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My cleric is trying to combat undead creatures. I wanted to cast the celestial brilliance spell from Book of Exalted Deeds.

However the descriptor of that spell is [Good] and [Light], while my cleric is Evil. Can he cast the spell? Where in the rules is this explained?

I clearly do not understand the purpose of those descriptors.

I found Can a Neutral Good cleric cast Lawful or Chaotic spells?, but I do not know where the answer is coming from. What book explains this?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Undead curse? As in he died and was reanimated as undead, or..? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 12 '17 at 13:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant undead invasion :) \$\endgroup\$ – Thamiar Jan 12 '17 at 15:07
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A cleric cannot cast spells with an opposed alignment descriptor

Taken from the Cleric description in 3.5 SRD - similar rule appears in PHB:

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells

A cleric can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own or his deity’s (if he has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.

So as an evil cleric, or a cleric of an evil deity, your character is forbidden from using any [Good] spells.

I'm not aware of any rule prohibiting an evil cleric to cast spells with the [Light] descriptor.


Regarding spell descriptors...

I recommend you read the SRD text about spell descriptors. It isn't very long, and says (among other things):

Most of these descriptors have no game effect by themselves, but they govern how the spell interacts with other spells, with special abilities, with unusual creatures, with alignment, and so on.

For example, spells with the [Good] descriptor have special effect on certain evil outsiders, can't be cast be evil clerics, and can be detected using the Detect Evil spell. Similarly, some creatures (mostly undead and darkness-themed) are more vulnerable to [Light] spells.

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Just to confirm, there is no rule preventing Evil clerics (or, to my knowledge, anyone else) from casting [Light] spells. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 12 '17 at 15:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan The Shadow Wave Magic feat (FRCS and PGtF) prevents you from casting spells with the light descriptor. So, Shadow Adepts can't. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Jan 13 '17 at 6:18

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