Welcome back to the continuation of the Secrets of Magic special review blog! If you missed the beginning, you can find it here! Yesterday, I read about the multiclass archtypes and cantrips. Today, we take a look at some of my favorite new spells.
One very enjoyable theme throughout these pages are journals from a witch on their path to learning their powers. Really grounding in the world, maintains the books themes, and befits a witchy progression.
I really couldn’t think of a way to group and categorize spells for this review that wasn’t going to take 3 or 4 days to cover just the spells. So much fun in these pages. I decided to just share two spells for each level, talking about them in the same way that I shared the cantrips.
1st – Concordant ChoirH (evo): Damage foes with music.
This is a wonderful example of how to do a variable casting time spell. 1 to 3 actions, targeting 1, or 10 ft burst, or 30 ft emanation. Brilliant. I will be adding it to my bard immediately.
1st – Horizon Thunder SphereH (evo): Gather energy and throw a ball of lightning.
2nd – Flame WispH (evo): Fire wisps damage those you strike, and more grow if you cast fire spells.
1d4 fire damage to 3 strikes, but you can replenish that count by casting a fire spell. With a minute duration, knowing that I would be spellstriking almost every round, it works out to be a worthwhile 2 actions to begin a combat with. I hit 3rd level with my magus right as I got this book … and I immediately took this spell. I am playing a starlit span magus that uses produce flame arrows often, and the synergy with this spell is so much fun.
2nd – Inner Radiance TorrentH (nec): Gather spiritual energy to fire a storm of force bolts and beams.
This is another spell that I want as a monk for a martial arts contest game. Any ideas where I can play one? You fire a bolt of light and force, dealing 4d4 force in a line … 60 ft for 2 actions, 120 ft for 3 actions. Or. Yes. Or, you can spend 6 consecutive actions to shoot a beam 120 ft for 8d4 force damage *and* you deal 1 force damage to foes adjacent to you for a minute … I love these variable cast spells!
3rd – Blazing DiveH (evo): Fly up, then dive in an explosion of superheated air.
This spell is also primal, but I was still thinking about the magus when I was looking at the 3rd level arcane spell list. You land up to 60 ft away and effect a 10 ft emanation with 3d4 B and 3d6 fire. This spell is so visual, fun, and reminiscent of fighting games and shows (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball Z). This spell makes me want to build a magus/monk build (can’t decide which is main and which is archetype … maybe my next dual class?).
3rd – Sudden RecollectionU (enc): Plant information in a creature’s subconscious to be revealed on a trigger you choose.
I love this inception style magic. It is great because it can be a great roleplay setup for both allies and foes. It can also be the plot hook for any number of scenarios, be it an ally (or foe) that needs your help or tricks you, or even casts it on you. The sheer potential for this spell is limitless and fun (with the caveat of not using it to be a jerky GM or go against player agency).
4th – Draw the LightningH (evo): Call down lightning into you or a weapon.
This spell evokes both a classic wizard calling down the power of lightning as well as a magical warrior, such as Thor (yeah, stretch, I know). Hold your weapon or hand up and lightning goes through your foe (3d12 elec) *and* you then get to do 1d12 elec damage once a round for a minute? Hell. And. Yes. Oh, no need for a storm, it can create its own.
4th – Tortoise and the Hare (tra): Quicken an ally and slow a foe.
Yeah, the name alone hooked me. But, while I was there I liked what I saw. Your ally only gets the quick if the foe fails, with 1 round or 1 minute the possible options … but the foe is slowed for 3 times that value! Good times, lots of fun to be had here. Will have to give it a try.
5th – GeyserH (evo): Blast foes upward with superheated water, causing them to fall and leaving concealing fog.
Again, I just love the visual of this spell, and the actual results are just as fun. You hit a foe with 3d6 B, 4d6 fire, and failures of the reflex mean they are thrown into the air … where they then fall and take even more damage. It might be a little Wile E Coyote, but I am looking forward to using it.
5th – Healing WellH (nec): Create a well that you and your allies can use to heal.
While on the healing kick … I chose this one because of the way in which I imagine using it. You create a shimmering well of light, that is immobile, but can be touched 5 times (it lasts a minute) to heal 4d8 each touch. I see myself casting this as the party circles around to fight an epic last stand … two actions to Strike and one to heal.
6th – Cast into TimeH (div): Make a creature fall through time, damaging and sickening it.
Man, the visuals are really what sucks me into these spells. You can argue that these spells are all same-same because they are just part this damage and part that damage, but the descriptions and visuals make them all distinct to me. 5d8 mental from the strain of time, 5d6 B from bouncing off objects through time. Oh, 15 ft cone!!! *And* they are gone until the end of your turn, so I imagine sending guards through time as I walk past their door before they return.
6th – Flame VortexH (evo): Invoke a moving tornado of fire and wind.
