Spells are manifestations of magic. The requirements for casting a spell are listed on the corresponding class pages. All spells are cast by using specific gestures (somatic) and words of power (verbal). Most spells don’t require material components or foci. Otherwise, the spell system is very similar to Pathfinder with a few changes. The rules for concentration and spell interruption are the same. Light, medium, and heavy armor adds a spell failure chance.
Spell casting and song performing works in the same way that it does in the Pathfinder, but all spells/songs suffer spell failure from armor and all spells/songs cost magic points rather than number of spells/songs per day. Magic points (MP) are used to fuel spells and songs. After at least 8 hours of rest, characters may meditate for 30 minutes to restore their amount of magic points equal to their caster level plus their primary casting modifier. All spellcasting classes get additional magic points for high attributes. Casters need not prepare spells, as all casters can cast any spell they know at will. A caster has no limit on the amount of spells he or she may know.
The cost for Spells and Songs are calculated as such: Spell/Song level x 1 MP. (I.E. a 9th level spell will be 9 MP to cast or a 5th level song will be 5 MP to perform.)
The maximum MP a spellcaster can spend on spells/songs using feats is equal to the highest spell/song level they can cast/perform. (I.E. A 10th level Black Mage can spend up to 5 MP on a single spell.)
Metamagic feats are applied spontaneously and do not increase the casting time of the spell, however, it will increase the MP cost. In order to apply a metamagic feat to a spell, the caster must be able to spend MP at the increased cost of the spell.
Magic is divided into eight types: black magic, blue magic, chronomancy, geomancy, necromancy, red magic, song magic, white magic. Black magic grants a mage the power to inflict chaos upon creation, while white magic brings order to creation. Blue magic uses the ability of creatures into spells to cast. Chronomancy controls all aspects of time. Geomancy uses the terrain and the elements to harness raw power. Necromancy uses dark magic to raise the dead as well as the living. Red magic blends some of black and white magic as well as its own particular blend to enhance the capabilities of the red mage. Song magic provides a variety of effects to enhance allies and enfeeble enemies.
Black magic is almost exclusively offensive, and is practiced by black mages. With few exceptions, these spells focus on dealing damage to a target or hindering its ability to fight. A large portion of black magic is focused on the power of the elements. Skilled mages seek out their foes’ elemental weaknesses, and adapt their magic to strike with precision.
Blue magic has a variety of different types of spells. It relies on creatures with supernatural abilities to copy from them and make it their own. Depending on the creatures the blue mage learns from, they have a terrifying variety of spells to utilize.
Chronomancy controls all aspects of time. Manipulation of time is a dangerous area for spellcasters, even the most harden of time mages are rightly to be feared.
Geomancy focuses primarily on the elements and terrain. Geomancy works well with Black Magic. Geomancers are the only known spellcasters that can harness the power of geomancy.
Necromancy gives necromancers the power over life and death. They are able to mimic undead powers through spells.
Red magic blends the healing and protection of white magic and the elemental destruction of black magic as well as adding its own particular enhancing red magic to make the red mage an extremely versatile mage.
Song magic is how bards utilize their songcraft. Songs provide a variety of effects to enhance allies and enfeeble enemies. Perform song magic requires the bard to make Perform skill checks successfully and also spend MP to perform his magic. While not considered to be spells, songs are affected by spell resistance, spell failure and can only use metasong feats.
White magic is primarily defensive, but it has its share of enfeebling magic and a small dab of direct damage as well. White magic mostly focuses on healing others and restoring life. White magic is practiced by white mages.
Beneath the spell name is a line giving the school of magic that the spell belongs to. Almost every spell belongs to one of ten schools of magic. A school of magic is a group of related spells that work in similar ways. A small number of spells are non-elemental, belonging to no school.
Chronomancy uses time to manipulate opponents.
Dark magic is always of the shadow element. Rather than directly damaging opponents like elemental magic, dark magic may deal lesser damage but drain the opponent of stats or cause otherwise harmful negative effects. Black mages are masters of dark magic.
Elemental magic focuses on damaging opponents with the elemental power of earth, fire, ice, lightning, water, or wind. Black mages specialize in elemental magic.
