Circle Spells

February 11th, 2015

Joshua Zaback

Obscure Arcana Archive

                This week I want to focus on magic spells which appeal to a traditional arcanist's sensibilities. These spells have artistry and magical provenance written all over them. I’m talking, of course, about magic circles. While a few magic circles already exist, who’s to say we couldn’t do with more? So without further ado, check these out.


School abjuration; Level cleric 3, druid 3, shaman 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (holy berries and gold dust worth 250 gp)
Range touch
Area 20-ft. radius emanation from touched creature
Duration 1 minute

                You lay down of circle of holly berries and gold powder, trapping the essence of life within the area for a short time. As long as the circle remains unbroken, all living creatures within the spell’s area gain fast healing equal to 1/2 your caster level (rounded down, minimum 1) and all undead creatures suffer a like amount of damage each round they remain within the circle. Additionally, life energy is enhanced within the circle, causing all spells of the healing subschool to be empowered, as by the Empower Spell metamagic feat. In addition to being dispelled, the circle can be broken by bloodshed: if any creature within the circle dies, or if a creature inflicts at least 10 points of damage to himself (this can be accomplished as a full-round action by any creature within or adjacent to the circle), the circle is automatically broken.


School transmutation; Level bard 3, cleric 5, inquisitor 3, paladin 3, shaman 5, sorcerer/wizard 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (iron and silver dust worth 200 gp)
Range touch
Area 10-ft. radius emanation from touched creature
Duration 1 round/level

                You create a small circle of iron and silver dust which is impervious to many forms of attack. Incorporeal creatures cannot pass into the area of the spell and creatures within the spell’s area gain certain defensive bonuses. Creatures within the circle gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC and cannot be grappled except by creatures within the circle. A circle of defense can be dispelled either by dispel magic or more powerful magic, or by penetrating the circle with a weapon of war. This requires placing a martial weapon adjacent to the spell’s area for at least 1 full round, after which the circle is automatically broken and dispelled.


School transmutation; Level bard 6, cleric 7, sorcerer/wizard 7, summoner 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (your own blood, which deals 2d4 points of damage to you)
Range touch
Area 30-ft. radius emanation from touched creature
Duration 1 minute/level

                You form a circle of sigils painted in your own fresh blood, in which the laws of time are subject to your discretion. When you cast this spell, you must choose to accelerate, decelerate, or normalize the flow of time within the circle. If you choose to accelerate time, then as long as the circle remains unbroken, all creatures within the circle are treated as though they were affected by a haste spell, even if they were previously slowed or staggered. If you choose to normalize time, all creatures within the area act in normal time; this has the effect of suppressing any haste or slow effect, as well as any similar effect, and automatically suppressing any temporal stasis or similar effect. If you choose to decelerate time, then all creatures within the circle act as though slowed. In order to break the circle, one can dispel it, as normal, or can instead spill the sand from an hourglass around the circle’s edges. Doing so requires a standard action, in addition to the amount of movement required to navigate the circle.