Continuing the train of thoughts emerging from the discussion of this previous question (about magocracies and theocracies in DnD), I'd like to know if there are any good official or unofficial resources introducing practical, non-combat and non-adventuring focused spells for D&D (primarily for D&D3.5, but I'd be interested in other versions--even D&D4--too.)

It's quite understandable that the official rulebooks primarily concern themselves with combat and adventuring (since that's what the game is mostly about), yet it would be rather strange if clerics, wizards and other spellcasters in DnD worlds had no spells for other aspects of life as well, aside from those few - like Unseen Servant, for example (but even that might have combat uses) - listed in the books.

A few example fields in which spells would most likely exist (provided by relevant gods or having been developed by mages aiding communities): healthcare (childbirth), agriculture (blessing crops, livestock etc), architecture (strengthening structures), art (remember the moving paintings of the Harry Potter series? :)) and so on and so on.

Please do not answer with actual, single spell descriptions, provide links to online and/or printed, official or unofficial collections instead, if there are any.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure you wouldn't want to be playing another game entirely instead? \$\endgroup\$
    – o0'.
    Jan 23, 2011 at 16:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Knowing background details like these about your game worlds can add a lot of credibility and richness to your world, imo. I'm not going to turn our DnD into some kind of mass-scale society simulation (there are good computer games for that), but just think of the possible story ideas that can spring from such spells. (Like, if the queen and the infant dies during childbirth, heads gonna roll. If the gnolls kill the local priest who could avert drought, and famine strikes, weakening human defences, opening up communities to gnoll raids? If the newly built royal palace crumbles to dust? Etc.) \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Jan 23, 2011 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly. D&D world is very very very poorly conceived, and focuses solely on combat in an arcade-like fashion. Why insist in playing D&D when you want to do something that the game is not designed to do? You could try Ars Magica, for instance. \$\endgroup\$
    – o0'.
    Jan 24, 2011 at 15:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ We've played tons of various games over the years, and we found many to be way better than D&D indeed, at least in certain respects. (We did play ArM too. :)) However, playing D&D has a certain kind of unbeatable nostalgic feel (the first rpg we ever played ages ago!) that everyone in our group wished to... conjure again for a campaign. :) Of course this means that we have to deal with the design "flaws" (or "peculiarities", to be more friendly) of D&D our way - but we're happy to use some help (gained via answers here, for example) in that. \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Jan 24, 2011 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


For 3.5:

Keith Baker's The Gleaner offers an NPC class and spell list dedicated to making life easier for villagers.

For 4e:

This should be handled by Nature, Arcana, and Religion skill checks. The skills are designed to be "tossing around $type Magic for RPing purposes" and, as such, are perfect meta-spells. Whatever a character can imagine, the DM can assign a skill DC to, perhaps make a skill challenge of, and say "Go!" Unfortunately, many DMs subscribe to the "what is not written is forbidden" optional rule and well, life in those games sucks. For thoughts on how to use Arcana, here's an excellent resource.


The Book of Erotic Fantasy for D&D 3.5 has a lot of spells surrounding sex, pregnancy, and childbirth.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since when is sex practical and non-combat??? \$\endgroup\$
    – BBlake
    Jan 24, 2011 at 10:23

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