As most foes possess low Balance skill modifiers, my PC plans to make the ground slippery using the Frostburn spell ice slick. Then, whenever the foe is dealt damage, the foe must succeed on a Balance skill check or fall down. (My PC will be immune to effect by using the Spell Compendium spell snow shoes.)

However, I don't want the foes to have to succeed on Balance skill checks to remain standing only when my PC hits those foes. No, I want foes also to be forced to succeed on Balance skill checks or fall down whenever those foes hit my PC!

For example, my PC's on the ice slick effect and an ogre comes up to my PC so that the ogre's also on the ice slick effect, and the ogre wallops me. My PC's still dealt damage, but my PC doesn't fall down because of the snow shoes effect, but my PC has this thing that deals the ogre damage whenever my PC is hit, so now the ogre must succeed on a Balance skill check or else he'll fall down. The ogre fails and falls down, and I laugh at him.

What I need is the thing, be it a spell or magic item. Both the spells hamatula barbs and investiture of the orthon create an effect that deals damage to a foe whenever the foe strikes the subject, but those are too high-level for my PC, and buy retaliation armor is too expensive.

Is there a level 0, 1, or 2 cleric spell that has a duration longer than 1 round per level that causes the subject to deal damage to a foe when the foe strikes the subject? Alternatively, is there an inexpensive magic item that does this? Ideally, the damage the effect deals should be either untyped damage or sonic damage.

Note: I know optimizing for getting hit is stupid. I also know this won't work against flying enemies.


It's not a Cleric spell (or a spell at all), but the Mantle of Flame soulmeld (Magic of Incarnum, p. 78) might suit your needs:

While you wear your mantle of flame, any creature that strikes you with its body or a handheld weapon deals normal damage, but at the same time, the attacker takes 1d6 points of fire damage. Creatures wielding weapons with exceptional reach, such as long spears, are not subject to this damage if they attack you.

You can acquire this ability via the Shape Soulmeld feat (MoI, p. 40). The retributive damage is part of the soulmeld's base effect, so you don't have to worry about opening or binding chakras.


  • Permanent uptime (you can just leave it shaped all the time)
  • Not dispellable (soulmelds are suppressed for 1d4 rounds instead of dispelled)


  • Costs a feat slot
  • Requires Con 13
  • Minimal damage, of a commonly-resisted type; this will help you trigger your ice slick combo, but it won't contribute much in the way of damage itself

Most spells that deal damage when getting attacked are wizard spells, such as Death Armor (2nd, Magic of Faerun and Spell Compendium), Sonic Shield (3rd, PHB2), Fire Shield (4th, PHB), or Acid Sheath (5th, Spell Compendium). Fire Shield is available to Sun domain clerics as well. So, if you are able to add wizard spells to your cleric list, Death Armor would be the best option.

Thorn Skin (3rd, Spell Compendium) is available to druids, if you can manage to add druid spells to your cleric list, but it only works against natural and unarmed strikes.

Radiant Shield (4th, Book of Exalted Deeds) is available to Wrath domain clerics. While Spark Shield (4th, Dragonlance Campaign Setting) is available to all clerics. Both do electricity damage to attackers.

Most of those spells last only for 1 round/level, though. The only spell I found that actually lasts longer, for 1 minute/level, was Fire in the Blood (Cleric 5)


While no low-level spells or magic items exist that strike an enemy each time they strike you, there are several low-level options for spells and items that deal damage over time in an area. These spells and/or items can be used to deal damage to enemies when they strike you, by affecting enemies for free when they approach you, similarly to how your ice slick works.

A Bag of Endless Caltrops can be purchased for 800 gp and, like a normal mundane bag's worth of caltrops, the contents deal 1 damage to any creature who moves through their affected area without dropping to half speed. Regular caltrops cost 5 gp per bag and are just as effective, but aren't magic items and so don't technically comply with your requirements.

If grease is flammable in your game, you may be able to use that spell to deal area damage that can't be bypassed by moving at half-speed by igniting it, similarly to mundane oil (which costs 1 sp per pint or less than 5 gp for enough to affect your whole ice slick), but the damage dealt is fire damage instead of untyped damage. Incindiery Slime and Web also work for this purpose, but less effectively than mundane oil.

Note that lighting your ice slick on fire will deal fire damage to you as well, unless you are protected against such damage (e.g. via resist energy, or something similar to Pathfinder's mundane Fire-Resistant Boots if you can get them)


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