Emergency casting

I’ve found an extremely interesting post on emergency casting, which is a nice idea for making spellcaster more flexible and adding a new dungeon activity, but after reading it a couple of times, I’ve started to think that I might I have done it in a different way.

Emergency casting is the procedure of casting a spell which the spellcaster knows, but hasn’t prepared in the most recent long rest. To cast a non-prepared spell, the spellcaster must:

  1. Be able to cast that spell (so, appropriate level and so on)
  2. Have the spell written in their own spellbook or on another spellbook on which they have cast Read Magic
  3. Have an appropriate spell slot available


If the spell has ingredients or material components, the spellcaster must already have them. For each missing ingredient, there is 1 in 6 chance of finding a suitable replacement in the room. Increase the chance by 1 if the room is well-furnished or to 3 in 6 if the room is a magical lab. Searching a room takes 1 round. Another option is searching slayin mosters for suitable body parts (2 chances in 6). Searching a monster takes 1 round.

Casting time

This is the part in which I agree less with the original post, because I don’t like the guessing game. Casting time is determined as follows:

  1. base casting time is 1d6 * spell level dungeon rounds
  2. casting time can be reduced by using more spell slots: a slot of the same level reduces the casting time by 1 round, a slot of a bigger level reduces the casting time by 1 + the level difference (so 2 rounds for level + 1, 3 rounds for level + 2 and so on), to reduce the casting time by 1 round using lower level slots requires 1 slot + 1 per level difference (so 2 slots for level -1, 3 slots for level -2 and so on).
  3. The caster can decide to add 2 rounds to the casting time in order to have more control on the spell, add 1 to the effect roll, or to take a -1 on the effect roll in order to reduce the casting time by 2 rounds

Once the spell is started, it cannot be interrupted, otherwise it will misfire (see below). Make the normal wandering monsters rolls (or whatever rolls you usually make in a dungeon when time is passing). This usually means that the room should be fortified and the rest of the party should be ready to defend the caster. Taking damage, using weapons or casting another spell count as interruptions.

In case of interruptions, the spell is cast at the exact moment of the interruption itself.

Spell effect

Roll 1d6 on a misfire or 2d6 on a successfull casting.

2d6 Effect Detailed explanation
0 Fireworks 1d4 other spells, from the caster’s slot are cast at the same time, each one on extremely random target
1 Extremely random target Select a random target for the spell. If the target in unsuitable (like a living creature for a repair spell), adapt the effects
2-3 Random target Select a suitable random target for the spell
4-5 Fizzle The spell slot are spent, but nothing happens
6-8 Normal The spell is cast normally
9-10 Powerful Increase dice size by one or duration by 1 round or range by 1 increment or target by 1
11-12 Fantastic As powerful, but pick two
13 Syncretic spellcasting The caster can choose another spell up to the cast spell level and have it cast at the same time, without losing the spell slot

Emergency rituals

If the caster does not have an appropriate spell slot available or cannot cast the spell (but still has it written in grimoire), they can attempt an “emergency ritual”, the procedure it the same but the casting time is expressed in exploration rounds instead of dungeon rounds (yes, it might take days for an emergency ritual, and the caster must find a way to stay awake for the whole time - dozing off is an interruption).

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