Schools of Magic and Subschools

Almost every spell belongs to one of eight schools of magic. A school of magic is a group of related spells that work in similar ways. A small number of spells (arcane mark, limited wish, permanency, prestidigitation, and wish) are universal, belonging to no school.


Abjurations are protective spells. They create physical or magical barriers, negate magical or physical abilities, harm trespassers, even banish the subject of the spell to another plane of existence. Representative spells include protection from evil, dispel magic, antimagic field, and banishment.

If one abjuration spell is active within 10 feet of another for 24 hours or more, the magical fields interfere with each other and create bately visible energy fluctuations. The DC to find such spells with the Search skill drops by 4.

If an abjuration creates a barrier that keeps certain types of creatures at bay, that barrier cannot be used to push away those creatures. If you force the barrier against such a creature, you feel a discernible pressure against the barrier, If you continue to apply pressure, you end the spell.


Each conjuration spell belongs to one of five subschools. Conjurations bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or some form of energy to you (the summoning subschool), actually transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane (calling), heal (healing), transport creatures or objects over great distances (teleportation), or create objects or effects on the spot (creation). Creatures you conjure usually, but not always, obey your commands. Representative spells include the various summon monster spells, cure light wounds, raise dead, teleport, and wall of iron.

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it. The creature or object must appear within the spell's range, but it does not have to remain within the range.

Calling: A calling spell transports a creature from another plane to the plane you are on. The spell grants the creature one-time ability to return to its plane of origin, although the spell may limit the circumstances under which this is possible. Creatures who are called actually die when they are killed; they do not disappear and reform, as do those brought by a summoning spell (see below). The duration of a calling spell is instantaneous, which means that the called creature can't be dispelled.

Creation: A creation spell manipulates matter to create an object or creature in the place the spellcaster designates (subject to the limits noted above), if the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, magic holds the creation together, and when the spell ends, the conjured creature or object vanishes without a trace. If the spell has an instantaneous duration, the created object or creature is merely assembled through magic. It lasts indefinitely and does not depend on magic for its existence.

Healing: Certain divine conjurations heal creatures or even bring them back to life. These include cure spells.

Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to O or lower. It is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have, and it refuses to cast any spells that would cost it XP, or to use any spell-like abilities that would cost XP if they were spells.

Teleportation: A teleportation spell transports one or more creatures or objects a great distance. The most powerful of these spells can cross planar boundaries. Unlike summoning spells, the transportation is (unless otherwise noted) one-way and not dispellable. Teleportation is instantaneous travel through the Astral Plane. Anything that blocks astral travel also blocks teleportation.


Divination spells enable you to learn secrets long forgotten, to predict the future, to find hidden things, and to foil deceptive spells. Representative spells include identify, detect thoughts, clairaudience/clairvoyance, and true seeing.

Many divination spells have cone-shaped areas. These move with you and extend in the direction you look. The cone defines the area that you can sweep each round. If you study the same area for multiple rounds, you can often gain additional information, as noted in the descriptive text for the spell.

Scrying: A scrying spell creates an invisible magical sensor that sends you information. Unless noted otherwise, the sensor has the powers of sensory acuity that you possess. This level of acuity includes any spells or effects that target you (such as darkvision or see invisibility), but not spells or effects that emanate from you (such as detect evil), however, the sensor is treated as a separate, independent sensory organ of yours, and thus it functions normally even if you have been blinded, deafened, or otherwise suffered sensory impairment. Any creature with an Intelligence score of 12 or higher can notice sensor by making a DC 20 Intelligence check. The sensor can be dispelled as if it were an active spell.

Lead sheeting or magical protection (such as antimagic field, mind blank, or nondetection) blocks a scrying spell, and you sense that the spell is so blocked.


Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. Representative spells include charm person and suggestion.

All enchantments are mind-affecting spells. Two types of enchantment spells grant you influence over a subject creature.

Charm: A charm spell changes how the subject views you, typically making it see you as a good friend.

Compulsion: A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way her mind works. Some compulsion spells determine the subject's actions or the effects on the subject, some compulsion spells allow you to determine the subject's actions when you cast the spell, and others give you ongoing control over the subject.


Evocation spells manipulate energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, they create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage. Representative spells include magic missile, fireball, and lightning bolt.


Illusion spells deceive the senses or minds of others. They cause people to see things that are not there, not see things that are there, hear phantom noises, or remember things that never happened. Representative illusions include silent image, invisibility, and veil; Illusions come in five types: figments, glamers, patterns, phantasms, and shadows.

Figment: A figment spell creates a false sensation. Those who perceive the figment perceive the same thing, not their own slightly different versions of the figment. (It is not a personalized mental impression.) Figments cannot make something seem to be something else. A figment that includes audible effects cannot duplicate intelligible speech unless the spell description specifically says it can. If intelligible speech is possible, it must be in a language you can speak. if you try to duplicate a language you cannot speak, the image produces gibberish. Likewise, you cannot make a visual copy of something unless you know what it looks like.

Because figments and glamers (see below) are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can. They cannot cause damage to objects or creatures, support weight, provide nutrition, or provide protection from the elements. Consequently, these spells are useful for confounding or delaying foes, but useless for attacking them directly. For example, it is possible to use a silent image spell to create an illusory cottage, but the cottage offers no protection from rain.

