All casters must ready spells before they can cast them. This simply means choosing the spells they will be able to access when the time comes to use their spell slots to cast them. In effect, the caster is mystically “boning up” on the spells she wants to be able to cast. Once a spell is readied, it does not become “unreadied,” unless the caster readies a new set of spells that does not include this spell. This is true even when a character gains a new level and access to new spells—she does not change her readied spell selection until she readies the new spells.
To ready new spells from those available to the caster, she must spend a full hour in study and meditation, after which time she can change which spells she has readied. Most of the time, it is assumed that the character has access to some appropriate books or notes on spells and magic during this period. DMs should feel free to make the readying process take longer or become impossible if the character is away from her notes or if conditions are not at all conducive to concentration and study.
For example, Yareth the mage blade, at 2nd level, can ready three 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells (he gets a bonus due to his high Charisma). He has access to simple spells only. He readies contact, detect magic, hygiene, mind stab, and safe fall. He can now cast any of these spells, in any combination, using the spell slots he has available, forevermore. Later, however, he realizes that sense thoughts would be more useful in an upcoming situation than hygiene, and he thinks he might need acrobatics and lesser transfer wounds as well. So Yareth spends another hour readying spells, and now has contact, detect magic, sense thoughts, acrobatics, and lesser transfer wounds readied. When Yareth gains a level, he should ready spells again, taking another hour, to take advantage of the fact that he can now ready three 1st-level spells.
Using Spell Slots
A spellcaster has a limited amount of spell energy at his disposal to power the spells he knows and has readied. This power is represented by spell slots. Each caster has a number of slots for each level of spells he can cast. A 3rd-level spell requires the caster to use a 3rd-level slot to cast it. If he has two 3rd-level slots, he can cast only one more such spell before he can no longer cast 3rd-level spells—until he regains his spell slots.
A spellcaster regains used spell slots after a good night’s sleep, which amounts to eight hours of sleep with no more than one interruption. The caster cannot regain used spell slots more than once in a 24-hour period.
Lower-level spell slots can be woven together to power a higherlevel spell, if the caster can cast spells of the higher level. A caster can combine three slots of one level to cast one spell of the next higher level. For example, a 7th-level witch, able to cast 2nd-level spells, can use three 1st-level slots to power one 2ndlevel spell. He could even take three 0-level slots, convert them into a single 1st-level slot, and use that, along with two other 1st-level slots to power the 2nd-level spell.
A caster can use higher-level slots to power lower-level spells as well. One slot of a given spell level can be used to power two spells of the next lower level. Thus, the 7th-level witch could use one 2nd-level slot to power two 1st-level spells. The “exchange rate” of spell slots to power higher-level spells is not the same as that for spell slots powering lower-level spells, because magical energy is expended in the transfer. Further, lower-level spell slots resulting from a caster using the power of higher-level spells cannot be used to power spells of a lower level still. For example, if a greenbond uses a 6th-level spell slot to give herself two 5th-level spell slots, those slots cannot then be used to power multiple 4th-level spells.
Spell templates are special rules that characters can add to most spells to change their parameters or requirements. A caster can use one of these templates after gaining various feats, such as Elemental Mage, Energy Mage, or Psion, from certain classes, such as wind witch, and even from various races (dragon, faen, etc.). Occasionally, a character gains access to templates through a prestige class or the possession of a magic item.
A character with access to more than one template can add multiple templates to a given spell, as long as she can pay the costs (since a spell cannot be “doubly laden,” it cannot have both the unraveling and psionic templates, for example).
Templates that apply a special effect to a spell do so once. If a magister attempts to use the electricity template on an energy blade, the stunning effect occurs only on the first strike. Spell templates cannot be applied to spell-like abilities or spells cast from items.
Caustic casters use spells that are purely destructive. A foul, eyewatering odor accompanies the casting of spells with this template. This template can be added to any spell that can inflict damage upon an object. If casting it at an object, the character can ignore the object’s hardness for the purpose of the spell and destroy twice as much nonliving matter as normal. (A disintegration spell, for example, could affect two 10-foot cubes.) Spells with this template gain the acid descriptor. If the spell already has the acid descriptor, the target is stunned for 1 round per 20 points of damage inflicted.
Cost: Material component (20 gp worth of a caustic substance).
