Perusing the Fiend Folio on page 208, I note the following:

A graft is not a magic item: It does not radiate magic once completed, it does not count against a creature’s limit for magic items worn, it does not have a caster level, and it is very hard, if not impossible, to salvage as treasure. It does, however, count against the treasure value of the creature with the graft, which means that creatures with grafts are still appropriate challenges for their normal Challenge Rating, but have reduced treasure.

Some grafts can replicate magical attacks for which saving throws are applicable. Although with respect to the above it would appear spell resistance is not applicable for the target who is resisting the effect of the graft, is this correct? I have examined the 3.5 accessory update which contains updated information for the Fiend Folio however nothing is mentioned in reference to grafts.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So because "[a] creature’s spell resistance [SR] never interferes with its own spells, items, or abilities" (DMG 298), SR might or might not interfere with grafts because they are none of those? Is that accurate? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2022 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry I might not have been clear. Say for example I'm using the fiendish graft fearsome eye fear gaze attack against an opponent, the opponent is allowed to make a Will DC 14 save to negate it. However if that opponent also has spell resistance does that spell resistance apply? Or to put another way is the gaze attack from a graft treated more like a supernatural ability and therefore spell resistance is not applicable or more like a spell like ability and therefore applicable, but then raises the question of the above stating it does not have a caster level. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2022 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ O! I did misunderstand. Okay. So the question is something like this: When Creature A is the subject of a special ability that's granted by Creature B's graft, does Creature A's SR apply? Is that accurate? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2022 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes that's accurate. I edited the question to add further clarity. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2022 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


Spell resistance applies to basically just four things:

  1. spells/powers
  2. spell/psi-like abilities
  3. spell/power-completion items
  4. spell/power-trigger items

(“Powers” being psionic powers, assuming the default magic–psionic transparency.)

Supernatural abilities, command-word items, use-activated items, none of these care about SR. The key here has to be that you are actually casting a spell. Getting the effect or benefit of a spell doesn’t cut it, you actually need the casting process. SR does nothing to non-spell magical effects, even if the rules for those effects are based on some spell.

So if a graft says it allows you to “cast the xyz spell,” then SR applies. But none of them do: the closest they come is “the grafted creature can use poison as the spell,” from the fiendish skin, which is arguable but the absence of the word “cast” signifies to me that this is more like a command-word or use-activated item, and therefore SR does not apply. But the “the ability to continuously see invisibility as the spell,” from fearsome eye definitely does not seem at all spell-like despite utilizing a spell’s description, and the various spell effects of beholder grafts are directly based on the beholder’s eye-rays, which are supernatural and therefore explicitly ignore SR. And that’s literally every graft in Fiend Folio that references a spell.

Since grafts avoid the word “cast,” and spell resistance really is very specific to actually casting spells or doing a very close imitation of doing so (with abilities that use the word “cast”), I don’t think SR applies to anything any grafts do. The fiendish skin’s poison ability is the only one I’d see as debatable, really.

As for updates on grafting, there are more grafts similar to those in Fiend Folio (based on the Graft Flesh feat) in Libris Mortis and Lords of Madness, though neither expands on the base rules, they just repeat them and then offer more grafts (some new, some old). Lords of Madness also has the fleshwarper prestige class, which is all about maximizing grafts.

And for an entirely separate and different take on grafting, Races of the Dragon, Magic of Eberron, and Faiths of Eberron include a new style of grafting, based on separate feats for each type (e.g. Wyrmgrafter for draconic grafts, Eldeen Plantgrafter for plant grafts, etc.). These completely ignore the grafts based on Graft Flesh, and use significantly different rules. (These grafts are still nonmagical, however.) The answer wouldn’t be much different for those than it would for the Graft Flesh grafts, but since you didn’t ask about them I’m going to hold off on actually going through them to see if any use the word “cast.”

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you elaborate, why do you separate spell-trigger and spell-completeon from other magic items? The rule "magic items produce spells or spell-like effects" seem to apply universally to all activation methods. Not if I can tell the same about grafts, but I'm interested in a logic behind your statement. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2022 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp I read that as referring specifically to spell-completion and spell-trigger items (and, hypothetically, to other items that have you “cast spells” in those terms). But as I note in the case of fiendish skin’s poison, it is a bit unclear. But constant see invisibility does not seem the same. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 9, 2022 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp I admit, though, I’d forgotten about that section entirely, so I’ll reconsider it some. But anyway, strictly speaking, it doesn’t apply to grafts, which are not magic items. Of course, that leaves us with an annoying absence of evidence. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 9, 2022 at 18:01

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