Every spell has the following:
- A level, which is an indication of how difficult the spell is. Characters with an experience level lower than the spell's level cannot learn the spell. For example, a level 1 Wizard cannot learn the level 2 spell Cure Poison. Higher level spells also require more magical skill to cast.
"You're too inexperienced to learn that spell!"
- A number of magic schools, which indicate the nature of magic that the spell uses. For example, Conjurations is the school of magic which handles things being created out of thin air, and is therefore the school to which most projectile attacks belong. A spell often belongs to more than one school.
Spell levels = 2×Spellcasting + Experience level-1
To be able memorize a spell you need an amount of free spell levels equal to the level of the spell. Otherwise:
"You can't memorise that many levels of magic yet!"
In any case, you can't memorize more than 21 spells.
"Your head is already too full of spells!"
Some spells can't be memorized by some races:
- Ghouls: They can't memorize Beastly Appendage, Blade Hands, Borgnjor's Revivification, Cure Poison, Death's Door, Dragon Form, Ice Form, Necromutation, Spider Form, Statue Form and Stoneskin
- Vampires: They can't memorize Borgnjor's Revivification, Death's Door and Necromutation. They can memorize the spells the ghouls can't, but they can cast them only when they are full, very full or alive.
- Mummies: They can't memorize Alistair's Intoxication, Beastly Appendage, Blade Hands, Borgnjor's Revivification, Cure Poison, Death's Door, Dragon Form, Ice Form, Necromutation, Regeneration, Spider Form, Statue Form and Stoneskin.
- Deep dwarves: They can't memorize Regeneration.
- Felids: They can't memorize Portal Projectile, Fire Brand, Freezing Aura, Lethal Infusion, Warp Weapon, Excruciating Wounds, Poison Weapon, Sure Blade and Tukima's Dance.
- Gargoyles: They can't memorize Cure Poison.
Also, in the list all spells menu, the spell will be greyed out or white depending on two circumstances: whether or not something is in range for it, and if you have enough mana. If either of these things isn't true, the spell is greyed out. If both are true, the spell is white.
Spells are cast by pressing z and selecting one of the player's learned spells. The interface will prevent players from casting spells if there seems to be no reason to (no monsters around being the most common reason), although all spells can be forced by pressing Z.
Once a player has learned a spell, that spell gains a new set of player-dependent properties:
- Power level: how powerful the spell will be if cast successfully. For example, more powerful conjuration spells do more damage, more powerful summoning spells summon more dangerous monsters (and more of them).
- Range: how far the spell can be cast, if the spell has a ranged effect. This may be increased with power.
- Hunger: how much hunger the spell causes when cast.
Monsters casting spells
Monsters can also cast most of the spells available to the players, but the mechanics are very different:
- Monsters don't have MP.
- Monsters can't miscast spells, except when they are under the effects of the antimagic brand.
- Monsters can cast spells only when there is a foe in their LOS. The only exceptions to this rule are Dig, Minor Healing and Major Healing.
- Monsters can't cast spells when they are: confused, paralysed, submerged, or berserk.
- Each monster can cast up to 6 different spells.
- Polymorphed uniques will retain their spells in their new form. Shapeshifters don't get spells.
- Monsters don't cast spells less often when they are able to attack in melee, with ranged weapons, with wands or with rods.
- Spell memorisation
- Spell success
- Spell power
- List of spells
- List of spells by flag
- List of spells by school
- Spell books
- List of attack spells and beams by maximum damage
- Table of attack spells and beams by maximum range
- Table of spell popularity among winners
- Miscast effect
- Magic contamination
- Magic resistance
- Spell noise
- Spell hunger