Some spells, such as firebrand (Spell Compendium p.93) have additional effects described inside of them frequently that define static save DCs (reflex DC 15 on firebrand's case). Is there any reason the feat Spell Focus would not increase that number accordingly?

Spell Focus:

Choose a school of magic.

Benefit Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells from the school of magic you select.

Special You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new school of magic.

(emphasis added)


1 Answer 1


Yes, there is a reason: because those DCs are not for the saving throw “against spells” as indicated by Spell Focus. The “Difficulty Class for [...] saving throws against spells” has a definition:

A saving throw against your spell has a DC of 10 + the level of the spell + your bonus for the relevant ability (Intelligence for a wizard, Charisma for a sorcerer or bard, or Wisdom for a cleric, druid, paladin, or ranger). A spell’s level can vary depending on your class. Always use the spell level applicable to your class.

(Spell Descriptions: Saving Throw)

Note the usage of the exact same wording used by Spell Focus. This is the DC that Spell Focus modifies.

If a spell description references any other DC—any other number—then that is definitionally a different DC from the spell’s DC (or else they would be the same, not different). And Spell Focus only increases the DC for “saving throws against spells,” which again, is this one, not another one. The DC 15 Reflex saving throw in firebrand is not a save against the spell, it’s a save against an ongoing fire damage condition—a condition caused by the spell, but which does not use the DC for the saving throw against the spell, which means it does not use the DC that Spell Focus actually improves.

This is basically the same as trying to use Spell Focus to improve the saving throw DCs of effects used by summoned creatures, and it doesn’t work for exactly the same reason.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock Fair enough, it’s not being set on fire—it just works exactly like being set on fire. If you had something that referenced someone being set on fire explicitly, and wanted to argue that firebrand’s effect didn’t cause that, I would buy it. But it doesn’t change the fact that firebrand is specifying a separate DC for this effect—it is not using the spell’s DC for it, and it’s only the spell’s DC that Spell Focus affects. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 29, 2019 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the fact that the spell specifies a dc change the effect in some way as to make it not from the spell? The feat is pretty clearly-stated (I edited the question for reference) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2019 at 22:05
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock The spell’s DC is a defined thing that has a particular value (10 + half the spell’s level + the caster’s appropriate ability modifier); any other DC listed in the spell is a different DC and thus not the one that Spell Focus refers to. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 29, 2019 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that's exactly the info I was missing! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2019 at 23:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock Yeah, thanks to you too for pushing me to answer that better, my initial answer was a bit lacking. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 30, 2019 at 1:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .