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Spell Ratings - 7th Edition Core Rulebook


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As you know, not all spells are equal, and some are more effective than others. I made this list so that Keepers and Players can have a rough idea on how useful a given spell is likely to be to PCs. I've only included spells in the Keeper's Guide, and omitted spells found in the Grand Grimoire and other sources.

Note that of course, Keepers are free to modify spells in any way they wish. The ratings assume that the spell are used as described in the rulebook. I use the following color scheme:

Sky Blue: Amazing
Blue: Good
Black: Decent
Purple: Bad
Red: Horrible

Combat Spells

Breath of the Deep: Good combat spell against creatures that need to breath and have low POW & CON.  Best used for stealthy assassinations - can be cast from far away and without sound. Unfortunately 8 magic and 1d6 sanity is rather high.

Clutch of Nyogtha: Requires concentration, does slow damage (1d3 a turn), has a high magic cost, & require a POW roll each turn. The 1D20 sanity cost kills it.

Create Mist of R'lyeh: Smoke bombs that only cost a mere 2 magic points, no sanity, and can be cast instantaneously! Black if actual smoke bombs are readily available

Death Spell: Absolutely awful spell that's pretty much strictly worse than Breath of the Deep. Absurd magic & sanity cost, high casting time, constant POW rolls, ridiculously low range. It's junk, and possibly unusable because of the 24 mp cost.

Dominate: "Shoot/stab yourself" make great commands. An instantaneous casting time, a mere 1 sanity & 1 mp cost makes this amazing.

Dust of Suleiman: Powerful spell against planar beings - but the main difficulty is locating the Egyptian mummies.

Dread Curse of Azathoth: The 4 mp cost & 1d6 sanity cost is high - it's probably best to outright cast a combat spell instead of merely reducing the POW of a target. Sky Blue if used to setup a Mind Transfer spell.

Enthrall Victim: The main issue is that the enthralled creatures is easily relieved of the trance. Low magic (2mp ) but high sanity (1d6) cost make this ok.

Evil Eye:  Excellent debuff, especially against enemies using firearms. Can't be resisted, but making the caster bleed breaks the spell. Wonderful combo with Flesh Ward.

Fist of Yog-SothothBest used to knock off enemies into environmental hazard or out of cover. Decent change for a knock-out if 10+ mps are used and the target isn't heavy. The high mp & sanity costs make this difficult to use regularly, though.

Implant Fear: The lack of save makes this quite useful. Keeper may determine that determinant opponents can overcome their fear. Too bad it takes 12 mp and 1d6 sanity to cast

Mindblast: Bouts of insanity are unpredictable, and cultists & mythos creatures can't experience bouts of madness. Costs 10mp & 1d3 sanity

Melt Flesh: 5 rounds casting kills the spell.

Red Sign of Shddle M'ell: Could potentially paralyze multiple creatures and do damage to many more, but high (1d8) sanity cost. Best used against melee enemies or while under heavy cover.

Separate Binding: Amazing if facing the corresponding horror that is unbounded - the 1 sanity cost is super cheap. The odds of finding the corresponding creature unbounded is low, though.

Shriveling: Good damage to mp ratio but high sanity cost makes this only usable in very dire circumstances.

Song of Hastur:  Takes 3 turn to cast. 1d4 sanity each round is really harsh - I would only use this defensively

Wither Limb: Does 1d8 damage for 1d6 sanity, and presumably impairs the affected limb. If not, Shriveling is better.

Wrack: Paralyzing spell that disables a target for at least 3 minutes, and costs a mere 3 mp & 1 sanity.

Buffing Spells

Apportion Ka: Makes you unkillable - until someone figures out they can destroy your brain. With this on, you'll likely survive all fights unless your party straight up abandon you once you fall unconscious. The lungs are probably best to remove so to become invulnerable to suffocation - you'll be able to spam toxic gases, smoke, and the like on your enemies. Easily worth 5 POW and 2D10 sanity.

Body Warping of GorgorothUseful for a disguise, but the 5 POW & 2d6 sanity cost discourages its routine usage

Bless Blade: Niche spell, but highly useful if facing enemies that can't be harmed by mundane weapons.

Chant of Thoth: Occasionally helpful when soling an intellectual problem, but the 1d4 sanity cost discourages its use

Consume Likeness:  The 5 POW cost and especially 1d20 sanity cost means you should only cast this if the identity is desperately needed. Even then, the illusion is broken if you lose any hitpoint. 

