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Wordcasting (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Date Created: 1/21/10
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Wordcasting

Wordcasting Basics

Wordcasting is a spellcasting method that works by stringing words together, and then succeeding on the wordcasting check. Each word has it's own properties, and combined they describe a spell. The categories of words are shape words, effect words, and modifier words. The shortest spell consists of an shape word describing how an effect word is applied. Ayl (one target) Pyr (fire damage) is a two word spell. There is no upper limit on how long a spell might be, but longer spells take more time, and have higher wordcasting checks.

Wordcasting Frequently Important Facts (FIFs)

Shape Words: These describe the shape of the spell's effect. Since a spell cannot be multiple shapes at once, only one shape word can have effect in a spell. If a spell is cast with multiple shape words, it automatically fizzles.

Effect Words: These describe the effect of the spell. These are additive, and, where relevant, take effect in the order that they are said (for instance, "Ayl Pyr Kol" would set people on fire then ice the ground, rather than "Ayl Kol Pyr" causing people to trip, then burning them and melting the ice with heat).

Modifier Words: Modifier words are optional, and affect everything in the spell after the modifier (thus they often come before the shape word). Modifier words are very diverse, some modifying the shape, some modifying the effect of the spell, some creating triggers, etc.

Saves: When a wordcasting spell effects a target, the target immediately makes any required saves. All saves of the same time are lumped together (Reflex, Will, Fortitude). The saves occur before any effects take place. The save DC for a Wordcasting spell specific to the wordcasting class in question, but generally follows the pattern of 10 + (Number of Words used)/3 + the class's relevant stat.

Wordcaster: A character whose class or classes give her the potential to wordcast. Current wordcasting classes include: Wordmaster, Word Warrior, and Word Wizard base classes, along with the Inanomancer, Scriptwriter, Wordsman, Word of Lies, Word of Life, and Word of Undeath prestige classes.

Wordcasting spell level: A wordcasting spell counts as a spell of level equal to one third the number of words in the spell (rounded down).

Wordcasting Level: A caster's Wordcasting level is the sum of classes levels that can do wordcasting.

Wordcasting Check: To cast a spell with wordcasting, the caster must succeed against a wordcasting DC determined by the words used. Each word adds a specified amount to the check (starting at 0). The roll is 1d20 + (the caster's wordcasting level). As the caster's wordcasting level increases, she gains multipliers on the d20 roll: A x2 at level seven which increases to x3 at level 14, and so forth every 7 levels (21, 28, etc.). A natural 1 is an automatic fail. (See chart).

Wordcasting Check Results: On a success, the spell is cast, and any unpaid word costs are spent (Word Wizards spend words during spell preparation). On a failure, the spell fizzles, and half the words invested in the spell are wasted, and the other half are retained/regained by the caster.

Casting Time: The time used by a wordcaster to cast a spell is based on how many words are in the spell. As an immediate action, a word caster can cast a spell with 2 words. 3 words can be cast as a swift action, 10 words as a standard action, and 20 words as a full round action. For every 20 words after that, starting with 21 words, add on another consecutive full round action. The number of words castable in any given action is doubled by the Tungtwist modifier word, and also by accelerating pronouns. (See chart).

Attacks of Opportunity: Any spell the wordcaster casts that takes a standard action or longer to cast provokes an attack of opportunity.

Spell Resistance: Spell resistance affects any targeted wordcast spell that does not specify otherwise. Some words (like Orb) grant exceptions.

Components and Foci: All wordcasting uses Verbal components unless specified otherwise. Any spell that uses a shape word (other than Hand requires non-verbal target designation, and thus a Somatic component (this causes arcane spell failure to be a problem for most wordcasters). The Tungtwist modifier word requires a book of tongue-twisters as a focus. The Gilt modifier word uses any item costing a specific amount as a component. (See chart).

Arcane Spell Failure: Wordcasting suffers from arcane spell failure chance for any spell with a somatic component - by default, this is all wordcasting spells with a shape word.

