The number of spells a character can learn is limited by the number of spell slots they have; a character’s total number of spell slots affects the potential amount of spells they can know. Every character has spell slots equal to their casting stat’s modifier (Intelligence for any class that does not normally learn spells), plus any slots granted by class abilities or feats.

Characters starting at first level in a spellcasting class automatically know a number of spells equal to their casting stat’s modifier from their class spellcasting list. All of these spells must take up only one point or less. Each time they gain a level in a spellcasting class, they automatically learn another spell that take up a point or less. Characters without a spellcasting class that still have learning points start knowing a single level 0 spell.

Any unspent points a character has can be used during gameplay. Learning a spell requires access to a teacher that knows the spell or a written version of the spell, from a book or a scroll. Studying a spell requires an interval of half an hour per level of the spell (0th level spells require 15 minutes) and requires a successful spellcraft check to learn, with a DC equal to the Control DC; add your spellcasting modifier to this check. If you fail this check by less than 10, you may make another check after another interval with a cumulative +5 bonus.

Learning a spell on your class spell list fills a number of slots as shown on Table 1. If you wish to learn a spell not on your class spell list, the Casting DC (and subsequently, the Control DC and the learning DC) increases by 5. If you aren’t capable of casting spells of that type (Arcane or Divine), it requires an additional free slot to learn (level 0 spells require one slot). Every time you level up, you can unlearn a spell if you wish, which immediately frees the slots it took up for use in learning a new spell.

Table 1: Spellcasting and Spells
Spell Level Learning Points* Casting DC* Control DC** Base Drain Base Save DC
0 1/2 15 5 2 10
1 1 25 15 4 11
2 1 30 20 6 12
3 1 35 25 8 13
4 2 40 30 10 14
5 2 45 35 12 15
6 2 50 40 16 16
7 3 55 45 20 17
8 3 60 50 24 18
9 3 65 55 32 19
Lost Magic 4 70 60 40 20
  • Spells with long casting times or costly material components usually count as being a level higher.
  • The Control DC is always the Casting DC-10. Anything that modifies a spell’s Casting DC also modifies the Control DC by an equal amount.
Casting Spells

All spells require verbal and somatic components, and a standard action to cast, but no spell requires material components.

After selecting the spell you wish to cast and taking the appropriate action, you must make a Drain check. This is a Fortitude or Will saving throw against the casting DC, including any spellcasting bonuses you have. If you succeed, you successfully cast the spell and take the amount of Base Drain as non-lethal damage from Table 1; succeeding by 10 or more means you take half this amount of drain. Drain must be tracked separately from damage taken from other sources, as it cannot be healed by magic; it must heal naturally, over time.

If you fail this check, you still take the listed drain, and must make a Control check or lose the spell; failing by 10 or more means you take twice as much drain and become fatigued; if you are already fatigued, become exhausted, and if you are exhausted you become unconscious. If you are fatigued or exhausted when you cast a spell, any drain suffered is automatically lethal damage.

A Control check is a concentration check against the Control DC, again including any relevant modifiers. Succeeding this check means the spell still goes off successfully; failure means it fizzles, working improperly if at all, at the GM’s whim. If you fail this check by 10 or more, you are dazed for 1 round and the consequences are more dire.

The difference between Arcane and Divine is mostly academic; both types of spellcasting suffer from Spell Failure chances from armor under normal circumstances.

Metamagic & Investments

Metamagic feats work a little differently than in standard Pathfinder. You may apply any metamagic feats you know to a spell at the time of casting; increase the Spellcasting DC and Control DC by +5 and the base drain by one step for each level the spell would have been increased.

Additionally, there are a few options you can take to gain a bonus on your checks, in order to cast more difficult spells.

Verbal Investment: By spending a full round to chant the spell’s entire incantation, you gain a +5 bonus on your Drain and Control checks for the spell. The spell is not completed until the beginning of the character’s next turn, and can be interrupted. You cannot apply the Silent Spell feat to spells cast with an incantation.

Ritual Investment: By spending additional time on a ritual, you can gain additional bonuses. If you spend one minute spellcasting, you gain a +5 bonus on Drain and Control checks for the spell. Spending 10 minutes grants you a +10 bonus to these checks, and spending an hour grants you a +15 bonus.

Material Investment: Using up material components worth 2gp x casting DC x spell level grants a +5 bonus to Drain and Control checks. A reusable focus can be purchased for each individual spell for 50gp x casting DC x spell level instead, for the same bonus.

Physical Investment: If you are not already fatigued or exhausted, you can choose to take lethal drain to gain a +5 bonus to Drain & Control checks.


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