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Circle of death

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Circle of death was a necromancy spell that extinguished the life force of several living creatures in all directions.[10] Originally, this spell was simply called death spell,[4][5][9] but by 1372 DR it was widely known as circle of death.[11]


The old death spell version slew creatures outright making it impossible for them to return except via a wish spell. This version killed creatures in a 30 ft (9.1 m) cube or bigger, depending on the caster's level.[4]

Negative energy, appearing as light that is somehow dark[12], radiated out in a burst as directed by the caster. All touched by this energy could have their life force snuffed out.[3]

The post-Second Sundering version created a 60 ft (18 m) ball of negative energy with a 150 ft (46 m) range. Every creature in the sphere had a chance to resist the necrotic energies or they suffered serious damage. If cast at higher levels the spell did even more damage.[13]

This spell had no effect on the undead, lycanthropes, or creatures from planes other than the Prime Material Plane.[4][5][9]


The somatic component of this spell required the caster to point a finger at the intended targets and toss the powdered black pearl dust into the air in front of the his or her lips.[14] The verbal component was echoing and awe-inspiring.[14] The powdered black pearl had to be worth at least 500 gold pieces.[3][13] Older versions of this spell needed powdered black pearl worth at least 1,000 gold pieces.[4]


The Netherese arcanist Dethed was given credit for the creation of this spell in -1895 DR.[15] Circle of death was a common spell in the Realms.[16]


See alsoEdit


  1. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211,221. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 175. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 222–223. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  6. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 151. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  7. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 183. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  8. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 83. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (2005-12-19). Spell Index (HTML). Consolidated Lists Archive. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-22. “A consolidated index of spells from the 3.5 Player’s Handbook and Spell Compendium.”
  11. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. Warning: edition not specified for Crown of Fire
  13. 13.0 13.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Warning: edition not specified for Crown of Fire
  15. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  16. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.

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