Flesh Ward: Amazing! 1d4 sanity is nothing for a spell that can possibly quadruple your effective hp. Plus, you don't actually take damage while under this spell's protection, so no CON roll to stay conscious.

Voorish Sign: Highly dependent on Keeper, but I would assume the effect to generally be worth at least 1 sanity.

Utility Spells

Brew Space-Mead: How much do you want to journey through space? For almost all campaigns, not at all, but for a few that might be the whole point.

Cause/Cure BlindnessCure Blindness is invaluable if you do face the condition. Cause Blindness can impair a tough enemy, at any range. High casting time and sanity cost discourage routine use.

Cloud Memory: Low cost spell best used to infiltrate or steal without raising an alarm

Create Barrier of Naach-Tith: High sanity cost (1d10 to each caster) and high casting time (1 minute) make this situational.

Curse of the Putrid Husk: Let me get this straight - you lose 10 sanity, for a chance to make the victim lose 1d10 sanity?!

Elder Sign: Probably the best way to close a portal, but the 10 POW cost is going to hurt.

Green Decay: Highly dependent on the Keeper letting the target accept the green leaf willingly. With a 10 POW cost, it's hard to justify this unless absolutely needed.

Mental Suggestion: Creative suggestions can bring a lot of value, and unthreatening suggestions are cheap. 3 rounds casting time means it is best used out of combat.

Mind Exchange: The 1d3 sanity cost to both the caster & target kills the spell.

Mind Transfer: Good if you can capture a physically strong creature with low POW and steal their body. The chance of losing the character outright make this best used by very old or maimed characters. Sky Blue if Dread Curse of Azathoth can be used to lower the target's sanity first, Red if the caster is too moral to make use of it.

Mirror of Tarkhun Atep: Could be used to gain clues on where the target is hidden. Cost is mercifully low.

Powder of Ibn-Ghazi: Amazing against invisible creatures, but the availability of the ingredients is fully dictated by the Keeper.

Resurrection: Bringing back someone to life is invaluable, and almost always worth more than 1d10 sanity. 

Warding:  Really neat spell that let you set up all kinds of remote alerts for a few mps and no sanity.

Wave of Oblivion: Require being near the ocean, a casting time of 1 hour, and 1d8 sanity per caster. Super niche, and most Mythos creatures don't care much about being undersea.

Words of Power: Used creatively, can be extremely powerful. You can incite mass riots or convince a group of cops to help you. Unfortunately, using this spell may bring unwanted attention to yourself, and the targets may retaliate if they understand they have been manipulated.

Summoning/Contact/Banishment Spells

Banishment of Yde Etad:  Cheap spell, and can be cast far from the target to straight up banish it permanently. Won't work on high POW creatures, and low POW creatures may not be worth the hassle.

Call Deity: Leave it to the cultists.

Contact Spell: Low cost spell, but require substantial research & resources to strike a proper bargain

Contact Deity Spells: Leave it to the cultists

Create Zombie: High magic cost makes this impossible to cast for most characters; the zombie is dumb, does low damage, and has low brawl skill. Not sure how you can make any use of it.

Enchantment Spells: Highly dependent on the usefulness of the related summoning spell. If a POW roll is required, the character who enhance the object should give it to another character with full POW.

Dismiss Deity: Highly effective provide you can teach this to a large group. No checks except a flat % percentile roll that increases with magic point spent. No sanity cost as well!

Prinn's Crux Ansata: Powerful ankh that can banish creatures with an opposed POW roll for 1 mp, or for more mps with the possibility of getting an extra dice for the POW check. The required 3 round chants to use the ankh is unfortunate, however.

Summoning Spells: Highly dependent on how many POW rolls the Keeper requires - excellent if the Keeper doesn't require any. Value also depends on the specific creature summoned, how it behaves, and if the corresponding Enhancement spell is available.

Edited by Merudo
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  • 3 years later...

I really love this listing - thanks for it! I don't typically have PCs dabbling in the arcane, but recently some have expressed an interest. And, since I tend to play with the Pulp rules on top of core, it might be fun to get a little crazy with it. But, I certainly plan to dole (dhole?) out the spells in a very piecemeal fashion (one or two at a time!). This listing gives me excellent insight on how best to  pick and choose. Would I hand out only the great ones? Nuh-uh! 🙂  Magic comes with a price. I'd definitely pick some that are a bit devastating to the PCs, too. It's also fun to homebrew, and I generally change the names of the spells to something archaic to keep the PCs guessing. lol - all part of the fun.

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