, it is used to a large or small degree by no less than eight character classes.
But in the larger 'Fantasy Fiction' genre of which Epic Path is a modest part, a 'Spell' is the classic Magical Thing that makes fantasy fantastic. As a result of this iconic status, the concept of 'Spells' permeates the game from beginning to end. Spells are the default 'go-to' for how amazing magical things happen, and this has been true since at least the days of the Immortal Bard, when those witches were incanting, 'Bubble, bubble; toil and trouble' to the delight of rapt audiences centuries ago.
As a result, spells have gotten to be pretty darn important in fantasy circles by the time Epic Path came along.
But at the same time, spells are still 'just a class feature'. They're not the end-all, be-all of 'magic' in this game, After all, everybody likes to be awesome!
In Epic Path, we have worked very hard to make the spell casting system act and feel just like all the best and most exciting moments of decades of gaming, but at the same time, we have plenty of new systems in place that make 'Spells' fair and balanced for EVERY character, without reducing their crazy fun one little bit.
As a class feature, characters get a generous supply of spells they can use each adventuring day. Using a spell is called 'casting' it. Casting a spell is a one-time magical effect. Spells come in two broad categories, based upon the root source of the power embodied in the spell:
- Arcane Spells are powered by the casters learning, experience, and grit. (cast by bards, sorcerers, and wizards) and
- Divine Spells are powered by the casters faith and devotion to a higher power. (cast by clerics, druids, and 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 (see Quicken Spell (Feat) or Multispell (Feat) )sometimes have their casting times decreased to swift 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.
Mechanically, a Caster Check is the same as making a concentration check. We are keeping both terms to be sure that all references are supported, but the two terms effectively are the same thing.
Attacks of Opportunity
Generally, if you cast a spell, you provoke attacks of opportunity from threatening enemies, unless you make a concentration check with the appropriate Bailiwick skill to cast defensively (see below). If you take damage from an attack of opportunity due to casting a spell without casting defensively, you must make a caster check to cast the spell, and you suffer a -5 penalty on the check. If you fail the caster 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 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.
- Example 1: A courageous Sorceror advances into battle to cast a touch spell. They spend a Move action to walk into melee range, and provoke attacks of opportunity from two monsters. One hits, and does damage to the Sorceror. This damage does not affect their spell casting in any way this round.
- Example 2: After their move, the Sorceror from above spends their standard action and begins to cast their touch attack spell. This would provoke an attack of opportunity from two monsters (since this is a separate provoking action, one of the monsters, who has Combat Reflexes, is able to make two attacks of opportunity). To avoid these attacks of opportunity, the sorcerer attempts to cast defensively by making a Bailiwick skill check against the level of their spell as described above. For the purposes of this example, they roll poorly and fail this check. In this case, they lose their spell and their action, but do not risk any attacks of opportunity.
- Example 3: Suppose instead of attempting to cast defensively, the brave sorcerer from above decides to cast their spell normally, and two monsters attack them with attacks of opportunity. One monster hits them and inflicts damage. Because they took damage due to the action of casting a spell, they now must make a Caster Check against their attackers Maneuver Defense, at a whopping -5 penalty, as described above. If they fail this caster check (and it's not going to be easy), they lose their spell and nothing happens (Ouch). If they make the check, the spell goes off as normal.
- Example 4: Suppose then, the sorcerer from above, (who is no shrinking violet), uses Quicken Spell to cast a SECOND touch attack spell. (What a trooper!) This time, due to the metamagic feat, they do not provoke attacks of opportunity and always get the spell off. The bad guys are promptly incinerated.
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, refer to the spell description for how the magic behaves. Some spells allow you to maintain a an offensive charge over time. If you cast another spell that lays a charge, the touch spell dissipates.
- Getting Touchy: You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, as a standard action 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, the spell continues to act as it is described.
- 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 or as a swift action with a feat. Unless otherwise noted in the spell desription, 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 by learning. 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 if the DC is based upon the spell level. 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.
- 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.
