When a character casts a buff with a casting time of 1 standard action and a duration of one round, the buff expires at the beginning of their next combat round (is this correct?). So they do not get to take a standard action with the effect of the buff.

However, if the buff has a 1 round casting time, the spell takes effect at the beginning of the next combat round, so the character does get a standard action with the effect of the buff still active. In many cases this seems desirable, particularly when the risk of getting attacked mid-cast is low.

Is there any way to cast a spell...slower? As in, cast a spell with a casting time of a standard action or less as if it took a full round, in order to get an extra standard action in with the buff effect?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, though not a dupe. The accepted answer for this question disagrees with my answer below: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/35108/when-do-spells-expire \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Jun 24, 2014 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've seen this idea implemented as a house rule in other games (Savage Worlds) to good effect. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24, 2014 at 16:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The statement that "if the buff is cast as a full-round action, the spell takes effect at the beginning of the next combat round" is inaccurate: that's true of a spell with a 1 round casting time, which is different from full-round casting time. It seems like dumb hair-splitting, I know, but the difference is considerable and important. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ What buffs are you looking to cast that only last 1 round? I'm having trouble thinking of any, and my searches aren't turning up anything. I'm finding quite a few that are swift action buffs, but I don't think that's the kind of buff you're worried about. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question originally came up in the context of 1 round/level buffs at level 1 - Claws of the Bear is a random example. However, even if a buff lasts several rounds, a 1 round casting time would net an extra standard action with the spell effect active. \$\endgroup\$
    – shaydwyrm
    Jun 24, 2014 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


There is no way by the rules to make a spell cast longer than normal. None of the rules in the PHB mention extending casting time like that, and I'm unaware of any other source that does either. The one exception is that spontaneous casters casting spells affected by metamagic feats turn a standard action spell into a full-round action spell. However, casting a metamagic spell as a spontaneous caster doesn't make a spell have a 1-round casting time, which is what you're referring to, it just makes the spell take a full-round action.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a couple of spells that explicitly let you pick a longer casting time for a stronger effect, but I can't remember the names right now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Jun 24, 2014 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DuckTapeAl - Do you have a source quote for "ends at the end"? That's what I thought it was too, but I can't find anything either way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Jun 24, 2014 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Updated. Turns out the way I've been running durations for the past ten years was wrong. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Jun 24, 2014 at 14:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may be worth mentioning that the typical way to use 1-round buff spells where this is a concern is to cast them on someone else. Buffing someone else is often better anyway, as they'll go before you go again. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, but some personal buffs also have short durations. Even if they last more than one round, extending the casting time from 1 standard action to 1 round still nets an extra standard action with the buff effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – shaydwyrm
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:31

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