Overcoming Arcane Spell Failure (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Notes: Overcoming Arcane Spell Failure

Eldritch knights and eldritch hunters have a problem in that both casts powerful arcane spells and wears armor. Some ways around this problem are listed here.

  • Spells Without Somatic Components: There are a few of these, and you could make it your specialty to dig them out and use them. Unfortunately, the spell tables do not mention components, so finding them is a hassle. Here is a short list of candidates:
    Cantrips: Flare, Light
  1. Feather Fall, Hold Portal, True Strike, Ventriloquism
  2. Blindness/deafness, Blur, Knock
  3. Displacement, Suggestion, Tongues
  4. Dimension Door, Geas (lesser), Shout
  5. Contact Other Plane, Teleport
  6. Geas/Quest, Suggestion (Mass)
  7. Phase Door, Power Word Blind, Teleport (Greater), Teleport Object,
  8. Charm Monster (Mass), Irresistible Dance, Power Word Stun, Shout (Greater)
  9. Mage’s Disjunction, Power Word Kill, Prismatic Sphere, Teleportation Circle, Time Stop, Wail of the Banshee
  • Mithral Buckler: Using a mithral buckler gives an armor bonus of +1, gives another spot to add enhancement bonuses to armor, and still has a free hand you can shift your weapon to when you need a free hand to cast spells. It has no chance of spell failure and no armor check penalty, but prevents you from using two-handed weapons.
  • Armored Kilt:: An armored kilt offers one point of armor with no penalties whatsoever. This is an option early on, before you can afford special materials, but mage armor is generally better.
  • Darkleaf Leather Armor: Using darkleaf cloth leather armor, you have an armor bonus of +2 without arcane spell failure, and that is before enchantment bonuses to armor.
  • Mithral Chain Shirt Using a mithral chain shirt, and with Arcane Armor Training, you have an armor bonus of +4 without arcane spell failure.
  • Mithral Breastplate Using a mithral breastplate, and with both Arcane Armor Training and Arcane Armor Mastery, you have an armor bonus of +7 without arcane spell failure.
  • Mithral Full Plate: If you are ready to accept 5% spell failure, mithral full plate gives an armor bonus of +9.
  • Free Hand Remember that you need a free hand for somatic components. A light or heavy shield means you have to drop or sheathe your weapon when casting a spell. Your best option is to use a two-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon with a buckler. It is a free action to shift the grip on the weapon from one to two hands and from hand to hand, staff-wielding spellcasters do this all the time. A weapon cord lets you release and then pick up your weapon, but spending move actions redrawing the weapon cuts down on your full attacks. The ultimate solution is the glove of storing, but it is expensive and occupies a valuable item slot.
  • Metamagic Still Spell is an option, but it reduces your spellcasting ability and unlike a normal spellcaster you do not want to hold a metamagic rod in your hand when fighting. Note that Quicken Spell is no help at all against arcane spell failure.
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