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Detect Magical Residue

This is another specialty of the inquisitor, although wizards engaged in deep research occasionally learn this technique.

Crime and Punishment
Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003


Level: Inquisitor 1, Sorcerer/Wizard 2
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S
Range: 60 ft.
Area: Quarter circle emanating from you to the extreme of the range
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

It is a more powerful version of Detect Magic, designed to detect residual traces of recent enchantments and to provide information about the spellcasters. Detect magical residue is identical to Detect Magic, with two exceptions. The first is that the spell can detect auras long after they are too weak to be sensed with Detect Magic. Aura strength is determined in the same manner as Detect Magic, as shown on the following table.

~Aura Strength Functioning Spell Level Item Caster Level
Faint1st – 3rd1st – 5th
Moderate4th – 6th6th – 11th
Strong7th – 9th12th – 20th
OverwhelmingArtifact or Beyonddeity level mortal caster

The length of time that an aura lingers is indicated below:

Aura StrengthDuration
Dim30 minutes
Faint6 hours
Moderate24 hours
Strong4 days
Overwhelming16 days

The second difference is the amount of information you can gain after studying an aura for three rounds. In addition to determining strength, location, and possibly the school associated with each aura, you may take two full rounds to make any of the following Spellcraft checks:

InformationSpellcraft DC
Confirm identity10
Determine class10
Determine class specialty15
Determine time of casting15
Determine class level18
Determine species20
Determine gender25
Determine age25
Determine nationality30

Most of these checks are identical in effect to those described under detect bloodtraces.

Confirm identity allows you to compare two different magical auras and see if they were generated by the same caster.

Determine class identifies the class that was used to cast the spell, while determine class specialty reveals the wizard specialization or clerical deity of the caster. Determine class specialty does not use Spellcraft; it requires a Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (religion) check, based on whether the aura is arcane or divine in nature.

Determine time of casting reveals the precise age of the spell trace.

You may reroll failed checks or take 20 if you have the time, as described under detect bloodtraces.

If a spellcaster was under the effect of Misdirection when he cast a spell, detect magical residue will reveal the false aura; this can cause an elven enchantress to appear to have been a half-orc necromancer. However, if you make your check by 10 or more points, you will see through the deception; you will gain information about both subjects, but you will be able to identify which aura belongs to your actual target.

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