Gained: From the Energy Mage feat or a decanter of acid.
The subtle spell effects of air mages travel on a whisper of wind. A mysterious, brief gust of wind or the breath of a breeze accompanies spells with this template. The air template can be added to any spell with a range other than touch or personal. It doubles the spell’s range. Further, if the spell allows a saving throw and has no obvious physical effect (a blast of fire, for example), a target that succeeds at the saving throw must make a Will saving throw against the spell’s normal Difficulty Class even to realize that a spell was cast upon her. For example, if an air mage casts greater dominate, the victim makes a Will saving throw as normal. If she succeeds, she must make a second Will saving throw. If this second save fails, she never realizes that the caster tried to cast a spell upon her. Spells with this template gain the air descriptor. If the spell already has the air descriptor, the range triples. Air elementals conjured with this template gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class, attack and damage rolls, and a +1 hit point bonus per Hit Die.
Cost: Material component (15 gp worth of incense).
Gained: From the Elemental Mage feat, 9th-level wind witch, or a cloak of air and wind.
As a gift of angelic beings from the higher realms, characters learn to cast benevolent spells on their friends with greater ability. Tainted individuals cannot use the blessed template. Characters can add this template to spells that have beneficial effects, such as healing spells, ability boost, and so on. A caster who knows the truename of the target can double the range of the spell. Further, the caster can use this template to affect allies (whose truename she knows) within 25 feet with touch-only spells. Spells with this template gain the positive energy descriptor. If the spell already has the positive energy descriptor, its range triples or it affects allies within 50 feet instead of 25 feet.
Cost: Verbal component (specific beautiful and pleasant sounds, which cannot be modified).
Gained: From the Blessed Mage feat.
Ice wizards cast spells that draw heat and steal life. A cold chill accompanies the casting of a spell with this template—you can see the caster’s breath as he speaks the intonations. Characters can add this template to any spell that inflicts damage. The target must make a Fortitude save against the spell’s original Difficulty Class or be slowed (as the spell) by the cold for 1 round per 10 points of damage, in addition to the damage. Spells with this template gain the cold descriptor. If the spell already has the cold descriptor, the target is slowed for 1 round per 5 points of damage.
Cost: Material component (25 gp worth of diamond dust).
Gained: From the Energy Mage feat, 9th-level winter witch, or a coat of cold and frost.
Using methods taught by demons, certain evil casters learn how to corrupt any spell with the taint of black magic. Spells of this template are accompanied by wisps of black and red energy and require a verbal component that includes chanting demon names and calling upon infernal powers. Characters can add this template to any attack spell. If cast upon a living creature, the spell also uses vile energies to corrupt the target—causing her to flirt with insanity. The spell inflicts 1 point of temporary Wisdom damage in addition to its normal effects. This spell allows a Will saving throw to negate this damage (if the spell already allows a save, the corrupted spell requires two). The spell takes on the negative energy descriptor. If it already has the negative energy descriptor, it inflicts 2 points of temporary Wisdom damage instead of just 1 point.
Cost: Verbal component (specific guttural and evil sound, which cannot be modified).
Gained: From the Corrupt Mage feat.
Dragon mages often use spells that help them defend themselves. An aura resembling that of a scaly hide or batlike wings appears momentarily around the caster when she casts spells with this template. This template can be applied to any spell that adds to the subject’s Armor Class. The spell with this template adds an extra natural armor bonus of +1 to the subject’s Armor Class in addition to the spell’s normal effects. The spell takes on the dragon descriptor. If it already has the dragon descriptor, this template adds an extra natural armor bonus of +2 to the subject’s Armor Class in addition to the spell’s normal effects.
Cost: Material component (30 gp worth of dragon scales).
Gained: From the Dragon Mage feat, mojh 3rd racial level, being a dragon, or a mojh figurine of the dragon.
Earth savants cast spells that are strong and resilient. Spells cast with this template release a deep, loamy smell. Characters can add this template to any spell that conjures or creates a physical object (not an effect—so a wall of iron can be affected, but an eldritch wall cannot). The template adds a +4 bonus to the object’s hardness and break DC and doubles its hit points. Further, weapons created by spells, such as with lesser conjure Water weapon, greater conjure weapon, or envenomed blade gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. Spells with this template gain the earth descriptor. If the spell already has the earth descriptor, the increase to the object’s hardness and break DC becomes a +6 bonus and its hit points triple. Earth elementals conjured with this template gain a +1 bonus to AC and attack and damage rolls and a +1 hp bonus per Hit Die.
