Some casters and ritualists learn the art of formulating spells through combining Words of Power.
First you must formulate a spell to cast from magical words: a target word, at least one effect word (an full effects index, including a domain list, and a list of effect words by level can be found in their own section), and any metamagic words you choose to apply. You can select any magic words you know, provided you are capable of casting spells of that level or higher.
Target Word: This word determines the range of a spell, how the spell manifests, and what it can affect. If the spell has an area, it affects every creature in the area defined by the target word. If it has targets, it affects the specific targets described by its word. A spell can have only one target word.
Effect Word: Effect words determine what effect a spell has when cast. They also determine its duration, saving throw, and spell resistance, if any. A spell can have more than one effect word, even ones from different domains of magic. In this case, the spell counts as both domains of magic. The maximum level of the effect words contained within a spell depends on the level of the spell slot used and the number of words arranged in the spell, as noted in the Effect Word Combinations table below.
The act of combining effects requires an effort of magical power: as a result, the sum total of effects must be less than the level of the final spell. A 0th level effect counts as half a level for this calculation. You can use a higher level slot to cast a lower level spell if you wish.
For example, a 2nd level spell may be made up of a single 2nd level effect word, or one 1st level and one 0th level effect, or two 0th level effects.
Table: Effect Word Combinations
|Spell Level||Single effect word||Two effect words||Three effect words|
|2nd||2||1/0 or 0/0||0/0/0|
|3rd||3||1/1 or 2/0||1/1/0|
|4th||4||2/1 or 3/0||1/1/1 or 2/1/0 or 2/0/0|
Effect words are split into domains of related words. A spell typically cannot have more than one effect word from the same domain, but there are exceptions. A spell can have more than one effect word from the Detection group, but cannot have a spell with an effect word from the Detection group and an effect word from any other group.
Meta Word: This word modifies the spell in some way, often by increasing either its duration, range, or components. It can also boost certain target or effect words, changing the spell's overall effect. A spell does not need to contain a meta word.
A spell can have multiple metamagic words arranged within it so long as each target word and each effect word are modified by only one meta word apiece. For example, a spell arranged with two effect words could have up to three meta words, so long as each meta word modifies a different target and effect word.
Casting a spell
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.
Casting a spell counts against your daily limit for spells of that spell level. You can cast any spell of the same level again if you haven't reached your limit.
It is possible use magic words that you know to formulate a counterspell. By doing so, you are using the spell's energy to disrupt the casting of a spell by another character.
How Counterspells Work: To use a counterspell, you must select an opponent as the target of the counterspell. You do this by choosing to ready an action. In doing so, you elect to wait to complete your action until your opponent tries to cast a spell. You may still move at your normal speed, since ready is a standard action.
If the target of your counterspell tries to cast a spell, make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell's level). This check is a free action. If the check succeeds, you correctly identify the opponent's spell and can attempt to counter it. If the check fails, you can't do either of these things.
To complete the action, you must then cast an appropriately formulated counterspell. As a general rule, you must use an effect word of the same domain as each effect word in the target spell. If the target is within range, both spells automatically negate each other with no other results.
Counterspelling Metamagic Spells: Metamagic words are not taken into account when determining whether an effect can be countered.
Countering Spells with Multiple Effect Words: You can counter any one or more effects of a targetted spell. If you are unable to, or choose not to counter all of the effects of another caster's spell, the remaining effects are unaffected.
Specific Exceptions: Some effect words can counter other specific effect words, often those that are diametrically opposed.
Dispelling domain effects: You can usually use the dispelling domain counterspells to counter another spell being cast without needing to identify the spell being cast. If you bvoost the effect, you can cast it as an immediate action. The dispelling domain counterspells don't always work as a counterspell. See the effect descriptions.
The description of each spell is presented in a standard format. Each category of information is explained and defined below.
Spellcasters select domains as they advance in learning and experience. The selection of a domain makes all the effect words in that domain available to the spellcaster for the formulation of spells.
Additionally, one Level 0 effect may be selected by characters with the Domain Power feat. The Improved Domain power feat allows a character to select a 1st Level effect of any domain she already knows a 0 Level effect from.
Effect words determine the overall outcome of a spell. A spell can contain more than one effect word, and it is possible for their effects to counteract one another. Effect words use the following format.
Name: This is the name of the effect word.
Level (Domain): This entry lists the level the word is. Note that an individual spell can contain no words of a level higher than the spell. Each word belongs to a domain, which is noted in parentheses. Unless otherwise noted, an individual spell cannot contain two effect words from the same domain.
