Casting Spells

Both wizards and priests use the same rules for casting spells. To cast a spell, the character must first have the spell memorized. If it is not memorized, the spell cannot be cast. The caster must be able to speak (not under the effects of a silence spell or gagged) and have both arms free. (Note that the optional spell component rule [following section] can modify these conditions.) If the spell is targeted on a person, place, or thing, the caster must be able to see the target. It is not enough to cast a fireball 150 feet ahead into the darkness; the caster must be able to see the point of explosion and the intervening distance. Likewise, a magic missile (which always hits its target) cannot be fired into a group of bandits with the instruction to strike the leader; the caster must be able to identify and see the leader.

Once the casting has begun, the character must stand still. Casting cannot be accomplished while riding a roughly moving beast or a vehicle, unless special efforts are made to stabilize and protect the caster. Thus, a spell cannot be cast from the back of a galloping horse under any conditions, nor can a wizard or priest cast a spell on the deck of a ship during a storm. However, if the caster were below decks, protected from the wind and surging waves, he could cast a spell. While it is not normally possible to cast a spell from a moving chariot, a character who was steadied and supported by others could do so. Your DM will have to make a ruling in these types of extraordinary conditions.

During the round in which the spell is cast, the caster cannot move to dodge attacks. Therefore, no AC benefit from Dexterity is gained by spellcasters while casting spells. Furthermore, if the spellcaster is struck by a weapon or fails to make a saving throw before the spell is cast, the caster's concentration is disrupted. The spell is lost in a fizzle of useless energy and is wiped clean from the memory of the caster until it can be rememorized. Spellcasters are well advised not to stand at the front of any battle, at least if they want to be able to cast any spells!

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