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Symbol was a conjuration spell that was similar to glyph of warding, creating a rune that had a variety of possible devastating effects when triggered.[2][3][7]


There was both a divine and an arcane version of this spell. Both versions had the caster tracing one or more glowing runes in the air or on any solid surface and choosing the triggered effect.[2][3][7] Divine symbols were triggered by anyone viewing the rune from up to 60 ft (18.3 m) away, and lasted a little over two hours (more for higher level priests) before vanishing.[8][9][10] Arcane symbols were triggered by proximity (passing over them, touching them, passing through a portal that had the runes inscribed on it) or by reading them, and were permanent until triggered.[11][12][13]

Known Divine Symbols[8][9][10]Edit

Creatures unable to exert enough willpower were forced to retreat or surrender. This effect lasted anywhere from a half hour to three hours.
Unlucky viewers were racked with excruciating pain that made it difficult to attack or dodge. This effect lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to over three hours.
Pliable creatures were temporarily converted to the same alignment as the priest and regarded the priest as a friend. This effect lasted for 10 minutes to over three hours.

Known Arcane Symbols[11][12][13]Edit

Creatures who could not resist the spell's magic were instantly slain. Physical toughness could also prevent certain death.
Excitable creatures would immediately turn and argue among themselves. If they were of different alignment, it was an even bet they would come to blows. It was unknown if a solitary creature would stand and argue with itself.
Those exposed to this symbol usually fled in panic, similar to an enhanced fear spell.
As with the divine version, if their will was overwhelmed by this symbol, those affected retreated, submitted, surrendered, or just stood there for a half hour to three hours.
If caught with their mental guard down, one or more creatures exposed to this symbol were driven insane, acting like a confusion spell had been cast upon them. The effect lasted until removed with heal, restoration, or a wish.
Same effect as the divine version.
All who could not resist this symbol immediately collapsed into a deep catatonic state that lasted fifty minutes to almost three hours, despite all attempts to awaken them.
One or more without sufficient mental discipline were stunned and staggered about, dropping whatever they were holding. This effect lasted only for a few minutes.


One reason the strength, duration, and variety of effects varied widely between divine and arcane symbols was the material components used in casting the spell. Divine spellcasters needed bit of phosphorous and a drop of mercury.[8][9][10] Arcane spellcasters had to have 5,000 gp worth each of powdered black opal and diamond dust.[11][12][13] Both versions required verbal utterances and somatic gestures including the tracing of the rune or runes themselves.[2][3][7]


See alsoEdit


  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–208,211,280. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 193, 236. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 244, 299. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  4. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 150, 153. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  5. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 181, 187. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  6. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 53, 91. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 236. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 299. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 193. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 244. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 91. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.

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