Spellcasting

General Guidelines

All spells and supernatural powers must obey the following guidelines.

Abjuration – These spells would normally return an extraplanar creature to its home plane, but the Dark Powers do not allow such easy escape from their realm. Instead, abjuration spells transport the creature to a random location (selected by the DM) within the realm (but not across closed domain borders).

Astral – The Dark Powers severely restrict connection to other planes. Although astral matter can be drawn into the realm, any spell that would normally project a subject into the Astral Plane automatically fails.

Closed Domain Borders – No amount of mortal magic can overcome the effects of a closed domain border. However, a creature’s natural or extraordinary abilities may render it immune to the effects of a specific border closure.

Conjuration – Conjured creatures are more difficult to control. In the round that the creature appears, the creature can attempt a Will save with a -2 penalty against your spell. Success indicates that the creature escapes your control and can act freely. Generally, it seeks to reutrn to its home dimension.
Calling: All calling spells contain an implicit pact between you and the outsider or elemental you conjure: when the creature has performed its assigned task, it is normally free to return to its plane of origin. Yet, the Dark Powers severly restrict escape to other planes, preventing the called creature from leaving unless it can find an exit. When the called creature attempts to leave and discovers it cannot, the pact is broken. You lose all control over the creature which is likely to feel betrayed. Evil or neutral creatures might try to destroy you in retaliation.

Detecting Alignment – The Dark Powers shield evil in their realm. Any attempt to detect a target’s moral alignment automatically fails. Some spells can or must be defined by a specific alignment at the time of casting. In these cases, you specify only the intended target’s ethical alignment. The spell then targets any applicable subject with the chosen aspect in its ethical alignment. However, these spells can be specifically targeted to affect Innocents. Magic effects that detect alignment only in an indirect fashion (such as protection from evil or a paladin’s smite evil ability) still work normally.

Death – Spells with the death descriptor harm their target by directly attacking its lifeforce – its soul, in essence. Casting such a spell requires a powers check. Targets killed by death spells often return from the grave as undead creatures.

Divination – Divination is notoriously untrustworthy. Attempts to peer into the future or to petition one’s deity for guidance often produce misleading results or fail completely. It might be said that the Dark Powers want mortals to make their own choices, for good or ill. The Dark Powers also shield undead from their realm. Such creatures can always attempt a Will save to avoid any spell effect that would reveal their undead nature.
Scrying: Scrying other locations, as with the arcane eye spell is more reliable but carries its own risks. These spells normally create an invisible sensor. They create a visible, ghostly sensor resembling the caster’s own equivalent sensory organ. Any creature can detect the sensor by making a DC 16 Spot check, due to its fine size. The caster may be vulnerable to attacks sent through the sensor. Visual sensors can channel gaze attacks, an auditory senors can channel sonic attacks. A vampire that notices the ghostly eye created by clairvoyance can target the caster with its domination gaze, for example.

Enchantment – If you force a compelled creature to commit an act requiring a powers check, it is you who must make the powers check, not your unwilling minion. Some darklords have the ability to control certain creatures within their domains. If you attempt to control (either through charm or compulsion) the mind of a creature under the influence of a darklord, or try to free a creature from a darklord’s influence, that creature stacks the lord’s Charisma bonus with its own Will save bonus. No creature under the influence of a darklord can be directed to attack that darklord; if ordered to do so, the pitiful creature may resolv its confusion by fleeing the scene.

Ethereal – Any spell that would normally transport a subject to the Ethereal Plane actually leads to the Near Ethereal. A character who is within the realm and cannot travel deeper into the Ethereal Plane. The Near Ethereal is a land if lingering memories and of the dead where incorporeal undead linger, unable or unwilling to move on to their final rest.

Evil – The effects of spells with the evil descriptor automatically require a power check, but their effects are usually enhanced. As an example, an evil spell may get a +1 bonus to its effective spell level.

Extraplanar – Creatures who enter the realm are considered to be on their home plane. Only outsiders and elementals should be treated as extraplanar.

