Suspended animation was a necromancy spell that allowed one willing creature to enter a sleep-like state where bodily functions were so slow they became undetectable for extended periods of time. However, one or more priests of the same alignment had to maintain the spell, forgoing casting of all other spells and temporarily sapping their vitality.
The state of suspended animation was very similar to a deep sleep wherein the body was limp and unresponsive with no measurable heart rate, breathing, or other processes of life. The subject did not require food or water but would die if deprived of oxygen. In addition, mental and physical illness were prevented from progressing and poisons, curses, lycanthropy, mummy rot and geas afflictions had no effect on the recipient while suspended so cures could be attempted. The subject also recovered an amount of health equivalent to a cure minor wounds for each month spent in suspended animation. However, the subject was completely helpless and could be killed by a single well-placed strike.
The lowest level priest able to cast this spell could put a subject under for two weeks. More experienced casters could extend this to months, or even two years and beyond. However, the caster was required to maintain concentration on keeping the spell active which meant casting no other spells. The maintaining priest could eat, sleep, and do other things, but the spell was a constant drain and it weakened the priest's constitution on a weekly basis. To prevent excessive debilitation or death, the maintaining priest could attempt to transfer the spell burden to another priest of the same alignment. If the attempt failed, it took an additional toll on his or her constitution and required eight hours of recovery time before another attempt was possible. If successful, the burden of maintaining the spell was transferred to the second priest while the first could take bedrest for a few hours to restore his or her constitution. Whether the transfer was successful or not, the brief interruption in the continuity of concentration caused the suspended subject to lose an amount of health equivalent to an inflict minor wounds.
Awakening the sleeper from suspended animation could be done by the maintaining priest any time he or she was in the subject's presence. The caster could also choose a stimulus condition that would awaken the subject, such as hearing a word or phrase, reaching a particular temperature threshold, being exposed to sunlight or moonlight, receiving a kiss from a half-orc princess, etc. If the maintaining priest died or for some reason could not awaken the subject, another priest of the same deity could do it. When awakened in the prescribed manner, the sleeper recovered their full faculties and movement in one minute. If the subject was attacked with non-lethal damage (say a rat decided to take a bite), then the sleeper had a chance each minute of the attack to emerge from suspended animation. Awakening in this manner made the recipient sluggish and confused for up to an hour but allowed him or her to take at least some action.
In addition to verbal and somatic components, this spell required a rare herb that needed special preparation costing at least 200 gp and taking up to 3 days to complete.