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:
you must choose which spell to cast. If you’re a wizard (or other prepared caster), you
select from among spells prepared earlier in the day and not yet cast
(see Preparing Spells).
If you’re a priest (or other spontaneous caster), you can
select any spell you know, provided you are capable of casting spells
of that level or higher.
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.
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 spontaneous caster) 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 spontaneous caster, 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.
cast a spell, you must concentrate. If something interrupts your
concentration while you’re casting, you must make a Fortitude saving
throw or lose the spell. The more distracting the interruption and the
higher the level of the spell you are trying to cast, the higher the DC
is. If you fail the save, you lose the spell just as if you had cast it
to no effect.
If while trying to cast a spell you
take damage from an attack, you must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC
5 + half the points of damage taken + the level of the spell you’re
casting). If you fail the check, you lose the spell without effect. The
interrupting event strikes during spellcasting if it comes between when
you start and when you complete a spell (for a spell with a casting
time of 1 full round or more) or if it comes in response to your
casting the spell (such as an attack of opportunity provoked by the
spell or a contingent attack, such as a readied action).
you are riding on a moving mount, taking a bouncy ride in a wagon, on a
small boat in rough water, below-decks in a storm-tossed ship, or
simply being jostled in a similar fashion, you must make a Fortitude
saving throw (DC 15 + the level of the spell you’re casting) or lose
spell’s power often depends on its caster level, which for most
spellcasting characters is equal to your class level in the class
you’re using to cast the spell.
You can cast a spell at a lower
caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high
enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent
features must be based on the same caster level.
In the event
that a some 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 level 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).
Caster Level Checks:
make a caster level check, roll 1d20 and add your caster level (in the
relevant class). If the result equals or exceeds the DC (or the spell
resistance, in the case of caster level checks made for spell
resistance), the check succeeds.
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
Spells also fail if your concentration is broken and
might fail if you’re wearing armor while casting a spell with somatic
The Spell’s Result:
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.
Combining Magical Effects:
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
Spells that provide bonuses or
penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other
attributes usually do not stack with themselves. More generally, two
bonuses of the same type don’t stack even if they come from different
Different Bonus Names:
The bonuses or penalties from
two different spells stack if the modifiers are of different types. A
bonus that isn’t named stacks with any bonus.
Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths:
cases when two or more identical spells are operating in the same area
or on the same target, but at different strengths, only the best one
Same Effect with Differing Results:
The same spell
can sometimes produce varying effects if applied to the same recipient
more than once. Usually the last spell in the series trumps the others.
None of the previous spells are actually removed or dispelled, but
their effects become irrelevant while the final spell in the series
One Effect Makes Another Irrelevant:
spell can render a later spell irrelevant. Both spells are still
active, but one has rendered the other useless in some fashion.
Multiple Mental Control Effects:
a creature is under the mental control of two or more creatures, it
tends to obey each to the best of its ability, and to the extent of the
control each effect allows. If the controlled creature receives
conflicting orders simultaneously, the competing controllers must make
opposed Charisma checks to determine which one the creature obeys.
Spells with Opposite Effects:
with opposite effects apply normally, with all bonuses, penalties, or
changes accruing in the order that they apply. Some spells negate or
counter each other. This is a special effect that is noted in a spell’s
Two or more spells with instantaneous durations work cumulatively
when they affect the same target.
prepared caster’s level limits the number of spells they can prepare and
cast. Their high ability scores might allow them to prepare a few extra
spells. They can prepare the same spell more than once, but each
preparation counts as one spell toward their daily limit.
prepare their daily spells, a prepared caster must first sleep for 8
hours. The caster does not have to sleep for every minute of the
time, but they must refrain from movement, combat, spellcasting, skill
use, conversation, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental
task during the rest period. If their rest is interrupted, each
interruption adds 1 hour to the total amount of time they have to rest
in order to clear their mind, and they must have at least 1 hour of
uninterrupted rest immediately prior to preparing their spells. If the
character does not need to sleep for some reason, they still must have
8 hours of restful calm before preparing any spells.
Recent Casting Limit/Rest Interruptions:
a prepared caster has cast spells recently, the drain on their resources
reduces their capacity to prepare new spells. When they prepare spells
for the coming day, all the spells they have cast within the last 8
hours count against their daily limit.
prepare any spell, a prepared caster must have enough peace, quiet, and
comfort to allow for proper concentration. The prepared 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. Prepared casters also must have access
to their spellbook to study from.
