A quick reference for important game mechanics at the drop of a wizard’s hat!


Activating a scroll…
Coming back from the dead…
Coup de Grace…
Creating an item…
Dispel Magic…
Magic item Saves on a Natural One…
Summon Monster…

Coming back from the dead…

Restoring a dead character in PATHFINDER will take either RAISE DEAD plus 2 RESTORATIONS, or RESURRECTION plus 1 RESTORATION or a TRUE RESURRECTION. See below. (No XP Points are lost as in D&D 3.5)

Raise Dead: Two permanent Negative Energy Levels and 50% Spell Loss.
Treat as being CL -2. (5,000 GP diamond) Keep 1 HP per HD or Level.
Negative Energy Level: -1 on all checks. -5 HP on CURRENT and TOTAL HP.
Restoration: Two successful spells will restore the Negative Energy Levels. (1,000 GP diamond dust/ spell)
Without casting the RESTORATIONS, it is therefore possible that a character under LEVEL 10 will still need further healing to be conscious.

Resurrection: One permanent Negative Energy Level but no Spell Loss.
Treat as being CL -1. (10,000 GP diamond). Restored to FULL HP and Health BUT…
Negative Energy Level: -1 on all checks. -5 HP on CURRENT and TOTAL HP.
Restoration: One successful spell will restore the Negative Energy Level (1,000 GP diamond dust/ spell)
Without casting the RESTORATION, character will still be limited.

True Resurrection: Fully restored with No Spell Loss and No Negative Energy Levels. (25,000 GP diamond)

Actual Costs for Services/Scrolls:

For the sake of convenience I have worked out overall minimal costs it would require to buy the scrolls and services required to perform each type of RETURN FROM THE DEAD magic.
The costs below include writing materials, hireling rates and special components e.g. diamonds:
Raise Dead: 8,922 GP TOTAL (Includes Diamonds and 2 x Restoration spells) 3 days
Resurrection: 15,497 GP TOTAL (Includes Diamonds and 1 x Restoration spell) 4 days
True Resurrection: 34,562 GP TOTAL (Includes Diamonds) 5 days

For most other spells costs, I will be happy to accept the example minimal costs for scrolls shown on the link below:

(Specific scroll or service costs may vary due to exotic components, circumstance and time taken to create).

Creating an Item

If all requirements are met, then (from PFSRD)…." At the end of this process, the spellcaster must make a single skill check (usually Spellcraft, but sometimes another skill) to finish the item. The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item."

(I have highlighted FOR THE ITEM because it is important that this is recognised – the roll has nothing to do with the CASTER LEVEL of the creator.)

LEV 3 castor with SUCCESSFUL USE OF (not ability to cast) Barkskin, appropriate feat (i.e CRAFT WONDROUS ITEM) and ITEM PREREQUISITE being 3 x required bonus, with the expenditure of 1000 GP to cover material costs, can create the item provided that a successful CASTER LEVEL Check is made, which is 5 + CL for Item (which in this case is CL 5, making total DC10)

From PF Core Rulebook p460
Entry in Magic Item Description is notional, indicating its relative power. “The Caster Level determines the item’s saving throw bonus, as well as range or other level-dependant aspects of the powers of the item (if variable). It also determines the level that must be contended with should the item come under the effects of a Dispel Magic spell or similar situation.” (IT DOES NOT DESCRIBE REQUIRED CASTER LEVEL.)

Summon Monster

Full Round to summon, possible need to make check v AoO at beginning of round, spellchecks needed for any damage taken throughout the casting round, but if all goes well summoning monster appears just before start of next round. (I would let summoner choose location at this instant)

Activating a Scroll

To Activate a scroll, user must meet requirements:
- Correct type (arcane or divine)
- Must be on spell list
- Must have requisite ability score.

User must be Caster Level equal to or higher than Scroll Caster Level.
Otherwise Caster Level check required (1d20 + CL). DC v Scroll CL.
Roll of 1 is ALWAYS a fail. Failure requires a MISHAP roll DC5 Wis Check. Roll of 1 is ALWAYS a fail. Scroll not expended but mishap occurs. See PFCR p490 or Scroll Mishaps at

Coup de Grace

Full Round Action. Automatic Critical Hit. If defender survives, Fort SAV v DC10 + dmg dealt or die. Provokes AoO. Two rounds to deliver against creature with total concealment.


When you are initially exposed to a poison (whether during your action or someone else’s), you must make a save to avoid being poisoned.
Success: You resist being poisoned. You do not suffer any ill effects and you need not make any further saves.
Failure: You are poisoned and immediately suffer the listed effect. You will need to make further saves to avoid more damage and cure the poison.
Exception: If the poison has an onset period, failing the initial check does NOT cause you to suffer any effects.
If you are exposed to more of the same poison at any point while you are poisoned, you need to make a new initial save at +2 DC.
Success: You resist the new dose and carry on as if it never happened (this success does not count toward the requisite “consecutive saves” for curing any poison that is already in your system)
Failure: The DC for all subsequent checks are increased by 2 and the duration of the poison is increased by half of the listed value. (eg if you are poisoned with a poison with a DC 11, being exposed again forces you to make a save at DC 13. If you fail this, all your future checks to cure the poison, avoid damage, or resist being poisoned again are at DC 13 – and the duration is increased by half. If you are exposed for a third time, you would need to save at DC 15 against the new dose, etc)
For the onset period, nothing happens (if there is no onset, the next step happens right away!)
At the next frequency interval (your next turn for 1/round poisons, 1 minute later for 1/minute, next day for 1/day) you must make a save on your turn (at any point during your turn – you must still make this save if you choose to delay).
Success: You suffer no ill effects and now have a save towards curing the poison.
If the poison requires only one save to cure, you are cured and no longer need to make saves.
Failure: You suffer the listed effects again.
Repeat the previous step until you fulfill either score enough consecutive saves to cure the poison or the duration runs out.
Poisons with initial and secondary effects:
For poisons without an onset, failing the initial save causes you to suffer the initial effect of the poison. The subsequent saves are made against the secondary effect.
For poisons with an onset, failing the initial save causes you to be poisoned but not suffer any ill effect. Failing the first save after the onset causes you suffer the initial effect of the poison. Any subsequent saves are made against the secondary effect.
Special: If you are exposed to multiple doses of a poison with initial and secondary effects, you only suffer the initial effect once. Subsequent exposures cause you to suffer the secondary effect and add duration to secondary effects.
N.B: Poision ability damage can be healed naturally at a rate of 1 point per day after rest.

Magic item Saves on a Natural One

Magic Item Saving throws on a score of Natural One

Magic Items do not usually have to make a saving throw. However, on a result of a natural one against a magical attack, four random magical items will be chosen and each of these must make a save v the attack. As long as the items are being held, wielded or carried by the character, use the character’s own saving throw. Failure will result in the appropriate damage being taken. For any unattended item, all saving throws are equal to 2 + half the caster level.

Dispel Magic

Targeted Dispel: 1d20 + CL v 11 + CL (Level at which spell is cast at)
Area Dispel: 20’R apply to all in area.
Each creature in the area is affected. Level of effect starts at the highest DC until there is one success per creature. Again, this is rolled as 1d20 + CL v DC of the spell cast (11 + CL)
Named Spell: Must name specific spell: THAT SPELL ONLY can be affected.
1d20 + CL v Spell DC (usually 11 + CL)

Note that the roll v the Caster Level is always at the highest LEVEL of the caster unless the caster has chosen to cast at a lower level.

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