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Chapter 1 - Non-weapon Proficiencies - Chapter 2

Cantrip Non-weapon Proficiency

A special type of spell is the Cantrip. This is the basic magic that an apprentice mage learns before moving on to first level spells. Anyone can learn to cast cantrips, the cost is one slot for wizards, or 3 slots for all non-wizards. The rules for casting cantrips are the same for everyone, although wizards and bards are much better at these magics than others.

All characters may cast four cantrips per day, plus one per wizard or bard level. Each additional cantrip cast beyond this limit inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty on the proficiency check made when the cantrip is cast. If a check is failed the cantrip fails to work, and the attempt is still counted against the total cantrips cast that day. During combat cantrips have a casting time of 2, with a casting speed of fast. Specialist mages and Elementalists do not need to make proficiency checks when casting a cantrip pertaining to their specialty school or element. Wizards of 5th level or higher (Bards of 8th level) do not need to roll proficiency checks. Their mastery of magic allows them to cast an unlimited number of cantrips per day.

Some of the rules governing what a cantrip can do are:

  • the maximum range for any cantrip effect is 10 to 30 feet depending on line of sight
  • they cannot damage a living target of size S or larger
  • they will not cause a spellcaster to loose concentration casting or maintaining a spell
  • all armor restrictions for spellcasting still apply
  • a saving throw vs. spell is always allowed when they affect living creatures
  • no magical item can be affected
  • cantrips do not disrupt spells of 1st level or greater
  • a dispel magic automatically cancels any cantrips in the area of effect
  • if two cantrips from competing wizards are used against each other, the wizard with the highest (still succeeding) proficiency check wins.

Examples of types of cantrips from each school include:

Abjuration - clean up rooms, dust shelves, sweep and polish floors, wash or dry clothes, aid the caster's balance, warm or cool foods and drinks. Minor wards against normal insects or rodents 5 foot radius can be created, or a similar area can stay warm or cool.

Alteration - changing colors of faded plants or garments, to altering the taste of food, or freshening spoiled food. Gathering firewood, hiding footprints, cut, tie or untie knots in light rope of string, brighten or dim lights. Also small polymorph actions, such as changing animal, or vegetable items into something in the same kingdom, changes lasting for one turn. For mineral items the time is limited to one round.

Conjuration, Summoning - any normal item weighing less one pound can be conjured, provided they are not worth more than 1 GP and not made from any valuable material. Small creatures such as normal insects or rodents can be summoned. Invisible forces can also be used to rattle or tap objects, snatch, tickle or prod unsuspecting creatures. Any item summoned is never stronger than balsa wood, and will break if stressed.

Divination - determine the sex of a creature, discover if a door or chest is locked, locating the direction of north, finding secret doors. In this case the caster has the same chance to find, but only takes one round.

Enchantment, Charm - move inanimate objects slowly and jerkily, up to 2 pounds, may spill liquids, pull loose items off shelves, or knock over unstable objects. No damage is done if using the item for an attack. Creatures can be made to wink, nod, scratch, belch, yawn, cough, giggle, sneeze, or perform any minor involuntary action. The target must fail their save vs. spell for the cantrip to work. These will not disrupt concentration, although they might cause embarrassment.

Illusion, Phantasm - create false sounds, images, or scents. Conjure two dimensional images, visible only from the front, create illusory furniture, carpets, bushes in a flat area. All visual illusions are dispelled by touch, and they remain only as long as the caster concentrates. Any smell will affect a maximum of 10 cubic feet, dissipated by the slightest of breezes.

Invocation, Evocation - create glowing lights of any color, puffs of smoke, miniature colored flames shooting from the caster's finger tips. They can scorch and destroy paper or thin wood without flames or heat, or cause harmless but noisy explosions. None of these cantrips can physically damage any but the smallest of targets, but the may ignite combustible materials, frighten animals, or alarm the superstitious.

Necromantic - make flower wilt, food spoil, kill small insects or rodents, or reanimate them as a 1/2 HD undead creature. Bone may rattle, corpses twitch, or glowing points of light appear in the eyes of skulls. Any necromantic cantrip within a 60 foot radius of and undead creature alerts it to the caster's presence, though the caster is not aware of this.


  • Air - creation of mists, puffs of smoke, hazes, scents, gust of wind strong enough to billow robes dry washing or disperse unpleasant odors
  • Earth - create or alter stone, sand, mud, clouds of dust, minor earth tremors, growth of stalactites
  • Fire - create sparks, warmth, flickering lights (no stronger than torch light) can ignite dry undergrowth, paper, campfires, thin sticks
  • Water - conjuration of water, thick mist or rain if misty, current or ripples in water, small amounts of fresh or salt water can also be created.

Bardic - Bards use cantrips mostly for show effects, or background ghostly music. They can also imitate the sound of most instruments, and will keep perfect time.