Spell Preparation Time:
resting, a prepared caster must study their spellbook to prepare any spells that day. If they want to prepare all
their spells, the process takes 1 hour. Preparing some smaller portion
of their 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:
they prepare spells, the only spells a prepared caster has available to
cast are the ones that they already had prepared from the previous day
and has not yet used. During the study period, she chooses which spells
to prepare. If a prepared caster 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 prepared caster can leave some of these spell slots open. Later
during that day, they can repeat the preparation process as often as
they like, time and circumstances permitting. During these extra
sessions of preparation, the caster can fill these unused spell
slots. 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 their spells.
various character class tables show how many spells of each level a
character 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.
Preparing Chain Spells:
spells are known as Chain Spells. These spells grow stronger based on
the spell slot they are put in. By preparing a chain spell in a slot of
a higher level, the effect of the spell is increased. Just as a
spellcaster can choose to fill a higher-level spell slot with a
lower-level spell, they can choose to “under power” a chain spell (e.g.
they could prepare a second level Energy Beam in a third level spell
Prepared Spell Retention:
Once a prepared caster
prepares a spell, it remains in their mind as a nearly cast spell until
they use the prescribed components to complete and trigger it or until
they abandon it.
Casters cast spells, but they do not prepare their spells. A
spontaneous casters's class level limits the number of spells they can
cast. Their high ability score might allow them to cast a few extra
Daily Readying of Spells:
Each day, spontaneous casters
must focus their minds on the task of casting their spells. A
spontaneous caster needs 8 hours of rest (just like a prepared caster),
after which they spend 15 minutes concentrating. During this period,
the spontaneous caster readies their mind to cast their daily allotment
of spells. Without such a period to refresh themself, the character
does not regain the spell slots they used up the day before.
Recent Casting Limit:
As with prepared casters, any spells cast within
the last 8 hours count against the spontaneous caster’s daily limit.
Spontaneous Casters and Chain Spells:
Spontaneous casters choose the level of their chain spells
when casting them.
The description of each spell is presented in a standard format. Each category of information is explained and defined below.
The first line of every spell description gives the name by which the spell is generally known.
Beneath the spell name is a line giving the school of magic (and the subschool, if appropriate) that the spell belongs to.
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.
Abjurations are protective spells.
spells enable you to learn secrets long forgotten, to predict the
future, to find hidden things, and to foil deceptive spells.
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. However, the sensor is treated as a separate,
independent sensory organ of yours, and thus it functions normally even
if your senses are impaired.
Any creature can notice the sensor
by making a DC 20 Perception check. The sensor can be dispelled as if
it were an active spell.
Lead sheeting or magical protection (e.g. antimagic field) blocks a scrying spell, and you sense that the spell is so blocked.
Enchantment spells alter how existing things work; this includes making someone stronger or changing how they think.
A charm spell changes how the subject views you, typically making it see you as a good friend.
A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way her mind works.
spells manipulate energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a
desired end. In effect, they create something out of nothing. Many of
these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal
large amounts of damage.
Illusion spells deceive
the senses or minds of others. They cause people to see things that are
not there, not see things that are there, hear phantom noises, or
remember things that never happened.
A glamer spell
changes a subject’s sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste,
smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear.
phantasm spell creates a mental image that usually only the caster and
the subject (or subjects) of the spell can perceive. This impression is
totally in the minds of the subjects. It is a personalized mental
impression (It’s all in their heads and not a fake picture or something
that they actually see). Third parties viewing or studying the scene
don’t notice the phantasm. All phantasms are mind-affecting spells.
Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief):
encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to
recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with
it in some fashion.
A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false.
spells manipulate the power of death, unlife, and the life force.
Spells involving undead creatures make up a large part of this school.
Certain divine necromancy spells heal creatures or even bring them back to life.
Translocation spells move objects from one place to another, be that slowly or instantly.
summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you
designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is
instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not
sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A
summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points
drop to 0 or lower. It is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the
creature to reform, during which time it can’t be summoned again.
the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears,
all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any
innate summoning abilities it may have.
teleportation spell transports one or more creatures or objects a great
distance. The most powerful of these spells can cross planar
boundaries. Unlike summoning spells, the transportation is (unless
otherwise noted) one-way and not dispellable.
