Binding was an arcane magic spell that confined one creature to a location, either temporarily or permanently, and in various possible states. Trigger conditions from simple to elaborate could be set to conditionally free the creature. Up to six other spellcasters could assist the primary caster to increase the duration of the spell and make it more difficult to resist.
Effects[edit | edit source]
The older version of this spell had a range of 30 feet (9.1 meters), but the newer version could be cast at a target at least twice as far away. The target had a chance to resist the spell unless its true name was used in the casting, or if the combined might of the caster and any assistants completely overwhelmed the target's resistance.
There were at least six different types of bindings, one of which had to be chosen at the time of casting. They are listed here in increasing order of difficulty, which translates into an increased chance the target could resist the spell:
- Chaining: The target creature was bound to the spot with restraints for at least fifteen years (longer for more experienced casters and/or each effective assistant). The magical chains produced an antipathy field that repelled all people and creatures except the caster.
- Slumber: The target fell into a coma and was effectively suspended in time for at least fifteen years (or longer, as stipulated above). It did not age and did not require food or drink. The victim had a slightly better chance to resist this version due to the difficulty of the casting ritual.
- Bound Slumber: Both chaining and slumber effects combined. Duration was reduced to fifteen months (or more) and the target had an even better chance to resist.
The duration of the chaining, slumber, and bound slumber versions could be extended with additional castings of binding, but attempting to do so allowed the target a chance to break all binding spells at the expiration of the first one, regardless if their magic resistance was overwhelmed the first time. For the older version of the spell, extending the duration in this manner gave the target additional chances to break free on every anniversary of the first binding.
- Hedged Prison: The target creature was transported to a confined space (such as a labyrinth, dungeon, catacombs, or room) and permanently trapped within.[note 1] The only way to escape was for one of the possible trigger conditions to occur or the destruction of the prison.
- Metamorphosis: The body of the victim was given a gaseous form, leaving only the head or face as a floating visage, and was trapped in an urn, jar, or some other appropriate container, forever. The creature did not need to eat, drink, or breathe, did not age, and could not attack or use any special abilities, but could see, hear, and speak.
- Minimus Containment: The target was reduced in size to a maximum of 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in height and trapped within a jar, hollow gem, or some similar object. The victim did not age and did not need to eat, drink, or breathe. This was the most difficult version of the binding spell and had the greatest chance of being resisted.
Casting Assistance[edit | edit source]
Up to six other arcane spellcasters could assist the primary caster bolster the spell, making it more difficult to resist and increase its duration (if applicable). Assistants could cast suggestion for a minimal contribution, or employ dominate person, dominate monster, or dominate animal as appropriate to the target for a significant contribution to the efficacy of the binding. Target resistance to these secondary spells was irrelevant—only the susceptibility to the binding spell mattered.
Trigger Conditions[edit | edit source]
The newer version of binding could set one or more trigger conditions that caused the release of the creature when any condition was met. A trigger condition had to be based on observable qualities or actions[note 2] and could be as simple or as elaborate as could be practically uttered while casting the spell.
Components[edit | edit source]
This spell required verbal, somatic, and material components to cast, but they varied depending on the version chosen. Common elements included a continuous chant read from the spell document (scroll or spellbook), gestures appropriate to the type of confinement, and a small statue or a drawing on vellum of the target creature. The newer version also required a number of fine opals proportional to the size and might of the target creature. Other version-based components included: miniature chains of a material appropriate to the target (cold iron for magic-using creatures and demons, silver for lycanthropes, etc); rare soporific herbs; a huge diamond or other corundum gem; or a finely wrought crystal or earthenware jar.
History[edit | edit source]
Appendix[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The sources do not indicate how far away the destination could be.
- That is, not on game mechanics like level, class, hit dice, and so on. Alignment was considered observable, probably because of the know alignment spell.
References[edit | edit source]
- slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 25, 27. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 204–205. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 188–189. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
- David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 239–240. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
- Mark Middleton et al (November 1996). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc), pp. 86–87. ISBN 978-0786904365.