- Wish and related spells are banned. If you find yourself needing to undo a condition that requires a limited wish or better, its an appeal for direct divine intervention. They aren't on any spell list for mortals to cast.
- Raise dead and related spells require an appeal for direct divine intervention. They aren't on any spell list for mortals to cast.
- Teleportation spells take you on a barely-shielded trip through the Far Realms. The longer the trip, the more damaging it is to your mental health. They also have a casting time measured in minutes for the longer-ranged versions (anything longer than dimension door).
- Divination spells that grant you knowledge through means other than direct observation, such as contact other plane (which communicates with an outer being) or comprehend languages (which grants knowledge without perception) are banned. Essentially, the divination school is reduced to those spells that directly enhance your own senses in some way.
- Any spell that is keyed off alignment is changed, due to my not using alignment in games. Detect good essentially becomes "detect allies of my deity", while detect evil becomes "detect enemies of my deity".
- Anything that is effectively a "save or die/suck" has a lesser effect over a period of a few rounds, with a save allowed each round. For example, sleep causes fatigue for one round, then exhausted for one round, then sleep (the exhausted condition expires when the spell's original duration expires). Flesh to stone causes 1d6 Con damage per round, with petrifaction occurring when Con reaches 0.
- Spells that permanently or "instantaneously" create something from nothing (eg. wall of stone) instead have a duration measured in days or weeks per caster level. Good for an emergency barrier when you need one, but not something you want to be making permanent structures from. (Make a DC 10 Intelligence check. If you fail, the duration is hours per caster level. If you succeed, each point you beat the DC number by is the duration in days per caster level).
- All spells that are listed as taking a standard action or move action to cast instead take a full-round action (some exceptions). Spells that were listed as taking one or more full rounds take an additional full round to cast.
- The swift XYZ line of spells take a standard action to cast.
- The power word XYX spells take a standard action to cast.
- The holy word spell and related spells take a standard action to cast.
- The inflict XYX wounds spells take a standard action to cast.
- The cure XYX wounds spells take a standard action to cast. When used to heal, they always heal at least 10% of the target's maximum hp per spell level, regardless of the die roll.
The primary effect is as follows:
- Most of the "I win" buttons are nerfed.
- Spells relating to "military intelligence" are generally gone. If the party want knowledge, they have to work for it.
- Spells that allow the party to bypass overland journeys are generally gone.
- Spells that allow the party to break the campaign are gone.
And some clarification on the consequences for the alignment spells.
Detect evil is replaced with detect enemy (and mutatis mutandis for other alignments).
For outsiders and other "always XYZ alignment" creatures:
Evil outsiders are enemies to any good deity, and vice versa. Lawful outsiders are enemies to any chaotic deity, and vice versa (exception: chaotic good and lawful good outsiders are not mutual enemies due to alignment).
In addition, every deity will typically have one of more enemy deities, enemy creature types, or enemy behaviours. Any of these would trigger their detect enemy spell.
As a cleric of Pelor the sun god, my detect enemy won't ping on an amoral faithless murderer, because he isn't an enemy of the faith. It won't even ping on a mortal follower or cleric of any of the "core D&D evil deities", because none of them are directly opposed to the concept of sunlight. It would, however, ping on all undead, due to Pelor's hatred of undead, and would ping on all evil outsiders. It'd also ping on mortal followers of Wee Jas, because Wee Jas has undeath as part of her portfolio.
If I were a cleric of Kord, my detect enemy would ping on all evil outsiders, and mortal followers of Hextor, due to his opposition to the liberty ideals of Kord. It would also ping off any creature that had an attack that directly attacked your Strength, including sentient creatures (Int 3+) with poisons that attack Strength and wizards who have memorised ray of weakness.
As a cleric of Corellon Larethian, my detect enemy will ping on followers of Moradin or Gruumsh (both traditional racial enemies), in addition to the usual "always evil" creatures. It would also ping off any creature who habitually destroyed forests or works of art.
Detect good is replaced with detect ally (and mutatis mutandis for other alignments). An ally is a follower or servant of your deity or a related deity. A related deity is generally (GM adjudication required) defined any deity who is not already defined as an enemy, and is one of:
- A deity who has the exact same alignment and two or more cleric domains (not counting alignment domains) in common, or
- A deity no more than one step away in alignment in and has a related portfolio of interests. (eg Artemis and Obad-Hai are both into nature), or
- A deity who is a fellow member in good standing of a tightly-knit pantheon (eg. the Olympian deities).