Meta Magic

May 31st, 2012

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

            Hello, and welcome to another Obscure Arcana. Today’s offerings are obscure indeed, and explore an area of spells that heretofore has seen little light: spells that modify other spells. While, traditionally, effects modifying spells have been the province of metamagic feats like Quicken Spell or Extend Spell, there’s nothing stopping spells from modifying other spells, and, indeed, at least one (permanency) already does. So, I decided to do some research and experimentation, and see if I couldn’t come up with a few more spells in this vein. Here’s what I came up with. If they prove popular, you may be seeing more of them in the future.



Spell Reflector

Spell Reflector

            By means of this spell, you modify the next spell you cast, causing it to take effect twice. The spell to be affected must be cast before the end of your next turn, and must be at least one spell level lower than the spell slot used to cast spell reflector. Note that while, by default, this only allows spell reflector to affect 1st- and 0-level spells, those who are able to prepare it in a higher-level spell slot can use it to affect higher-level spells. Any increase in the spell’s level caused by the application of a metamagic feat does not apply to the level of the spell slot spell reflector was cast with for this purpose (so a spell reflector affected by Still Spell, which causes it to take up a spell slot one level higher than normal, which was case using a 4th-level spell slot, could affect spells of 2nd-level or lower).

            When the modified spell is cast, it is treated as though you had cast the spell twice. Any decisions made about the spell (such as any targets, or where the effect takes place, or any modes or other decisions the spell calls for) may be different for each version of the spell. Even if one of the two versions of the spell is countered, the other must be countered separately. They are treated in all ways as separate spells, except that you still only expend one spell slot (plus the spell slot expended for spell reflector), and the spell’s casting time takes no longer than normal (although it can’t have a casting time of greater than 1 round, or else you won’t be able to cast it in time for spell reflector to have its effect).


Spell Sturdy

Spell Sturdy

            By means of this spell, you fortify the next spell you cast against the interference of other casters, making it more difficult to counter or dispel. The spell to be affected must be cast before the end of your next turn. For the purposes of caster level checks made to dispel or counter the affected spell, your caster level is treated as 5 higher than it actually is. Additionally, any attempts to counter the spell (but not attempts to dispel it) which do not normally require a caster level check now require a successful caster level check (1d20 + the countering caster’s caster level vs. 11 + your caster level + 5) in order to successfully counter it.


Strength of Form

Strength of Form

            This spell enhances the next polymorph spell you cast. The spell to be affected must be cast before the end of your next turn, and must be of the polymorph subschool. Any bonus that spell grants to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution is increased by +4. If the spell does not grant a bonus to one or more of those ability scores, it now grants a +4 enhancement bonus to those scores. These bonuses last for as long as the affected spell’s duration does.


Xelar’s Energy Selector

Xelar's Energy Selector

            By means of this spell, you alter the energy type of another spell you cast. The spell to be affected must be cast before the end of your next turn, must have a single target, and must deal damage of one of the following types of energy damage: acid, cold, electricity or fire. The type of energy that the affected spell deals is changed to be the most advantageous of those four, based on the resistances and weaknesses of the target. For example, if the target were immune to acid, and vulnerable to fire, than an acid arrow affected by this spell would be altered to deal fire damage instead of acid damage. If, on the other hand, the target were resistant to both acid and fire, with no weakness to either cold or electricity, the spell would have a 50% chance of dealing cold damage and a 50% chance of dealing electricity damage. If the target has no resistances, immunities, or weaknesses to any of the four energy types, then Xelar’s energy selector has no effect.

            The change to the spell is visible and apparent, so you can easily see which of the four energy types the spell is dealing, and clever casters use this to determine any elemental weaknesses the target may possess.


Xelar’s Fiery Intensifier

Xelar's Fiery Intensifier

            By means of this spell, you increase the potency of the next fire-based spell you cast. The spell to be affected must be cast before the end of your next turn, and must deal fire damage. Xelar’s fiery intensifier causes the spell to be more effective, causing it to deal an extra two points of fire damage per die (so a spell that dealt 3d6 fire damage would instead deal 3d6+6 fire damage). Only damage dice for fire damage are affected, so a spell that deals 2d6 acid and 2d6 fire would do 2d6 acid damage plus 2d6+4 fire damage. In addition, any creature that takes fire damage from the affected spell automatically ignites with supernatural fire, taking 2d6+4 points of fire damage per round until the fire is put out. The fire can be extinguished in the normal means, and it extinguishes itself automatically after a number of rounds equal to the affected spell’s level. Finally, any saving throw DCs of the affected spell are increased by +1.