- Metamagic Feats and Casting Time:
- Using a metamagic feat on a spell in order to 'cast it better' does not alter the casting time of the spell, unless the metamagic feat specifically calls out that it changes the casting time. The Quicken Spell feat is popular because it allows a normal spell to be cast as a swift action, for a higher spell slot. If you stack several metamagic feats on a single casting, the time remains a standard action in most cases. You paid for all that awesome by taking several feats, you're really good at this stuff.
- 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 (but note Heighten Spell (Feat) ). 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 or 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.
- Metamagic Rods:
- Metamagic rods allow a caster to apply the rod's specific metamagic feat to a spell as they cast it, without increasing the spell's spell level (and/or spell slot) when it is cast. Instead, using a metamagic rod increases the casting time of the spell. Metamagic rods can only be applied to spells which have a casting time of 1 standard action, and by doing so, the spell's casting time is increased to a full-round action. The exception to this is a Metamagic Rod of Quicken, which changes the spell's standard action casting time down to a move action. Note that this is a deviation from the Quicken Spell feat, which lowers a spell's casting time to a swift action; the metamagic rod is not as good as the feat.
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, (see Multispell (Feat) for an exception) 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. Caster level is frequently different than your Class level if you are a Demi-caster (such as a bard, paladin, or ranger, for example.) Your Caster Level can also be different from your Character level, especially if you are Dual Class or Multi Classed. Your Caster Level can even be different from both your Class Level and your character level, if you are Dual or Multi-classed into a Demi-caster class!
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).
Mana and Mana-Burning
All supernatural and spell-like abilities are powered by mana. Extraordinary abilities usually are not, being inherent to the person or creature who possesses them.
Mana is stored and used by the aura, which is the interaction field between a physical body and the background magic of the world.
Both Arcane and Divine abilities use this basic mechanism. In Arcane abilities the efforts of the wielder store the mana in the aura, and in Divine abilities the Divine Entity stores the mana for the wielder. Some users of magic use different mechanics, and the mana is stored in an object. This includes the Bombs and Extracts of an Alchemist, or the Poultices of a Ranger.
Spell-like, supernatural, and extraordinary abilities, regardless of how they are powered, are mostly defined as being either Vancian or Howardian in their behavior. (Vance and Howard are ancient sages and scribes whose towering intellects and dominating contributions have enshrined them forever.)
Vancian abilites are powered and defined by packets of mana twisted into and then released from the aura. Many abilities are Vancian, such as spells, poultices, extracts, bombs, potions, scrolls, and many class features (Lay on Hands, Inspiration, etc.). Vancian abilities come in quanta, or steps, or levels.
Howardian abilities are powered by flows of baseline mana which naturally replenish over time in the aura of the user. Such things as some Rage abilties, Chains, some Tactics and Talents, Formation, Quarry, are examples of Howardian magic abilities. Note that Howardian abilities do not even have to use mana at all, which is where most Extraordinary abilities arise.
There is a third class of abilities, the Yngvarian abilties, whose only defining trait is, they don't fit the Vancian or Howardian models cleanly. Yngvarian abilities are hotly debated as an ongoing area of philosophical discussion.
Spells as a class ability
Spells are primarily Vancian because they have a strongly defined series of steps, 'Spell Levels". But spells have a second element, the 'Circle'. The Circle of a spell is related to but not fully defined by the spells Level. The damage a spell does is determined by its Circle, NOT its level, and the Circle of a spell can be raised by the caster through a process called 'Mana Burning' or just Burning.
When a spell of a specific Level is cast, it empties out a spell slot of mana and produces an effect. The base damage of that effect is defined by the base Circle of the spell. But, during the casting, the caster may, if they choose, 'throw more fuel on the fire'. They do so by emptying other spell slots. Each spell slot they burn adds raw, unformed mana to the spell being cast, and each spell slot so burned (of any level) adds 1 to the Circle of the spell being cast. A low level slot that is burned provides the same benefit as a high level slot that is burned.
The maximum Circle of a spell is determined ONLY by the CHARACTER level of the caster. This allows a demi-caster, or a dual-class caster, or a multiclass caster, to 'burn' through their mana recklessly and produce a few effects just as strong as a dedicated caster of their own level.
