Feign Death (spell)

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Feign Death.jpg
Feign Death
Range touch
Duration 10 +3 rounds per level
Area of Effect 1 creature
Casting Time 1 action point
Saving Throw none
Level cleric (3rd); druid (2nd)

Causes those examining the creature to believe that the spell's recipient is truly dead, and not alive. Meanwhile, the recipient will be able to hear, smell and know what is going on — though the benefits of sight and self-directed movement are impossible. The recipient cannot move at all, as though they were paralysed, though they will be able to feel anything they happen to touch.

The recipient is able to dispel the effects of the spell at will, prior to its duration time. Recipients will then be able to open their eyes and speak almost at once. However, it will take three full rounds before the recipient will recover their full movement; they will be able to sit up in the second round, and stand in the third; but no other action, such as defending themselves or engaging in an attack, is possible. At this time, and when under the effects of the spell, the recipient should be treated as a helpless defender.

Unwilling creatures cannot be affected by the spell.


Any damage that is caused to the recipient while under the spell's effect (though not after dispelling the dweomer) is reduced by 50%, including damage caused by falls or breath weapon. The character's body still receives a save against any form of attack where a throw would normally be allowed.

Additionally, the recipient is completely immune to paralysis and hold spells, poison or energy drain, while under the spell's influence. Undead creatures will perceive that there is no energy to be drained from a lifeless body, and leave the recipient alone. Poison will be utterly neutralized, so that there will be no lingering effects; however, the spell will not neutralize poison that was imparted to the body prior to the spell's casting. And yet, the spell will suspend the effects of any poison for the spell's duration.

Bringing the Spell into Play

Most obviously, any time the player needs to fake their own death, perhaps to avoid paying a debt or to stop the vendetta of an enemy. Commonly it is used when the threat of a total party kill occurs. A brave caster might foresee that it would be better to grant the spell to an assassin or thief as a last effort, if perhaps the enemy can be counted on to collect those knocked unconscious in the fight, but not the dead. The assassin or thief, having the best chance of operating on their own, might be able to free the rest of the party.]

One use, common with mystery novels, would be to stage your own death and thus frame an enemy for murder. However, the short duration time of the spell precludes the possibility of having the corpse lay around for any length of time.