Spell Storing Weapon


Rules Questions

Shadow Lodge

Has there ever been a clarification on what caster level is used for the spell contained in a Spell Storing weapon? I see three possible options:

  • A) Minimum caster level for the spell (as per Ring of Spell Storing),
  • B) Caster Level of the weapon quality (CL 12 in this case), or
  • C) Caster Level of the caster who put it into the weapon.
The mere existence of the Dispelling quality leads me to think 'A' is not the way it works, but I can see the case for either B or C...

Sovereign Court

Not official, but I go with B) because the enchant says "the weapon can immediately cast the spell" and the weapon has a CL of 12.


I use C. Think of it this way: if B were the case and a 1st level caster puts in e.g. Shocking Grasp, the spell suddenly gets +4d6 damage. To put it another way, it would get the equivalent of a triple+ Empowered spell (for an odd interpretation of metamagic), and I can't get that to make much sense.
I think of it more like the weapon employing a scroll - someone can cast a spell from a scroll but it's not their caster level that is used, it's the caster level of the one who created the scroll.

Note that I'm pretty sure Rings of Spell Storing use that language for the same reason that scrolls and potions do - not because there is some arcane law that prevents more powerful magic from being stored in that way but because it is assumed that stuff you randomly find will have the minimum value possible of such variables.

Liberty's Edge

Spells stored in the Ring of spell storing have the minimum CL for balance reasons. And to reduce bookkeeping.

While the RAW doesn't say anything for spell storing weapons, RAI seems to be that they are cast at minimum caster level, for the same reason why the Ring was modified that way in 3.5 and Pathfinder (in previous editions it was unspecified).

Option B) is surely wrong, as it will give the weapon the ability to change the CL of the spell that was put in it.

Option C) seems to go against RAI, but it is feasible if you want to do the needed bookkeeping.
Keep in mind that it means that you get a greater benefit than normal in high-level play from a +1 ability that is already extremely flexible.
Bane, that in high-level play has the added benefit of potentially allowing a weapon to do mythic damage against a specific kind of target, has the drawback that it works only against a specific kind of target. Spell storing hasn't that kind of limit.


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I'm pretty sure it's C. There's no text at all about changing the caster level of the spell.

Liberty's Edge

MrCharisma wrote:
I'm pretty sure it's C. There's no text at all about changing the caster level of the spell.

I am fairly sure that there are posts by Devs saying that RAI is minimum level. Naturally RAI isn't RAW.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
I'm pretty sure it's C. There's no text at all about changing the caster level of the spell.
I am fairly sure that there are posts by Devs saying that RAI is minimum level. Naturally RAI isn't RAW.

That seems arbitrarily complicated, not to mention an unnecessary nerf.

Let's say the party's 9th level Wizard casts a 3rd level spell into your sword, then 5 minutes later you use the sword to attack an enemy and discharge the spell.

You're saying the spell somehow loses 4 levels for no reason, with no explanation (and I get that you're just relaying what you've seen posted, I'm just pointing out why that's silly).

That's such an easy thing to add into the text that I refute that as RAI. If they intended it they should have put it in.


Certainly, at tables I have played at, C is the standard.

Liberty's Edge

MrCharisma wrote:


That seems arbitrarily complicated, not to mention an unnecessary nerf.

Let's say the party's 9th level Wizard casts a 3rd level spell into your sword, then 5 minutes later you use the sword to attack an enemy and discharge the spell.

You're saying the spell somehow loses 4 levels for no reason, with no explanation (and I get that you're just relaying what you've seen posted, I'm just pointing out why that's silly).

That's such an easy thing to add into the text that I refute that as RAI. If they intended it they should have put it in.

Complicated? Where?

My wizard/some hired help/someone has put Shocking grasp in this weapon
option A) it is cast at level 1, zero bookkeeping beside the name of the spell
option C) you need to record the CL, next time the spell is loaded in the weapon it changes, maybe the player forgot to record it, the character is managed by a different player that can't find the information even if it is under his nose. It sounds more complicated.

Why do you make a "5 minutes later" example, like it was the norm? The norm is that the party will load the spell in the weapon when they are resting, without spending anything that would be used in the next battle. While in town they can even pay someone that is not part of their group to load a spell they normally can't get. Why they should get better use from it than from a ring of Spell Storing?


The enchantment is called Spell Storing... we have a Ring of Spell Storing that could possibly be used as reference.

Now, it doesn't say specifically say that the Spell Storing enchantment acts like the Ring of Spell Storing... and it probably doesn't have to, for some.

Out of the three options listed, only one of them is literally as simple as it can be every single time. Let's go with that one, shall we? And it just so happens to be the same as the Ring of Spell Storing... wierd.

Sovereign Court

VoodistMonk wrote:
Out of the three options listed, only one of them is literally as simple as it can be every single time. Let's go with that one, shall we?
Right, CL 12 every time.
VoodistMonk wrote:

And it just so happens to be the same as the Ring of Spell Storing... wierd.

Oh, guess not the simplest then.


Personally, I both see and agree with the simplicity of letting a CL 12 sword (or whatever) cast the spell as a CL 12 sword (or whatever)...

But it makes $#!+ wierd in ways that literally nothing else in the game seems to agree with.

Does the CL 12 sword (or whatever) cast the CL 1 Shocking Grasp put into at +11 levels? No. Absolutely not. That is freaking silly to assume, because nothing else does that... and if you were to insist, I would invite you to leave my table and not return.

It's not that I cannot debate or come to logical compromise... it is that you are clearly in the habit of abusing Paizo's horrible editing practices.

