Ring of hands was a cooperative abjuration spell that formed a circle that acted as a zone of protection from evil. The reverse, ring of woe, had the identical effect except it created a zone of protection from good.
Two to ten priests were required to cast this spell simultaneously and then join hands at the conclusion of the ritual. Once cast, the priests and all those within the circle were encompassed by a barrier that acted like an enhanced protection from evil spell, with armor and spell resistance effects increased for every priest beyond the minimum two required to cast the spell. However, if any participant broke the circle, or if a protected being attacked a warded extraplanar or summoned creature outside the circle, the spell was immediately canceled.
Since the priests did not have freedom of movement and their hands were occupied, they did not have much chance to dodge blows and this negated the improvement in armor conferred by protection from evil. However, with more than two priests in the circle, armor benefits were again better than nothing. Priests in the circle could not cast any spell that required a somatic or material component while maintaining the circle. Protected individuals within the circle were free to act but could not engage in melee combat with those outside of the circle except using thrusting weapons that did piercing damage because the priests were interposed. Thus, the safest use of this spell was to ward against mental attacks, charms, compulsions, and possession, or the repulsion of extraplanar or summoned creatures.
If cast in reverse, ring of woe functioned as above except the effects were as an enhanced protection from good spell.
Only verbal and somatic components were required to cast this spell.
For a rough estimate of the size of a circle formed by medium-sized priests, assume each member of the circle contributes 5 ft (1.5 m) to the circumference. Thus the diameter of the circle is roughly the number of casters times 1.6 ft (5 / π) or 0.5 m. For medium-sized creatures within the circle, estimate two priests could encircle 4 individuals, with each additional priest allowing the protection of 4 more persons. See the table below computed for medium-sized beings.
|Maximum Number of|
|2||3.2 ft (1 m)||4|
|3||4.8 ft (1.5 m)||8|
|4||6.4 ft (2 m)||12|
|5||8 ft (2.5 m)||16|
|6||9.6 ft (3 m)||20|
|7||11.2 ft (3.5 m)||24|
|8||12.8 ft (4 m)||28|
|9||14.4 ft (4.5 m)||32|
|10||16 ft (5 m)||36|