Legendary Spells

Wherein I attempt to explain the workings behind how I came up with the spell levels for all the legendary spells listed on this site. This section includes all the grand rituals, as well as any spells from the ELH that were cut (and the reasons why).



Animus Blast: Mass inflict serious wounds (L7) + animate dead (+3); increased range (+1); increased casting time (-1).

Since animate dead is Clr 3 and Wiz 5, I split the difference and went with 4; that also made the 75% easier to figure.

Animus Blizzard: Greater animus blast (+3).

I changed the base effect for these two spells to a "storm of black ice," which is simply a visual effect for the negative energy. The mass inflict wounds spells do pretty much the same thing – I just made it more flashy. I originally ditched the ice effect (ice storm) because it's an Evocation effect and it added all sorts of complications - which save to use (Reflex vs. Will), school (Evocation vs. Conjuration or Necromancy), etc., but I forgot that negative energy and cold energy go hand-in-hand - I could simply say the spell deals cold damage without having to justify it.

Obviously, they got changed to Necromancy (which they should've been in the first place), and the save was changed to Will to reflect the usage of negative energy. This change allows clerics to have the spell also, which makes more sense. I changed animus blast to make ten zombies instead of 20 skeletons – it made no sense that a coldball (or even a blizzard of negative energy) can melt the flesh off your bones, and you can't cram 20 Medium beings into a 20-foot radius anyway.

"Ice infused with negative energy" is nothing more than a chunk of ice that was exposed to a source of negative energy.]

Balthamek's Safe Haven: Private sanctum (modified, +8) + magnificent mansion (+5); permanent (+4); increase casting time by one increment (-1) and 3 hours (-3).

Black Ice: Cone of cold (L5) + enervation (L3); entrap victims (ad hoc +2).

Blood Tornado: Control weather (+7) + enervation (3); per round energy drain (+3); 1 Con burn (-2).

Caladaar's Shadow Dragon: Greater shadow conjuration (L9); improved version (+3); creating an ECL 25 dragon (avg, +4) specificity (adult dragon, -3).

Caress of Shadows: Darkness, improved (+5); widen x5.5 (+11); level-dep. (+4); permanent, large scale (+5); spell bound to focus (-6); inc. casting time by 3 increments (-3) and 2 hours (-2).

Cloud of Carnivorous Skulls: Create an ECL 18 undead - CL 27.

Contingent Resurrection: Resurrection (L9); contingent spell (+3).

Create Living Vault: Personally, I don't think this should be a spell. Living vaults should be made the same way every other construct is – with the Create Construct feat or the Craft (artificing) skill. I can't even begin to figure out what level it should be, since there is no spell anywhere that creates a construct. If we use the rules for creature creation, it would be CL 33, or a 14th level spell, but I preferred to just drop it.

Create Tesseract: Private sanctum (modified, L8) + magnificent mansion (L5); permanent (+4); can't exit except with password (+2); increase casting time by one increment (-1) and 3 hours (-3).

Create Winterwight: Create ECL 15 undead - CL 24.

Crown of Vermin: Creeping doom (L7); greater control (ad hoc +3); greater effects (+2).

Crystal Prison: Temporal stasis (L7) + hold monster (L4) + major creation (L2); only works if creature fits in 10-ft. cube (ad hoc -2).

Damnation: Plane shift (L4) + dominate monster (L9); change from target to touch (-3); reduce duration by 1 increment (-1).

I can't quite see this spell being L9, so I cheated and made it L10.

Demise Unseen: Finger of death (L8) + create undead, ghoul (L4) + seeming (+2); single target, ghoul (ad hoc -4).

This is a pretty simple one. Killing and raising a creature as undead is obviously legendary, but since it's only a ghoul (and only one creature) this is pretty low-level, so I tacked on an ad-hoc modifier. The cleric level is higher only because of the illusion element – clerics don't get illusion spells. I got rid of the HD cap (we really need a ghoul template) since there's a Fort save to negate it.]

Desert Tsunami: Wall of sand (L4); widen x4 (+8); mobile (ad hoc +2).

Yes, I know there's no wall of sand spell, but I would place it at L4 if there were.

Dimension Shift: Teleport object (L7); target to area (+7); widen x3 (+6); focus in stasis (ad hoc +4); spell tied to focus (-6); inc. casting time (-4).

Likewise, there's no teleport object spell, though there probably should be.

Dire Winter: Energy aura (L4); widen x6.5 (+13); increase casting time by two increments (-2).

There are so many things wrong with the original version of this spell, I don't even know where to begin.