Illusion – Spells that utilize shadow material are more effective, but dangerous to cast. If you use shadow material to create illusionary creatures, objects ot forces, those conjurations are 20% stronger than the spell indicates. In addition, since the illusionary subject is crafted from shadow rather than summoned from another plane, the spell is not affected by restrictions on conjuration magic. If you use shadow energy to create an illusory spell, damaging spells deal 20% more damage than listed, and nondamaging effects have an extra 20% chance of working. However, at the end of the spell’s duration you must attempt a Will save against your own spell. If you fail this saving throw, any shadow creations that have not been dispelled spontaneously transform into true shadows, with total HD equal to the effective spell level. These shadows are free willed.

Mind-Affecting – The Dark Powers shield undead creatures within their realm. Undead creatures with Intelligence scores can choose to project false thoughts to those who use mental powers on them. An undead creature can project these false thoughts automatically, but if the creature is unaware of the attempt to read its mind or is caught by surprise, it cannot hide its true thoughts. Typically, undead creatures project peaceful, friendly and reassuring thoughts to lull the caster’s suspicions. The creature can allow access to its true thoughts, if it so desires. If you attempt to contact the alien mind of an aberration, an elemental, an ooze, an outsider, a plant, a darklord, or a creature suffering from any Madness effect, you must make a Madness save. (Druids and clerics with the Plant domain are exempt when contacting plants.)

Necromancy – Necromantic spells disrupt the natural cycles of life and death. The only necromantic spells that do not require powers checks are those that are purely defensive, do not create or enhance undead creatures and do not require the manipulation of your life force or that of another subject.

Nondimensional Spaces – Numerous spells and magic items can create small pocket dimensions that are literally larger on the inside than on the outside; characters can use these spaces to store equipment or even take shelter. If the non- or extradimensional space has only a single entrance – such as a bag of holding, portable hole or rope trick – then the space is considered to still be contained within the domain’s planar fabric. Entering the space is not considered crossing a domain border. Note, however, that if the nondimensional space is particularly large and comfortable, the Dark Powers may eventually take notice. If the non- or extradimensional space has multiple entrances that can be accessed from multiple domains or dimensions, such as a bag of devouring, then entering the space is considered crossing a domain border. Darklords can never enter such spaces, and no one can access them within a domain whose borders are closed.

Teleportation – The Dark Powers do not allow teleportation spells to function within their realm. No spell can transport anyone or anything across a closed domain border or out of the realm.

Transmutation – Involuntary physical transformation – be they the result of afflicted lycanthropy or a baleful polymorph spell – are tortuous, hideously painful displays of wrenching flesh and crackling bone. Although the pain dealt by these transformations does not actually cause the subject any harm or alter the effects of the magic or supernatural force involved, witnesses may be subject to Horror saves. The pained subject itself must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or drop any held items. Voluntary transformations do not deal this agony, though they still may provoke Horror saves, particularly if the subject assumes a monstrous form or the witnesses do not understand the magic forces involved. Other forms of transmutation are typically unchanged.

Weather – Some darklords control the weather in their domains or at least exert influence on it. Spell effects cannot override the darklord’s control of the weather. The darklord may choose to let the spell work normally, but he is aware that this spell was cast, even if he takes no action to thwart it.


Banned spells

All teleportation spells excluding dimension door simply for a wizard or sorcerer’s own personal means of escape. This also includes the gate spell and also excludes it for summoning.

Resurrection magic does not exist in this world in any shape or form. This includes reincarnation as well as true resurrection. This also restricts access to the clone spell.


Choosing Spells

Even when using these guidelines please ask the DM before taking any spells and simply using them during a session.


Familiars

As we are using an XP absent system in this game, familiars work slightly different.

  • Familiars can be summoned or unsummoned by the master at any time. If a familiar is unsummoned before dying, it can be summoned again without penalty.
  • If a familiar is killed, the master immediately loses -2 to Con for the next 8 hours, and cannot summon the familiar again until after a full day’s rest.

Spellcasting

Vile Shadows Seiba