A spell is a one-time magical effect.
Spells come in two types:
- arcane (cast by bards, sorcerers, and wizards)
- divine (cast by clerics, druids, and experienced paladins and rangers).
Some spellcasters select their spells from a limited list of spells known, while others have access to a wide variety of options.
Despite differences in learning and preparation of spells, the actual casting and effects thereof are very much the same.
Spanning the categories of arcane and divine spells are the eight schools of magic. These schools represent the different ways that spells take effect.
Each character capable of casting has access to a spellbook. Bards and Sorcerers, who do not need to prepare spells in advance and may cast any they have learned, consult it to check what spells they know and how many castings they have remaining. For all others, the spellbook lists the spell slots used for memorized spells (the right side of the interface) and the spells the caster can prepare (the left).
Spells, once selected to be memorized, are only available to cast after the character rests.
For spellcasters preparing spell slots, a single metamagic feat can be added to a spell, increasing its level and modifying its power and effectiveness in some manner. This differs from D&D in which a single spell could have multiple metamagic feats applied.
Casting a spell
A spell is most easily cast using the quick cast menu (Default shortcut key: F). This brings up all the castable spells (right-clicking will reveal its description).
It usually requires one action to cast a spell. Applying the Quicken metamagic feat to a spell allows it to be cast instantaneously.
A spell can only be cast if the following conditions are met:
- The caster cannot be prone.
- If the spell has a somatic component, the caster must be able to move her hands and therefore cannot be Paralyzed, Stunned or Dazed. The Still Spell metamagic feat overcomes this requirement of a somatic component, however the various status effects still prevent the character from taking any useful actions.
- If the spell has a verbal component, the caster must be able to speak and therefore cannot be magically silenced. If deaf, there is a 20% failure check.
- The caster must be within range of the target. If not, the character usually moves automatically to within the minimum range required.
If these are fulfilled the character will start casting the spell at the start of the next round (or if it is the start of the round, immediately). The start of a round is determined by initiative order, so some casters cast spells earlier then others. Unless quickened, the spell will take 1.5 seconds of concentration and an additional 1.5 seconds producing the effect (during which time the character is immobile). Therefore, it takes a total of 3 seconds to cast a spell fully then be able to move again.
The 1.5 seconds of conjuration time to cast the spell requires that the character not fail any concentration checks. Concentration checks may be required if:
- There is a chance of arcane or normal spell failure. A % check determines whether or not the casting attempt fails.
- The character receives damage during casting. The DC of the concentration check is equal to the damage dealt to the caster. A separate check is required for each attack on the caster.
- Defensive casting is used to avoid nearby attacks of opportunity. The DC of the check is 15 + spell level.
- Entangled or held in place somehow A standard DC15 check is required to not break concentration.
If a check fails the spell is lost and cannot be cast again until rested. Otherwise the spell is successfully cast.
Wands, Scrolls, Rods, Potions and other spell casting items
Every spell cast from an item has a default caster ability score of 10. The caster level can be different for different items (noted in brackets at the end of the name) and is used as if the person using the item was of that level. The caster level is also used for spell resistance penetration, meaning most items do not penetrate spell resistance very well. Note: it is unknown if Spell penetration feats work with spells cast from items.
Because of the default 10 ability score, hostile spells cast from items likely have much lower save DC's then usual. In each spell's Gameplay Notes should be a note if it is effective to have them on wands, rods or scrolls.
Spells cast from items do not originate from any specific class, although scrolls and wands usually have class restrictions (which can be overcome by the use magical device skill). The spell level for a spell is always the Innate level used for monsters casting it as a spell-like-ability (usually an average of the level at which PC classes can cast it).
Using most items provokes attacks of opportunity by enemies, although no concentration check is required. The item only has to be identified (no spellcraft checks are required to read scrolls for instance). Note: It needs testing to whether items/scrolls/etc require somatic or verbal necessities apart from being able to move (ie: not stunned or knocked down or similar).