Duration: This line lists the duration of the effect word. See Magic for more details.
Saving Throw: If the effect allows a saving throw, it is noted here along with the effect of a successful save. If a spell is made up of more than one effect word that allows a save, the targets must make a save for each saving throw type (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will). See Magic for more details.
Spell Resistance: Certain creatures are supernaturally resistant to magic. If the effect word allows spell resistance, it is noted here. See Magic for more details.
Target Restrictions: Some effect words can only be combined with specific target words when arranging spells. If this is the case, the specific target words are noted here.
Description: This paragraph describes the effects of the word when arranged in a spell.
Boost: If the effect word can be boosted by the boost metamagic word, the effects are listed here. See the metamagic word section for more details.
Target words establish the way in which a spell determines its targets. Some effect words restrict the type of target words that can be used in spells that contain them. A spell contains only one target word. Target words use the following format.
Name: This is the name of the target word. It is used as part of the spell's complete title.
Level: This line lists the minimum level for a spell containing this target word.
Range: This line describes the range of a spell containing this target word. A spell's range indicates how far from you it can reach, as defined in the range entry of the target word 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.
Target: This paragraph describes how a spell using this target word determines its targets or area of effect. This could be a selection of targets by the caster or the creation of an area of effect, in which case all the creatures in the area are automatically targets of the spell. It might also create an effect that has no specific targets, instead just causing the effect word to occupy the listed space.
Boost: If the target word can be boosted by the boost meta word, the effects are listed here. See the meta word section for more details.
Range no range
A spell with this target word only affects the caster. Effect words that are restricted to this word can be combined with other effect words, but the caster is the only target, regardless of other target possibilities.
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
A spell with this target word affects a single target within range. If the spell deals energy damage, this word creates a ray that requires a ranged touch attack to hit, or it can be used as a melee touch attack with no range (decided by the caster when the spell is cast). If it is used as a melee touch attack and the attack misses, the caster can hold the charge and try again with subsequent attacks.
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.
Boost: If the spell deals energy damage, this word may be cast on a weapon (which is touched by the caster when the spell is cast). If it is cast on a melee or projectile weapon (such as a bow, or sling) and the attack misses, the wielder can hold the charge and try again with subsequent attacks. The charge may be held for up to 1 minute before it fades without effect. Ammunition or a thrown weapon looses the charge once it is used, whether it hits or misses.
Boost: If the spell deals energy damage, this word may be cast persistently on a weapon (which is touched by the caster when the spell is cast). The energy effect persists for 1 round per 2 levels of the caster. Each hit deals the energy damage of the spell, in addition to the weapon damage. This boosted target word increases the level of all the effect words in the spell by 1 level.
Boost: Instead of one target, the spell affects up to one target per caster level, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart. The range increases to medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level). If used with an effect word that deals energy damage, the caster must make multiple ray attacks for each target (they cannot be made as melee touch attacks). This boosted target word increases the level of all the effect words in the spell by 3 levels.
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
A spell with this target word creates a visible barrier that is 10 feet long per caster level and 10 feet high. Creatures touching or passing through the barrier are subject to the spell's effect. The barrier does not hinder creatures passing through it unless noted in the spell effect. Creatures occupying the space of the barrier when it forms are subject to the spell's effect. The wall is 1 foot wide and must be anchored on a solid surface. The wall must be straight when formed.
If the spell includes instantaneous effect words, the spell lasts for 1 round/level, discharging the instantaneous effect on the first creature to pass through the barrier.
Boost: The wall is 20 feet long per caster level and up to 20 feet high. The wall can take on any shape desired by the caster, but it must remain a vertical surface.
Boost: While the wall persists up to 1 creature/level is subject to the spell's instantaneous effects. Boosting the spell in this manner increases its level by 1.
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
A spell with this target word affects everything it catches in a 10-foot-radius burst. Some effect words that use the burst target word are instead emanations, taking up the same area as the burst. These effect words typically have a longer duration and cannot be moved once created. They are noted by the word “emanation” in parentheses after the burst target restriction.
Boost: The spell affects everything in a 20-foot-radius burst. Its range increases to medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level). Boosting this target word increases its level by 2.
Boost: The spell affects everything in a 40-foot-radius burst. Its range increases to long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level). Boosting this target word increases its level by 3.
Range 10 ft.