First off, there's no precedent for a spell enabling a creature or object to radiate energy – I think they added that in just to make this spell, though I could easily make a spell that does it – it'd be 4th-5th level, and the base area would be a 10-ft. radius.

Second, the rules for cold say that cold damage from weather effects is nonlethal, unless the temp is below -20 F, in which case it's 1d6 points per minute. This is easily obviated by changing the base spell, though.

Third, what's the point of casting this spell on someone or something if it's not immune to the damage? Sure, you could wipe out a small army, including the target, with it… but it just doesn't make much sense to me – if the target is emanating the energy, it would logically follow that it's immune to it. That being said, here's my attempt to make it something that makes more sense.

Para-elemental ice is ice taken from (duh) the Para-Elemental Plane of Ice.]

Disintegrating Blast: Disintegrate (+6); empowered (+2); change from ray to 20-ft. radius (+6).

Doppelganger: Greater clone (L11).

Dragon Fire: Summon adult red dragon (ECL 28, +8); specificity (-5).

Dragon Knight: Create a half-dragon fighter (ECL 10, -1); x30 (+30); specificity (-4); requires 30 days of constant attention (ad hoc -20); draws the ire of any dragons (ad hoc -2).

Those of you familiar with Greeth mythology will know where I got this one. :)

Dragon Strike: Adult red dragon (ECL 28, +8); x5 (+10); specificity (-5), ritual (-3).

I had to drop this to 5 dragons on account of the spell level being too high for 10 (L18).

Dreamscape: This shouldn't be a legendary spell. There's a 9th level version in the Manual of the Planes, and a 7th-level psionic power in the Psionics Handbook.

Eclipse: This was a hard one. I finally settled on a simple disc of blackness that just happens to blank out the sun in a 5-mile radius around the caster and follows him when he moves. Normally darkness effects aren't druidic, but solar eclipses are, so it got druid levels too.

Eidolon: Greater clone (L11). I didn't make a lot of changes to this one, beyond changing the line about an eidolon cast this spell on itself (despite the law of diminishing returns, having multiple copies of the caster running around was just too much).

Enslave: Dominate monster (L9), permanent (+2).

Epic Counterspell: This shouldn't be a spell – it's exactly the same as superb dispelling (which was also cut), except that you have to ready an action to cast it, whereas superb dispelling deals 10d6 backlash. Either way, there's absolutely no reason to make this into a spell when dispel magic and its cousins do the same thing.

Estate Transference: Teleport object (L7); change from touch to 20 ft. radius (+5); widen x2.5 (+5); level-dep (+4); increase cast spell tied to blocks (-6).

Eternal Freedom: Freedom of movement (L4); add imprisonment, temporal stasis (+2) and petrification, stunning (+4); single target permanent (+2).

Another permanent spell. Freedom of movement covers entangle, hold, paralysis, slow, and web; imprisonment and temporal stasis, while high-level spells, don't come into play all that often, so they only gave a slight boost to the spell level (+1 each); petrification and stunning are a little more prevalent, so I gave them +2 each. Add in the +2 for the single target permanency and you get 12.]

Forestmarch: Liveoak, mass (+10); level-dep. (+4); ritual (-3).

From the Ashes: Flame strike (L3) + resurrection (L9); contingent (+3), increase casting time by two increments (-2).

Gathering Of Maggots: Eyeball factor. The template is ECL +3, but you can't base a spell level on that.

This spell originally appeared in the monsters section with the worm that walks template. It got quite a few changes: The school was changed to Conjuration, since you're summoning the vermin to infest the corpse, not healing a dead body (worm that walks is an aberration, not an undead); duration is instantaneous, like create undead, not permanent – permanent implies that it can be dispelled, which it can't; there's no save, since the target is a dead body – it doesn't get a save. And, of course, I added in the MC for a touch of flavor.

Harbinger of Death: Summon an ECL 26 creature (+8); specificity (-5).

Back when I first started doing legendary spells, I thought about making minor artifacts into magic items that could be made with legendary spells. That idea kind of fell by the wayside, but this spell (part of the deck of many things) survived.]

Heal, Mass: This spell should have been 4 levels higher than heal, but since spells in the PHB capped out at L9, it was placed there. With the new system, I put it in its proper place at L10.

Hellball: If we compared this to a metamagicked fireball – energy admixture x3 (+4 each) and widen (+3) - we get a L18 spell that deals 10d6 of each type. It's a totally useless spell at that level, which kind of points to both Admixture and Widen being too high (should be +3 and +2 respectively). If we go with those values, this ends up being 14th level. The damage cap for L14 spells happens to be 35d6, but since we're dealing with 4 energy types, that would be 140d6 – just a tad too much – so I kept it at 10d6 each. (By comparison, an intensified meteor swarm is L16 and deals 48d6 damage.)

