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A 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 completed.
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 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. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.
Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or more normally provokes an attack of opportunity. When you cast a spell that would provoke an attack of opportunity, you make a caster level check to cast defensively. This is a straight check of 1d20 + your caster level + your spellcasting ability modifier, against a DC of 10 + (the level of the spell * 2). If you succeed, you do not provoke an attack of opportunity.
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.
Material Component: A material component consists of one or more physical substances or objects that are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process.
To cast a spell, you must concentrate. If something interrupts your concentration while you're casting, you must make a concentration check or lose the spell. When you make a concentration check, you roll d20 and add your caster level and your spellcasting ability modifier. The more distracting the interruption and the higher the level of the spell you are trying to cast, the higher the DC. If you fail the check, you lose the spell just as if you had cast it to no effect.
If you take damage while trying to cast a spell, you make a concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + the 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 the time you started and the time 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).
If you are taking continuous damage, such as from an acid arrow or by standing in a lake of lava, half the damage is considered to take place while you are casting a spell. You make a concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the damage that the continuous source last dealt + the level of the spell you're casting. If the last damage dealt was the last damage that the effect could deal, then the damage is over and does not distract you.
Each spellcasting class uses a specific ability score as a spellcasting modifier which influences the power of their spells.
- Alchemists, magi and wizards use Intelligence
- Clerics, druids, inquisitors and rangers use Wisdom
- Bards, paladins and sorcerers use Charisma
To prepare or cast a spell, a caster must have a spellcasting ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a caster’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the caster’s spellcasting ability modifier.
Every caster can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Their base daily allotment is given on the class progression table for their class. In addition, a caster receives bonus spells per day if they have a high spellcasting ability score.
|Ability Score||Spell Level|
A spell's effects (such as range, duration, and damage dealt) typically depend on its caster's level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to their class level.
Sometimes a class feature or other special ability provides an adjustment to your casting level. In that case, the adjustment applies not only to the spell's effects, but also to the spell's chances of overcoming your target's spell resistance, and the level used in dispel checks (and the DC of the check).
Clerics, druids, inquisitors, experienced paladins and rangers 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 and ranger spells, and the divine forces of law and good power paladin spells. Divine spells tend to focus on healing and protection and are less flashy, destructive, and disruptive than arcane spells.
Divine casters can cast all spells on their class's spell list.
0-level divine spells are known as orisons.
Arcane casters must learn spells before they are able to cast them. At each new level in their spellcasting class, a caster learns a small number of new spells from the class's spell list.
0-level arcane spells are known as cantrips.
Learning Spells from Scrolls
Alchemists, magi and wizards are able to learn new spells from scrolls. To learn a spell from a scroll, select the scroll and choose Add to Spellbook. This will consume the scroll and add the spell to the caster's list of know spells.
Arcane Spell Failure Chance
Armor interferes with the gestures that a spellcaster must make to cast an arcane spell. Arcane spellcasters face the possibility of arcane spell failure if they’re wearing armor. Some class features let arcane spellcasters wear certain types of armor and/or use shields without incurring any arcane spell failure chance for spells from their class's spell list.
A character who casts an arcane spell while wearing armor or using a shield must usually make an arcane spell failure check. The Arcane Spell Failure Chance indicated on the item is the percentage chance that the spell fails and is ruined. If a character is wearing armor and using a shield, add the two numbers together to get a single arcane spell failure chance.
Alchemists, clerics, druids, magi, paladins, rangers and wizards must choose and prepare their spells ahead of time. Each day, they can prepare as many spells per level as they are able to cast that day. The caster's Spells menu is used to control which spells will be available after the next rest.
Bards, inquisitors and sorcerers are able to cast spells spontaneously. They are able to cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time, assuming they have not yet used up their allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.
Spell resistance is a special defensive ability. If your spell is being resisted by a creature with spell resistance, you must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) at least equal to the creature's spell resistance for the spell to affect that creature. The defender's spell resistance is like an AC against magical attacks. Include any adjustments to your caster level to this caster level check.
The 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.
Schools of Magic
A school of magic is a group of related spells that work in similar ways. Every spell belongs to one of the eight schools of magic.
- Abjuration spells are protective spells. They create physical or magical barriers, negate magical or physical abilities, harm trespassers, or even banish the subject of the spell to another plane of existence.
- Conjuration spells transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane (calling); create objects or effects on the spot (creation); heal (healing); bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning); or transport creatures or objects over great distances (teleportation). Creatures you conjure usually - but not always - obey your commands.
- Divination spells enable you to learn secrets long forgotten, predict the future, find hidden things, and foil deceptive spells.
- Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior.
- 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. 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.
- Necromancy spells manipulate the power of death, unlife, and the life force. Spells involving undead creatures make up a large part of this school.
- Transmutation spells change the properties of some creature, thing, or condition.