This spell created a bolt of lightning that traveled from target to target doing successively less and less damage. Distance between targets was more important than what type of target they were. Depending on the caster's skill, chain lightning could strike more targets.
Older versions of the spell could be stopped by it striking a grounded target like iron bars, which would send the lightning into the ground.
A version of the spell was utilized by the mysterious Ravenwitch of the Thunder Peaks. Her lightning arced in black bolts of electricity and howled with terrifying reverberation of deadly magics. Ravenwitch's chain lightning could tear its targets apart or even evaporate them completely.
The post-Second Sundering version cast a bolt that struck a target then split into three different bolts that struck different targets. If used at a higher spell level, an additional bolt would leap from the first target.
The spell required vocal and somatic components, plus a bit of fur; a piece of amber, glass, or a crystal rod; and one silver pin for each level of the caster's power. The post-Second Sundering version needed the same except only three silver pins in total.
- Mark Middleton et al (November 1996). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc), p. 129. ISBN 978-0786904365.
- slade, Jim Butler (October 1996). “The Winds of Netheril”. In Jim Butler ed. Netheril: Empire of Magic (TSR, Inc.), pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 221. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 167. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 208. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–66. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
- Sam Witt (January 1994). The Complete Sha'ir's Handbook. (TSR, Inc), p. 126. ISBN 978-1560768289.
- slade, Jim Butler (October 1996). “The Winds of Netheril”. In Jim Butler ed. Netheril: Empire of Magic (TSR, Inc.), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- Monte Cook (April 1999). The Glass Prison. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0786913435.