A spell with this target word affects everything in a cone-shaped burst.
Boost: The range increases to 20 feet. Boosting this target word increases its level by 2.
Boost: The range increases to 40 feet. Boosting this target word increases its level by 3.
Range 20 ft.
A spell with this target word affects everything in a 20-foot line.
Boost: The range increases to 60 feet. Boosting this target word increases its level by 1.
Boost: The range increases to 120 feet. Boosting this target word increases its level by 2.
Aiming a Spell
You must make choices about whom a spell is to affect or where an effect is to originate, depending on a spell's type. The next entry in a spell description defines the spell's target (or targets), its effect, or its area, as appropriate.
Target or Targets: Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.
If the target of a spell is yourself, 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 effects 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 effects 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.
The terminology of target word areas of effect is further explained below.
Area: Some target words affect an area.
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. When using a grid for combat, 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 centre of one square to the centre of the next, you count from intersection to intersection.
You can count diagonally across a square, but remember that every second diagonal counts as 2 squares of distance. If the far edge of a square is within the spell's area, anything within that square is within the spell's area. If the spell's area only touches the near edge of a square, however, 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). The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst spells are specifically described as cone-shaped. 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, except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin for the duration of the spell. Most emanations are cones or spheres.
A spread spell extends out like a burst but can turn corners. You select the point of origin, and the spell spreads out a given distance in all directions. Figure the area the spell effect fills by taking into account any turns the spell effect takes.
A spread effect can extend around corners and into areas that you can't see. When determining distance for spread effects, count around walls, not through them. As with movement, do not trace diagonals across corners. You must designate the point of origin for such an effect, but you need not have line of effect (see below) to all portions of the effect.
Cone, Cylinder, Line, or Sphere: Most spells that affect an area have a particular shape.
A cone-shaped spell shoots away from you in a quarter-circle in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner of your square and widens out as it goes. 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 centre of a horizontal circle, and the spell shoots down from the circle, filling a cylinder. A cylinder-shaped spell ignores any obstructions within its area.
A line-shaped spell shoots away from you in a line in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner 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 through which the line passes.
A sphere-shaped spell expands from its point of origin to fill a spherical area. Spheres may be bursts, emanations, or spreads.
Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is cancelled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.
A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's centre 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.
These words modify spells in certain ways; for example, by increasing either duration, range, or components. They can also boost target or effect words, changing the spell's overall effect. A spell does not need to contain a meta word.
A spell can have multiple meta words arranged within it so long as each target word and each effect word are modified by only one metamagic word apiece. For example, a spell arranged with two effect words could have up to three meta words, so long as each meta word modifies a different target and effect word.
Cost of metamagic words
Unlike with other words, a spellcaster must expend extra effort to use a meta word: each metamagic word used in a spell saps 1 Vitality Point per spell level of the final spell (minimum 1).
Metamagic words use the following format.
Name: This is the name of the meta word.
Level: This line lists the minimum level of a spell that can contain this meta word. Spells of a lower level cannot use this meta word.
Description: This paragraph describes what the meta word modifies and how it changes the spell.
This meta word allows an effect or target word to use its boosted description. Some boosted descriptions increase the level of the effect word or target word, and can only be used if the spell is of a high enough level to accommodate the new level. If a word has more than one boosted description, the caster can choose which to use (but never more than one per word). This metamagic word can be applied to a spell multiple times — once to the target word, once for certain metamagic words, and once for each effect word.
Boosting a metamagic word costs double the Vitality.
A spell with this metamagic word does not require a somatic component.
This word increases a spell's range, as determined by its target word. If the word has a close range, it increases to medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level). If the word has a medium range, it increases to long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level). This word has no effect on target words with a range other than close or medium.
Boost: The spell's range is instead doubled, regardless of the target word. Boosting this metamagic word increases the spell level by 2.
A spell with this meta word doubles its duration. This meta word has no affect on effect words with a duration of instantaneous.
Boost: The duration of the spell effect is instead increased to the next order: rounds become minutes, minutes become hours, hours become days, days become weeks.
Boosting this metamagic word increases the spell level by 2.
This word changes the saving throw type of certain effect words used in this spell. If the effect word requires a Will saving throw, it instead requires a Fortitude saving throw. This change does not affect whether or not a successful save negates the effect, reduces it, or has some other effect; it simply alters the type of saving throw required.
