Excerpts 10/04/2003


Book of Exalted Deeds
By James Wyatt, Christopher Perkins, Darrin Drader



from Chapter 6: Magic

Good Spells

Not many spells in the Player's Handbook have the good descriptor, but this book includes many more. Spells have the good descriptor because they do one or more of the following things:

  • Good spells call upon good deities or energies.
  • Good spells summon or improve celestials or other good creatures.
  • Good spells involve a personal sacrifice to help another.
  • Good spells inspire hope, joy, or similar positive emotions, or they alleviate suffering.

What's Good?

Is casting a healing spell a good act? Often, it is: it relieves the suffering of another creature, promoting the life and well being of that creature. Healing spells do not carry the good descriptor, however, because their moral weight depends heavily on circumstances. Healing a blackguard so he can continue to fight a good party is not a good act at all. Like most spells, healing spells can be used for good or evil purposes, so they are not inherently good.

As a variant rule, consider the following spells from the Player's Handbook to have the good descriptor: good hope and shield other.

Sanctified Magic

For those willing to utterly devote themselves to good, great power awaits in the form of sanctified magic. These spells require a great sacrifice from the caster in exchange for powerful results.

Spellcasters prepare sanctified spells just as they do regular spells, and casters who do not prepare spells (including sorcerers and bards) cannot make use of them except from a scroll. Evil characters cannot cast sanctified spells, including ones cast from magic items.

A sanctified spell usually has no material components (exceptions are noted). Instead, it draws power from the sacrifice of the spellcaster in the form of ability damage, ability drain, or occasionally greater sacrifices (a level or even the caster's life). The sacrifice occurs when the spell's duration expires. (No sanctified spell has a permanent duration.)

If a sanctified spell is made into a potion, scroll, wand, or some other magic item, the user of the item makes the sacrifice, not the creator. (The creator still pays the XP cost and gp cost for creating the item.) This sacrifice, specified in the spell's descriptive text, is paid each time the item is used.

Sanctified spells are specific to no character class. They are neither inherently arcane nor divine spells. A divine caster casting a sanctified spell casts it as a divine spell, while an arcane caster casts it as an arcane spell.

While wizards, druids, rangers, and paladins can all prepare sanctified spells, clerics have a special advantage: they can spontaneously cast any sanctified spell, just as they can spontaneously cast cure wounds spells.

Spell Descriptions

The new spells described in this book are good spells, sanctified spells, or spells that deal directly with other topics in the book (such as exorcism).

Components: In addition to the standard components defined in the Player's Handbook, some of the spells in the Book of Exalted Deeds have the following special components.

Abstinence: The caster must have remained free from the specified indulgence (including food, alcohol, sex, spellcasting, or receiving certain spells) for the specified amount of time prior to casting the spell.

Archon: The caster must have the archon subtype to cast this spell.

Celestial: The caster must be an outsider with the good subtype to cast this spell.

Eladrin: The caster must have the eladrin subtype to cast this spell.

Guardinal: The caster must have the guardinal subtype to cast this spell.

Location: The caster must be standing in a particular place -- usually a site dedicated to good -- to cast this spell.

Sacrifice: The caster must sacrifice physical or mental energy noted for casting a sanctified spell.

Armageddon
Conjuration (Summoning) [Good]
Level: Sanctified 9
Components: V, S, Sacrifice
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect: 2 or more summoned creatures, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

The caster opens a portal to one of the good-aligned outer planes and calls forth celestials to aid in battle against the most fearsome forces of evil.

The spell takes place over a period of time. The first round, 2d4 avorals arrive. Two rounds later, a ghaele eladrin arrives to join the fight. Two rounds later, an astral deva arrives. Once these creatures appear, they serve the caster for the duration of the spell. The spell's duration begins the instant the first celestials appear. At the end of the spell's duration, all summoned celestials disappear at once.

The celestials only heed the summons if the caster is of good alignment and there are evil foes to fight. After their arrival, the celestials obey the caster explicitly and never attack her, even if someone else manages to gain control over them. The caster does not need to concentrate to maintain control over the celestials. She can dismiss them singly or in groups at any time.

Sacrifice: 1 character level.

Axiomatic Creature
Transmutation
Level: Cleric 8, sorcerer/wizard 8
Components: V, S, M, XP, Archon
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: Touch
Target: One corporeal creature of lawful or neutral alignment that is native to the Material Plane
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

This spell transforms the target into an axiomatic creature -- a perfect version of itself. The spell rids the creature of noticeable flaws, makes its fur or scales appear shinier, and so forth. Beasts or animals touched by this spell become magical beasts, but otherwise the creature's type is unchanged. If the target has an Intelligence of 2 or less, the spell imbues the target with an Intelligence of 3.

As an axiomatic creature, the target gains the following special attack:

Smite Chaos (Su): Once per day, the target can make a normal attack to deal extra damage equal to its HD total (maximum +20) against a chaotic opponent.

The target gains the following special quality:

Linked Minds (Ex): The target can communicate telepathically with other axiomatic creatures of its type within 300 feet. If one in the group is not flat-footed, none of them are, and no axiomatic creature in the group is considered flanked unless they all are.

The target also gains darkvision with a range of 60 feet, spell resistance equal to double its HD (maximum 25), and resistance to cold, electricity, fire, and sonic attacks based on its HD, as shown below:

Creature's Origin Damage
Material Plane 5d8
Elemental, neutral outsider 5d6
Positive Energy Plane, good outsider none
Evil outsider, undead creature 10d8
Negative Energy Plane 15d8

Material Component: A diamond wand worth at least 10,000 gp.