Even more importantly, there are only nine spell levels, but there are eighteen Circles! At the very highest levels, those casters who have not indulged in True Dweomers can Mana Burn their conventional spells to the very heights of those lofty High Circles, producing damaging effects that must be seen to be believed, even from fairly mundane spells, at the cost of recklessly 'burning' a dozen or more spell slots in a single casting.
Mana Burning is completely optional, but can be very, very tempting. At mid-levels it can provide a useful 'bump' in damage for fairly modest expenditures of spell slots. At high levels, a single spell can Burn a dozen or more spell slots. Combined with Quicken Spell and Multispell, a reckless caster could tear through fifty or more of their spell slots in a single round!
Granted, such extreme feats of mana burning are likely to end most fights quickly, but there are very few casters of any sort that can keep up that sort of a ruinous pace for very long.
Master Circle Charts for Spell and True Dweomer Damage
|Spell Circle||Burn Cost||Min Character Level(CL)||Base Dice||max dice|
|Spell Circle||Burn Cost||Min Character Level(CL)||Base Dice||max dice|
Notes and details on Mana-burning
- Memorizing a spell in a higher level slot than the minimum required does not raise the spell's circle.
- Memorizing a spell in a higher level slot because it has one or more Metamagic Feats applied to it DOES NOT increase the spell's Circle.
- The ONLY way to increase a spell's Circle is by Burning one or more additional spell slots as the spell is being cast.
- Every spell (or extract, or poultice) has a Level, but NOT every spell has a Circle. If a spell does not have a Circle, it generally does no damage, or has a custom damage profile. Always see the spell description for details.
- If a spell has more than one Circle, and more than one of them come into play during a single casting of the spell, then mana burning during the casting raises all of them for the same cost in spell slots.
- Some spells may have a custom damage profile for their base circle. Such spells may be mana-burned as normal, and the first 'step up' moves them to the standard damage model, unless the spell specifically states what Burning does in its description.
- Some spells may do damage, but do NOT have a Circle. Such spells may not be Mana Burned. The only way to increase their damage is increasing caster level, application of metamagic feats, or methods described in the spell itself.
- You can't increase spell circle above what your character level (NOT class level) would enable you to cast as a spell level.
- If a spell has a minimum Circle listed which is higher than the Circle you can legally cast due to the rule above, then the Circle is reduced to the highest Circle you can can use.
- Increasing a spells Circle moves the spells damage up on the damage scale. It is possible for a level 3 spell to be boosted to do circle 5 damage. Each step you move up, requires one spell slot to be burned.
- Metamagic Feats stack normally when used at the same time as Mana Burning, and only escalate the 'base' spell slot. All benefits of the metamagic feat apply to the effects of the spell's Circle after all Burning has been done. Yes, you can memorize a Perfected Fireball (using a ninth level spell slot, unless you've researched it down), and then burn fourteen spell slots to increase the Perfected Fireball's Circle 3 damage to Circle 17 damage (assuming you are high enough level to reach Circle 17 damage), and do maximized Circle 17 damage, DOUBLED. Expensive, yes, but that fireball would cast shadows on the Sun....
- Any spell slot may be burned, but it must contain an un-cast spell. Once burned, the spell is gone until recovered normally, and that slot may not be used for burning until it again contains a spell. This gives a solid use for all spell slots of any level, regardless of caster level.
- Example 1: A 25th level wizard casts the old classic, fireball. Fireball does 3rd circle spell damage, 1d6 per level, max 10d6. The wizard moves it to 9th circle spell damage (1d6+3 per level, max 25d6+75). This costs seven spell slots, the base 3rd level slot for the spell, and six spell slots of any level to move the damage up six levels.
- Example 2: A 13th level wizard/ 12th level fighter casts the old classic, fireball. Fireball does 3rd circle spell damage, max 10d6. The wiz/fighter moves it to 9th circle spell damage (since the character level of 25 would enable a straight wizard to cast L9 spells), which is 1d6+3 per caster level max 25d6+75. This costs the wizard/fighter seven spell slots (which is MUCH more expensive for a 13th wiz), but gets a full-tilt 25d6+75 fireball.