Wordcasting Lists

Shape Words List

Shape Words List
Word DC Effect Summary
Ayl +1 Medium range, Single target
Spyn +3 120 foot line
Orb +1 Ignores SR but needs a ranged touch attack
Bang +3 Medium range, 20 foot spread
Hand -2 Melee touch attack, no somatic component.
Burs +2 15 foot burst, only hits targets you want it to
Con +2 30 foot cone
Chen +2 Hit three targets in a Close range chain
Wal +1 30 foot wall
Sfir +1 10 foot-radius sphere around you

Effect Words List

Effect Words List
Word DC Effect Summary
Pyr +1 1d6 fire, burn things
Lek +1 1d6 electricity
Forch +1 1d4 force
Saun +1 1d4 sonic, deafen things
Aci +1 1d4 acid, 1d4 acid over time
Kol +1 Ice the ground
Deth +1 1d6 negative energy, raise skeletons
Min +1 Befuddle
Terr +1 Scare
Path +1 Read minds somewhat
Avis +2 Turn things invisible
Lyf +1 1d6 positive energy, raise people
Arm +1 +2/+1 per 4 Armor bonus
Inv +1 Spell immunity
Excel +1 Boost skills, saves, and attack rolls
Sir +1 Spell resistance
Port +15/+2 Grant targets the opportunity to teleport
Al +1 Make Port more precise
Thro +1 Throw things around
Disp +10/+2 Dispel magical effects
Lift +37/+1 Provide the power of flight
Ant +1 Suppress magical effects
Ilus +1 Make illusions (Word of Lies only)

Modifier Words List

Modifier Words List
Word DC Effect Summary
Scri +2 Watch something
Del +3 Give the spell a trigger
Tra +2 Make a Del spell trap-like
Long +3/+4/+5 Add more range
Wyd +5 Affect a larger area
Tungtwist +1 Reduce casting time
Gilt -X Add a spell component
Charg +10 Double the spell's power
Vudu +4 Cast from scrying
Lob +2 Cast over obstacles
Prop +5 Puts Del spells into objects (Scriptwriter only)
Rech +2 Del spell recharges faster/cheaper than Tra (Scriptwriter only)

Wordcasting Descriptions

Shape Word Descriptions

  • Ayl: A small flying sphere contains the spell. It has Medium range (100 ft + 10 ft/caster level).
  • Spyn: The spell is beam of energy. It hits everything in a 120 ft line. Spyn adds 3 to the DC to cast this spell.
  • Orb: The spell is an orb of conjured energies. It has a Medium range (100 ft + 10 ft/caster level). A ranged touch attack is required in order to hit, but Spell Resistance does not apply.
  • Bang: The spell is a tiny dot, which rapidly explodes when it hits the targeted point. It has a Medium range (100 ft + 10 ft/caster level), and has a 20 foot spread. Bang adds 3 to the DC to cast this spell.
  • Hand: The spell requires a melee touch attack. Hand reduces the DC of the spell by 2.
  • Burs: The spell has a 15 foot burst, centered on you. It hits only those targets within this spread that you want it to hit. Burs increases the DC of the spell by 2.
  • Con: The spell is a 30 foot cone. Con increases the DC of the spell by 2.
  • Chen: The spell is a bolt that hits three different targets. The first target must be within Close range (25 ft + 5 ft/2 caster levels). The second must be within Close range of the first, and the third must be within Close range of the second. You must have line of sight to all three targets, but line of effect is drawn from each target to the next. Chen increases the DC of the spell by 2.
  • Wal: The spell is a 30 foot long, 10 foot tall, infinitesimally thin wall that you may summon at up to Close range (25 ft +5 ft/2 caster levels). Anybody in a square where the wall is summoned may make a Reflex save to move 5' to one side of the wall (They choose which side). The wall can be passed through by anything, however anything that passes through the wall is hit by the spell's effects. Anybody who fails their reflex save is also hit by the spell's effects. The wall lasts for one round per caster level.
  • Sfir: The spell is a infinitesimally thin sphere that you summon around you with a 10' radius. Anybody in a square where the sphere is summoned may make a Reflex save to move 5' to one side of the sphere (They choose which side). The sphere can be passed through by anything, however anything that passes through the sphere is hit by the spell's effects. Anybody who fails their reflex save is also hit by the spell's effects. The sphere lasts for one round per caster level. The sphere does not move when you move.

