Living Spell

Certain mages of exceeding power, through experimentation, have succeeded in creating spells with sentience of a sort. They are not intelligent, in the purest sense of the word, but they can understand commands and even use limited tactics. These "living spells", as they are called, are created in much the same manner as golem or other constructs. They usually take humanoid form, though the base effect is obvious to anyone who studies them - a living spell created from a flame strike appears as a huge flaming humanoid; one created from a darkness spell appears as a cloud of swirling shadows; etc.

Living spells are as unique as their creators, and the method used to make them is usually jealously guarded. Some few spells used to create specific living spells (like living lightning) have cropped up from time to time, giving lie to scholars who scoff at tales of spells that can think and act on their own.

Note: In addition to the special attacks and qualities listed below, a living spell can also have 1d3 other abilities relevant to its base spell, subject to the DM's discretion. For example, a living darkness spell could blind opponents by touch; a living fog cloud could have the ability to fly at will; a living fire spell would have the fire elemental's burn ability; etc.

Creating a Living Spell

"Living" is an acquired template that can be added to any Evocation or Necromancy spell (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). Legendary spells cannot be made into living spells, but spells with metamagic can be.

A living spell uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The base creature's type is changed to construct. Its size is based on its level:** 1st-3rd Medium; 4th-7th Large; 8th-9th Huge.

Hit Dice: Increase to d10s. A living spell has HD equal to its caster level.

Speed: The base creature's speed is the base speed for its size (30 ft., 40 ft., or 50 ft., respectively).

Armor Class: The base creature has a natural armor armor bonus equal to half its caster level, and a deflection bonus equal to its spell level.

Attack: Living spells have a slam attack.

Full Attack: Living spells use their slam attack or special abilities (see below), as the situation warrants.

Damage: A living spell's slam attack deals damage according to its size.

Medium 1d6
Large 1d8
Huge 2d6

Special Attacks: A living spell retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains those listed below.

Cast Self (Sp): Once every 1d4 rounds, as a standard action, a living spell can "cast itself" - in effect, it takes the form of the spell used to create it, with a caster level equal to that of the being who created it. Its point of origin is the point where it was standing when it cast itself; its targets, area of effect, etc. are determined normally, and the save, if applicable, is DC 10 + 1/2 the caster level + the spell's level. For example, a living fireball created by a 20th-level caster can cast a fireball at 20th level every 1d4 rounds.

A living spell with the Quicken metamagic feat can cast itself as a free action, but it still can do so only once per round.

Energy Damage (Su): If a living spell has an energy type, it deals an additional 1d6 points of damage of that type with a successful slam attack.

Special Qualities: A living spell retains all the special qualities of the base creature and those listed below.

Damage Reduction (Su): A living spell has DR x/magic, where x = 10 for Medium spells, 15 for Large spells, or 20 for Huge spells.

Immunity to Magic (Ex): Living spells have immunity to most magical and supernatural effects, except when otherwise noted. Dispel magic deals 1d6 points of damage per caster level (max 10d6) to a living spell; greater dispel magic deals up to 15d6 damage; and a disjunction will automatically destroy one if it fails its save. In all cases, the spell must be cast directly on the living spell, and it can make a Will save for half damage. Living spells with an energy type are always immune to that type, regardless of whether or not the effect or spell allows for spell resistance.

Saves: A living spell's saves are based on its HD. It has no good saves.

Abilities: Living spells have the following stats: Wis 10, Cha set to 1. As mindless constructs, living spells have no Con or Int scores. A living spell's Strength is based on its size: Medium 10-20; Large 15-30; Huge 25-40. Its Dex score is usually 10, but different spell effects can grant higher Dex scores - a living lightning bolt could have 15-17. No living spell should have a Dex score higher than 20.

Skills: None.

Feats: None.

Environment: Any

Organization: Solitary

ECL: Same as the spell's level +9

Treasure: None

Alignment: Always neutral


Sample Living Spell
The following living spell uses a heightened lightning bolt (L7) as the base creature.

Living Lightning
Large Construct
Hit Dice: 20d10+30 (140 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 40 ft.
Armor Class: 22 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +20 natural, +3 deflection), touch 15, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+18
Attack: Slam +16 melee (1d8+2 plus 1d6 electricity)
Full Attack: 2 slams +16 melee (1d8+2 plus 1d6 electricity)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Lightning bolt, shocking touch
Special Qualities: Blindight 60 ft., construct traits, double damage vs. metal, DR 15/magic, immunity to
electricity and magic
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +8
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 17, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
ECL: 16
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral

A living lightning is a heightened lightning bolt given form and sentience. It most often appears as a vaguely humanoid form about 8 feet tall, though it can appear as a large cat of some sort (lion, tiger, etc.). In any form, it can never be mistaken for a living being - it glows blue-white (bright enough to shed light as a torch), sparks constantly snap around it, and it emits a low hum that cannot be muted (+6 to Perception checks to hear one). Anyone within 10 feet of a living lightning can feel the electrical aura emanating from it.


Like golems, living lightnings are not subtle in combat - they seek to crush opponents with their speed and strength. It tries to disable spellcasters and stronger opponents by casting lightning bolt on them.

Double Damage Vs. Metal (Ex): A creature wearing or carrying large amounts of metal (20 or more pounds) automatically takes 2d6 points of electricity damage from the living lightning's shocking touch.

Lightning Bolt (Sp): Once every 1d4 rounds, as a standard action, a living spell can cast heightened lightning bolt (L7 spell, caster level 20th). Anyone affected can make a DC 27 Reflex save for half damage.

Shocking Touch (Su): A creature that touches or is touched by the living lightning suffers 1d6 points of electricity damage each round (no save).

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