A figment's AC is equal to 10 +- its size modifier,

Glamer: A glamer spell changes a subject's sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear.

Pattern: Like a figment, a pattern spell creates an image that others can see, but a pattern also affects the minds of those who see it or are caught in it. All patterns are mind-affecting spells.

Phantasm: A phantasm spell creates a mental image that usually only the caster and the subject (or subjects) of the spell can perceive. This impression is totally in the minds of the subjects. It is a personalized mental impression. (It's all in their heads and not a fake picture or something that they actually see.) Third parties viewing or studying the scene don't notice the phantasm. All phantasms are mind-affecting spells.

Shadow: A shadow spell creates something that is partially real from extradimensional energy. Such illusions can have real effects. Damage dealt by a shadow illusion is real.

Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief): Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion. For example, if a party encounters a section of illusory floor, the character in the lead would receive a saving throw if she stopped and studied the floor or if she probed the floor.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline. For example, a character making a successful saving throw against a figment of an illusory section of floor knows the "floor" isn't safe to walk on and can see what lies below (light permitting), but he or she can still note where the figment lies.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. A character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw. A character who falls through a section of illusory floor into a pit knows something is amiss, as does one who spends a few rounds poking at the same illusion, if any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.


Necromancy spells manipulate the power of death, unlife, and the life force. Spells involving undead creatures make up a large part of this school. Representative spells include cause fear, animate dead, and finger of death.


Transmutation spells change the properties of some creature, thing, or condition. Representative spells include enlarge person, reduce person, polymorph, and shapechange.

Polymorph: A spell of the polymorph subschool changes the target's form from one shape to another. Unless stated otherwise in the spell's description, the target of a polymorph spell takes on all the statistics and special abilities of an average member of the new form in place of its own except as follows:

In all other ways, the target's normal game statistics are effectively replaced by those of the new form. The target loses all of the special abilities ft has in its normal form, including its class features (even if the new form would normally be able to use these class features).

If the new form's size is different from the target's normal size, its new space must share as much of the original form's space as possible, squeezing into the available space if necessary. If insufficient space exists for the new form, the spell fails.

Any gear worn or carried by the target melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When the target reverts to irs true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on its body they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the target's feet.

The spellcaster can freely designate the new form's minor physical qualities (such as hair color and skin color) within the normal ranges for a creature of that kind. The new form's significant physical qualities (such as height, weight, and gender) are also under the spellcaster's control, but they must fall within the norms for the new form's kind. The target of a polymorph spell is effectively camouflaged as a creature of its new form, and gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks if it uses this ability to create a disguise.

If the target of a polymorph spell is slain or rendered unconscious, the spell ends. Any part of the body that is separated from the whole remains polymorphed until the effect ends.

Incorporeal or gaseous creatures are immune to polymorph spells, as are creatures of the plant type. A creature with the shapechanger subtype (such as a lycanthrope or doppelganger) can revert to its natural form as a standard action.

Investiture: The investiture descriptor indicates a category of spells that invest the essence of an outsider into a mortal. Unlike other spells, effects gained from different (though not the same) investiture spells stack. So, two different investiture spells that grant resistance to fire 5 to the same target would actually grant a total resistance of 10. However, investiture spells are intense and draining. Targets of these spells are fatigued for 1 minute once the duration expires (or the spell is dispelled or ended through some other means). If an investiture spell expires on a target fatigued from a previous investiture spell, the duration of the fatigue increases by 1 minute.


Not a school, but a category for spells that all wizards can learn. A wizard cannot select universal as a specialty school or as a prohibited school. Only a limited number of spells fall into this category.

Dual-School Spells

Dual-school spells, have effects that encompass two distinct schools of magic. In all cases, treat these spells as if they belonged to both schools simultaneously. Effects that prevent a spellcaster from accessing one school of a dual school spell prevent all access to that spell. For example, a specialist wizard cannot learn a dual-school spell if either of the spell's schools is one of his prohibited schools. Benefits that apply to a school of magic do not stack with themselves even if the spellcaster can apply them to both schools of magic. For example, if a spellcaster has the Spell Focus feat for either school, it applies to the dual-school spell normally. However, spellcasters who have taken the Spell Focus feat for both of a dual-school spell's associated schools only increase the DC of the dual-school spell by +1.

School Specialization

If desired, a wizard may specialize in one school of magic (see below). Specialization allows a wizard to cast extra spells from her chosen school, but she then never learns to cast spells from some other schools. Essentially, the wizard gains exceptional mastery over a single school by neglecting the study of other schools.

A specialist wizard can prepare one additional spoil of her specialty school per spell level each day. She also gains a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to learn the spells of her chosen school.

The wizard must choose whether to specialize and, if she does so, choose her specialty at 1st level. At this time, she must also give up two other schools of magic (unless she chooses to specialize in divination; see below), which become her prohibited schools. For instance, if she chooses to specialize in conjuration, she might decide to give up enchantment and necromancy, or evocation and transmutation. A wizard can never give up divination to fulfill this requirement. Spells of the prohibited school or schools are not available to the wzard, and she can't even cast such spells from scrolls or fire them from wands. She may not change either her specialization or her prohibited schools later.

The eight schools of arcane magic are abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. Spells that do not fall into any of these schools are called universal spells.

Magic in the Realms