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Contingency was an evocation spell that allowed a caster to set a trigger for another stored spell.


Contingency stored a spell for a long time, ranging from days in older versions[5][2] to ten days in newer versions.[8] The spell would be triggered to start after set conditions, like the start of a battle[9] or being under water. The spell could not contain very powerful spells, and older versions would have a spell based on the caster's ability.[5][2] After the Second Sundering, the spell changed to carry a spell slightly less powerful than the contingency spell.[8]

The spell trigger had to be specific but general, like being underwater or falling more then a specific distance. If the trigger was too complicated, then it could fail.[2][5] The spell would always trigger if conditions were met, whether the caster wanted it to or not.

Only one contingency spell could be active at any time, if cast again it would replace the old one.[8][2][5]


The older version of the spell used 100 gold pieces worth of quicksilver; a small part of a spell-using creature like the eyelash of an ogre mage, for example; and a statue of the caster carved from elephant ivory and decorated with gems.[5] The newer versions only needed the carved and bejeweled statuette of the caster, which had to be worth at least 1,500 gold pieces.[2][8]


The wizard Parwyyd Hanifar employed a contingency with a fire shield spell to protect himself against sudden attack, even whilst distracted or deep in thought, such as when Onyx the Invincible rushed at him in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR and was suddenly met with flames.[10]


  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211,227. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 213. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–66. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 174. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  6. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  7. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 227. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  9. BioWare, Beamdog (2013). James OhlenKevin Martens, Trent Oster. Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced EditionBeamdog.
  10. Dan Mishkin (April 1990). “The Ostus Legacy”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #17 (DC Comics), pp. 11–12.

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