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Detect Evil

witch, female, girl, Detect Evil

You can sense the presence of evil. The amount of information revealed depends on how long you study a particular area or subject.

This material is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.


Level Cleric 1
Components V, S, DF
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range 60 ft.
Area Cone-shaped emanation
Duration Concentration, up to 10 min./ level (D)
Saving Throw None
Spell Resistance No

  • 1st Round Presence or absence of evil.
  • 2nd Round Number of evil auras (creatures, objects, or spells) in the area and the power of the most potent evil aura present.

If you are of good alignment, and the strongest evil aura’s power is overwhelming (see below), and the HD or level of the aura’s source is at least twice your character level, you are stunned for 1 round and the spell ends.

  • 3rd Round The power and location of each aura. If an aura is outside your line of sight, then you discern its direction but not its exact location.

Aura Power An evil aura’s power depends on the type of evil creature or object that you’re detecting and its HD, caster level, or (in the case of a cleric) class level; see the accompanying table. If an aura falls into more than one strength category, the spell indicates the stronger of the two.

 Aura Power
Evil creature1 (HD)10 or lower11-2526-5051 or higher
undead (HD)2 or lower3-89-2021 or higher
Evil outsider (HD)1 or lower2-45-1011 or higher
Cleric of an evil deity 2 (class levels)12-45-1011 or higher
Evil magic item or spell (caster level)2nd or lower3rd-8th9th-20th21st or higher
  1. Except for undead and outsiders, which have their own entries on the table.
  2. Some characters who are not clerics may radiate an aura of equivalent power. The class description will indicate whether this applies.

Lingering Aura An evil aura lingers after its original source dissipates (in the case of a spell) or is destroyed (in the case of a creature or magic item). If detect evil is cast and directed at such a location, the spell indicates an aura strength of dim (even weaker than a faint aura). How long the aura lingers at this dim level depends on its original power

Original StrengthDuration of Lingering Aura
Faint1d6 rounds
Moderate1d6 minutes
Strong1d6x10 minutes
Overwhelming1d6 days

Animals, traps, poisons, and other potential perils are not evil, and as such this spell does not detect them.

Each round, you can turn to detect evil in a new area. The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.

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