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. Environmental Effects of high wind and heavy rain can force Caster Checks for certain spells.
Spells also fail if your concentration is broken and might fail if you're wearing Armor_and_Shields 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. Read each spell carefully for its exact effects, there is a VERY wide range of effects possible. As always, the GM adjudicates any odd or unusual cases.
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. This distinction is important for keeping or losing that fancy Invisibility (Spell) effect.
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. For example, simply keeping the body prevents others from using Raise Dead (Spell) or Resurrection (Spell) to restore the slain character to life. Casting trap the soul prevents any sort of revivification unless the soul is first released. Simply performing a Coup-de-grace on a victim can be a potent method of ensuring death, as any return must overcome the initial inimical intent of the deathblow.
- 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:
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, or have a common theme.
- Abjurations are protective spells. They create physical or magical barriers, negate magical or physical abilities, harm trespassers, and attacks made with abjuring spells typically have strong secondary defensive effects.
- If an abjuration creates a barrier that keeps certain types of creatures at bay, that barrier cannot be used to push away those creatures unless the spell specifically applies forced movement. If you attempt to force a barrier against such a creature, you end the spell.
- Conjurations transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane, create objects or effects on the spot; heal; bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you; or transport creatures or objects over great distances. 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 (non-blocked, non-occupied) on a surface capable of supporting it. Otherwise, the spell fails and is lost.
- The creature or object must appear within the spell’s range, but it does not have to remain within the range
- Enchantment spells work with the purest expressions of mana, affecting the world in ways that are subtle, or esoteric, or sometimes both. many enchantments affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. Other enchantments infuse power into the fabric of the world, making the mundane behave in strange and powerful ways. Enchantments almost always work through other objects, whether those objects are inanimate or creatures. To an enchanter, a creature is just a different sort of thing, to be infused with their power and then used to their ends.
- 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. In this way, evocations are quite different from enchantments, and can be seen as both more potent, and weaker. Many of these spells can produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.
- Illusion spells change the rules of cause and effect with magical power. Illusions can change the load on a wagon, for example, by shunting the effect of weight from the wagon to the ground. Most famously, illusions can 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.
Clarifications: 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. This is exactly similar to making a perception check versus an invisible creature. IE, unless the creature involved is actively spending actions to carefully and deliberately examine the illusory effect, it is undetectable as an illusion. If a player wishes to make such an active perception check, this must be announced. Players who want to always be making perception checks certainly can, but this QUICKLY becomes a tiresome process for everybody involved. Referees are encouraged to allow or disallow such behavior as they wish, with an emphasis on 'disallow'. Illusions fool you. That's what they do.
- A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline. Shadows remain as real as ever, with subtle 'wrongnesses' that make them obviously unreal, but potent anyway.
- A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. A character faced with absolute proof that an illusion isn’t real (such as watching an ally walk through an illusionary wall) needs no saving throw, they disbelieve automatically. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others verbally, without making convincing proof, then each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 circumstance 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. Necromancy also is how the arcane magics manipulate the soul and sometimes aura, able to place a semblance of the spark of life upon dead tissue. There are cases where even completely inanimate tissues that were never alive may be stirred to a terrible semblance of life, but such things are often abominable in their conception and execution.
- Transmutation spells change the properties of some creature, thing, or condition. Unlike other schools, transmutation is a robust, physical style of magic, with gross physical changes rather than subtle magical effects.
- Of course, transmutation is still magical, so there are always exceptions. Some transmutations can have remarkably delicate and precise effects. It isn't all about turning into an ogre and tearing doors out of walls.
- Transmutations can change the body of those affected into different creatures, change solid rock to thin mud, create bursts of elements such as air, water, and crystal, and numerous other effects too varied to describe.
- Some spells are Universal, belonging to no school, or conversely, belonging to all schools. 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 what 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 practitioner of magic to 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.
- 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, some naturally occurring minerals and plants growths, or magical protection can block a scrying spell, and you sense that the spell is blocked.
