Hide from undead was an abjuration spell that was an improved version of the necromancy spell invisibility to undead. Both spells made the recipient undetectable to common undead creatures and could sometimes fool even highly intelligent undead. The earliest divine version of this spell worked more like sanctuary and was only effective against low level undead.
These two spells had much the same effect, the differences were in the duration and number of targets that could be touched. When cast, the recipients became undetectable to all the senses, even extraordinary ones, of the mostly mindless undead. Even if previously detected, undead creatures would lose track of their prey and forget about them, completely ignoring the warded creatures as if they didn't exist. The more intelligent undead had a chance to overcome the magic of these spells, but if they failed to do so, they too became oblivious. However, if a smart undead creature were given reason to believe there were invisible creatures present, it could attempt to locate or attack them.
Both spells were immediately broken if the recipients touched an undead creature, attempted to turn or command them, or attacked any creature within the perception range of the affected undead.[note 1] Cure spells (not used offensively), chants, or divination spells could be performed without breaking the these spells.
Invisibility to undead lasted only for six minutes[note 2] and could be cast (by touch) on one person at a time, whereas hide from undead lasted for ten minutes per level of the caster and could be granted to one creature per level.
The earliest divine version of this spell operated similar to the sanctuary spell in that those undead who failed to overcome the spell would completely ignore the recipient for six minutes. However, the resistance was checked by the type of undead (skeleton, zombie etc.) within a 30 ft (9.1 m) radius of the protected creature: if one type resisted, then all undead of that type also resisted, and furthermore, all immediately attacked the recipient of this spell in preference to all other targets. This invisibility to undead spell was broken if the recipient attacked or cast any other spell. Priests with neutral alignment had a better chance of hiding than their good or evil counterparts.
For the divine version, that priest's holy symbol or divine focus was necessary to cast this spell, as well as the usual verbal and somatic components. For the arcane version, the material components were a piece of bone, a pinch of powdered silver, and an eyelash.
- The earliest arcane version of invisibility to undead allowed "accidental" contact between the protected creature and the undead, even if damage to either party resulted. If a successful attack was made by the protected creature, the spell was only broken for the undead that was attacked. See page 93 of the Lords of Darkness (1988) sourcebook.
- Again, the arcane version was different, lasting one minute per level of the caster.
- Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 241. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
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- Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 33. ISBN 0880380845.
- Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
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