Glyph of Warding

Level: 3   Sphere: Guardian [Abjuration, Evocation]
Range: Touch   Components: V, S, M
Duration: Until discharged   Casting Time: Special
Area of Effect: Special   Saving Throw: Special

A glyph of warding is a powerful inscription magically drawn to prevent unauthorized or hostile creatures from passing, entering, or opening. It can be used to guard a small bridge, to ward an entry, or as a trap on a chest or box.

The priest must set the conditions of the ward; typically any creature violating the warded area without speaking the name of the glyph is subject to the magic it stores. A successful saving throw vs. spell enables the creature to escape the effects of the glyph. Glyphs can be set according to physical characteristics, such as creature type, size, and weight. Glyphs can also be set with respect to good or evil, or to pass those of the caster's religion. They cannot be set according to class, Hit Dice, or level. Multiple glyphs cannot be cast on the same area; although if a cabinet had three drawers, each could be separately warded.

When the spell is cast, the priest weaves a tracery of faintly glowing lines around the warding sigil. For every 5 square feet of area to be protected, one round is required to trace the warding lines of the glyph. The caster can affect an area equal to a square the sides of which are the same as his level, in feet. The glyph can be placed to conform to any shape up to the limitations of the caster's total square footage. Thus, a 6th-level caster could place a glyph on a 6-foot x 6-foot square, a 4-foot x 9-foot rectangle, a 2-foot x 18-foot band, or a 1-foot by 36-foot strip. When the spell is completed, the glyph and tracery become invisible.

The priest traces the glyph with incense, which, if the area exceeds 50 square feet, must be sprinkled with powdered diamond (at least 2,000 gp worth).

Typical glyphs shock for 1d4 points of electrical damage per level of the spellcaster, explode for a like amount of fire damage, paralyze, blind, deafen, and so forth. The DM may allow any harmful priest spell effect to be used as a glyph, provided the caster is of sufficient level to cast the spell. Successful saving throws either reduce effects by one-half or negate them, according to the glyph employed. Glyphs cannot be affected or bypassed by such means as physical or magical probing, though they can be dispelled by magic and foiled by high-level thieves using their find-and-remove-traps skill.

The DM may decide that the exact glyphs available to a priest depend on his religion, and he might make new glyphs available according to the magical research rules.

Last modified: May 3rd, 2000