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.
Most spells have a casting time of 1 standard action. Others take 1 round or more (usually described as rituals), while a few require only an immediate action. Metamagic Feats can be used to cast many spells as a swift action.
A spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action, and comes into effect at the end of your current turn.
When you begin a spell that takes more than one round to cast, a ritual, 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. Note that taking damage will force a concentration roll (a Bailiwick skill check) with a painful -5 penalty to the roll, so try and avoid those. In general, Ritual spells must be completed outside of combat, as many of them have casting times of many minutes, or even hours, and combats are usually much, much shorter.
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, unless you have metamagic Feats that allow this nigh-impossible action. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
Range Modifiers for Spells
In general, spells don't inflict range modifiers on their casters. 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.
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.
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 target several creatures that you may choose, based upon the guidelines above.
Some spells have areas of effect(AOE's). Most genuine area of effect spells are indiscrimininate attacks, and they WILL damage your allies if you are not careful. That said, AOE spells can be ridiculously powerful, so the temptation to use them can be strong. If you must indulge, perhaps investing in the Selective Spell (Feat) would be wise.
Range or Area of Effect of a Spell
Spells have many different ranges and ways of affecting targets. Each spell you wish to use should be carefully read so you understand how it works. Additionally, there are some useful terms to know about spells, especially area of effect spells, so examine the below guidelines carefully.
- 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.
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 Hand of the Magus. 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 Hand 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 increases 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 6x6 square to a 9x9 square, caster level permitting.
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
Defining and Using Areas of Effect
Some spells create or summon things or effects 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 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, notably clouds and fogs, 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. Spreads are 'soft' and malleable, and thus 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. (This requires 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 to all portions of the effect.
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 horizontal 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. When choosing the area affected by a line, the caster chooses each square of the line, to the maximum number of squares. Each square must be placed adjacent to the edge or corner of either the casters space, or the last square placed, with the caveat that every square must be further away from the caster than the last one. This allows clever player to get quite creative in 'snaking' a line effect across the battlefield. All squares of the line are full squares, there are no 'edge cases'. A line shaped spell is often crooked and meandering, and that's just fine. A line-shaped spell affects all creatures in squares through which the line passes as defined in the spell. 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. A common type of creature effecting spells will effect a number of creatures who are within a certain distance of each other. The simplest way to work this out in play is to choose the closest creature that the caster wishes to effect, and count out from there to the maximum distance, although again, clever players will be able to come up with all sorts of interesting options.
- 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 continuous, 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, and may or may not go around corners, depending on the effect.
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), and it takes a non-visual sense to go around corners. Yes, you can trace Line of Sight around corners with senses such as hearing and smell. Combined with an attack that can trace Line of Effect around corners, this is a potent combination!
A classic example is hearing an enemy in a tavern, and casting a fireball through the window. Ouch.
A spell's duration entry tells you how long the magical energy of the spell lasts. Note that any spell you cast that has a duration greater than 'instantaneous' can be dismissed prior to its duration's expiration, unless stated otherwise.
- The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.
- The spell only persists as long as you concentrate upon sustaining its effects. Sustaining this concentration requires some action from you each round, or the spell ends automatically. The type of action required is either a swift, move, or standard, and will be detailed in the spell's description.
- One Round
- The spell's effects last until the start of your next turn.
- The spell may only be cast during combat (i.e. while there is an initiative order in effect), and its effects immediately cease at the end of the current encounter.
- The spell's effects persist until the end of the current encounter, the end of the next encounter, or until the start of a full night's rest, whichever is sooner.
- One Day
- The spell's effects persist until the end of your next full night's rest.
- One Moon
- The spell's effects persist until the next full moon.
- One Year
- The spell's effects persist for a year and a day from the time it is cast.
A note on permanency: No spell can be made permanent. Spells always expire within a year and a day of being cast, if not sooner. Anything lasting longer than this is a magic item (and most magic items aren't even truly permanent, just permanent enough).
