The changes to the spell system fall under several broad categories: "All or nothing" spells; death/life spells; polymorph spells; and problematic spells. They are listed along with the changes I made.

"All or Nothing" Spells

"All or nothing" spells are those that grant immunity to something (death ward), or grant the ability to perform a skill flawlessly (knock, spider climb). In most cases, the absolute effect was reduced to a bonus, either to saves or skill checks as appropriate.

  • Death Ward: Changed complete immunity to death spells, etc. to a +10 bonus to Fort saves.
  • Knock: Puts a limit on normal locks that can be opened, to prevent mages from upstaging rogues.
  • Spider Climb: Grants a bonus to Climb checks, similar to the jump spell
  • True Seeing: Subject can see through illusions only if their caster level is lower than the TS caster level; range is reduced to 60 ft.

Death spells

Death spells have been changed to fit a unified system. All death spells are now L6 minimum (except phantasmal killer, which is L5); the effects and number of targets that can be affected (single vs. multiple) increase with spell level as noted below:

L6:// Drops target to bleeding (-1 hit points); it can't can't recover on its own, but can be stabilized with a Heal check or cure wounds spell. Touch/ranged touch spells only (no save but SR applies).

L7:// As above, can be cast on a target (Fort save and SR).

L8: Work against a single target, auto-kill (save or die); or, works against multiple targets, but drops them to bleeding (Fort save to negate).

L9: Works against multiple targets, auto-kill (save or die).

Some exceptions to the above rules exist. Phantasmal killer, for example, is a L5 spell because it has two saves; it also has a chance to kill its target if both saves are failed. Likewise, destruction, which not only kills the target but utterly destroys the remains, was increased to 9th level. Circle of death works on multiple targets, but has a HD limit (both total and for what can be affected), so it was placed at 7th.

  • Circle of Death: Boosted level to 7; changed "auto-kill" to "drops target to bleeding".
  • Destruction: Level changed to 9.
  • Finger of Death: Drops target to bleeding; removed extra damage.
  • Phantasmal Killer: Level bumped up to 6; got rid of the extra damage (didn't make sense for a spell that doesn't use negative energy).
  • Slay Living: Level bumped up to 6th, target reduced to dying (not auto-kill); cap added to extra damage.
  • Weird: Changed targets to "1 living creature/level in a 30-ft. radius", dropped extra damage, changed Strength damage to Wisdom damage.

The following death spells were not changed: implosion, power word: kill, symbol of death, wail of the banshee.

Life Spells
All spells that return beings to life (raise dead, reincarnation, resurrection, true resurrection) have been adjusted upward to be the same level as their counterparts and were changed into rituals.

  • Raise Dead: Level increased to 6.
  • Reincarnation: Level increased to 5.
  • Resurrection: Level increased to 8.
  • True Resurrection: Level increased to 10.

Polymorph Spells

Aside from reprinting the errata'ed versions of the polymorph spells here, the upper limit of what kind of creature you can change into is changed to the creature's ECL instead of its HD, since this is a much more accurate measure of its relative power.

  • Alter Self, animal shapes: Changed HD limit to ECL limit.
  • Baleful Polymorph: No changes, but this version has the errata.
  • Polymorph: Errata'ed version included; HD limit changed to ECL limit.
  • Polymorph Any Object: Limited to objects only; level lowered to 7.
  • Shapechange: HD was changed to ECL, and the maximum reduced to 20; added a line about making Knowledge checks for "form familarity".

Problematic Spells

The spells in this class are generally among the most overpowered/broken spells in the PHB (disjunction, gate), sadly underpowered (foresight), or just plain wonky (shades). I tossed a few in here that I felt needed minor changes as well, like greater invis.

  • Antimagic Field: Second paragraph - all spells/effects require a caster level check to be suppressed.
  • Darkness: Level adjusted, and the spell is actual darkness, not "shadowy illumination". Darkvision grants limited sight in the darkness.
  • Deep Slumber: Number of HD affected scales with level.
  • Disjunction: Spell is treated as dispel with no caster level cap; grants additional effects for targeted dispel; doesn't affect artifacts.
  • Entropic Field: 20% miss chance was changed to a +2 AC bonus vs. ranged attacks.
  • Foresight: Increased bonus to +4; gave a specific time for warnings about another creature.
  • Gate: Cut out the calling function.
  • Heal: Does only one of the following: restores ability damage, heals hit point damage, or heals conditions (dazzled, blinded, etc.).
  • Invisbility, greater: The spell doesn't enable the subject to remain invisible after making attacks; duration was boosted to counter the slight nerfing in spell power.
  • Jump: Bonuses reduced.
  • Scorching Ray: Damage/ray is halved, but number of rays (and rate of gain) is increased. Damage was lowered because the original version grants 12d6 total damage at 11th level with no save. This version grants 8d6 at 12th with no save.
  • Searing Light: Damage type is stated (positive); the clause about undead vulnerable to bright light was removed, since this is not a light effect.
  • Shades: Reduced effectiveness to 60% to follow the progression (20% for shadow conjuration and 40% for greater SC).
  • Simulacrum: The clone must be a specific creature the caster knows or has seen; added a Heal check to determine the clone's true nature; added a clause about the clone's knowledge limitations; dropped the XP cost.
  • Sleep: Number of HD affected scales with level.
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