This is entirely hypothetical, and I am not accusing anyone in this thread... but if this argument arose at a table where I was GM, I would squash any and all BS about a Spell Storing enchantment raising the level of a spell casted into it.

Sovereign Court

VoodistMonk wrote:
Does the CL 12 sword (or whatever) cast the CL 1 Shocking Grasp put into at +11 levels? No. Absolutely not. That is freaking silly to assume, because nothing else does that... and if you were to insist, I would invite you to leave my table and not return.

There is a premium to be able to cast it at "+11 levels". We're talking at minimum a +2 weapon, so 8k. It's very likely a character isn't able to afford that until roughly level 8 or so (25% of 33k). But, the example spell is one that doesn't grow in power after level 5. In fact, the only change from CL 5 to CL 12 is countering spell resist. Sure, you could use different spells... but again by the time you can afford the enchant, the spells you are putting into it (3rd and lower spells) are basically at their peak anyway.

If anything, going with CL 12 makes the 'fighter that dips into wizard' more competitive as a concept since they are able to use their few spell slots to do ok damage and maybe actually bypass SR once in a while.

VoodistMonk wrote:
It's not that I cannot debate or come to logical compromise... it is that you are clearly in the habit of abusing Paizo's horrible editing practices.

Both the Ring of Spell Storing and the Spell Storing weapon enchant were printed in the Core rulebook and reprinted in Ultimate Equipment. If they were meant to have the same rules, they had plenty of opportunity to make them have the same rules text. All they had to do was give it the same language as the Ioun Stone(from all of 3.0, 3.5 and PF) which says "as a ring of spell storing, minor" and adding "except only a single spell and it activates as a free action on hitting with the weapon".

As I alluded to, this issue stems all the way back from D&D 3.0. In 3.0 the spell storing weapon was CL 8 but required CL 12 to create. 3.5 updated both to CL 12 and it hasn't changed since. The ring has had the same minimum CL language from the beginning of 3.0.

So there have been at least 3 opportunities (3.0->3.5, ->PF:CRB, ->PF:UE) to give the weapon the same restrictive language as the ring but they never have. In fact, Ultimate Equipment added the Spell Storing armor enchant which has the same language as the weapon enchant (well, touch vs targeted spell and being hit vs hitting, but otherwise the same). So I must conclude that it is intentionally different.

Spell Storing weapon exists in PF2e, but the ring doesn't. However, spells in PF2e don't really vary by CL, just the slot used to cast it. But it does set the DC of the spell to 30, not the caster's normal DC, which is similar to my 1e view of the weapon casting the spell. But I haven't actually played 2e, so I might be missing some context.

The Exchange

I think there used to be an official answer of C) for PFS. Unfortunately the FAQ on spell-storing (and many others) got lost in one of the Organized Play FAQ page updates.

The problem with B) is that it would break power levels. Not just for attacks on enemies, but also on a lot of buff spells. (Get a spell storing amulet of mighty fists. Have the 3rd-level druid cast barkskin in it. Hand it to the wizard and have him punch the fighter for 1d3-1 damage and a CL12 barkskin? Yeah, that’s out of scale.)

A) isn’t “wrong” per the rules, but neither is C). It sure looks like whoever wrote dispelling thought C) is the answer. C) is the way I play it.


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I use a mix of A and C, when found the item's spell default to A, but when used by a player they decide what it is by either casting the spell ino9 the weapon or negotiating and paying an NPC to do it.

Liberty's Edge

Belafon wrote:
It sure looks like whoever wrote dispelling thought C) is the answer. C) is the way I play it.

How do you get that idea?

Quote:

Dispelling

Source Ultimate Equipment pg. 140
Aura strong abjuration CL 10th
Slot weapon quality; Price +1 bonus; Weight —
Description
A dispelling weapon functions like a spell storing weapon, but it may only store dispel magic; however, the caster level check to dispel gains an additional bonus equal to the weapon’s enhancement bonus. This bonus also applies to a magus’s dispelling strike arcana or a barbarian’s spell sunder or sunder enchantment combat maneuver check.

Besides the little problem that Dispel Magic isn't a touch spell, so "functions like a spell storing weapon" is a bit questionable as a description, what is the effect?

Version A)
Dispel magic loaded by a 5th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 5+1 = Dispel magic with a Dispelling check at +6

Dispel magic loaded by a 10th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 5+1 = Dispel magic with a Dispelling check at +6

Version C)
Dispel magic loaded by a 5th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 5+1 = Dispel magic with a Dispelling check at +6

Dispel magic loaded by a 10th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 10+1 = Dispel magic with a Dispelling check at +11

With both versions, the effect doesn't change, what matters is the enhancement bonus of the weapon.

What happens with a stronger weapon? Let's say a +5 dispelling weapon that has a CL of 15 (the minimum to make a +5 weapon)?

Version A)
Dispel magic loaded by a 5th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 5+5 = Dispel magic with a Dispelling check at +10

Dispel magic loaded by a 10th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 10+5 = Dispel magic with a Dispelling check at +15

Version C)
Dispel magic loaded by a 5th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 5+5 = Dispel magic with Dispelling check at +10

Dispel magic loaded by a 10th level caster in a +1 weapon = CL 10+5 = Dispel magic with Dispelling check at +15

Again, what matters is the enhancement of the sword.

Nothing of the above gives any hit that the creator of the power thought that the right way to use spell storing was C). I can even argue that his opinion was that it works as A) and for that reason, he decided to make it stronger by adding the enhancement bonus to the dispelling check.

And, just to point it out:

1) The enhancement of the weapon doesn't change the Caster Level of the Dispel, it gives a bonus to the check.

2) Dispelling CL 10, Spell Storing CL 12.

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