Kinetic Control: This is a hideously broken spell. Let's see – I can absorb up to 150 points of energy and discharge some or all of it, at will, as a touch attack? And I can do it over and over again, for up to 12 hours? Woohoo! I'll just get my friends to beat on me for a couple minutes before the big battle, so I can drop a couple of the lesser minions with a touch, then hang around the edge of the battle and soak up some more damage, or hang back and cast spells. Lather, rinse, repeat. Maybe it's not so simplistic as that, but really – this is a broken spell.

Krevik's Ghostly Servitor: Slay living (L4); create greater undead, ghost (L12), 1 Con burn (-2).

Krevik's Spectral Servitor: Slay living (L4), create greater undead, specter (L9), 1 Con burn (-2).

Krevik's Spirit Call: Create greater undead, mass (L12) + invis. to undead (+1); widen x2.5 (+5); 2 Con burn (-4). While invisibility to undead isn't in 3.5, I figure it's about L2; since it applies only to the shadows, a +1 adjustment sounded about right).

Krevik's Wraith Servitor: Slay living (L4), create greater undead, wraith (L8), 1 Con burn (-2).

Legendary Mage Armor: Mage armor (L1); empower x3 (+6).

This fits - improved mage armor is L4 and +10 (empower x1.5); a greater improved mage armor would be L7 and +16. Obviously this is no longer a legendary spell.

Legendary Repulsion: Repel vermin (L4); single target permanent (+2); works against any chosen creature type (+3).

I went with repel vermin as the basis for this spell, since it also works against a specific type. Again, this is only L9, and I can't really justify making it L10. I'd rename it to greater repulsion or something.

Legendary Spell Reflection: Spell turning (L7); single target permanent (+2); no limit to spell levels (+3).

Let Go of Me: Quickened, stilled, silent disintegrate – L12. Limiting the circumstances so it only works if you're being grappled – L9-10. Since "pure destructive force" isn't really used outside of a disintegrate spell, we should probably leave this at L10.

Living Lightning: This one got a complete overhaul. I took the living spell template from MMII and used it as a guideline; I though construct worked better than ooze, so that's what I used instead. I had all kinds of cool ideas when writing that up, some of which are incorporated into the template or the notes.

I set the caster level for this thing at L20 (a nice arbitrary number), even though it's a legendary spell. An ECL 16 creature is around CL 25 to create, hence L11 for the spell.

Lord of Nightmares: Hmm… summoning an ECL 43 abomination to inhabit your body. If we go with +1/2 ECL, that's L31 (9 + 21). It's a specific creature (-5), and you lose control of your body (ad hoc -15), but you receive no damage (ad hoc +4). Since the duration is reduced by one increment (from minutes to rounds), we drop the level another 1, and we end up with L14.

Mass Frog: Eh. A mass baleful polymorph – L9 at most. Why this spell obviates the Will save to avoid losing personality, mental scores, and special abilities, I have no idea – isn't the point of turning someone into a frog to get rid of them?

Memento Mori: This is the same as a quickened, silent, stilled finger of death, with a +10 bonus to the DC, which you can easily get by simply heightening it. There's no point in making this a legendary spell unless you want the increased save DC (L14 vs. L8) and/or the coolness factor of killing someone with a thought.

Miracle: This is equivalent to wish, which is a greater version of limited wish (level +3). I created a lesser miracle at L7 and bumped this one up to L10, which pushes it out of the range of most PCs. Since it's an overpowered spell at L9, this makes sense all around.

Mummy Dust: Pretty straighforward. You have to be CL 22 to make an ECL 13 mummy, so that makes it L10. Add another level for the second mummy, so L11.

Nailed to the Sky: Reverse gravity (L7) + teleport (L4); single target permanent (+2).

It's fairly easy to get back by flying or teleportation, which many creatures at that power level have, so this should be about right.

Origin of Species: Achaierai: Another really odd spell. I used the create undead spells as a basis; achaierai is ECL 8, which is CL 17 – not even legendary. You could conceivably put this spell at L9, with the same casting time, but a "growth period" like that of clone – 2d4 months or so.

Peripety: A simple variant on spell turning. This is another spell that could easily be 8th-9th level, but I made it 10th anyway.

Pestilence: Contagion (L4); change from target to 20 ft. radius (+7); widen x5.5 (+11); ritual (-3); inc. casting time by 3 increments (-3); 2 Con burn (-4).

