Melee Magic

October 19th, 2015

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

Melee and magic may seem like odd bedfellows, but there are a lot more spellcasters willing to get up close and personal than one might expect. This week’s article is for the mages of the front line, providing a trio of melee-themed spells.


School divination; Level antipaladin 2, bloodrager 2, medium 2, paladin 2, ranger 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a bandage soaked with your own blood)
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 round/level (D)

You become an expert at using a wide variety of maneuvers. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity for performing combat maneuvers of any kind. Additionally, when you cast this spell, you may choose one of the following feats for every three caster levels you possess: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Dirty Trick, Greater Disarm, Greater Drag, Greater Grapple, Greater Overrun, Greater Reposition, Greater Steal, Greater Sunder, or Greater Trip. You gain the benefits of the chosen feats for the spell’s duration.


School abjuration; Level alchemist 4, antipaladin 4, cleric 5, paladin 4, shaman 5, spiritualist 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a shard from a broken mirror), DF
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

You surround yourself with an aura of swirling karmic energy, which turns the harm that others visit upon you back towards them. For the spell’s duration, whenever a creature successfully damages you with a melee attack, that creature suffers an amount of damage equal to 1/5 the amount of damage that was inflicted upon you (rounded up). This damage ignores damage reduction, energy resistance and immunity, hardness, and similar forms of protection.


School necromancy [poison]; Level antipaladin 1, bloodrager 1, druid 1, inquisitor 1, magus 1, ranger 1, shaman 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (an adder’s fang), DF
Range touch
Target living creature or creatures touched (up to one/level)
Duration 1 round/level and instantaneous; see text
Saving Throw Fortitude partial; Spell Resistance yes

Your hand becomes wreathed in sickly green energy, and can deliver painful and debilitating strikes. Each successful melee touch attack deals 1d4 points of damage. The touched creature also takes 1 point of Dexterity damage unless it makes a successful Fortitude saving throw. You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level, and can make one such attack as part of the same action used to cast the spell.

If you touch a creature that is currently afflicted by a poison, then instead of dealing 1 point of Dexterity damage, the spell causes the target to suffer a –1 penalty on her next saving throw made to resist poison. Multiple penalties of this nature stack.

The effects of the touch attack on a target are instantaneous, but you retain the ability to deliver these touch attacks for only 1 round per caster level.