Effect Word Descriptions

  • Pyr: The spell deals an additional 1d6 points of fire damage (Reflex half) to each target. It has the capacity to light things on fire and gains the [Fire] descriptor.
  • Lek: The spell deals an additional 1d6 points of electricity damage (Reflex half) to each target. It gains the [Electricity] descriptor.
  • Forch: The spell deals an additional 1d4 points of force damage to each target. It gains the [Force] descriptor.
  • Saun: The spell deals an additional 1d4 points of sonic damage (Fortitude half) to each target. Victims become deafened for 1 round for every 3 points of sonic damage they took if they failed the Fortitude save. The spell gains the [Sonic] descriptor.
  • Aci: The spell deals an additional 1d4 points of acid damage (Reflex half) to each target. Anyone who fails their save takes another 1d4 acid damage on their next turn. Additional instances of Aci increase the number of rounds that this 1d4 acid damage repeats for (by one per instance). The spell gains the [Acid] descriptor.
  • Kol (Area of effect shapes only): The spell covers the ground with ice for 1 round per caster level. Anybody attempting to enter an iced square must make a DC 15 Balance check or fall prone and take 1 cold damage. Additional instances of Kol increase the DC of the balance check by 2 and increase the cold damage dealt by 1. The spell gains the [Cold] descriptor.
  • Deth: The spell deals an additional 1d6 points of negative energy damage (Fortitude negates) to each target. Creatures killed by this spell who have a number of Hit Dice not greater than twice the number of instances of Deth in the spell are immediately animated into skeletons as though by the Animate Dead spell. You can control a number of HD of skeletons equal to 4 times your caster level. The skeletons are permanent. The spell gains the [Evil] descriptor.
  • Min: Each target is dazzled unless they pass a Will save. If they have one-third as many hit dice or fewer as instances of Min, they are dazzled even if they pass a Will save; if they fail, they are dazed instead. If they have one-quarter as many hit dice or fewer as instance of Min, they are confused or stunned instead of dazed when they fail their Will save (your choice as you cast the spell). This lasts for 2 rounds. The spell gains the [Mind-Affecting] descriptor.
  • Terr: Each target without more hit dice than the number of instances of Terr is shaken unless they pass a Will save. If they have one-third as many hit dice or fewer as instances of Terr, they are frightened instead. If they have one-quarter as many hit dice or fewer as instance of Terr, they are panicked instead (your choice as you cast the spell. This lasts for 2 rounds. The spell gains the [Fear] descriptor.
  • Path: You can detect the surface thoughts of the target and sense what it senses for 1 minute/caster level while it is within 1 mile (Will negates (harmless)). You must concentrate on a target in order to do either of those things.
  • Avis: You turn the targeted object or character somewhat invisible, giving concealment for 1 minute/caster level. Any character or object that attacks or casts a spell loses this invisibility. With three instances of Avis, the target becomes completely invisible. With seven instances, the character can attack and cast spells during the first 1 round/caster level of the effect without losing invisibility. Each instance of Avis increases the spell's DC by 2.
  • Lyf: The spell deals an additional 1d6 points of positive energy damage (Fortitude negates (harmless)) to each target. Any corpses that were dealt at least 100 points of positive energy damage are raised as though by the Raise Dead spell, with the exception that it only works on characters who were dead for no more than a number of minutes per caster level instead of days. The spell gains the [Good] descriptor.
  • Arm: The spell grants each target a +2 Armor Bonus for 1 hour/caster level. Every 4 additional instances of Arm increases the amount of Armor Bonus granted in this way by 1. The spell gains the [Force] descriptor.
  • Inv: The spell makes each target immune to level 0 spells for 1 minute/caster level. For every three additional instances of Inv, the highest level of spell that the targets become immune to increases by one.
  • Excel: The spell grants each target a +1 insight bonus to all skills, saves, and attack rolls for 3 rounds. Each additional instance of Excel increases the insight bonus to skills by 1, and every three additional instances increases the insight bonus to saves and attack rolls by 1. The spell gains the [Mind-Affecting] descriptor.