Cost: Material component (20 gp worth of powdered steel).
Gained: From the Elemental Mage feat or a gauntlet of earth and stone.
Casters who have trained in ancient eldritch arts can weave their spells in complex ways, making them devilishly difficult to resist. Characters can add this template to any spell. The spell’s saving throw Difficulty Class increases by +1. If the caster desires, she can laden the spell (using two spell slots) to increase the Difficulty Class by a further +2.
Cost: None, or the spell becomes laden (if the caster chooses to increase the DC by +2).
Gained: From the Eldritch Training feat.
The lightning mage’s interests usually lie more in power than in precision. The caster’s eyes and hands flash with bolts of lightning when she casts her spell. Characters can add this template to any spell that inflicts damage. The target must make a Fortitude save against the spell’s original Difficulty Class or be stunned for 1 round, in addition to the damage. Spells with this template gain the electricity descriptor. If the spell already has the electricity descriptor, the target is stunned for 2 rounds.
Cost: Material component (blue or yellow gem worth 30 gp).
Gained: From the Energy Mage feat or a rod of electricity and lightning.
Hunter mages learn to use their spells more effectively against a given type of creature. Choose from the following creature types:
• Aberrations • Magical beasts • Animals • Monstrous humanoids • Constructs • Oozes • Dragons • Outsiders • Elementals • Plants • Fey • Undead • Giants • Vermin • Humanoids (choose subtype)
Characters can add this template to any spell that inflicts hit point damage. Any spell that causes damage inflicts 50 percent more against creatures of the chosen enemy type. Some people claim to hear an intense cackling sound when an enemy bane spell strikes its intended target.
Gained: From the Hunter Mage feat.
Faen mages (also called fey mages) specialize in enchantments and beguiling magic. A flash of starlike motes appears in the caster’s eyes with the use of this template. This template can be added to any enchantment spell. The saving throw DC increases by +1, and the duration doubles in length. Spells with this template gain the faen descriptor. If the spell already has the faen descriptor, adding this template also increases the effective caster level by +1.
Cost: Material component (30 gp worth of silver dust).
Gained: From the Fey Mage feat, the loresong faen 1st evolved level, the spryte 3rd racial level, or the faen figurine of the people.
Fire mages cast spells that are wild and dangerous. The caster’s hands flicker with flames, and the spell produces a distinctive smell of sulfur. Characters can add this template to any spell that inflicts hit point damage. The spell inflicts +1d6 points of fire damage in addition to its normal damage. Spells with this template gain the fire descriptor. If the spell already has the fire descriptor, increase the extra damage by +2d6 points. Fire elementals conjured with this template gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class, attack and damage rolls, and a +1 hit point bonus per Hit Die.
Cost: Material component (a red gem worth at least 20 gp).
Gained: From the Energy Mage feat, the Elemental Mage feat, or a ring of fire and heat.
Giantish mages (called the Ka-Namol in their own tongue) cast spells with huge effects. The caster grows about 25 percent in stature for a brief second as a spell with this template is cast. This template can be added to any spell with an area. The area of the affected spell increases by 50 percent. So a sorcerous blast cast by a Ka-Namol affects an area of a 30-foot-radius spread. Spells with this template gain the giant descriptor. If the spell already has the giant descriptor, adding this template also increases the effective caster level by +1.
Cost: Material component (small gold rod worth 25 gp).
Gained: From the Giantish Mage feat, the giant 3rd racial level, or the giant figurine of the people.
Casters using this template are sometimes called noble shamans. They conjure animal spirits to accompany their spells. When someone casts a spell with the litorian template, a ghostly shape of a fierce animal appears around his hand for a brief moment and creates snarling sounds. This template can be added to any spell that involves an attack roll. That is, a spell that requires an attack roll as a part of its casting, one that adds to the attack bonus of the subject, or one that grants the subject a new attack form requiring an attack roll that she did not already have (such as litorian claws or lesser conjure weapon). If the spell requires an attack roll, the caster gains a +1 bonus to the roll. If the spell grants an attack bonus, the bonus is +1 higher. If the spell grants a new attack capability or a weapon, attack rolls made in conjunction with the weapon or ability gain a +1 bonus. Spells with this template gain the litorian descriptor. If the spell already has the litorian descriptor, adding this template also increases the effective caster level by +1.