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
Spells use one of three different possible saving throw DC's, depending on the spell:
- 10 + caster ability modifier + spell level
- 10 + caster ability modifier + 1/2 caster level
- 10 + caster ability modifier + 1/2 character level
Each spell lists its save DC in the spell entry. The caster ability modifier is Intelligence for a wizards and alchemists, Charisma for bards, paladins, and sorcerers, or Wisdom for clerics, druids, and rangers.
A spell save DC that refers to 1/2 caster level uses half the caster level of the caster class that knows the spell (rounding down; this is only relevant if you have multi-classed or dual-classed). A spell save DC that refers to 1/2 character level uses half your total character level (rounding down; this is highly useful to hybrid casters such as bards, rangers, and paladins, since their character level will frequently be better than twice the spell level of a spell they are casting).
- A spell save DC that refers to a spell level uses the unmodified spell level of the spell (before any metamagic feats are applied, unless the metamagic feat in question specifically modifies the saving throw DC of the spell, such as Heighten Spell (Feat)). 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 be unaffected by magical attacks.
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. In all cases, if the details in a given spell's description contradicts anything in the general spell rules, the spell description should be followed. If the result is ridiculously broken, due to an error or unforeseen circumstance, then the referee can and should make a ruling on it, and as always, such rulings win. GM's are encouraged to be firm, but fair. If your players figure out a way to completely break encounters, the simple and effective solution is to disallow the use of the spell. Of course, you're the GM, you can also rule it any other way you want.
Some spells that inflict a status condition offer a special feature called a 'synergy' which is triggered if and when some new condition overwrites the existing condition on the target creature before the condition wears off or is resisted by the monster. If this occurs, the synergy's effect is triggered, usually in the form of bonus damage, though the exact effects are described in the spell entry. Synergies can generally be triggered by any condition at all, even weak conditions, such as dazzled, making teamwork attacks that are designed to make use of these synergies quite effective, if players (or monsters) can pull off the timing correctly. If a synergy requires some specific severity of condition (i.e. moderate or strong), it will say so in its description.
Arcane or Divine Charge
Many spells which have a duration other than instantaneous will lay either an Arcane or Divine charge, depending on the character class of the caster. Divine casters lay divine charges, while arcane casters lay arcane charges. If the targets are something other than the caster or another creature (such as an object or area), the spell lays an arcane or divine charge on the caster. Targets which already have an arcane or divine charge present must choose which to keep if the new spell has the same charge type. Only one arcane charge and one divine charge can ever be present on a target at a time.
Some of the more powerful spells lay a 'dual charge'. If the targets are something other than the caster or another creature (such as an object or area), the spell instead lays a dual charge on the caster. Targets which already have a dual charge, a divine charge, or an arcane charge, may choose only one of these effects to keep. Dual charges are treated as both an arcane and a divine charge, and a creature may only ever have a single arcane charge and divine charge present on them at a time.
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 Handy Haversack (Magic Item), and a Portable Hole (Magic Item). These spells and magic items create a tiny pocket of space that does not exist in any dimension. Such items cannot interact with another extradimensional space. If you attempt to put one extradimensional-space-using item inside such another such item, they reject each other, pushing against such a merging with an irresistable force. Clever efforts to subvert this rule tend to backfire spectacularly, often destroying the items (and sometimes their owners) in the process.
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. Normally, this is not a concern, because most casters regain their spells after a night's rest, which means there's been eight hours of no adventuring.
If, however, your restful night was interrupted by a massive midnight battle, any spells you used during that battle (unless you wait a full eight hours after the combat to regain your spells) count against your next days allotment of spells.
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, and is not subject to the Linguistics Skill. All arcane casters use the same system of symbols no matter what her native language or culture. However, each character uses the system in their 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 10 + 4x 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 Caster check (DC 10 + 4x 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. This ability never grants access to a True Dweomer, or to a spell which has been custom-modified via the Between Adventures system.
Spells Copied from Another's Spellbook or a Scroll
A wizard can also add a spell to their book whenever they encounter 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, they must spend one or more full days studying the spell. At the end of the first full day, they must make a Spellcraft check versus a CR equal to their character level, and declare what difficulty class (e.g. easy, average, challenging, hard, impossible) they achieved with the check. The outcome of this check determines how long it will take to copy the spell. See Copying Spells Into a Spellbook for details.
