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Spell

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Oloch, Shardra, and Alahazra combine spells to fend off skeletons.

A spell is a one-time magical effect brought into being, or "cast", by a spellcaster. Spells, like the rest of magic, fall into one of three major types: arcane, divine, and psychic magic.[1][2]

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Casting spells

Most spellcasters prepare their spells in advance—whether from a spellbook or through prayers—while some cast spells spontaneously without preparation. Despite these different ways characters use to learn or prepare their spells, when it comes to casting them, many of the spells are very much alike, with magic being guided by certain core principles. Some spellcasters select their spells from a limited list of spells known, while others have access to a wide variety of options.[1]

Spells can require considerable concentration to cast, and often have a limited range. Some must be physically aimed, much like a crossbow, at a target within the spellcaster's vision[3] or affect an area or radius rather than a specific target.[4] When cast, spells have distinct manifestations—whether visible or not—and people especially skilled in spellcraft can often identify a spell simply by observing the spellcaster's actions.[5]

Many spells' effects can permanently affect a target, but few spells themselves are permanent once cast. Some can be made permanent through the application of the permanency spell, while spells whose effects last longer than an instant can be dispelled via the dispel magic spell or dismissed by their caster.[6]

Spell components

Many spells require a spell component of some sort. Most arcane or divine spells require a material, somatic, or verbal component, while psychic spells instead require an emotional or thought component. Material components can be a consumed ingredient, or a reusable arcane or divine focus.[3]

Material

To cast a spell with material spell components, the spellcaster must be able to touch or hold a required ingredient or focus. Consumed material ingredients are often related to a spell's function; for instance, the fly spell requires a feather from an avian creature's wing.[7] An arcane or divine focus is reusable, and a divine focus is typically in the form of a deity's holy symbol or a sacred natural plant.[3]

Spellcasters keep material components close at hand for easy access, often in a well organized, belt-bound pouch.[3]

Somatic

To cast a spell with somatic spell components, the spellcaster must be able to perform precise hand movements with at least one free hand.[3]

Verbal

To cast a spell with verbal spell components, the spellcaster must be able to speak an incantation in a strong voice. Spellcasters who are unable to hear are more likely to fail when casting spells with verbal components.[3]

Emotional

To cast a spell with emotional spell components, the spellcaster must be able to enter and control a specific emotional state. Emotional components replace somatic components in psychic magic.[2]

Thought

To cast a spell with thought spell components, the spellcaster must envision a specific mental construct. Thought components replace verbal components in psychic magic.[2]

Concentration

Complex spells can take a considerable amount of time to cast and cannot be interrupted. Such spells require considerable concentration to cast and can be disrupted by physical or mental distractions. Vigorous motion, foul weather, combat, physical restraints, and injuries can all disrupt a spellcaster's concentration.[1]

Counterspells

A spellcaster can counterspell another spellcaster's attempt to cast a spell, by casting the same spell at the same time in opposition. If the counterspeller is successful, neither spell's effects manifest.[8]

Effects of metamagic

Spells can be empowered through the use of ancient techniques known as metamagic.[9]

Magic items

Spells are closely tied to magic items. Magic items require their creators to know certain spells, and some items—particularly potions, rods, scrolls, staves, and wands—can store and be used to cast or reproduce spells and spell effects.[citation needed] Spells can also be infused with poisons through potionmaking techniques to combine debilitating effects.[10]

Alchemical extracts and formulae

See also: Alchemy

Alchemists' extracts, while magical, are not "spells" in the technical sense. They are material representations of a spell's effect and are crafted from formulae that resemble written spells.[citation needed]

Magic-user & Spellcaster

Magic-user (sometimes spelled "magic user"), and spellcaster, are generic terms used to describe anyone capable of casting spells.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 206. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jason Bulmahn et al. (2015). Occult Adventures, p. 144. Paizo Inc.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 213. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  4. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 214. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  5. Pathfinder Design Team. (October 16, 2015). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook Frequently Asked Questions, Paizo FAQs.
  6. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 216. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  7. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 284. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  8. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 207. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  9. Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K. Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor. (2011). Inner Sea Magic, p. 9. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-360-6
  10. Ron Lundeen, Jason Nelson, David N. Ross, and David Schwartz. (2015). Black Markets, p. 12. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-789-5
  11. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
  12. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
  13. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
  14. F. Wesley Schneider et al. (2010). GameMastery Guide, p. 52. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-217-3
  15. F. Wesley Schneider et al. (2010). GameMastery Guide, p. 91. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-217-3
  16. Paizo Staff. (2011). Bestiary 3, p. 44. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-378-1
  17. Howard Andrew Jones. (2013). Stalking the Beast, Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-572-3