Unearthed Arcana


In this variant, a character who has been the target of a spell sometimes finds that some of its magic rubs off on him or her permanently, leaving an echo of the original spell. A character who has alter self cast on her many times, for example, may develop the spell-like ability to alter her features into the specific form she's most familiar with. Beneficial spells can linger on a character like magic radiation, bestowing an advantage somehow related to the original spell. In contrast, some PCs have a homeopathic reaction to hostile spells; by suffering the effects of a spell, they develop a countermeasure to it.

Such spelltouched characters are a mystery to academic-minded spellcasters, who can't reliably duplicate the process by repeatedly casting the same spell on a subject. Magic interacts with each individual in a subtly different way.

Accordingly, the only way to become eligible to select a spelltouched feat is to have been exposed to (that is, targeted by or otherwise affected by) one of the spells associated with the feat. if the spell allows a save, you must have failed a saving throw against it at least once, whether intentionally or not. After meeting the prerequisite, you may select a spelltouched feat when your character would otherwise qualify for a feat. The exposure is the game-world explanation for your new power, and the feat choice is the trade-off that keeps the game balanced.

Standard feats rarely give your character overtly magical powers. Instead, they represent outstanding natural ability or rigorous training. Some feats such as Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, and metamagic feats make your existing magic better in some respect, but they don't give you magical power you didn't already have.

Spelltouched feats break that rule wide open, giving characters abilities previously impossible without the aid of magic. But they're balanced against standard feats, so characters who choose them aren't necessarily more powerful than their nonspelltouched counterparts.

If you use this variant, you'll find that magic becomes incrementally more important in your game, and even characters who rely on their martial prowess, such as fighters, sometimes manifest a magical effect.

Because these feats are variants, they employ other game mechanics rarely seen in feats, such as a drawback that accompanies the feat or a limited number of uses per day or week.

Table: Spelltouched Feats
Feat Prerequisites Benefit
Accurate Jaunt Exposure to greater teleport, plane shift, teleport, or shadow walk Better chance of successfully traveling between planes
Bladeproof Skin Exposure to stoneskin or iron body Gain damage reduction 3/bludgeoning
Breadth of Knowledge Exposure to legend lore or vision All your Knowledge checks treated as trained
Conductivity Exposure to call lightning, lightning bolt, or chain lightning After taking electricity damage, send out a line of electricity that affects one target within 30 feet
Controlled Immolation Exposure to fireball or delayed blast fireball Take no damage from catching on fire; opponents that strike you in melee take 1d6 points of fire damage
Eyes to the Sky Exposure to scrying or greater scrying Automatically spot magical scrying sensor within 40 feet
False Pretenses Exposure to charm or dominate spell Mislead opponent into thinking you are charmed or dominated
Ineluctable Echo Exposure to wail of the banshee or any power word spell Caster who targets you with power word spell or wail of the banshee is also affected by spell
Life Leech Exposure to death touch granted power or death knell spell Each creature within 30 feet that has -1 to -9 hp loses 1 hp, which you gain as temporary hit points
Live My Nightmare Exposure to phantasmal killer Send nightmarish vision against creature that targets you with divination effect
Momentary Alteration Exposure to alter self Use alter self as spell-like ability for 1 minute once per day
Naturalized Denizen Exposure to dimensional anchor You are never treated as extraplanar creature
Omniscient Whispers Exposure to commune or contact other plane Receive answer to one question per week as if you had cast a commune spell
Photosynthetic Skin Exposure to barkskin Gain +2 to natural armor when outside during the day
Polar Chill Exposure to cone of cold or ice storm Create patch of icy ground that hampers movement
Residual Rebound Exposure to spell resistance or spell turning If you roll natural 20 on save against targeted spell, effect of spell turns back on caster
Stench of the Dead Exposure to ghoul touch or vampiric touch Carrion stench causes those adjacent to you to become sickened
The spelltouched feats described below follow the normal format for feats.
Accurate Jaunt [Spelltouched]
You have an instinctive sense of interplanar travel.

Prerequisite: Exposure to greater teleport, plane shift, teleport, or shadow walk spell.

Benefit: When you use teleport, you can roll the targeting roll twice, taking whichever result you prefer. When you use plane shift or shadow walk, you likewise make the roll to determine your destination twice, choosing the better (usually lower) result.

Bladeproof Skin [Spelltouched]
Your skin has a degree of protection from even the sharpest edge.

Prerequisite: Exposure to stoneskin or iron body spell.

Benefit: You gain damage reduction 3/bludgeoning. Your skin imposes an armor check penalty of 2 (which stacks with the armor check penalty from armor and shield).

Breadth of Knowledge [Spelltouched]
Your time spent plumbing the depths of magic knowledge has resulted in a treasure trove of obscure facts.

Prerequisite: Exposure to legend lore or vision spell.

Benefit: All Knowledge checks you make are treated as trained checks, even if you don't have any ranks in the specific skill. If you have at least one rank in the specific Knowledge skill in question, you gain a +1 bonus on the check.

Conductivity [Spelltouched]
You have crude control over electricity effects near you.

Prerequisite: Exposure to call lightning, lightning bolt, or chain lightning spell.

Benefit: Whenever you take damage from an electricity effect, you may send a line of electricity arcing from your body at any single target within 30 feet. This bolt deals half the damage you just took; a Reflex save (DC 16 + your Cha modifier) halves this damage.

Controlled Immolation [Spelltouched]
If you catch on fire, the flames don't hurt you.

Prerequisite: Exposure to fireball or delayed blast fireball spell.

Benefit: If you catch on fire, you take no damage from the flames. A creature striking you with its body or a handheld weapon takes 1d6 points of fire damage. The fire persists on your body for 1d4 rounds.

