Animate rope,[2] originally known as Vilate's restriction and later bind,[1] was an arcane alteration/enchantment or transmutation spell that could animate a rope-like object to move or loop, coil, or tie knots as directed by the caster.[2][6][7][13]


In the time of Netheril, Vilate's restriction could be cast by arcanists of the Variation specialization.[12]

Bind could be learned and cast by arcane magic-users,[13] namely wizards of the enchantment school,[6][7] and wu jen.[14]

Animate rope could be learned and cast by wizards with access to the transmutation school, and by sorcerers and bards,[2] as well as wu jen.[5] In Zakhara, elemental mages and sorcerers could learn it as part of the universal province.[11]

Animate rope could be also be used by clerics with access to the Craft domain—that is, those who worshiped Gond of the Faerûnian pantheon; Geb or Thoth of the Mulhorandi pantheon; Callarduran Smoothhands, Flandal Steelskin, or Garl Glittergold of the gnome pantheon; or Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, Laduguer, or Moradin of the dwarven pantheon.[3][4]


This spell was effective on unattended non-living rope and rope-like objects such as twine, string, yarn, cable, or cord.[2][6][7][13] At a minimum, bind could animate 65 ft (20 m) of standard rope, with more experienced casters able to affect longer segments. The length varied in inverse proportion to the diameter; that is, if a roll of twine had half the diameter of a typical rope, then the caster could command twice the length, and only a short segment of heavy cable could be animated.[6][7][13] After the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, at least 55 ft (17 m) of typical rope could be animated by animate rope. Increasing the diameter by 1 inch (2.54 cm) reduced the maximum length by 50%, while halving the diameter increased the maximum length by 50%.[2]

Bind or animate rope could be cast at a rope up to 90 ft (27 m) or later 110 ft (33.5 m) away, but if the intention was to interact with a creature or an object, then the rope had to be in close proximity (1 ft or 30 cm) with its intended target—the rope could not slither or fly any greater distance. For unwilling targets, this often required someone hurling the rope at them or maneuvering them close to a length of rope.[2][6][7][13] After the spell was cast, the rope could be commanded to perform certain tasks for a minimum of three minutes (longer for more experienced casters),[6][7][13] but on the order of several or dozens of seconds after the Year of Wild Magic.[2]

The commands available with this spell were: Coil, Coil & Knot, Loop, Loop & Knot, and Tie & Knot. Coil caused the rope to form a neatly organized stack; Coil & Knot bound the stack for convenient carrying. Loop wrapped a length of rope around an object, like a tree or the feet of an adversary; Loop & Knot tied the rope to the tree or formed a lasso. Tie & Knot wrapped the object securely, like a present or a prisoner. The caster could also order the reverse of any of these commands (Uncoil, etc.).[2][6][7][13]

The rope did no direct damage to a creature, so it could not be used to choke or strangle, but it could be used to trip or entangle, with the expected results. The intended victim got one chance to resist the magic of this spell or suffered the consequences. Bind did not enhance the rope in any way; it remained a non-magical object that could be cut or manipulated like any other rope. The knots themselves were also not magical.[2][6][7][13]

A caster using an animated rope could use it to tie knots and perform other uses of rope a little more easily.[2]


Both verbal and somatic components were required to cast this spell. The material component was the target rope, which was not consumed in the casting.[2][6][7][13]


This spell was invented by a Netherese variator named Vilate in 1664 NY (−2195 DR) and was known as Vilate's restriction.[16]

Eventually, it became known as simply bind[1] and was used by the magical community of Faerûn, but as of 1358 DR it was uncommon to find it.[17]

The spell was known as animate rope after 1372 DR.[2]

Noted UsersEdit

Bind casting

Kilili casting bind on Onyx.

Bind was a favorite of the drow magic-user Kilili in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR. She used it to trap and toy with the elven women that Imgig Zu and his chasme minions kidnapped for her to test.[18] She later used it to tie up and gag Onyx the Invincible, largely to stop him complaining.[19] Uniquely, her version required no rope at all, and instead conjured blue or green strands out of the air, and they dissipated at the end of the spell's duration.[18][19]

Notable UsesEdit

During the Time of Troubles of 1358 DR in Waterdeep, the false avatar of Selûne stole a coil of rope from a member of the Dark Army of the Night who'd tried to kidnap her and used bind to tie the three up.[20]

Noted Spellbooks and ItemsEdit

The Scrolls of Ha Rahni, the spellbook of Ha Rahni of Shou Lung, included a copy of bind.[21]

The Ky Trencha Ukang, a magical staff of eldritch power created in Koryo, could be used to cast bind at will.[22][23]


See alsoEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 199. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Richard Baker (November 2004). Complete Arcane. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-3435-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 139–140. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 181. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  8. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 150. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  9. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 182, 185. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  10. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 148, 150. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  12. 12.0 12.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 122. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 0880380845.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  15. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  16. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 25, 26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  17. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Michael Fleisher (December 1988). “The Gathering”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1 (DC Comics), p. 7.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Dan Mishkin (May 1990). “Day of the Darkening”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #18 (DC Comics), pp. 10–12.
  20. Dan Mishkin (July 1990). “Dark of the Moon”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #20 (DC Comics), p. 14.
  21. Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
  22. Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
  23. slade et al (November 1995). Encyclopedia Magica Volume IV. (TSR, Inc.), p. 1283. ISBN 0-7869-0289-2.
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