Playing Skull & Shackles and we got shipwrecked. My character has Mending as a cantrip. According to the books, cantrips are so inconsequential that they can be cast "without limit".

Mathematically, a character could cast Mending every 6 seconds healing a hole in a ship an average of 1200 HP in an hour. The question is - are there any rules that prevent a character from casting Mending 600 times in a row for an hour?

My DM didn't let me get away with it, which is fine. I'm just curious if there are any rules out there that might apply.

My purpose in asking the question is less about how to repair the ship and more about the casting limitations for a spellcaster. My DM and I agreed that between the two of us, we could find a way to make mending work. Our question was about whether or not my character could keep it up long enough for it to work. As someone pointed out, mending has a 10 minute casting time, so the math actually works out to an average of 12 HP in an hour, which would take several days to repair a hole in the hull of a ship. Several days of constant casting. At what point does a character become exhausted from casting cantrips? That is the question I intended to ask and it might apply to other situations in the future, beyond mending a ship.

  • \$\begingroup\$ PF changed cure minor wounds / inflict minor wounds to no longer actually heal anything precisely because there are no such restrictions and they wanted to avoid infinite out-of-combat character healing. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Jul 16, 2015 at 3:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a suggestion, you may want simply want to ask a new question about caster exhaustion (or the need for sleep or raw boredom) than fold that (kinda new, kinda different) question into this question. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 16, 2015 at 16:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan The "kinda new, kinda different" question is what this original question was supposed to be. Hence the title of the question. If I were concerned about "Can mending repair a ship?" I would have made that the title. The story about mending is to provide context for the question, only. I realize that was confusing everyone, hence the edit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas
    Jul 16, 2015 at 21:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Answer in answers not comments please. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jul 17, 2015 at 4:35

4 Answers 4


The rules actually do cover exhaustion via constant spellcasting, but only in a specific situation: if you're taking a move + a standard action every round, or else taking a double move or full round action every round.


Walk: A walk represents unhurried but purposeful movement (3 miles per hour for an unencumbered adult human). A character moving his speed one time in a single round, is walking when he or she moves.

Hustle: A hustle is a jog (about 6 miles per hour for an unencumbered human). A character moving his speed twice in a single round, or moving that speed in the same round that he or she performs a standard action or another move action, is hustling when he or she moves.

From this, it doesn't seem to pay attention to the distinction between a move action and a standard action. If you're taking a single, non-full-round action every round, you can keep that up for about 8 hours (elsewhere on the linked page, but not in the quoted text) in a day. If you're taking a move + standard or taking a full round action every round, you can keep that up for an hour instead. In either case, you can push yourself to continue by taking non-lethal damage (or just risking it, for single actions).

As a house rule, you might choose to count an hour of taking standard actions (casting cantrips) every round to be two hours of walking, so that "forced march" kicks in after four hours instead of eight, but there's precedent for allowing eight hours of standard action activity in the crafting rules, so I don't personally recommend it.

(I think, based on your edit and comments, this is the rules you're looking for with your question, not the answers that are more focused on the actual limitations of mending as a ship-repair spell. If I'm wrong, please let me know and I'll delete this answer.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ BINGO! That's perfect, thank you! The other answers were still helpful and interesting, but this is what I was looking for :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas
    Jul 16, 2015 at 21:21

From the free Skull & Shackles Player's Guide.

Repairing a Ship

The fastest and easiest way to repair a ship is with spells. Mending is not powerful enough to meaningfully affect an object as large as a ship, but make whole affects a ship as if it were a construct, repairing 1d6 points of damage per level.

So there's that.

Other than that, you can cast cantrips all you want. Taking casting time into account.


There are no limits to the amount of cantrips that you can cast. You could cast Prestidigitation to create hundreds of clay marbles to slip on in a bar, ghost sound to create every obtrusive sound that anyone could ever think of (Different amount of sounds based on your level due to ghost sounds low duration) or Acid ball to kill particularly annoying cockroaches all evening with no consequences.


You should keep in mind however that Mending takes ten minutes to cast.. so It would take ten hours to cast Mending 60 times. So you could probably patch that hole in a few days or so...

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, forgot about the casting time. That's a good point. I'm also glad you referenced other spells, since I was hoping for a more generic answer related to all cantrips. This might come up in the future with another spell, so I want to be prepared :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:00

From the target line of Mending:

"Target one object of up to 1 lb./level"

Any thing that weighs more than 1 lb./level is an invalid target, which is why mending wont work on your ship!

But as mxyzplk points out, the player guide suggests the spell Make Whole. The spell certainly has a larger target, with a target of "one object of up to 10 cu. ft./level or one construct creature of any size"

I presume 'cu.' means cubic.

However if your GM reads the target as being the entire ship then it is unlikely Make Whole will work. I don't know the AP you are doing, so can't check his maths, but someone in this discussion unfortunately calculated one of the ships as 'app. 44000 cubic feet'. If his maths is even close to accurate, then the spell wont work on the ship as a whole.

But you should be able to argue for it being cast on individual planks, and you might be able to argue for it being cast on ship sections.

But Mending may not even be able to work on a single plank.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Remember, the guide says that Make Whole affects a ship as if it were a construct, thus it removes the size requirement. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 16, 2015 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I could argue over mending a single plank vs the ship as a whole, and a single plank could be under the level weight limit. The discussion with my DM wasn't about whether or not mending would work, but whether or not my character could keep it up long enough to make a difference. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:04

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