XP Cost: 1,000 XP.

Bolt of Glory
Evocation [Good]
Level: Exalted arcanist 6, Glory 6
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: Ray
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

By casting this spell, you project a bolt of energy from the Positive Energy Plane against one creature. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to strike your target. A creature struck takes varying damage, depending on its nature and home plane of existence:

Target's
HD
Cold, Electricity, Fire,and Sonic Resistance
1-3 5
4-7 10
8-11 15
12+ 20

End to Strife
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: Apostle of peace 9, cleric 9
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 80 ft.
Area: 80-ft.-radius emanation, centered on you
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell creates an invisible aura of divine power around the caster. All intelligent creatures within the spell's area suddenly become aware that any hostile actions they take will be met with dire consequences.

Any creature in the spell's area that makes an attack takes 20d6 points of damage. The caster decides whether the spell deals lethal or nonlethal damage but cannot change her mind once the spell is cast. Creatures with multiple attacks take the damage after every attack they make.

Targets outside the area of the spell may freely attack creatures in the area without taking damage from this spell.

Heavenly Lightning
Evocation [Good]
Level: Celestial 5, exalted arcanist 5
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: Up to 1 creature per 2 caster levels
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

You create a leaping bolt of radiant lightning that arcs from one target to the next, avoiding other creatures in its path. Each target struck by an arc takes 3d6 points of special celestial electricity damage. Creatures normally immune to electricity take full damage from this spell, and the celestial lightning is not subject to being reduced by protection from energy (electricity) or similar magic.

Phoenix Fire
Necromancy [Fire, Good]
Level: Sanctified 7
Components: V, S, F, Sacrifice
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 15 ft.
Area: 15-ft.-radius spread, centered on you
Duration: Instantaneous (see text)
Saving Throw: Reflex half (see text)
Spell Resistance: Yes (see text)

You immolate yourself, consuming your flesh in a cloud of flame 20 feet high and 30 feet in diameter. You die (no saving throw, and spell resistance does not apply). Every evil creature within the cloud takes 2d6 points of damage per caster level (maximum 40d6). Neutral characters take half damage (and a successful Reflex save reduces that further in half), while good characters take no damage at all. Half of the damage dealt by the spell against any creature is fire; the rest results directly from divine power and is therefore not subject to being reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks, such as that granted by protection from energy (fire), fire shield (chill shield), and similar magic.

After 10 minutes, you rise from the ashes as if restored to life by a resurrection spell.

Focus: A tail feather from a phoenix, worth 40 gp.

Sacrifice: Your death and the level you lose when you return to life are the sacrifice cost for this spell.

Ray of Hope
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Good, Mind-Affecting]
Level: Apostle of peace 1, bard 1, cleric 1, emissary of Barachiel 1
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One living creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

Powerful hope wells up in the subject, who gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks.

Ray of hope counters and dispels sorrow (detailed in the Book of Vile Darkness).

Sunmantle
Abjuration
Level: Sanctified 4
Components: S, Sacrifice|
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: One creature touched
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell cloaks the target in a wavering cloak of light that illuminates an area around the target (and dispels darkness) as a daylight spell. However, its ability to generate bright light is not the spell's primary function.

The sunmantle grants the target damage reduction 5/-. Furthermore, if the target is struck by a melee attack that deals hit point damage, a tendril of light lashes out at the attacker, striking unerringly and dealing 5 points of damage.

Because of the brilliance of the sunmantle, creatures sensitive to bright light (such as dark elves) take the usual attack penalties when in the light radius of the sunmantle.

Sacrifice: 1d4 points of Strength damage.

Tomb of Light
Transmutation [Good]
Level: Cleric 7, sorcerer/wizard 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: Touch
Target: Evil extraplanar creature touched
Duration: Concentration
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

When you cast this spell, you attempt to draw out the impure substance of an evil extraplanar creature and replace it with your own pure substance. The spell is draining for you to cast, but it is deadly to evil outsiders and other extraplanar creatures with the taint of evil.

When you touch the target creature, it must make a Fortitude saving throw. If it succeeds, it is unaffected by the spell. If it fails, its skin becomes translucent and faintly radiant and the creature is immobilized, standing helpless. The subject is aware and breathes normally, but cannot take any physical actions, even speech. It can, however, execute purely mental actions (such as using a spell-like ability). The effect is similar to hold person.

Each round you maintain the spell, the creature must attempt another Fortitude save. If it fails the save, it takes 1d6 points of permanent Constitution drain. Each round you maintain the spell, however, you take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. If you fall unconscious, or if the creature succeeds at its Fortitude save, the spell ends.

Material Component: A pure crystal or clear gemstone worth at least 50 gp.

Yoke of Mercy
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Good, Mind-Affecting]
Level: Apostle of peace 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Components: V, Abstinence
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: No

This spell compels a creature up to 4 HD more than the caster's level to fight in a merciful manner. Specifically, the creature deals nonlethal damage with its attacks, avoids using damaging spells or spell-like abilities, and does not deliver a coup de grace to a helpless foe.

Abstinence Component: You must not have dealt damage, by spell or any other means, to another living creature within the last 8 hours before casting this spell.

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