This word changes the saving throw type of certain effect words used in this spell. If the effect word requires a Fortitude saving throw, it instead requires a Will saving throw. This change does not affect whether or not a successful save negates the effect, reduces it, or has some other effect; it simply alters the type of saving throw required.
A spell with this meta word does not require a verbal component. This meta word can modify a target word or an effect word.
A spell with this metamagic word does not require a material component. This metamagic word can modify a target word or an effect word.
This metamagic word allows you cast a spell with the Selected target word at a vastly increased range, provided you have some personal connection to the target (through your relationship with the target, or a item connected with them that you can focus on during casting of the spell).
A sympathetic spell has a casting time of 1 minute, during which the conduit to the target is opened, and at the end of which your spell effect takes place.
The range of the Sympathetic spell depends on your connection with the target: see the table below.
|Moderate||24 miles per level|
|Acquaintance||6 miles per level|
|Encountered||1 mile per level|
*An intimate connection includes that of lovers, immediate family (such as siblings, children or parents); a moderate connection is that of close friends, lifelong colleagues (such as a devoted servant to her mistress, or squad veterans of a long war); an acquaintance includes a person you casually know and engage with on a limited level (such as a colleague you hardly know, or an intimate's relative); an encountered connection includes people you have only met on one or a very few occasions.
A focus is a physical remnant or possession of the target which can be used to increase your connection with them, for instance a personal possession, part of their body or even an object or place you know they have had physical contact with. A focus has a different strength depending on how intimately it has been connected with the target (see table). All types of focus increase your connection by one step. Lesser types of focus are restricted in how high a level of connection they can provide.
For example, a hair or nail clipping has a maximum connection of 'Moderate', so if your connection with the target is already at 'Moderate', such an item would not raise your connection any further. You would need to obtain a stronger focus (in this case, blood or a body part).
Multiples items of exactly the same type (two sets of nail clippings, or two likenesses of the target) do not count as multiple foci.
|Body part or blood*||Intimate|
|Hair or nail clipping*||Moderate|
|Personal item or true likeness*||Acquaintance|
*Other examples include: tears, bone (equal to blood); saliva, skin or scales (equal to hair); casting inside the personal chambers of the target, touching a living relative of the target (equal to personal item); casting inside the usual dwelling of the target, casting on the grave of an immediate family member of the target (equal to touched object).
Note: the GM may judge specific foci to be more or less potent, depending on their particular connection to the target.
The target gains an additional Will save (same DC as the spell), which negates the spell regardless of whether the spell effects normally permit a saving throw.
The target may sense your connection conduit when you begin to cast the Sympathetic spell (Spellcraft DC 15 + spell level). If the target senses the conduit, he may use it to cast spells at you, as if he had used the Sympathetic metamagic word (using the same spell level slot, vitality expenditure and so on). Once the conduit to the target is opened, the target's Sympathetic connection to you is at least that of “Encountered”.
You specify an event that will trigger the spell effect, delaying the effect of the spell until those conditions are met.
The trigger needed to bring the spell into effect must be clear, although they can be general. Conditions for the trigger must be tangible events or circumstances. A trigger cannot rely on a circumstance that can only be detected through the use of other magic: for example, a trigger to cast an Alignment Ward effect when in the presence of evilly aligned creatures would fail, as the alignment of the creatures requires Divination magic to determine.
In all cases, the trigger brings the spell into effect instantaneously when the prescribed circumstances occur. If complicated or convoluted conditions are prescribed, the whole spell combination may fail when triggered. The triggered spell occurs based solely on the stated conditions, regardless of whether you want it to.
You can use only one triggered spell at a time; if a second is cast, the first one (if still active) is dispelled.
Daily Readying of Spells: Each day, Casters must focus their minds on the task of casting their spells. A Caster needs 8 hours of rest, after which she spends 15 minutes concentrating. During this period, the Caster readies her mind 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.
Recent Casting Limit: Any spells cast within the last 8 hours count against the Caster's daily limit.
Adding Spells to a Caster's Repertoire: A Spellcaster gains access to new domains as she gains levels, or by taking certain feats. When your Caster gains a new level, consult the Caster class table to learn how many domains she now knows.
A number of feats grant the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells. Some creatures naturally have special abilities because of their race. The following rules govern both feats and racial abilities.
Spell-Like Abilities: 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. Armour 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.
Some creatures actually cast arcane spells as spellcasters do, using components when required. Some creatures have both spell-like abilities and actual spellcasting power.
Supernatural Abilities: 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.
Extraordinary Abilities: 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.
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.