  • Sir: The spell grants each target Spell Resistance equal to your caster level for 1 round per instance of Sir.
  • Port: Each target may teleport up to Long range (400 feet + 40'/caster level), bringing up to their maximum load with them. The targets choose the direction and distance of their teleport. Mindless objects are not targeted by this effect. All teleportation granted by this spell misses by 1d100% of the distance traveled. If it is possible to miss in such a way that the creature ends up on a suitable surface in an open space, it does so. If the creature still arrives in a place that is already occupied by a solid body, that creature takes 2d6 damage and is shunted to the open space above a suitable surface which is the closest to where it would otherwise teleport. With two instances of Port, the range increases to 1 mile/caster level. With three, the range is 10 miles/caster level. With four, it's 100 miles/caster level. With five, it's anywhere on the same plane. With six, it's anywhere on any plane. The first instance of Port increases the DC of the spell by 15. Each additional instance increases the DC by 2. The spell gains the [Teleportation] descriptor.
  • Al: You can only learn this word if you already know Port, and you may only add this word to a spell with Port in it. The distance by which the spell misses is reduced to 1d20%. A second instance of Al reduces the distance by which it misses to 1d12%, the third to 1d8%, the fourth to 1d6%, the fifth to 1d4%, the sixth to 1%, and the seventh means it arrives precisely where the creature asks to go.
  • Thro: Anybody hit by this spell falls prone (Reflex negates). For each additional instance of Thro, you may fling each target hit by this spell 10 feet (Will negates). You cannot throw more than a total of 50 pounds per caster level. You must succeed on attack rolls (one per creature or object thrown) to hit whatever you're trying to hit with the items, using your base attack bonus + your Intelligence modifier (if a word wizard or other Intelligence-based class) or Charisma modifier (if a wordmaster or other Charisma-based class). Weapons cause standard damage (with no Strength bonus; note that arrows or bolts deal damage as daggers of their size when used in this manner). Other objects cause damage ranging from 1 point per 25 pounds (for less dangerous objects) to 1d6 points of damage per 25 pounds (for hard, dense objects). No more than one object per instance of Thro can be used to deal damage.
  • Disp: For every spell effect or item that is on any of the targets or is within this spell's effect might be dispelled or suppressed. Each effect's caster must make a caster level check (In the case of magic items, use the magic item's caster level) opposed by your roll to cast this spell. Any nonpermanent effect that has its caster level check fail is dispelled. Permanent effects and magic items have their properties suppressed for 1d4 rounds. With six instances of Disp, permanent effects and magic items are dispelled if they fail on their caster level checks by 10 or more. The first instance of Disp increases the DC by 10, and each additional instance increases the DC by 2.
  • Lift: Anybody hit by this spell gains a fly speed for 1 round per caster level. With one instance of Lift, the target gets a fly speed of 10' (Clumsy). For every additional instance of Lift, the fly speed increases by 10'. For every four additional instances of Lift, the maneuverability of the target improves by one step. The first instance of Lift increases the DC by 37, but each additional instance only increases the DC by 1.
  • Ant (Area of effect spells only): The space within the area of effect of this spell is functions much like an Antimagic Field. However, it only prevents the functioning of spells, magic items, and summoned creatures with a caster level equal to or lower than the number of instances of Ant used in this spell.
  • Ilus (Area of effect shapes only): You can create images or sounds within the area of effect of the spell (Will disbelief). You must concentrate on the images or sounds to make them move or change. Spot and listen checks to discover that it's an illusion are opposed by your Bluff check. The illusion lasts for 1 round/caster level. With two instances of Ilus, it lasts for 1 minute/caster level. With three, it lasts for 10 minutes/caster level. With four, it lasts for 1 hour/caster level. With five, it lasts for 1 day/caster level. With six, it lasts for 1 week/caster level. With seven, it lasts for 1 year/caster level. With eight, it's permanent. The spell gains the [Figment] descriptor. (Word of Lies Special)

