At its core, casting an incantation
means having the required incantation components
, then succeeding at a number of Knowledge (arcane lore) checks during the incantation's casting time. Each incantation lists how many Knowledge (arcane lore) checks are required to cast the incantation successfully.
Unless otherwise specified, the caster makes Knowledge (arcane lore) checks every 10 minutes. Failing a Knowledge (arcane lore) check doesn't mean that the entire incantation
is a failure, just that the previous 10 minutes have been wasted. However, if you fail two Knowledge (arcane lore) checks in a row, the incantation
immediately fails. The consequences for failure are detailed in the description of the specific incantation
. Even if the incantation
fails, material components and experience
points are still lost and the backlash
still takes effect.
require components not unlike spells, including verbal, somatic, focus, and material components. In addition, some require secondary casters
(abbreviated SC), cause some sort of backlash
(abbreviated B), or cost the caster some experience
points (abbreviated XP).
require multiple participants to cast successfully. These secondary casters
(abbreviated SC) are indispensable to the success of the spell. No matter how many people are gathered in the dark room, chanting with candles, only one character-generally the one with the highest Knowledge (arcane lore) check-is the primary caster who'll make the relevant checks. Secondary casters
can't help the primary caster with the Aid Another
rules, but their presence is required for certain aspects of the ritual nonetheless. If an incantation
requires some other skill check
, any of the secondary casters
can make that check if they have a higher bonus than the primary caster. Even if you're not a required caster of the spell, you can step in and make the non-Knowledge check if you're better at the relevant skill than the actual caster.
Some spells damage
or drain the caster in some way. They have a backlash
component, generally damage
, negative levels, or some other condition. The caster takes the backlash
regardless of the success or failure of the spell.
Saves and Spell Resistance
Incantations as Spell-Like Abilities
Some creatures have spell-like abilities that duplicate the effects of incantations
. There's no chance of failure and no backlash
for such spell-like abilities, which don't require components of any kind and take only an attack action