Enfeebling magic cripples opponents by reducing their ability to do battle. Black mages are exceedingly adept with enfeebling magic.
Enhancing magic boosts the fighting ability of allies. White mages are experts of enhancing magic.
Healing magic is used to heal wounds or cure negative status effects. Healing magic causes damage to the undead. White mages specialize in healing magic
Illusion magic deceives all senses to either distract, hinder, hide, or bewitch the target.
Light magic is always of the holy element. Light magic smites the wicked with holy power, but usually in a less direct method than elemental magic. White mages are especially proficient with light magic.
Necromancy masters the power of life and death, often teetering between both.
Summon magic conjures creatures or items. Summon magic can also be used be Summoners to cast powerful magic that stem from creatures.
The first line of every spell description gives the name by which the spell is generally known.
Appearing on the same line as the school, when applicable, is a descriptor that further categorizes the spell with the Elemental school. The descriptors are earth, fire, ice, lightning, water, and wind.
The next line of a spell description gives the spell’s level, a number between 1 and 9 (for spells), a number between 1 and 5 (for songs), that define the spell’s relative power. This number is preceded by the name of the class whose members can cast the spell or perform the song. A spell’s level affects the DC for any save allowed against the effect.
Most spells have a casting time of 1 standard action. Others take 1 round or more. You make all pertinent decisions about a spell (range, target, area, effect, and so forth) when the spell comes into play.
A 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.
Personal: The spell affects only you.
Touch: 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 maximum damage on a successful critical hit.
Close: The spell reaches as far as 25 feet away from you. The maximum range increases by 5 feet for every two full caster levels (30 feet at 2nd caster level, 35 feet at 4th caster level, and so on).
Medium: The spell reaches as far as 100 feet + 10 feet per caster level.
Long: The spell reaches as far as 400 feet + 40 feet per caster level.
Range Expressed in Feet: Some spells have no standard range category, just a range expressed in feet.
To record a spell in written form, a character uses complex notation that describes the magical forces involved in the spell (through the use of Scribe Scroll feat). The writer uses the same system no matter what her native language or culture. However, each character uses the system in his own way. Another person’s magical writing remains incomprehensible to even the most powerful spellcaster until he takes time to study and decipher it.
To decipher magical writing (such as a single spell in another’s spellbook or on a scroll), a character must make a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the spell’s level). If the skill check fails, the character cannot attempt to read that particular spell again until the next day. A read magic spell automatically deciphers 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 piece of magical writing, he does not need to decipher it again. Deciphering magical writing allows the reader to identify the spell and gives some idea of its effects (as explained in the spell description). If the reader can cast the spell, he can attempt to use the scroll.
Learning New Spells
Spellcasters can learn new spells through several methods. A spellcaster can only learn new spells that belong to that respective spellcasting spell lists.
- Spells Gained at a New Level: Most spellcasters (except Blue Mages and Summoners, which only gain one new spell per level) perform a certain amount of spell research between adventures. Each time a character attains a new spellcaster level, he learns two spells of his choice. The two free spells must be of spell levels he can cast.
- Spells Learned from a Scroll: Most spellcasters (except Blue Mages and Summoners) can also learn a spell whenever he encounters one on a magic scroll. The spellcaster must first decipher the magical writing (see Magical Writings). Next, he must spend 1 hour studying the spell. At the end of the hour, he must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell’s level). If the check succeeds, the spellcaster understands the spell and learns it. A spell successfully learned from a magic scroll disappears from the parchment. If the check fails, the spellcaster cannot understand or learn the spell. He cannot attempt to learn that spell again until one week has passed. A failed Spellcraft check does not cause the spell to vanish.
- Independent Research: Most spellcasters (except Blue Mages and Summoners) can also research a spell independently, duplicating an existing spell or creating an entirely new one. The cost to research a new spell, and the time required, are left up to GM discretion, but it should probably take at least 1 week and cost at least 1,000 gil per level of the spell to be researched. This should also require a number of Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks.
Time: The process takes 1 hour per spell level. Cantrips (0 levels spells) take 30 minutes to learn.