Modifier Word Descriptions

  • Scri: You can see and hear from the viewpoint of the center of the spell's area (if it has an area), or from the position of the target (If it targets a single creature or object), it follows that creature or object for three minutes. For every additional time you add Scri to the spell, increase the duration of your observation by three minutes or add an additional sense. Scri adds 2 to the DC to cast this spell.
  • Del: When you cast the spell, you specify a trigger condition. The spell does not take affect until the trigger condition occurs. The presence of such a spell can be detected with a DC 10 spot or search check. When triggered, the spell casts from the location you cast it at, with the range of the spell, etc. Spells with a Del trigger last one day per instance of Del. Each additional instance of Del adds 3 to the DC to cast this spell.
  • Tra: You can only learn this word if you already know Del, and you may only add this word to a spell with Del in it. The spell can only be detected with a DC 21 Search check (it qualifies as a magical trap). For every additional time you add Tra to the spell, the DC for the Search check increases by 3. By spending an amount of experience equal to 25 x (Wordcasting Check DC), you can cause the Del triggered spell to become permanent until discharged. By spending an amount of experience equal to 100 x (Wordcasting Check DC), you can cause the Del triggered spell to become permanent, taking 24 hours to recharge. Tra adds 2 to the DC to cast this spell.
  • Long: Increase the spell's range from Medium to Long, from Close to Medium, or from Touch to Close. Long adds 3 to the DC to cast the spell the first time it's applied to that spell, 4 the second time, and 5 the third time.
  • Wyd: Double the length of any cone or line, and the radius of any spread or burst involved in the spell. For targeted shapes like Ayl and Chen, it doubles the number of targets. Two instances of Wyd triples the length instead, and so on. Wyd adds 5 to the DC to cast this spell.
  • Tungtwist: The spell now requires a focus of a book of tongue twisters, and the Wordmaster must make a Speak Language check equal to the DC to cast the spell to cast it (in addition to the caster level check.) However, the spell is cast twice as quickly (The time it takes to cast is based on it having half as many words in it). You cannot add more than one instance of Tungtwist to a spell.
  • Gilt: The spell requires a material component, although only the price of the component matters. The effect of the material component on the DC is described on this chart. Gilt does not increase the DC of the spell. You cannot add more than one instance of Gilt to a spell.
  • Charg: When the Wordmaster finishes casting the spell, they are dazed for one round as they cackle maniacally or grin with anticipation. During that time, energy boils up from the ground and down from the sky towards the Wordmaster (A noticeable effect for miles around). The spell only takes affect after this period of time. The save DC of the spell is determined as though there were twice as many words in it. Also, the spell takes effect as though each effect word had been applied twice. Each additional instance of Charg increases the length of being dazed by one round, and triples (quadruples with three instances, etc.) the word length for save DCs and the effect of effect words. Charg increases the DC of the spell by 10.
  • Vudu: Vudu always increases the casting time of any spell it is applied to by one full-round action. It may now be cast from any position you can see from (not merely any position you can see). Any creature directly effected by the spell gets a clear mental image of your current location, distance, and direction from them. Vudu increases the DC of the spell by 4.
  • Lob: Lob can only be applied to a spell with an area of effect that is not centered on you. You do not need line of sight or line of effect in order to cast this spell, but you must be able to describe an arc going from you to a targeted square. Lob increases the DC of the spell by 2.
  • Prop: This word may only be applied to a spell that already has Del in it. The spell itself is now applied to an object, and rules for determining its targets must be determined when you cast the spell. The spell now originates from the item instead of from your casting location. Prop adds 5 to the DC to cast the spell, and the spell requires an additional material component consisting of 100 gp of fine wire or strong thread. (Scriptwriter Special)
  • Rech: This word may only be applied to a spell that already has Del in it. 24 hours divided by the number of instances of Rech after the spell takes effect, it recharges and is able to take effect again. Rech adds 2 to the DC to cast the spell, and the spell requires an additional material component consisting of 100 gp of potions for every point in its DC. (Scriptwriter Special)

Wordcasting Miscellaneous Charts

Casting Times Table
Casting Time Normal Tungtwist or Accelerating Pronouns Tungtwist and Accelerating Pronouns
Immediate Action 2 4 8
Swift Action 3 6 12
Standard Action 10 20 40
Full Round Action 20 40 80
+1 Full Round Action +20 +40 +80


Wordcasting Check Table
Caster Level Roll
Levels 1 through 6 1d20 + Caster Level
Levels 7 through 13 1d20x2 + Caster Level
Levels 14 through 20 1d20x3 + Caster Level
Levels 21 through 27 1d20x4 + Caster Level
+7 levels 1d20x(+1 from above) + Caster Level
Gilt Prices and Effects Table
Component Cost is at least: DC reduction is:
1 gold piece 1
5 gp 2
25 gp 3
125 gp 4
500 gp 5
500 gp 6
2500 gp 7
5000 gp 8
10000 gp 9
+10000 gp +1
Subtract the largest.



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