Rules Index


Chapter 7: Spells

Casting Spells

Source Core Rulebook pg. 302
The casting of a spell can range from a simple word of magical might that creates a fleeting effect to a complex process taking minutes or hours to cast and producing a long-term impact. Casting a Spell is a special activity that takes a number of actions defined by the spell. When you Cast a Spell, your spellcasting creates obvious visual manifestations of the gathering magic, although feats such as Conceal Spell and Melodious Spell can help hide such manifestations or otherwise prevent observers from noticing that you are casting.

Cast a Spell

Source Core Rulebook pg. 302
You cast a spell you have prepared or in your repertoire. Casting a Spell is a special activity that takes a variable number of actions depending on the spell, as listed in each spell’s stat block. As soon as the spellcasting actions are complete, the spell effect occurs.

Some spells are cast as a reaction or free action. In those cases, you Cast the Spell as a reaction or free action (as appropriate) instead of as an activity. Such cases will be noted in the spell’s stat block—for example, “[reaction] verbal.”

Long Casting Times Some spells take minutes or hours to cast. The Cast a Spell activity for these spells includes a mix of the listed spell components, but it’s not necessary to break down which one you’re providing at a given time. You can’t use other actions or reactions while casting such a spell, though at the GM’s discretion, you might be able to speak a few sentences. As with other activities that take a long time, these spells have the exploration trait, and you can’t cast them in an encounter. If combat breaks out while you’re casting one, your spell is disrupted (see Disrupted and Lost Spells on page 303).

Spell Components Each spell lists the spell components required to cast it after the action icons or text, such as “[three-actions] material, somatic, verbal." The spell components, described in detail below, add traits and requirements to the Cast a Spell activity. If you can’t provide the components, you fail to Cast the Spell.
  • Material (manipulate)
  • Somatic (manipulate)
  • Verbal (concentrate)
  • Focus (manipulate)
Disrupted and Lost Spells Some abilities and spells can disrupt a spell, causing it to have no effect and be lost. When you lose a spell, you’ve already expended the spell slot, spent the spell’s costs and actions, and used the Cast a Spell activity. If a spell is disrupted during a Sustain a Spell action, the spell immediately ends. The full rules for disrupting actions appear on page 462.

Spell Components

Source Core Rulebook pg. 303
A spell description lists the components required to Cast the Spell. For most spells, the number of components is equal to the number of actions you must spend to Cast the Spell. Each component adds certain traits to the Cast a Spell activity, and some components have special requirements. The components that appear in this book are listed below.

Material

Source Core Rulebook pg. 303
A material component is a bit of physical matter consumed in the casting of the spell. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to have a free hand to retrieve and manipulate a material component. That component is expended in the casting (even if the spell is disrupted).

Except in extreme circumstances, you can assume all common components are included in a material component pouch.

Somatic

Source Core Rulebook pg. 303
A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely.

Spells that require you to touch the target require a somatic component. You can do so while holding something as long as part of your hand is able to touch the target (even if it’s through a glove or gauntlet).

Verbal

Source Core Rulebook pg. 303
A verbal component is a vocalization of words of power. You must speak them in a strong voice, so it’s hard to conceal that you’re Casting a Spell. The spell gains the concentrate trait. You must be able to speak to provide this component.

Focus

Source Core Rulebook pg. 303
A focus is an object that funnels the magical energy of the spell. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to either have a free hand to retrieve the focus listed in the spell or already be holding the focus in your hand. As part of Casting the Spell, you retrieve the focus (if necessary), manipulate it, and can stow it again if you so choose.

Foci tend to be expensive, and you need to acquire them in advance to Cast the Spell.