As a spellcasterís knowledge of magic grows, he or she can learn to cast spells in ways slightly different from how the spells were originally designed or learned. For example, a spellcaster can learn to cast a spell without certain components, cast a spell for greater effect, or even cast a spell with nothing but a momentís thought. Altering the casting and effect of a spell is accomplished using metamagic feats.
Spells improved with metamagic feats use up higher-level spell slots, as noted in Table: Metamagic Spell Level Adjustments.
Metamagic feats cannot be used for all spells. See the specific feat descriptions for the spells that a particular feat canít modify.
|Table: Metamagic Spell Level Adjustments|
|Heighten Spell||Special (see text)|
Preparing and Casting Metamagic Spells
Some advanced classes must prepare their spells in advance. During preparation, members of these classes decide which spells to prepare with metamagic feats, remembering that any spell improved by a metamagic feat takes up a higher-level spell slot than normal.
Mystics cast spells at will from a limited list, as opposed to preparing them in advance. They can decide when they cast their spells whether to use metamagic feats to improve them.
As with other spellcasters, the improved spell uses up a higher-level spell slot. Because the Mystic has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must do so on the spot. The Mystic, therefore, must take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one improved by a metamagic feat) than a regular spell. If its normal casting time is an attack action, casting a metamagic spell is a full-round action for the Mystic. For spells with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell.
Acolytes spontaneously casting cure or inflict spells can cast metamagic versions of them. Casting an attack action metamagic spell spontaneously is a full-round action, and spells with longer casting times take an extra full-round action to cast.
Incantations: An incantation cannot be the subject of a metamagic feat.
Effects of Metamagic Feats
In all ways, a metamagic spell operates at its original spell level even though it is prepared and cast as a higher-level spell. Saving throw modifications are not changed (unless stated otherwise in the feat description). The modifications made by these feats only apply to spells cast directly by the feat user. A spellcaster canít use a metamagic feat to alter a spell cast from a wand, scroll, or other device.
Maximize Spell and Quicken Spell Abilities
Some advanced classes have special class abilities that work like metamagic feats. For example, the Maximize Spell ability of the Mage and the Quicken Spell ability of the Techno Mage function as metamagic feats with regard to how they interact with other metamagic feats.
Metamagic Magic Items
A character with the Brew Potion, Scribe Scroll, or Craft Wand class ability can store a metamagic spell in a potion, scroll, or wand, respectively. Level limits for potions and wands apply to the spellís higher metamagic level. A character doesnít need the metamagic feat to activate an item storing a metamagic spell.
Multiple Metamagic Feats on a Spell
A spellcaster can use multiple metamagic feats on a single spell. Changes to its level are cumulative.
Counterspelling Metamagic Spells
A spell enhanced by a metamagic feat does not affect its vulnerability to counterspelling or its ability to counterspell another spell.