I mean, it’s no sharknado, but what isn’t there to love about a firenado? 3d6 fire damage, 3d4 B damage, difficult to flyers, and you can move it with a Sustain action! It is fairly straight forward, but this is one of those spells that I think will be more versatile than first glance implies. It has great defense potential via placement and movement that may not be seen when simply thinking “weaponized firenado”.
7th – Deity’s StrikeH (evo): Enormous deific weapon falls onto a foe from the sky.
I thought Draw the Lightning was the Thor spell … until I read this one. You literally manifest your deity’s weapon, it then attacks for a ton (7d12 force), and then creates a 10 ft wide line 30 ft long for 5d6 alignment damage. Let’s reskin the description of that line and this is easily described as Mjölnir slamming into the ground from the heavens and shocking foes around it. (Sorry, stuck on Thor tonight and can’t think of other scenes that I am sure are just as valid.)
7th – Tempest of Shades (nec): Summon an incarnate tornado of undead shades to drain and frighten foes.
These incarnate spells are really nifty. This storm of spirit faces drains creatures when it arrives, and then frightens creatures when it departs a round later. It appears within 100 feet, effects a 60 ft emanation, and has a Speed of 60 … which is curious because it doesn’t mention how it moves, so I assume you have to Sustain it to move it?
8th – Canticle of Everlasting Grief (enc): Mournful dirge frightens and mentally damages a foe, preventing its bonuses.
Not gonna lie, they got me with the name again. Sucked right in. Single target, Will save. But a lot going on. Even a save they take 5d6 mental, are frightened 1, and can’t benefit from bonuses for a round! On a crit fail they can’t get bonuses until the curse is broken *and* their allies can’t use bonuses while within 15 ft of them. So. Cool. Err. Sad. So sad.
8th – Summon Archmage (con): Summon an incarnate archmage to fire magic missiles, stupefy foes, and tear away their spells.
Another incarnate, but this time something much more arcane in nature. When it appears, it can target 5 creatures to damage for 3d4+3 force (same as a 3 action magic missile). It also keeps your spells from decreasing their duration for the next round. When it departs, it attempts to stupefy all your enemies, possibly cancelling a spell effect on them as well.
9th – One with the Land (tra): Merge into a natural feature to control the nearby environment.
I mean, the name and short description sum it up pretty good. Merge with a tree or the ground. You gain tremorsense, can alter temperatures, create/remove difficult terrain, and can attack creatures using the terrain around you for 5d12. Who hasn’t wanted to be a tree, throwing apples at intruders, if only for a minute.
9th – Summon Draconic Legion (con): Summon an incarnate legion of dragons to destroy your foes.
These new incarnate spells get more fun as you get to the higher levels. I mean, what is more iconic to our fantasy games than a powerful wizard commanding a horde of dragons!? When it arrives, this group of dragons breaths twice, a line and a cone, each dealing 10d8 damage (determined by dragon). When they depart, these dragons attack all enemies within their space or 20 ft of them for 9d8 slashing.
10th – Fated Confrontation (div): Isolate two fated opponents and let them twist each other’s fate.
10th – Nullify (abj): React to automatically counteract a spell and take backlash damage.
This is true power. You react to a spell within 120 feet and stop the spell. Sure it has to be 9th or lower. Sure, you take damage (1d8 per spell level). But your ultimate power simply stopped unwanted magic. Epic.
10th – Summon KaijuR (con): Summon an incarnate kaiju with effects depending on the specific kaiju.
Do I really need to say more? If this spell, alone, doesn’t make you wanna play a druid, then I can’t help you. But I will try. Your choices of kaiju are: Agmazar the Star Titan, Agyra, the Forever Storm, Bezravnis, the Inferno Below, Mogaru, the Final King, Vorgozen, the Shapeless Feeder, and Yarthoon, the Moon Grub. Note, this is an incarnate spell, so they arrive and depart a round later … devastating land and foe alike
Just to make sure you don’t think I skipped them, these were all touched on with the appropriate class feat for magus and summoner.
This blog is running long, but I wanted to touch on the rituals. I really love how rituals add extra magical features to the game that aren’t tied to spells, and thus accessible to all and also easily gated by GMs. Elemental Sentinel is a wonder example as a level 1 ritual that binds an elemental wisp to serve as an alarm. Awaken Object is a fun way to build your own castle of awakened furniture, or simply give your wizard somebody to talk to while in his study. Mystic carriage allows you to live out your Cinderella story … or just give the party a means of locomotion that doesn’t need to be fed. Mind Swap returns as a ritual, making it more interesting and less readily available. Each of the other rituals provide a look into some of the workings of Golarion by virtue of their possible uses (implied or explicit) and can all be used as the start or goal of a quest or entire adventure. I hope we keep seeing new rituals.
This takes care of my highlights from the new spells. There are so many to read and learn, I could never do it justice without literally talking about each and every one. Thanks for reading along … tune in tomorrow as I start in on the new magic item categories. As always, please join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj to let me know what you think or simply have a chat!