Magic Jar


Level: 5   Schools: Necromancy
Range: 10 yds./level   Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special   Casting Time: 1 rd.
Area of Effect: 1 creature   Saving Throw: Special

The magic jar spell enables the caster to shift his life force into a special receptacle (a gem or large crystal). From there the caster can force an exchange of life forces between the receptacle and another creature, thus enabling the wizard to take over and control the body of another creature, while the life force of the host is confined in the receptacle. The special life force receptacle must be within spell range of the wizard's body at the time of spellcasting. The wizard's life force shifts into the receptacle in the round in which the casting is completed, allowing no other actions.

While in the magic jar, the caster can sense and attack any life force within a 10-foot-per-level radius (on the same plane); however, the exact creature types and relative physical positions cannot be determined. In a group of life forces, the caster can sense a difference of four or more levels/Hit Dice and can determine whether a life force is positive or negative energy.

For example, if two 10th-level fighters are attacking a hill giant and four ogres, the caster could determine that there are three stronger and four weaker life forces within range, all with positive life energy. The caster could try to take over either a stronger or a weaker creature, but he has no control over exactly which creature is attacked.

An attempt to take over a host body requires a full round. It is blocked by a protection from evil spell or similar ward. It is successful only if the subject fails a saving throw vs. spell with a special modifier (see following). The saving throw is modified by subtracting the combined Intelligence and Wisdom scores of the target from those of the wizard (Intelligence and Hit Dice in nonhuman or nonhumanoid creatures). This modifier is added to (or subtracted from) the die roll.

Difference Die Adjustment

-9 or less +4

-8 to -6 +3

-5 to -3 +2

-2 to 0 +1

+1 to +4 0

+5 to +8 -1

+9 to +12 -2

+13 or more -3

A negative score indicates that the wizard has a lower total than the target; thus, the host has a saving throw bonus. Failure to take over the host leaves the wizard's life force in the magic jar.

If successful, the caster's life force occupies the host body and the host's life force is confined in the magic jar receptacle. The caster can call upon rudimentary or instinctive knowledge of the subject creature, but not upon its real or acquired knowledge (i.e., the wizard does not automatically know the language or spells of the creature). The caster retains his own attack rolls, class knowledge and training, and any adjustments due to his Intelligence or Wisdom. If the host body is human or humanoid, and the necessary spell components are available, the wizard can even use his memorized spells. The host body retains its own hit points and physical abilities and properties. The DM decides if any additional modifications are necessary; for example, perhaps clumsiness or inefficiency occurs if the caster must become used to the new form. The alignment of the host or receptacle is that of the occupying life force.

The caster can shift freely from the host to the receptacle if within the 10-foot-per-level range. Each attempt to shift requires one round. The spell ends when the wizard shifts from the jar to his own body.

A successful dispel magic spell cast on the host can drive the caster of the magic jar spell back into the receptacle and prevent him from making any attacks for 1d4 rounds plus 1 round per level of the caster of the dispel. The base success chance is 50%, plus or minus 5% per level difference between the casters. A successful dispel magic cast against the receptacle forces the occupant back into his own body. If the wizard who cast the magic jar is forced back into his own body, the spell ends.

If the host body is slain, the caster returns to the receptacle, if within range, and the life force of the host departs (i.e., it is dead). If the host body is slain beyond the range of the spell, both the host and the caster die.

Any life force with nowhere to go is treated as slain unless recalled by a raise dead, resurrection, or similar spell.

If the body of the caster is slain, his life force survives if it is in either the receptacle or the host. If the receptacle is destroyed while the caster's life force occupies it, the caster is irrevocably slain.


Last modified: May 3rd, 2000