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The Wizard’s Playbook: Magic Circle

The Wizard’s Playbook: Magic Circle

Magic circle has undergone multiple iterations throughout the years, yet remains a popular choices for spellcasters summoning and controlling creatures from other dimensions, such as demons and devils.

Yet, despite its effectiveness, magic circle is not perfect. Wizards, in particular, have developed variations of the spell for different situations, as well as complementary magic items for when spells are simply not enough.

NEW SPELLS

Try these spells to enhance or specialize your character’s use of magic circle.

Circle of Elemental Warding

6th-Level Abjuration | Cleric, Druid, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (holy water and 500 gp worth of gems, which the spell consumes)
Duration: 1 hour

When you cast this spell, you create a 10-foot-radius, 20-foot-tall cylinder centered on a point on the ground that you can see within range. Glowing runes appear where the cylinder intersects with the floor or other surface.

A circle of elemental warding completely protects anyone within its boundaries from elementals of the chosen type. Elementals of the chosen type cannot enter the circle by any means, and anyone inside the circle has immunity to damage from the chosen elemental as long as they remain within it. The circle also has the following additional benefits depending on the chosen elemental:

⦁    Circle of Air. This version prevents all harmful smoke and gasses from entering the cylinder. It does not prevent normal air from passing through the cylinder.

⦁    Circle of Earth. This version protects anyone within the cylinder from the effects of earthquakes and landslides. Any moving earth, stone, or mud that touches the cylinder shifts harmlessly aside and does not trap or bury those within it.

⦁    Circle of Fire. This version prevents fire or lava from entering the cylinder. Any lava that touches the cylinder shifts harmlessly aside and does not trap or bury those within it.

⦁    Circle of Water. This version prevents all water from entering the cylinder, including snow and rain. If cast underwater, the spell pushes any water not kept in a watertight container outside of the cylinder.

When you cast this spell, you can elect to cause its magic to operate in the reverse direction, preventing an elemental of the specified type from leaving the cylinder and protecting targets outside it. This version also prevents any associated elemental material from leaving the cylinder.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the duration increases by 1 hour for each slot level above 6th.

Circle of Fiendish Agony

4th-Level Abjuration | Cleric, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (holy water and 200 gp worth of powdered iron or silver, which the spell consumes)
Duration: 1 hour

When you cast this spell, you create a 10-foot-radius, 20-foot-tall cylinder centered on a point on the ground that you can see within range. Glowing runes appear where the cylinder intersects with the floor or other surface.

Unlike a traditional magic circle, a circle of fiendish agony can only be used to trap a celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead inside it. When cast, the circle has the following properties:

  • Any creature trapped within the circle cannot leave by non-magical means. If the creature attempts to leave the circle by teleporting out of it or by using some form of interplanar travel, they must first succeed on a Charisma saving throw. If you know the name of the creature, they make this saving throw with disadvantage.
  • The creature cannot interact with or attack anyone outside of the circle. Nor can it cast spells on those outside the circle. 
  • You can use an action while the creature is trapped within the circle to cause it to experience terrible pain. The creature must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or take 3d6 psychic damage and suffer a 1d4 penalty to all of its attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks for 1 minute. If it succeeds on the saving throw, it takes half of the psychic damage and does not suffer any penalties to its rolls. Furthermore, it can immediately make a Charisma saving throw to break free of the circle.
  • When used in conjunction with planar binding, a circle of fiendish agony imposes disadvantage on the creature’s saving throw against the binding effect. 

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the duration increases by 1 hour for each slot level above 4th, and the psychic damage increases by 1d6.

NEW MAGIC ITEMS

These items work with aspects of a magic circle spell.

Binder’s Blade

Weapon, Very Rare (Requires Attunement by a Spellcaster)

Several rare white gemstones cover the hilt of this long, thin dagger. You gain a +1 to hit and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

When you strike a celestial, elemental, fiend, fey, or undead with the blade, you can choose to draw some of the creature’s vital essence into the gems. This changes the gems to a rich crimson color. At any time within the next hour, you gain the following benefits against creatures of the same type.

  • Dismissal. The creature has disadvantage on its saving throw against the banishment spell.
  • Entrapment. The creature has disadvantage on its saving throws against the planar binding spell.
  • Protection. Any time you cast magic circle, creatures of the chosen type cannot use magical means to enter or escape from the circle.

As soon as the hour passes, the creature’s essence magically drains from the dagger, and you cannot use it again until the following dawn.

Summoner’s Safeguard

Wondrous Item, Uncommon (Requires Attunement)

This small cylindrical block of iron or silver is faintly inscribed with the same runes as those found on a magic circle.

As a reaction, while wearing this charm, you can instantly cause a magic circle to spring up around you. When the magic circle appears, you select which types of creatures it affects. Once used, you cannot use the charm again until the following dawn.


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about Phillip Larwood

Phillip has been writing for Kobold Press and other companies for many years. From multiple articles in the early days of Kobold Quarterly magazine to recent books like Tome of Beasts 2 and Vault of Magic, Phillip is never more satisfied than when he sees his name in print. Something that he points out to his family and friends over and over and over again.

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