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Detect Magic

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School divination; Level bard 0, cleric/oracle 0, druid 0, inquisitor 0, magus 0, shaman 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, summoner/unchained summoner 0, witch 0


Casting Time 1 standard action
Component: V, S


Range 60 ft.
Area cone-shaped emanation
Duration concentration, up to 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


You detect magical auras. The amount of information revealed depends on how long you study a particular area or subject.

1st Round: Presence or absence of magical auras.

2nd Round: Number of different magical auras and the power of the most potent aura.

3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a nonspell effect.) If the aura emanates from a magic item, you can attempt to identify its properties (see Spellcraft).

Magical areas, multiple types of magic, or strong local magical emanations may distort or conceal weaker auras.

Aura Strength: An aura’s power depends on a spell’s functioning spell level or an item’s caster level; see the accompanying table. If an aura falls into more than one category, detect magic indicates the stronger of the two.

Spell or Object Aura Power
Faint Moderate Strong Overwhelming
Functioning spell (spell level) 3rd or lower 4th-6th 7th-9th 10th+ (deity-level)
Magic item (caster level) 5th or lower 6th-11th 12th-20th 21st+ (artifact)

Lingering Aura: A magical aura lingers after its original source dissipates (in the case of a spell) or is destroyed (in the case of a magic item). If detect magic 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 Strength Duration of Lingering Aura
Faint 1d6 rounds
Moderate 1d6 minutes
Strong 1d6x10 minutes
Overwhelming 1d6 days

Outsiders and elementals are not magical in themselves, but if they are summoned, the conjuration spell registers. Each round, you can turn to detect magic 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.

Detect magic can be made permanent with a permanency spell.

Detect Magic, Greater

Source PRG:UI

School divination; Level bard 2, cleric 2, druid 2, inquisitor 2, magus 2, medium 2, mesmerist 2, occultist 2, psychic 2, shaman 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, spiritualist 2, summoner 2, witch 2


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S


Range 60 ft.
Area cone-shaped emanation
Duration concentration, up to 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


This spell functions as detect magic, except that you can glean much more information from the magical auras that you find, and those auras can be found after a much greater length of time. You can detect a lingering aura for up to 1 day per caster level you have, regardless of the aura’s original strength.

Additionally, when you use a standard action to concentrate on this spell, you can also study a creature within the spell’s area and attempt a Spellcraft check in order to determine the last spell that the creature cast by identifying lingering traces that the spell left in the caster’s aura. The DC to identify the spell is equal to 20 + the creature’s caster level.

Finally, you are able to locate and analyze the signature flourishes in a magical aura that allow you to match a spell to the person who cast it. In order to find these identifiers in a spell’s aura, you must spend 1 round focusing on that spell in particular, and succeed at an opposed Knowledge (arcana) check against the caster (or a Knowledge [arcana] check with a DC equal to 15 + the spell level if the caster wants her work to be identified and emphasizes these unique elements rather than obscuring them). Once you learn a caster’s set of identifiers, you can remember them as easily as a face or a voice. You can recognize this signature if you succeed at a Spellcraft check when later identifying a spell to determine whether or not that spell was cast by the same individual. The spell greater magic aura can obfuscate this information, making it seem that someone else cast the spell. Greater detect magic grants a saving throw against magic aura (but not greater magic aura).