Not-So-Advanced Arcana

November 7th, 2013

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

            November is here, and very soon we’re going to be releasing the latest (and, perhaps, greatest) installment of our all-time most popular book series, Advanced Arcana. What you may not know is that the bar is set pretty high as far as what spells make the cut into the finished product, and a lot of stuff winds up getting cut not because it’s broken or because it’s unfun, but because the raw levels of awesome just aren’t high enough. Sadly, these spells, through no fault of their own, become orphaned, with no book to call their own. So, I thought I’d take this week to let you see some of the spells that weren’t quite exciting enough to be considered “advanced.”


School conjuration (teleportation); Level bard 4, cleric 6, inquisitor 5, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a compass made entirely of gold)
Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Target one specified object up to 10 cubic feet in volume
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude partial (object), see text; Spell Resistance yes (object), see text

            You find a well-known or clearly visualized object, and transport it directly into your open hand. This functions as locate object, except instead of simply finding the object’s location, you also teleport the object directly to you. If your hands are full, or the object is too large to be held, it is teleported into the nearest adjacent space that can hold it, instead. If no appropriate object is found within the spell’s range, nothing happens.

            If the object is magical, attended, or otherwise allowed a saving throw to resist the effect, it can resist being teleported with a successful Fortitude save. Similarly, spell resistance can prevent the object from being teleported, if applicable. If anything prevents the object from being teleported to you (including if it succeeds on its saving throw, or if it is affected by a spell or ability that prevents it from being teleported), you still learn the object’s location, as the spell locate object.


School illusion (figment); Level bard 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a tiny lead shield)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one suit of illusory armor
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Will disbelief (if interacted with), see text; Spell Resistance yes, see text

            You create an illusion of armor, which you reinforce with abjuration magic in order to make it feel real to the wearer. You can make the armor look like any kind of armor, as long as it is made for a Small- or Medium-sized character, and can even exactly duplicate an existing suit of armor, as long as you know what it looks like. It looks, sounds, feels, and smells as you desire. Any creature studying or touching the armor can attempt a Will save to disbelieve it.

            The illusory armor offers absolutely nothing in the way of defensive benefits, no matter what sort of armor it is made to resemble. Despite this, the abjuration magic restricts the wearer’s movements, making him feel as though he were wearing armor: the target suffers the armor’s normal armor check penalty, maximum Dexterity bonus, and arcane spell failure chance, and his movement speed is reduced as appropriate for the armor. These effects are based on the type of armor that the illusion appears to be (so a suit of illusory armor made to look like padded armor would be much less restrictive than one made to look like full plate.

            Even if the wearer successfully disbelieves the armor, he continues to suffer the armor’s penalties (which are not illusory) until the armor is removed, which takes the same amount of time that it would take to remove real armor of that type.


School illusion (figment) [mind-affecting]; Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a crushed berry)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one illusory object
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates, and Will disbelief (if interacted with); Spell Resistance yes

            You create an illusion of an object, and lace that illusion with powerful, subliminal enchantments that compel any creature that sees it to attempt to acquire it. The illusory object is always Medium-sized, and usually takes the form of a statue, but can appear to be any non-living object that you imagine. Any creature within close range of the object that can see it must succeed on a Will save or become fascinated by it, and spend each round moving closer to the object until they reach it, at which point they remain fascinated by the object for the spell’s duration. A creature that is currently fascinated by the object is not entitled to a Will save to disbelieve the illusion, though he may make such a save if the fascination effect is broken.


School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a bone from a human rib cage)
Range personal
Target you
Duration 10 min./level

            You call upon the spirits of the dead, who coalesce around you in a translucent green miasma of spectral essence, which protects you from harm. For the spell’s duration, you gain a +3 deflection bonus to AC. Additionally, whenever a creature hits you with a melee attack, that creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC equal to spectral armor’s saving throw DC) or suffer 1 point of Strength damage, as the spirits in your armor drain his life essence. This Strength damage is very temporary, however, and is healed automatically after one minute. Multiple instances of Strength damage as a result of this spell do stack, however.