Teleportation is instantaneous travel through the Astral Plane. Anything that blocks astral travel also blocks teleportation.
Transmutation spells change the properties of some creature, thing, or condition.
creation spell manipulates matter to create an object or creature in
the place the spellcaster designates (subject to the limits noted
above). If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, magic
holds the creation together, and when the spell ends, the created
creature or object vanishes without a trace. If the spell has an
instantaneous duration, the created object or creature is merely
assembled through magic. It lasts indefinitely and does not depend on
magic for its existence.
Appearing on the same
line as the school and subschool, when applicable, is a descriptor that
further categorizes the spell in some way. Some spells have more than
Most of these descriptors have no game effect by
themselves, but they govern how the spell interacts with other spells,
with special abilities, with unusual creatures, with alignment, and so
A mind-affecting spell works only against creatures with an Intelligence score.
next line of a spell description gives the spell’s level, a number
between 0 and 9 that defines the spell’s relative power. This number is
preceded by an abbreviation for the class whose members can cast the
spell. A spell’s level affects the DC for any save allowed against the
Chain Spells (C):
Chain Spells can vary greatly in level. The listed level is the lowest level it can be cast at.
spell’s components are what you must do or possess to cast it. The
Components entry in a spell description includes abbreviations that
tell you what type of components it has. Specifics for material
components are given at the end of the descriptive text. Usually you
don’t worry about components, but when you can’t use a component for
some reason or when a material component is expensive, then the
components are important.
A verbal component is a
spoken incantation. To provide a verbal component, you must be able to
speak in a strong voice. A gag spoils the incantation (and thus the
spell). A spellcaster who has been deafened has a 20% chance to spoil
any spell with a verbal component that he or she tries to cast.
somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand. You
must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component. An
arcane spellcaster who is wearing armor they are not proficient in can
not cast any spell with a somatic component.
material component is one or more physical substances or objects that
are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process.
Most spells have a casting time of 1 standard action. Others take 1 round or more, while a few require only a free action.
spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action. It comes into
effect just before the beginning of your turn in the round after you
began casting the spell. You then act normally after the spell is
A spell that takes 1 minute to cast comes into effect
just before your turn 1 minute later (and for each of those 10 rounds,
you are casting a spell as a full-round action, just as noted above for
1-round casting times). These actions must be consecutive and
uninterrupted, or the spell automatically fails.
When you begin
a spell that takes 1 round or longer to cast, you must continue the
concentration from the current round to just before your turn in the
next round (at least). If you lose concentration before the casting is
complete, you lose the spell.
A spell with a casting time of 1
free action doesn’t count against your normal limit of one spell per
round. However, you may cast such a spell only once per round. Casting
a spell with a casting time of 1 free action doesn’t provoke attacks of
You make all pertinent decisions about a spell
(range, target, area, effect, version, and so forth) when the spell
comes into effect.
spell’s range indicates how far from you it can reach, as defined in
the Range entry of the spell description. A spell’s range is the
maximum distance from you that the spell’s effect can occur, as well as
the maximum distance at which you can designate the spell’s point of
origin. If any portion of the spell’s area would extend beyond this
range, that area is wasted. Standard ranges include the following.
The spell affects only you.
must touch a creature or object to affect it. A touch spell that deals
damage can score a critical hit just as a weapon can. A touch spell
threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double
damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to
touch multiple targets. You can touch as many willing targets as you
can reach as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be
touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell.
Range Expressed in Feet:
Some spells have a range expressed in feet.
Aiming a Spell:
must make some choice about whom the spell is to affect or where the
effect is to originate, depending on the type of spell. The next entry
in a spell description defines the spell’s target (or targets), its
effect, or its area, as appropriate.
Target or Targets:
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.
the target of a spell is yourself (the spell description has a line
that reads Target: You), you do not receive a saving throw, and spell
resistance does not apply. The Saving Throw and Spell Resistance lines
are omitted from such spells.
Some spells restrict you to
willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is
something that can be done at any time (even if you’re flat-footed or
it isn’t your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered
willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless
(such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or
stunned) is not automatically willing.
Some spells allow you to
redirect the effect to new targets or areas after you cast the spell.
Redirecting a spell is a move action that does not provoke attacks of
Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.
