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With some help my level 13 (divine) character has constructed a Shield Guardian. Shield Guardians have Spell Storing and can store a spell of up to 4th level. I was thinking of storing an Extended Mass Lesser Vigor in it, plus my character also has the Augment Healing feat.

What will happen when the stored spell is released by the Shield Guardian?

  • Will it be a Mass Lesser Vigor with fast healing 1, or with fast healing 7 (+6 for Augment Healing)?
  • Will it last for (10+13)×2 = 46 rounds or (10+13)×2 = 25 (capped, according to Mass Lesser Vigor) rounds?
  • Will it affect 6 targets or not?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for the 3 answers, they each have a very interesting different take on the question and the outcome and a mix of your answers will likely be used in my game. I would have selected all 3 answers but I can only select 1. I eventually selected the answer that focussed on all of my questions rather than a subset. \$\endgroup\$ – mtijn Jun 30 '17 at 8:28
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A level 13 caster can totally cast the 3rd-level cleric spell mass lesser vigor [conj] (Spell Compendium 229) modified to occupy a 4th-level spell slot by the feat Extend Spell (Player's Handbook 94) into a shield guardian (Monster Manual 223-4) so that the spell is stored using the shield guardian's spell-like ability spell storing.

Then, when the conditions occur or when order to, the shield guardian casts the stored spell—and KRyan's correct in that what exactly this mean is unknown. This DM would rule that the spell-like ability spell storing of the shield guardian is close enough to the effects of the minor ring of spell storing (DMG 233) (18,000 gp; 0 lbs.) et al. to say that the shield guardian's effect is like the caster casting the stored spell himself except, because the caster is no longer casting the spell mass lesser vigor—even though the caster did cast the spell into the shield guardian—, the feat Augment Healing (Complete Divine 79) has no effect on the mass lesser vigor spell that the shield guardian generates. On the other hand, I can see another DM ruling differently though, and I might even rule differently, too: I mean, the caster took the feat Augment Healing (instead of the feat Shape Soulmeld, Shock Trooper, or Touchstone, for instance), so the caster probably should benefit from the feat whenever the feat's language can be twisted to even vaguely apply.

This DM would rule that the feat Extend Spell can't increase the duration of a spell beyond its duration cap if the spell has one, the feat extending the spell's normal duration rather than its maximum duration. So in this DM's campaign the caster's mass lesser vigor spell affected by the Extend Spell feat would have a duration of 25 rounds (the spell's printed maximum). Again, however, ask the DM just to be sure.

With all this in mind, this DM would have the shield guardian's stored mass lesser vigor spell affect a number of creatures as if the caster had cast it himself, therefore 6 creatures, no two of which are more than 30 ft. apart.


As an aside—because the controversy's mentioned in KRyan's fine answer—, the Dragon #338 Sage Advice column “Official Answers to Your Questions” includes this exchange:

What effect does the Augment Healing feat… have on lesser vigor… and similar spells?
Augment Healing adds twice the spell’s level to the total healing it provides. The simplest method is to have the spell apply the extra healing to the first round of fast healing. Thus, lesser vigor (a 1st-level spell) would cure an extra 2 hp of damage in the first round, for a total of 3 hit points. Each round thereafter it would heal the normal 1 hp of damage. Mass lesser vigor (a 3rd-level spell) would cure an extra 6 hp of damage to each target in the first round (for a total of 7 hit points), and would heal 1 hp of damage each round thereafter as normal. (86)

This exchange is repeated almost verbatim in the D&D Frequently Asked Questions (39). Whether this ruling applies to your group is something about which you should ask the DM; FAQ rulings—and Sage Advice—should be examined at carefully.

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Bottom line up front: You have wandered into a dense thicket of incomplete rules. You will need your DM’s ruling on a number of different issues before you can answer this question, and those answers will apply only to that game. There just isn’t enough detail in the official rules to give you a general answer.

First, if you haven’t already, you will want to double-check with your DM that Augment Healing actually applies to vigor-type spells: they arguably apply a fast healing condition to the creature, rather than heal the creature directly, in a way that may not actually work with Augment Healing. Furthermore, Augment Healing adds +2 per spell level to the amount of damage healed by a spell, which means as-written there’s just an extra 2 hp/level total—not 2 per level per round or even 2 per level per target, but just 2 per level. How that interacts with multitarget spells or heal-over-time spells is just not described by the feat.

The most literal reading I can think of, assuming Augment Healing works at all, is that one the first round of mass lesser vigor is that all of the creatures get fast healing 1, plus there is also another 6 hp of healing that you can dole out among the targets as you like on that first round. But even that limited reading still requires me to inject extra rules that Complete Divine neglected to specify. So you’ll want to clear this feat up with your DM before even selecting it.

Beyond that, we have the question of whether or not the shield guardian’s spell storing ability can also “store” the benefits of Augment Healing. Unfortunately, this is yet another ability that leaves out a lot of details.

A shield guardian can store one spell of 4th level or lower that is cast into it by another creature. It “casts” this spell when commanded to do so or when a predefined situation arises. Once this spell is used, the shield guardian can store another spell (or the same spell again).

That is the entire description, and it offers zero guidance on how the parameters of the spell—DC, caster level, and yes, things like feats, are handled. That depends on who the caster of the spell is—is this just the same spell originally cast into the spell guardian, including all parameters set by the original caster? If so, your Augment Healing feat ought to apply. And maybe that’s so; the rules do put “scare quotes” around the statement that the shield guardian is casting the spell, so maybe that means it actually isn’t.

Or is the shield guardian the caster of the spell entirely, using its own stats for it? If so, which stats? It’s a mindless, 1-Charisma creature, so hopefully not those. Or maybe it casts it as if it were an item, like a wand does, using the minimum caster level and ability scores?

There is the spell storing line of magic rings, which do have the same name. Maybe the shield guardian uses their rules? That specifies that spells have their minimum caster level—but still no word on how DCs are determined, to say nothing of whether the original caster’s feats or the eventual caster’s feats apply to the spell. Still, the ring at least loses the scare quotes on “cast” so maybe it’s real and true casting from the ring, and the ring’s wearer (and not the original caster) gets to apply his feats. But then that still leaves us unclear on what the quotes on “cast” for the shield guardian’s version imply.


Personal ruling: if this were my game, I would allow Augment Healing to apply to healing-over-time spells, but it would just be a batch of HP at the beginning of the spell that does not get repeated each round thereafter. I would allow each target of a multi-target healing spell to benefit, though, rather than having you divide it up by the number of targets. And I would provisionally allow the shield guardian’s spell storing to store all of your parameters—DC, caster level, feats, class features, and so on—but I would be keeping a close eye on it and reserve the right to nerf that if I felt it was becoming a problem.

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There's this thing the writers said recently in addressing conflicting rules, but I don't know if they thought this way back in 3.5e. Loosely translated, it goes something like this:

The exception to a rule/special case always trumps the standard rule.

Since the spell has a cap of 25 as the standard, the next question would be whether the feat/power making it extended were a special case/exception.

As a DM, I would rule that yes, they are applied after the standard rules. Otherwise, you could retroactively apply the same rule to all feats. i.e., a fireball could never do more than a max of 10d6 damage, regardless of feats to the contrary (Which would make the Intensify Spell Epic Feat worthless). So 46, not 25 rounds.

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