Cost: Material component (a necklace or bracelet of bones, teeth, feathers, and so forth, worth 5 gp).
Gained: From the Litorian Mage feat, the litorian 3rd racial level, or the litorian figurine of the people.
Casters with the ability to give spells the permanent template are usually called creator mages. Characters can add this template to any noninstantaneous spell, changing the duration to Permanent. Permanent spells are vulnerable to dispel magic as normal. An object, area, or creature should have only one spell with this template cast on it at a time (DM’s discretion).
Cost: The spell’s level increases by +3 and the caster must pay an amount of experience points equal to 500 × the (original) level of the spell × the magic item creation modifier for constant items (if any; see spell description). If the creation modifier for constant items is N/A, the spell cannot be made permanent. Spells of 8th level become laden 10th-level spells. This template cannot affect 9th- and 10th-level spells.
Gained: From the Creator Mage feat or the human figurine of the people.
Casters able to give spells the programmed template are usually called strategic mages. Characters can apply this template to any spell, adding to the duration the concept of “until triggered” (although once triggered, the spell’s duration reverts to normal). The programmed spell must be tied to an object, creature, or location, which becomes the “source” of the programmed spell when it is triggered. Triggering is based on some event set by the caster. The event can be as simple or elaborate as the caster desires, but she must determine the specifics of targets and placement beforehand. Special conditions for triggering a programmed spell can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or observable actions or qualities such as race or “when the door opens.” Intangibles such as level, class, Hit Dice, and hit points don’t qualify. An object, creature, or location should have only one spell with this template cast on it at any given time (DM’s discretion). Programmed spells are vulnerable to dispel magic as normal.
Cost: The spell’s level increases by +3. Spells of 8th level become laden 10th-level spells. This template cannot affect 9thand 10th-level spells. Further, a programmed spell requires a gem worth 500 gp per level of the spell.
Gained: From the Creator Mage feat.
Psionic casters draw power from within themselves—they use their own mental energy to fuel their spells. Psionic spells have no visual cues, but often make the caster sweat at the temples or grimace as she focuses her mental energy. Characters can add this template to any spell they can cast. A character casts such a spell with no components or focus (like a magister’s staff)—it is purely a mental action. One could, for example, use a psionic spell while grappled or bound. Spells with this template gain the psionic descriptor. If the spell already has the psionic descriptor, it need not be laden (see “Cost”).
Cost: The spell is laden.
Gained: From the Psion feat, 9th-level mind witch, or the verrik figurine of the people.
Users of this template who are not runethanes or rune lords are typically called runecasters. They reduce spells to mathematic formulas and complex symbols. When a runecaster casts a spell with this template, strange and arcane symbols appear to float in the air all around her. One can apply this template to any spell that requires a saving throw. It requires the spell’s target to modify the saving throw with its Intelligence ability score modifier rather than the standard ability score (Constitution for Fortitude saves, Wisdom for Will Saves, Dexterity for Reflex saves), because it must deal with the overwhelming complexity of the spell’s intricacy.
Cost: Standard-action spells have a casting time of 1 round. All other casting times are doubled.
Gained: From the Runecaster feat or 1st-level runethane or rune lord.
Casters can declare a single area, no larger than a 20-foot radius per level, as their sanctum. Once chosen, the caster cannot change her sanctum without a special ritual that takes one week and costs 5,000 gp in material components. Characters can add this template to any spell. The saving throw Difficulty Class (if any) for spells with this template cast within the character’s sanctum increases by +1. The caster may double any noninstantaneous duration for spells with this template cast within the sanctum, and she may also double any range other than personal, touch, or 0 feet.
Cost: None other than described above.
Gained: From the Sanctum feat.
