Crime Time

December 3rd, 2014

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

                It’s Crime Week this week, and that means that instead of air, earth, fire, or water, today we’ll be looking at spells relating to the criminal element. Today’s targets include two spells that are perfect for making a getaway: one that allows you to escape any bonds, and another that gives the perfect disguise. Also, for you justice-lovers, is a spell to make fleeing criminals stop in their tracks. Enjoy.


School conjuration (teleportation); Level bard 5, magus 5, sorcerer/wizard 5, summoner 4, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components none
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target you
Duration instantaneous

                You instantly transport yourself from your current location to any other spot within range. You always arrive at exactly the spot desired, whether by simply visualizing the area or by stating direction. You do not need to have line of sight or line of effect to your intended destination. You can bring along objects, so long as their weight doesn’t exceed your maximum load. If you arrive in a place that is already occupied by a solid body, you take 1d10 points of damage and are shunted to the nearest open space on a suitable surface.

                Certain escape is easier to concentrate on, when it is cast, than most spells. If you fail a concentration check made to cast the spell defensively, or due to distractions or dangerous conditions (including taking ongoing damage, being damaged while casting the spell, being grappled or entangled, vigorous motion, and so on), the spell is not expended, and you can try casting the spell again on the next round. Further, you gain a bonus on such concentration checks based on the number of previous consecutive attempts to cast the spell. On your second attempt to cast the spell, you gain a +2 bonus on the concentration check; on each consecutive attempt, the bonus doubles (so you gain a +4 on the third round of trying, +8 on the fourth round of trying, and so on, to a maximum bonus of +32 on the sixth round of trying).


School illusion (glamer); Level alchemist 3, bard 3, inquisitor 4, ranger 3, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 immediate action
Components V, S, F (a miniature porcelain mask)
Range touch
Target creature touched
Duration 24 hours (D)
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

                You instantly create an all-but-impenetrable magical disguise for the target. This functions as disguise self, except that the target can appear up to one size category larger or smaller, and can appear to be a creature of a different creature type. Further, the bonus on Disguise checks granted by the spell increases to +20. In addition to these benefits, you may choose a single alignment when you cast the spell (such as “chaotic good” or “true neutral”). Any attempts to detect the target’s alignment treat him as though he were of the chosen alignment. Finally, the spell even hides itself, and cannot be detected with detect magic. Only spells of 6th level or higher are able to pierce this illusion and reveal the spell’s magical aura.

                Any creature that closely scrutinizes the target is entitled to a Will save to disbelieve the effect. Creatures that are not actively searching for a disguise suffer a -4 penalty on this saving throw, however.


School enchantment (compulsion) [law, mind-affecting]; Level paladin 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one creature
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates, see text; Spell Resistance yes

                With a shout of righteous authority, you cause criminals to freeze in their tracks. This functions as hold monster, except that the spell’s saving throw DC depends on the number and magnitude of crimes that the target has committed in the last 24 hours, as outlined on the table below.

Crimes Table

                Pretty Crimes: This consists of any minor crime that is not likely to result in more than a fine or a brief imprisonment. This includes such things as possessing contraband, tax evasion, public indecency, theft of items valuing no more than 1,000 gp, and so on.

                Major Crimes: This includes more serious crimes that are of a non-violent nature, such as operating a smuggling ring, theft of items valuing more than 1,000 gp, kidnapping, blackmail, and so on.

                Violent Crimes: This includes any crime that involves violence, such as assault, rape, and murder.

                The increases to DC from multiple crimes stack. If more than one crime is committed as part of a single activity (such as assaulting someone and stealing their possessions, or not paying taxes on your illicit smuggling ring), then only the largest crime that was committed as part of that activity counts. The adjustments to the saving throw DC apply to the secondary saving throws, as well as the initial saving throw.