Project Arcana: Divination Spell List


“The future..? Uh… Wait, hold on, I’ve got this!”

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the school: Divination is all about knowing things that aren’t normally knowable. Most Divination spells reveal knowledge by extending the senses through the use of magic. In theory, this mechanic should allow all senses to be extended (Gene’s Enormous Tongue, anyone?), but in practice it’s generally specifically limited to sight and hearing, although the use of other senses is strongly implied.

Divination These spells reveal information, uncovering rare knowledge, lost secrets, and hidden things. They reveal the thoughts of others, including the minds of gods. They can show the truth behind illusions, visions of distant people or places, and even small glimpses of the likely future.

Arcane Knowledge are spells which rely upon information gathered from other creatures and planes

Mind Meld allows the caster to share thoughts with or read the thoughts of another.

Extended Senses are spells that enhance the senses in seeming miraculous ways to discover surprising things.

Divination
Arcane KnowledgeMind MeldExtended Senses
AuguryBeast SenseArcane Eye
Blade Ward (*Abjuration)Contact Other PlaneClairvoyance
Comprehend LanguagesDetect ThoughtsCommune with Nature
DivinationMessage (*Transmutation)Detect Evil and Good
ForesightRary's Telepathic BondDetect Magic*
GuidanceSending (*Evocation)Detect Poison and Disease
IdentifySense Emotion?Find the Path
Legend LoreTelepathy (*Evocation)Find Traps
Locate CreatureHunter's Mark
Locate ObjectLocate Animals or Plants
Speak With AnimalsProject Image** (*Illusion)
TonguesScrying
See Invisibility
True Seeing
Notes:
* We feel that Detect Magic should be an innate ability of all casters, in the same way that a chef can determine ingredients through taste. We plan to revisit this spell in Phase II.

**Project Image combines effects from Illusion and Divination. We judge that the Divination portion is the more critical, so have placed it in this school.

Arcane Knowledge

These spells rely upon information that the caster absolutely doesn’t have, so he must be gaining it from elsewhere; sort of like a cosmic Wikipedia or Google. Blade Ward (coming from Abjuration), Guidance, and Foresight provide tiny glimpses of the future, allowing pluses on saves, attempts, and attacks. A key mechanic here is that this is knowledge rather than something that can be sensed (Seen, heard, etc.). Legend Lore is a prime example; based on the spell description, it is literally like reading Wikipedia.

Mind Meld

Simple enough: These are spells which rely upon two minds communicating directly.

Extended Senses

These spells are kind of a mishmash of effects, all of which seem to provide enhanced input to the senses. Along with obvious spells, like Detect Poison and Disease and Find Traps, are seeming oddballs like Detect Magic. But, if Detect Poison and Disease can clue you in by providing enhanced input to your sense of smell – essentially allowing you to smell what you’re looking for – then the same mechanic can render a sense of magic into a dim glow or an itch in the fingertips. There are several ‘sense’ extension spells here that deliver impressions directly into the brain and/or over a distance – Arcane Eye is an example – but in the end these have the same underlying mechanic: the power of the magic is delivering an enhanced sense impression. In some cases, that enhancement covers extended distances and even crosses planes of existence.

Coming from other Schools

Blade Ward, moved from Abjuration, is one of the many spells that was only Abjuration because it nominally prevented something. Of course, in this case, not only didn’t the spell didn’t make a tiny bit of sense, it was actively stupid, since it provides “resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks“. The definition of ‘weapon’ is left up to the DM and his players to fight about: is a weapon something that was designed to be used to harm someone, or just something that is used to harm someone? Ready? FIGHT! But Blade Ward makes sense here, because the mechanic is to provide a tiny glimpse into the future to more effectively dodge these attacks. (PA feels that it’s the intent of the wielder that the spell is anticipating, so we’re going to say that anything used against the creature warded is considered a ‘weapon attack’.)

Message (Transmutation) is clearly a mental effect. I’m not sure what WotC ever thought was being Transmuted here. The same for Sending (Transmutation), which is obviously a buffed version of Message.

Telepathy: Same deal. Clearly a mind-to-mind link. What precisely-the-hell is being evoked here?

Project Image, coming over from Illusion, is significantly weird. This spell allows disconnected extensions of senses, along with a projection of the casters image. It’s a goofy-ass spell that doesn’t seem to fit comfortably in Illusion or Divination (ignoring the Conjuration aspects of doing something over a distance), but in which the Divination elements seem to be the more important. So, it’s been moved to Divination (at least for the time being).

Leaving

Commune is all about talking to god. What moves this out of Divination is that unlike Guidance, which says that’s it some random god, Commune specifically allows you to talk to your god. That puts it firmly into the Divinus camp.

Suggested Spells

Speak With Dead
3rd-level Diviniation (Arcane Knowledge)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components:
 V, S, M
Duration: 10 minutes

You are able to speak with the animating spirit of a corpse of your choice within range, allowing it to answer the questions you pose. The spell fails if the spirit has been returned to life or occupies some other vessel (such as a Magic Jar), or if the corpse was the target of this spell within the last 10 days.

Until the spell ends, you can ask the spirit up to five questions. The spirit knows only what it knew in life, including the languages it knew. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the spirit is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This spell doesn’t return the creature’s spirit to its body. The spirit doesn’t care about new information, or anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events.

(Yes, this is a rehash of the Necro spell. But we didn’t like the Necro spell, so we’re suggesting a Div replacement.)

Detect Thoughts
2nd-level Divination (Mind Meld)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components:
 V, S, M
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

The existing effects of this spell remain as written.

At higher levels. By using a 4th-level spell slot, the caster gains the ability to target one creature within 30 feet distance to receive the spell effect. If the creature is unwilling, it may make a saving throw versus Intelligence. While the spell is in effect, the creature can either hear the thoughts of a single creature of the caster’s choice or the thoughts of every creature within 30 feet of the target. These thoughts come across as per the spell description, and the target creature has no control over receiving them.

Zagat’s Survey
Diviniation Cantrip (Extended Senses)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components:
 M
Duration: 10 minutes

The caster gains the ability to detect the subtlest flavors and ingredients in prepared food. If the caster touches a willing creature, he can predict the creature’s appreciation for a prepared food item and provide them with a suggestion for a perfect wine pairing for that food. Successfully employing this spell will give the caster advantage on Charisma checks with the creature for one hour, and for two hours if wine is consumed with the meal.