The description of each incantation follows a standard format, which is described below.
This entry is the name by which the incantation is generally known. However, it’s fairly common for a channeler to name his own incantations differently. For example, the walk on water incantation might be known as the Aquan step technique by one channeler, while another calls it the water elemental’s feet talent.
Each incantation belongs to a sphere. The incantations in a sphere are linked by a common source. The second line of an incantation description provides the name of the relevant sphere. The spheres include the following, but are not limited to:
Some people look up to the skies for their answers, and channelers of the astrology sphere are one of the few whose calls are answered. Astral channelers wield the magic of the heavens, calling down comets, shining with the light of the sun, or even travel to the Astral Plane itself.
Sages say that the world consists of the four primal elements: air, earth, fire, and water. Those who channel the elements, however, don’t just say that; they prove it with their magic. Drawing from the infinite elemental planes, these channelers can channel elemental magic that most people have never seen. Summoning creatures composed of the elements they channel and manipulating the elements; this is but some of the magic that an elemental channeler can wield.
The conscious mind is a wellspring of powerful energy. Those who are able to tap into this mental energy use a kind of magic called ‘psionics’. Mental channelers, however, do not channel their own mental energy; they channel the near-infinite collective energy of every mind in existence. Using this mental energy, channelers of the mind can manifest powerful emotions in the mind, among other displays of channeling magic.
While some think that nature cannot hold magic, those who channel nature magic know better. Wielding the wellspring of life that is nature, a nature channeler holds his sway over the creatures of the wilderness, the weather, and the terrain itself. These channelers can summon and empathize with animals, cause the weather to bend to their will, and shape their surroundings as they please, among channeling other magic.
Some incantations have descriptors that further define them. These descriptors appear on the same line as the sphere of the incantation. Incantations drawn from the elements, for example, always have either the air, earth, fire, or water descriptors, because these incantations draw their magic from these four primal elements (with the exception of
the elemental aptitude incantation).
The descriptors that apply to incantations in this book are air, animal, cold, darkness, earth, electricity, fire, light, mind-affecting, plant, water, and weather. (The animal, plant, and weather descriptors are new; see New Descriptors for more information. Most of these descriptors have no game effect by themselves, but they govern how an incantation interacts with other incantations, powers, spells, or other abilities.
This entry gives the channeling DC to successfully use this incantation, which defines how difficult it is to channel the magic required to use this incantation. Some incantations allow you to enhance its effect by increasing the DC (see below).
DC Limit: A channeler cannot use incantations with a DC that exceeds his channeling ability modifier + 1.5 x his channeler level (to a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 40), nor can he enhance an incantation in such a way that the DC exceeds this Difficulty Class.
This entry describes the type of action you must expend to activate an incantation. In some cases, you initiate an incantation, and its effect lasts for the rest of your turn (or beyond). In other cases, incantations last only as long as the action required to channel them (1 swift action, 1 immediate action, 1 move action, 1 standard action, or 1 full-round action).
Swift Action: A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. However, you can only perform only a single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you would take. You can take a swift action any time you would normally be allowed to take a free action.
Casting a quickened spell or manifesting a quickened power is a swift action, so you can’t channel an incantation with a channeling time of 1 swift action in the same round that you cast a quickened spell or use a quickened power. Using a swift action doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
Immediate Action: Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time—even if it’s not your turn. Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for the turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn).
You cannot use an immediate action if you are currently flat-footed.
An incantation’s range indicates how far from you it can reach. Some incantations are treated as Personal-range effects, because you channel the incantation to give yourself a special bonus or capability.
Standard ranges include (but are not limited to) the following:
Personal: The incantation affects only you (but might give you an unusual power or ability to affect others).
Touch: You must touch a creature or object to affect it. A touch incantation that deals damage can score a critical hit just as a weapon can, and you multiply the extra damage from an incantation on a successful critical hit as usual.
Range Expressed in Feet: Some incantations have no standard range category, just a range expressed in feet.