This feat doesn't protect you from other sources of fire damage, whether magical or not, only from the effects of catching on fire. It also doesn't protect your equipment from the effects of fire.

Eyes to the Sky [Spelltouched]
You have an instinctive sense of when someone is magically watching you.

Prerequisite: Exposure to scrying or greater scrying spell.

Benefit: You automatically spot the magical sensor created by a spell of the scrying subtype (arcane eye, clairaudience/clairvoyance, greater scrying, or scrying) if it's within 40 feet of you.

False Pretenses [Spelltouched]
Those who try to charm you get an unpleasant surprise.

Prerequisite: Exposure to charm or dominate spell.

Benefit: When you succeed on a save against a charm or compulsion effect, the character trying to charm or compel you believes that you failed your save. You can play along voluntarily if you wish to. if the charm or compulsion involves telepathic commands, you continue to receive them, although you aren't obligated to follow them.

Ineluctable Echo [Spelltouched]
Those who use words of power around you hear the sound of their own voices.

Prerequisite: Exposure to wail of the banshee or any power word spell.

Benefit: When you are targeted by a power word spell, whoever speaks the power word is also affected by it (as if he had cast it on himself). Likewise, when you're within the area of a wail of the banshee spell, the caster of the spell also hears the wail and must succeed on a Fortitude save (using his own save DC) or die.

Possessing the Ineluctable Echo feat doesn't protect you against power word or wail of the banshee spells. You experience their effects normally.

Life Leech [Spelltouched]
You automatically try to steal the last bit of life energy from anyone nearby.

Prerequisite: Exposure to death touch domain granted power or death knell spell.

Benefit: Each dying or stable creature within 30 feet of you (that is, any creature with -1 to -9 hit points) loses an additional 1 hit point at the beginning of your turn. You gain the same amount as temporary hit points that last for 10 minutes. You can't suppress this effect, which functions on both friend and foe.

Live My Nightmare [Spelltouched]
Those who magically pry into your mind become privy to your most frightening dreams.

Prerequisite: Exposure to phantasmal killer spell.

Benefit: Whenever someone successfully targets you with a divination spell or effect, you can send that caster a nightmarish vision. This vision functions as a phantasmal killer spell, except that the form comes from your dreams, not the other creature's dreams. The other creature must succeed on a Will save (DC 14 + your Cha modifier) to disbelieve the nightmare and a Fortitude save (DC 14 + your Cha modifier) to avoid dying from fear.

Momentary Alteration [Spelltouched]
You can briefly transform yourself into a second form, acquiring its physical qualities.

Prerequisite: Exposure to alter self spell.

Benefit: Choose one specific form that you've turned yourself into with the alter self spell. Once per day, you can use alter self as a spell-like ability to turn yourself into this form for 1 minute.

Special: You can gain Momentary Alteration multiple times. Each time you take the feat, you can either extend the duration of an already chosen alternate form by 1 minute or choose another specific form from among those you've experienced after casting alter self on yourself.

Naturalized Denizen [spelltouched]
You are unusually anchored to your location.

Prerequisite: Exposure to dimensional anchor spell.

Benefit: You are never treated as an extraplanar creature (and you lose the extraplanar subtype). Thus, you can't be affected by a banishment or dismissal spell or similar effects that send extraplanar creatures back to their home planes.

Omniscient Whispers [Spelltouched]
A constant, barely audible muttering echoes in your ears, usually beyond your comprehension. But if you focus all your energy on listening, you sometimes catch a sentence or two that bears directly on your current situation.

Prerequisite: Exposure to commune or contact other plane spell.

Benefit: Once per week, you can tune into the voices you hear, getting the answer to a question much as if you had asked it with a commune spell.

Using this feat renders you exhausted.

Photosynthetic Skin [Spelltouched]
Your skin toughens when it draws energy from the sun.

Prerequisite: Exposure to barkskin spell.

Benefit: Whenever you're outside during the day, you gain a +2 enhancement bonus to your natural armor (characters who don't have natural armor ordinarily have a natural armor bonus of +0).

Polar Chill [Spelltouched]
You can call forth the cold of the arctic regions, making movement and fighting difficult for the unprepared.

Prerequisite: Exposure to cone of cold or ice storm spell.

Benefit: Once per day, you can make the ground icy in a 20-foot-radius spread around you. Each square in that area becomes covered with ice, so it takes two squares of movement to enter each square, and the DC of Balance and Tumble checks there increases by 5. A DC 10 Balance check is required to run or charge across the ice.

The ice remains for 1 minute or until exposed to fire.

You can't use this feat if you aren't touching the ground, and it doesn't work if the air temperature is above 100 degrees.

Residual Rebound [Spelltouched]
Sometimes spells cast at you rebound on the caster instead.

Prerequisite: Exposure to spell resistance or spell turning spell.

Benefit: If you roll a natural 20 on a save against a targeted spell, it turns back on the caster as if affected by a spell turning spell. Unlike spell turning, however, the Residual Rebound feat potentially functions against touch range spells as well. Residual Rebound only works on targeted spells that allow a saving throw, so a fireball won't rebound, nor will a power word stun.

Stench of the Dead [spelltouched]
The odor of decay hangs heavy on you, causing others to gasp and retch.

Prerequisite: Exposure to ghoul touch or vampiric touch spell.

Benefit: You exude a carrion stench that causes any creature adjacent to you to make a Fortitude save (DC 12 + your Cha modifier) or become sickened as long as it remains adjacent to you and for 1d4 rounds thereafter. You can't suppress the stench voluntarily.