From Nail of Blood:

Inscribed along its length with wicked-looking runes, this 3-inch-long nail is made of black metal and gives off a faint, eerie blue glow. Powered by strange necromantic magic, the nail allows a spellcaster to cast spells within a magic dead zone by drawing on the caster’s life force to power her magic. To be effective, the nail must be placed alongside the flesh in an empty magic item slot (excluding eyes, head, and headband). In a process that takes 1 round, the nail melts painlessly into the wielder’s flesh before taking effect (removing the nail is also painless and takes 1 round). Once the nail is in place, its wielder can cast within a magic dead zone up to one spell of each spell level she knows or has prepared and could normally cast. If she wishes to cast additional spells in the magic dead zone, she can do so up to her normal limit, but each additional spell she thus casts causes her to become fatigued and requires a successful concentration check (DC = 15 + the spell’s level) or the spell fizzles. If the nail of blood would cause the wielder to be fatigued when she already has the fatigued condition, she becomes exhausted. She can’t use the nail of blood to cast additional spells while she is exhausted, no matter what effect caused her exhausted condition.

What is a magic dead zone?

From what I've seen while searching, it's apparently different from an antimagic field or a dead magic plane. So, what is it, and what/where are the rules for it?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Magic Dead Zones and rules clarifications \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Jan 10, 2019 at 2:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, I don't believe the Dead Magic trait is the same thing as a Magic Dead Zone...so that related topic is irrlevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Jan 10, 2019 at 2:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ What have you seen while searching that makes you think it is different from a dead magic plane? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10, 2019 at 3:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ A quick google search indicates that Paizo might have borrowed from Forgotten Realms lore for Dead-magic zones. Some supporting material (I'm woefully unfamiliar with FR) would be needed, but I think it might be related. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 10, 2019 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


The Nail of Blood is published in the book People of the Wastes. This sourcebook is focused on a number of different Wastelands around Golarion, including the Duchy and City of Alkenstar. Alkenstar is in a region of Golarion known as the Mana Wastes. Although I don't own the sourcebook, and can't personally check it's contents, I have recently run the module Wardens of the Reborn Forge, which is also set entirely within the Mana Wastes. This module (as well as the Pathfinder wiki entry linked above) reference the Mana Wastes as being full of magic dead zones, which I believe are distinct to the planar Dead Magic trait.

Despite the name, the Magic Dead Zones mentioned in Wardens are fully detailed in Inner Sea Magic as areas full of uncontrolled Primal Magic (aka Wild Magic). Any time a spell is cast or an item activated in one of these areas, it has a chance to go out of control and produce a random effect, which can be countered by concentration checks.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The Mana Wastes wiki page seems to suggest that areas of Primal/Wild magic sometimes are Dead-Magic instead, not that they're the same thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 10, 2019 at 18:44

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