Detect Magical Residue

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Crime and Punishment
Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003
OGL Section 15 cap
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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

This is another specialty of the inquisitor, although wizards engaged in deep research occasionally learn this technique. 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 Functioning Item
Strength Spell Level Caster Level
Dim 0-level N/A
Faint 1st – 3rd 1st – 5th
Moderate 4th – 6th 6th – 11th
Strong 7th – 9th 12th – 20th
Overwhelming Artifact or Beyond deity level mortal caster

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

Aura Strength Duration
Dim 30 minutes
Faint 6 hours
Moderate 24 hours
Strong 4 days
Overwhelming 16 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:

Information Spellcraft DC
Confirm identity 10
Determine class 10
Determine class specialty 15
Determine time of casting 15
Determine class level 18
Determine species 20
Determine gender 25
Determine age 25
Determine nationality 30

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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