TARGETING AN INCANTATION
You might have to make some choice about whom your incantation is to effect or where it will originate. This entry describes the incantation’s target or targets, its effect, or its area, as appropriate.
Target or Targets: Some incantations affect a specific creature or object (or more than one creature or object) that you designate as your target or targets. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target.
Some incantations can be channeled only on willing targets. You can declare yourself a willing target at any time (even if you’re flat-footed or it isn't your turn). Unconscious characters are always considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobilized or helpless is not automatically willing.
Some incantations target you (but they might confer an unusual ability to affect other creatures). If the target of an incantation is “You,” you do not receive a saving throw—you receive the benefit of the incantation automatically as long as you meet any other requirements for channeling it successfully.
Other incantations affect a creature or creatures that you successfully hit with a melee or ranged touch attack.
Area: Some incantations affect an area. You might be able to choose the point where the incantation’s effect originates, but otherwise you don’t control which creatures or objects an area incantation affects.
Burst: A burst affects whatever it catches in its area, including creatures you can’t see. It can’t affect creatures that have total cover from its point of origin. The default shape for a burst is a sphere.
Emanation: An emanation functions like a burst, except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin (often you) for the duration of the incantation.
Spread: A spread spreads out like a burst, but can turn corners. You select the point of origin, and the effect spreads out a given distance in all directions.
Effect: Some incantations create something rather than affecting things that are already present. You must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear.
Line of Effect: Incantations that affect a target other than you require line of effect. A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what an effect can affect. A solid barrier cancels a line of effect, but line of effect is not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you channel an incantation against, or to any space in which you wish to create an effect at range (if your incantation allows that). A burst or emanation affects only an area, creature, or objects to which it has line of effect from its origin.
An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block an incantation’s line of effect.
An incantation’s duration tells you how long its effect lasts.
Instantaneous: The effect of the incantation comes and goes the instant the incantation is channeled, though the consequences might be long-lasting. For example, an incantation that deals damage might take only a standard action to channel, but the damage stays until it is healed.
Aura: This duration indicates that the ability is an aura, and therefore only ends until you will it to end, when you become helpless, when you fulfill a specific condition described in the incantation’s description, or when you cease concentrating on it.
Timed Durations: Many incantations last some number of rounds or minutes. When the time is up, the energy sustaining the effect fades, and the incantation’s effect ends.
Sometimes an incantation with a special effect that targets an enemy allows the creature or object to make a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect. The saving throw line in an incantation description defines which type of saving throw an incantation allows. Unless noted otherwise, the Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an incantation is 10 + one-half your channeler level + your channeling ability modifier.
Negates: The incantation has no effect on a subject that makes a successful saving throw.
Partial: The incantation causes an effect on its subject, such as death. A successful saving throw means that some lesser effect occurs (such as being dealt damage rather than being killed).
Half: The incantation deals damage, and a successful saving throw halves the damage taken (round down).
None: In a case where no saving throw is allowed, the saving throw line is omitted.
Unlike spell descriptions or power descriptions, incantations don’t have a spell resistance or power resistance entry. Since incantations are supernatural abilities, not spells or spell-like abilities, spell resistance does not affect an incantation.
This portion of the incantation descriptions explains what the incantation does and how it works. It begins with a sentence or two of italicized “read-aloud” text that gives players an image of how the incantation does what it does. If one of the previous lines in the incantation included “see text,” this section is where you find the explanation.
Enhance: Many incantations have variable effects based on the height of the DC when you channel them. The higher the DC, the more powerful the incantation. How this extra expenditure affects an incantation is specific to the incantation. Some enhancements allow you to increase the number of damage dice, while others extend an incantation’s duration or modify an incantation in unique ways.
Each incantation that can be enhanced includes an entry giving the number by which the DC can be increased and the effects of doing so. However, you can only channel an incantation with a DC equal to your channeling ability modifier + 1.5 x your channeler level (to a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 40).
Enhancing an incantation takes place as part of another action (channeling an incantation). Unless otherwise noted in the Enhance section of an individual incantation description, you can enhance an incantation only at the time you channel it.