Casters using this template are called savage savants. They specialize in spells that affect themselves and increase their combat effectiveness (sometimes called “buffing spells”). When a savage savant casts a spell with the sibeccai template, a distant howling sounds, and the spell produces a heavy smell of musk. This template can be added to any spell that has the caster as a target (either with Target: You or Target: One creature) and increases the target’s attack bonus, damage bonus, Armor Class, Strength, Constitution, or Charisma (or those ability scores’ bonuses). The spell’s duration (unless Instantaneous) doubles, and the caster further gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls for the duration (no longer than one hour per level). Spells with this template gain the sibeccai descriptor. If the spell already has the sibeccai descriptor, it needs no material component (see below).
Cost: Material component (a vial of blood from a rare creature worth 10 gp).
Gained: From the Sibeccai Mage feat, the 3rd sibeccai racial level, or the sibeccai figurine of the people.
Sound mages often carry tuning fork-like devices or musical instruments. Sonic templated spells always have some auditory aspect. Characters can add this template to any spell that inflicts damage. The target must make a Fortitude save against the spell’s original Difficulty Class or be deafened for one minute per point of damage inflicted, in addition to the damage. Spells with this template have the sonic descriptor and do not work at all in areas of magical silence. If the spell already has the sonic descriptor, the target becomes deafened for two minutes per point of damage.
Cost: Focus component (either a tuning fork-like device or a quality musical instrument; focus must be worth at least 100 gp).
Gained: From the Energy Mage feat or a fork of sonic energy.
Pacifist wizards do not wish to kill with their spells. Many believe that to use magic to slay a living creature is to turn otherwise white magic to black. (This, however, is an extreme viewpoint.) Subdual spells create a momentary warm yellowish glow around both caster and targets. Characters can add this template to any spell that inflicts hit point damage. All such damage becomes subdual damage.
Gained: From the Peaceful Mage feat.
Characters can add the unraveling template to any offensive spell. The spell attempts to dispel (as described in dispel magic) any and all spell effects on the target that directly interfere with it taking effect. For example, a character casts an unraveling fireburst at a foe with protection from elements (fire) upon him. The caster makes a caster power check (DC 11 + the caster level of the protection from elements caster). If the dispel succeeds, the spell is “unraveled” before the fireburst takes effect. Unraveling can only affect spells cast upon a creature or object. Independent spell effects, or those affecting an area—such as a wall of fire, a null magic zone, an illusion, or a conjured monster—cannot be dispelled, even if they prevent the templated spell from affecting the target. A spell with this template can dispel effects specifically intended to foil the spell in question (mental protection) or spells that provide general protection from spells (spell resistance).
Cost: The spell is laden.
Gained: From the Unraveling Mage feat.
War mages must have the ability to affect multiple targets with their spells. Their spells always make a loud noise when cast (this is a side effect, not a requirement). Characters can add this template to any spell with a target or targets (as opposed to an area or an effect). The spell affects 1d3+1 times the normal number of targets for the spell. For example, a war charm spell (cast at 3rd level) could affect 1d3+1 humanoids rather than just one.
Cost: The spell’s level increases by +2. Spells of 9th level become laden 10th-level spells, but 10th-level spells cannot be affected.
Gained: From the Battle Mage feat.
Sea wizards usually live near large bodies of water and pass on their secrets only to those whom they trust and who know the way of the sea (or the river, or the lake, etc.) Water templated spells carry with them the smell of sea salt and brine. If the caster casts a spell on the sea, in a boat at sea, or even on (or in) any large body of water such as a lake at least 2,000 feet across, all her spells are treated as heightened, even though she need not use a higher-level spell slot. Spells with this template gain the water descriptor. If a spell already has it, the caster also may double its range and duration (if it has a range measured in feet and noninstantaneous duration). Water elementals conjured with this template gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class, attack and damage rolls, and a +1 hit point bonus per Hit Die.
Cost: In addition to the location requirement, the spell requires a material component (a blue or green gem worth at least 100 gp).
Gained: From the Elemental Mage feat, 9th-level sea witch, or a staff of water and waves.
Wild mages cannot control their own spells. Wild spells usually produce a bizarre flash of mixed colors or strange sounds, different each time. Whenever a wild spell is cast, there is a 50 percent chance that it produces the normal effect, a 25 percent chance that it produces the diminished effect, and a 25 percent chance that it produces the heightened effect. The spell always uses the standard slot—the effect of casting a wild sorcerous blast may vary, but it always takes a 3rd-level slot.
Gained: From the Wild Mage feat.