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 it can move regardless of the
spells affect an area. Sometimes 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. 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. The only
difference is that instead of counting from the center of one square to
the center of the next, you count from intersection to intersection.
Line or Sphere:
Most spells that affect an area have a particular shape, such as a line or sphere.
line-shaped spell shoots away from you in a line in the direction you
designate. It starts from any corner of your square and extends to the
limit of its range or until it strikes a barrier that blocks line of
effect. A line-shaped spell affects all creatures in squares that the
line passes through.
A sphere-shaped spell expands from its point of origin to fill a spherical area. Spheres may be bursts, emanations, or spreads.
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.
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.
Line of Effect:
line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a
spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It’s
like line of sight, except that it’s not blocked by fog, darkness, and
other factors that limit normal sight.
You must have a clear
line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space
in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of
effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.
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.
A spell’s Duration entry tells you how long the magical energy of the spell lasts.
durations are measured in rounds, minutes, hours, or some other
increment. When the time is up, the magic goes away and the spell ends.
If a spell’s duration is variable the duration is rolled secretly (the
caster doesn’t know how long the spell will last).
The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.
The energy remains as long as the effect does. This means the spell is vulnerable to dispel magic.
spell lasts as long as you concentrate on it. Concentrating to maintain
a spell is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of
opportunity. Anything that could break your concentration when casting
a spell can also break your concentration while you’re maintaining one,
causing the spell to end.
You can’t cast a spell while
concentrating on another one. Sometimes a spell lasts for a short time
after you cease concentrating.
Subjects, Effects, and Areas:
the spell affects creatures directly the result travels with the
subjects for the spell’s duration. If the spell creates an effect, the
effect lasts for the duration. The effect might move or remain still.
Such an effect can be destroyed prior to when its duration ends. If the
spell affects an area then the spell stays with that area for its
Creatures become subject to the spell when they enter the area and are no longer subject to it when they leave.
Touch Spells and Holding the Charge:
most cases, if you don’t discharge a touch spell on the round you cast
it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell)
indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round. If you cast
another spell, the touch spell dissipates.
Some touch spells
allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can’t
hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the
spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.
Occasionally a spells lasts for a set duration or until triggered or discharged.
the Duration line ends with "(D)," you can dismiss the spell at will.
You must be within range of the spell’s effect and must speak words of
dismissal, which are usually a modified form of the spell’s verbal
component. If the spell has no verbal component, you can dismiss the
effect with a gesture. Dismissing a spell is a standard action that
does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
A spell that depends on
concentration is dismissible by its very nature, and dismissing it does
not take an action, since all you have to do to end the spell is to
stop concentrating on your turn.
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 causes 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 effect.
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 + one-half the item’s
The spell is usually beneficial, not harmful, but a targeted creature can attempt a saving throw if it desires.
Saving Throw Difficulty Class:
saving throw against your spell has a DC of 9 + the level of the spell
+ your relevant ability score (Intelligence for a wizard or Wisdom for a priest).
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:
natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on a saving throw is always a failure,
and the spell may cause damage to exposed items. A natural 20 (the d20
comes up 20) is always a success.
Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw:
creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a
spell’s result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can
suppress this quality.
Items Surviving after a Saving Throw:
the descriptive text for the spell specifies otherwise, all magic items
and all items carried or worn by a creature are assumed to survive a
magical attack. If an item is not carried or worn and is not
magical, it does not get a saving throw. It simply is dealt the
resistance is a special defensive ability. If your spell is being
resisted by a creature with spell resistance, you must make a
resistance break check (1d20 + the ability score you use to calculate
save DC's) at least equal to the creature’s spell resistance for the
spell to affect that creature. The defender’s spell resistance is like
an Armor Class against magical attacks.
If a creature has more than one source of spell resistance, only the highest applies.
Spell Resistance entry and the descriptive text of a spell description
tell you whether spell resistance protects creatures from the spell. In
many cases, spell resistance applies only when a resistant creature is
targeted by the spell, not when a resistant creature encounters a spell
that is already in place.
The terms "object" and "harmless" mean
the same thing for spell resistance as they do for saving throws. A
creature with spell resistance can voluntarily lower the resistance in
order to be affected by a spell noted as harmless. In such a case, you
do not need to make the resistance break check described above.
portion of a spell description details what the spell does and how it
works. If one of the previous entries in the description included "see
text," this is where the explanation is found.