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. 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 by incorporating one or more Metamagic Feats. The cost to research a new spell, and the time required, are left up to GM discretion, but it should fall in line with the Between Adventures guidelines.
In addition to replicating an existing spell, it is possible to create custom spells by stacking metamagic feats into spells and then lowering their spell level. In this way, many thousands of custom spells can be created.
The process of writing a spell into a spellbook takes a minimum of 24 hours, regardless of the spell’s level, and thus falls under the Between Adventures guidelines. For specific details, see the Inscribing Spells usage of the Between Adventures rules.
Space in the Spellbook
A spell takes up one page of the spellbook per two spell levels, round down, minimum 1 page. Even a 0-level spell (cantrip) takes one page. Thus, spells from levels 0 to 3rd require one page, 4th and 5th require two pages, 6th and 7th requires three pages, 8th and 9th require four pages, 10th and 11th require five pages, 12th and 13th require six pages, 14th and 15th require seven pages, and 16th and 17th require eight pages each.
Inscribing a True Dweomer in a spellbook is a MUCH more involved process. Such magics require a minimum of ten pages, plus an additional page per level of the True Dweomer. Thus, a level 10th True Dweomer requires 20 pages, level 11th requires 21 pages, 12th requires 22 pages, 13th requires 23 pages, and 14th requires 24 pages. A standard spellbook can contain a mix of spells and True Dweomers, and frugal Wizards are known to start a book with a selection of cantrips, and then lard the remainder of the pages with True Dweomers, just to squeeze arcane knowledge onto every single page.
A standard spellbook has one hundred pages and weighs five pounds. At low levels, a tyro wizardling can easily fit everything they know into a single book, weighing five pounds, that they carry about like an anxious little nerd. At much higher levels, a Mythic Class Magus in their 30+ levels can have dozens of spellbooks, requiring a Ghostroom or a Demiplane to store their portable library. Such a vast reserve of world-shaking arcane knowledge can take weeks to make a copy of, and a wise Wizard always has at least a couple of copies of their arcane knowledge hidden away in various places.
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.
Possible Researched Spells:
- A level 10 spell costs 10 x 10 x 10 x 10gp = 10,000 gp.
- A level 11 spell costs 11 x 11 x 11 x 10gp = 13,310 gp.
- A level 12 spell costs 12 x 12 x 12 x 10gp = 17,280 gp.
- A level 13 spell costs 13 x 13 x 13 x 10gp = 21,970 gp.
- A level 14 spell costs 14 x 14 x 14 x 10gp = 27,440 gp.
- A level 15 spell costs 15 x 15 x 15 x 10gp = 33,750 gp.
- A level 16 spell costs 16 x 16 x 16 x 10gp = 40,960 gp.
- A level 17 spell costs 17 x 17 x 17 x 10gp = 49,130 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 10 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. To fully scribe spells stored in memory and aura into a standard 100 page spell book costs 1000 gp.
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, 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 may give them 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 main 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.
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. Those midnight battles triggered by random encounters cut into the next days allotment of spells, a very annoying state of affairs....
Writing Divine Spells
Divine spells can be written down and deciphered just as arcane spells can, using the same system of magical inscription, that is not a language nor subject to linguistics. 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. Devout faith (which is a requirement of being a Divine caster) includes much study of the strictures, guidelines, and dogma of your faith, which imparts a strong foundation in the divine magics available to the faithful at each level. Each time such a character receives a new level of divine spells, he or she "learns" (or essentially already knew about) all the new spells from that level automatically, and can recognize those spells when they are granted to them for use by the Deity involved.
An extremely faithful and spiritual divine spellcaster also can "research" a Divine spell independently, exploring the full extent of their Deity's worldly manifestations. In such a way, they may gain deeper insight into their religious doctrine than the typical worshipper, and thus may recognize more aspects of their deific might than most. Only the discoverer of such a deeply personal spell can prepare and cast it, unless they decide to share this deep insight 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.