Snow Spells

January 15th, 2014

Joshua Zaback

Obscure Arcana Archive

                I love the winter, and while the holidays might be over, there’s still plenty of magic in the air. That’s why this week’s Obscure Arcana will focus on winter-themed magical spells and provide you with something a little more potent than your average snowball to hurl at foes during those snow days this year.


School transmutation; Level druid 4, sorcerer/wizard 5, summoner 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (a frozen piece of honeycomb)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one snow bear
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

                Bjorndach’s snow bear can only be cast in an area with at least 1 foot of snow on the ground. With a howl of wind and the groaning sound of the mightiest animal of the frozen north, the snow in the area the spell is cast swirls and writhes into the form of a large bear made of pure snow, save for the eyes, teeth, and claws, which are made from magically hardened ice. The bear created by this spell has is identical to a polar bear (see the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary) with the following exceptions: a snow bear has DR 5/- and the cold subtype. Additionally, whenever the snow bear would suffer cold damage, it instead gains a +4 enhancement bonus to its Strength score until the beginning of its next turn. Finally, on a successful hit, the snow bear’s natural attacks deal an amount of additional cold damage equal to 1d6 + 1 per 2 caster levels you possess.

                The snow bear is not under your direct control when created, though he views you as friendly and behaves accordingly. The snow bear’s natural reaction to other characters is indifference. You can attempt to command the snow bear utilizing the Handle Animal skill. Other characters can also attempt to control the snow bear in this way, but suffer a -10 penalty on the skill check. At the end of the spell’s duration, the snow bear collapses in a pile of snow.


School conjuration (creation); Level druid 6, sorcerer/wizard 7, witch 7
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (a piece of glass carved in the shape of a snowflake)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./2 levels)
Effect 30-ft.-radius snow bank, 30 ft. high
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Reflex partial (see text); Spell Resistance no

                Throwing your arms wide and calling out with the force of glacial winds, you conjure a massive snow bank from nothingness, burying everything in the spell’s area under 30 feet of loosely-packed powdered snow. Characters in the area who succeed on a Reflex save are able to scramble up the snow as it forms to arrive at the top of the snow bank when it is fully created, effectively putting them at the top of a 30-foot sheer plateau of snow in the same rough location they were in prior to the snow being formed. Characters who fail their Reflex save are instead buried under 30 feet of snow. The snow is magical in nature and does not apply enough pressure to crush those buried beneath it, but characters buried under the snow must hold their breath, and if they cannot, they may eventually suffocate.

                As a swift action, trapped characters may attempt a DC 10 Strength check in order to move in the snow for 1 round. A trapped character can move through the snow with a successful Climb check (DC equal to your caster level). A character who fails his Climb check by 5 or more slides 10 feet closer to the ground, if able. Moving horizontally in the snow is more difficult, and requires a DC 20 Strength check to move up to half the trapped creature’s speed as a full-round action. Characters that are on top of the snow can walk on the snow normally.

                Mundane fire is extinguished by the snow bank; however, magical fire burns the snow away rapidly. 5 points of fire damage is sufficient to burn away a 5-foot square of snow in the bank. At the end of the spell’s duration, the snow instantly vanishes, causing characters to fall (and suffer fall damage if appropriate).


School evocation (cold); Level druid 8, sorcerer/wizard 9
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (an icicle that has been encased in amber)
Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area 100-ft.-diameter cylinder, 100 ft. high
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Fortitude partial; Spell Resistance no

                Crying out to nature and filling the very air with the essence of cold, a vortex of snow explodes from the point you designate, creating an instant blizzard. The area of the spell fills with snow, which obscures vision beyond 5 feet, and characters 5 feet away or more gain concealment (20% miss chance) against all attacks. High winds and swirling vortices make ranged attacks within the blizzard impossible, and all such attacks automatically miss. These high winds also make it difficult to move in the storm, and all characters within the spell’s area must succeed on a Strength check (DC 20) in order to move, and do so at half their normal speed. Each round that a character remains within the storm, he suffers 5d6 points of cold damage and is staggered for 1 round. A successful Fortitude save halves this damage and negates the staggered effect.