Top Five Zero-Level Arcane Spells

2007 October 8
by Stupid Ranger

Zero-Level arcane spells usually seem pretty lame compared to the awesome spells you can gain at higher levels. But some of them can also been exceedingly useful.

#1. Detect Magic. A must-have. One of my favorite uses: before you can take the Identify spell, you can figure out which items are magic. Prioritize which treasure to take with you when you can’t carry it all.

#2. Light. Abandon those torches… the darkness holds no mysteries for you. And since the target for Light is “object touched,” you can cast it on anything. In a middle of the night skirmish, cast light on an arrow and shot in the general direction of the disturbance to shed some needed light.

#3. Mending. Handier than a pocket-sized sewing kit. Fix those minor little inconveniencing issues that crop up while adventuring. Snapped lute strings or snapped bow strings… here’s your easy repair kit.

#4. Read Magic. Another must-have. Pick up scrolls or other spellbooks and instantly (well, almost instantly) understand the magical writings. This takes a lot of the effort out of casting from an acquired scroll.

#5. Mage Hand. Who doesn’t love Mage Hand? Basic telekinesis with little effort involved. As Dante pointed out, Mage Hand can lift the key from the hook on the wall to open your prison door. And if you tend toward the chaotic side of things, this may be an invaluable talent.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Joshua Jabin permalink
    October 9, 2007

    There are some great spells on that list, that no arcane spellcaster should be without. They might not be quite as useful, but I think Ghost Sound, Message, and Prestidigitation are pretty nice too.

  2. Dave The Game permalink
    October 9, 2007

    Sure, the utility are important, but where would a modern wizard be without a Ray of Frost?

  3. Vanir permalink
    October 9, 2007


  4. Stupid Ranger permalink
    October 9, 2007

    Joshua – Those are some really great spells too… cutting the list down to 5 was rough, but those are definately in my top 10! And for the bards, I like Summon Instrument… for those times when you really need Bardic Music but don’t have an instrument available.

    Dave – No one can live without the Ray of Frost and be happy!

  5. mike permalink
    October 9, 2007

    3.0 Prestidigitation was good…TOO good. The 3.5 version, although depowered, is still great for an imaginative spellcaster though.

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