Arcane spells, divine spells, and psionic powers are all representative of abilities beyond the scope of most ordinary individuals, and are called as a group FX abilities. FX abilities are features of a few advanced classes, and are not available to basic classes. FX abilities have a number of similarities to each other as well as obvious differences.
A spell is a one-time magical effect. Magic is used by individuals with magical power, which include spellcasters and creatures with spells and spell-like abilities. Spells can be arcane or divine.
Arcane spells involve direct manipulation of mystic energies. These manipulations require long study, and tend to produce dramatic results.
Divine spells draw power from an unworldly source, be it from within the caster’s own beliefs or some greater entity of power. Divine spellcasting requires meditation and provides more utilitarian effects, including the ability to heal the wounded. Some spells may be cast by both arcane and divine caster, functioning as arcane spells when cast by arcane casters and divine spells when cast by divine casters.
Most spells require the caster to speak some utterance, make complex gestures, or sometimes expend an object or a small quantity of some substance. The spellcaster’s activity is visible to others, and the effects often are too, but the magic itself is not.
Each spellcasting advanced class learns and casts spells differently. See the class description for more details.
Casting a Spell
To cast a spell, the character must be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate some material (if it has a material component) or focus (if any). Additionally, the character must concentrate to cast a spell. (See the Concentration skill)
If a spell has multiple versions, the character chooses which version to use when he or she casts it.
How to Read a Spell Description
Spells have a number of defining characteristics that distinguish each spell from the others. Each spell description includes most or all of the following pieces of information.