Petrified Forest: Flesh to stone (L6); change from target to area (+7); widen (+2); level-dep (+4); affects plants only (ad hoc -6).

Planar Ally/Binding, Greater: I overhauled the planar ally/binding spells when I did the ritual rules, spacing them out properly (each should have been 3 levels apart, which would put the top one in the legendary range).

Rain of Fire: This one was kind of hard to adjudicate. I took control weather (L7), added an ad hoc +8 for the fire, and then halved the duration (ad hoc -2) to end up with 13.

Raise Island: Move earth (+6); widen x3 (+6).

I wasn't too sure how to adjudicate this one, so I eyeballed the widen modifier. I'm sure it's a bit low, but L12 sounds about right for this spell in any case. It's not a gamebreaker.

Ruin: Bogus spell. It's exactly the same as disintegrate, with a higher save DC. The destroy seed in the ELH has a 12,000 ft. range for no reason that I can see, beyond making this spell worthwhile. If we eliminate that, this spell has no reason to exist.

Ruin, Greater: Hmm. I can deal 80d6 with an intensified disintegrate at L13, and (surprise!) this spell converts over to just under L13, but with a 2,000 XP cost. I'll take metamagic for the win, Bob.

Safe Time: Time stop (+9); contingent (+3); one round only (-2).

This is what time stop should have been – a spell that shunts the caster into an alternate timestream where time flows much faster, but where those around him don't exist (thus giving a real reason for why he can't affect them).

Sever From the Source: Greater mage shield.

Mage shield (L7) appears in the new spells section; it's simply a temporary version of this spell. Since it's easily reversible, L10 is high enough.

Shattersoul: Imprisonment (L5) + trap the soul (L8) + maze (L3) + nondetection (L1); permanent, single target (+2); increase casting time (-2); caster needs true name (ad hoc -4).

Sky Citadel: Reverse gravity (L7) + telekinesis (L3) + scrying (limited, L1); change base area to 20-ft. radius (+2); widen x1.5 (+3); level-dep (+4); tied to focus (-6).

Soul Dominion: Greater soul scry.

A few minor changes here. I changed the school to Divination only (since the lion's share of the spell is remote sensing), lowered the casting time – as written, the casting time was half the duration, and added the +5 bonus for being on another plane (per scrying). Beyond that, it's a greater version of soul scry, even though it's named differently, so I took soul scry's level and added 3.

Soul Scry: A lesser version of this spell could easily be 8th-9th level, especially if it requires a willing target. It's also kind of a greater version of greater scrying, so I took that spell and added +3.

Spell Worm: I cut out this line: "The subject doesn’t realize the spells or spell slots are gone until he or she tries to cast a spell and finds it unavailable." because it's absurd to think that a character who's spending a standard action each round doing something wouldn't know what he was doing, not to mention the fact that "In the case of prepared spells, the subject decides which spells to abandon at each level." (emphasis mine). I mean, really. Other than that, this spell is very close to non-legendary – 10th level, 11th at most.

Spell Resistance, Greater: Another bogus spell. Let's see… spell resistance grants 12 + caster level, with no cap (33 at L21). Greater SR grants a flat SR 35. Wonder which one I'm going to take. Course, with the changes to SR this one had to go anyway.

Summon Behemoth: Summons an ECL 23 (average; the behemoth ECLs are 26 and 20) monster – that's +6, and I dropped it by 3 for a specific group of creatures.

Summon Celestial Host: Summons an ECL 15/16 (+2); x5 (+5); specificity (-5).

Summon Nightcrawler: Summons an ECL 13 (+1); x5 (+5) specificity (-5).

This spell was originally intended to summon a nightwalker, but that ended up being L9, so I had to go with nightcrawler instead.

Superb Dispelling: This spell was rendered superfluous by the change to disjunction (as dispel, no cap on caster level).

Time Duplicate: I had no idea what do to with this one, so I eyeballed it and gave it L14.

Tsunami: Wall of water (L4), widen x4 (+8).

Vengeful Gaze of God: Yeah, right. You actually thought I'd convert this? Okay, I did, just for the hell of it. If you take disintegrate, enlarge it three times (+3) and intensify it 3 times (+21 levels), it can deal 320d6 at L30, but it's a ray. I used that as a base, then tacked on another ad hoc +3 for changing the ray to a target, and dropped a level for the missing 15d6 damage, so L32. It's still uncastable by anyone below 100th level or so. So that's why it doesn't appear with the rest of the spells.

Verdigris, Verdigris Tsunami: These two spells were combined and made into a non-legendary spell, which I gave to Chonash (overgrowth).

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