Especially powerful creatures possess innate abilities, magical powers they
can use at will. The majority of these function like spells. Thus, a brownie who
is able to cause confusion has the same effect as a character who casts the confusion spell. Creatures able to become invisible at will usually use all the normal
rules for the invisibility spell.
Innate abilities are different from spells in one major way, however. Unlike
spells, innate abilities are natural powers and do not require casting times or
any components (although there is an initiative modifier), including gestures
or words--unless these things are used for dramatic effect. (The monster
casually points to the place where his spell will occur and then looks at the party
with a wicked smile.) Innate abilities are activated by the merest mental command
of the creature.
In all other respects, innate abilities function like spells. They have the
same range, area of effect, and duration limitations of the spell of the same
name. When the spell in question varies in power according to the level of the
caster, the creature is assumed to have a level equal to its Hit Dice. If this
means the creature is of insufficient level to cast the spell, it uses the spell
at the minimum level needed to cast it.
Innate abilities generally can be used just once a round. Further, a creature
cannot use an innate ability and make an attack in the same round.
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