I can't find anything saying they are evil or negative really. They seem just elemental like cold for example. I'm trying to gather all of my cleric spells for my next level and I ran across a few shadow/darkness based spells that are all (for the most part) cloaking and illusion. They don't generally cause actual harm or seem inherently evil. I'm currently in a good-aligned campaign, I started out as a rogue and then developed into a cleric due to being tired of my party not having a decent healer. It was the first time I'd ever played a cleric so I was trying to be prepared for my next level of spells.

Is it just the DM's call? Or is there any rule system in place that specifies whether or not Darkness/Shadow spells are evil or negative. Due to my character originally being a rogue, the shadow/darkness spells (Cloak & Dagger) still make sense and she's a chaotic good character if that helps.

My DM follows the books for 3.5, meaning if it is in an official 3.5 book he will allow it, but I can't find anything specifying whether or not these spells would affect alignment. Does anyone know?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. Fortunately, even though most alignment questions are not, this kind of alignment question—about some spells' alignment descriptors—is in the site's wheelhouse. Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2017 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


A spell that lacks the descriptor evil isn't an evil spell

The 2nd-level cleric spell darkness [evoc] (Player's Handbook 216), for example, has only the descriptor darkness not the descriptor evil, so it's not an evil spell. Even a chaotic good cleric—who is prohibited from casting spells with the descriptors lawful and evil—can cast the spell darkness freely and without fearing his alignment will change solely because he's cast the spell.

Likewise a lawful good wizard can cast the 4th-level Sor/Wiz spell shadow conjuration [illus] (PH 276) without fearing for his alignment, the spell having only the descriptor shadow despite the spell "us[ing] material from the Plane of Shadow to shape quasi-real illusions."

However, while these are the rules, individual campaigns vary wildly. If you think the DM's campaign may have different rules that apply to such spells, you should ask the DM before your chaotic good cleric tries to cast such spells!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Some spells—like the summon monster line of spells—gain descriptors upon picking their effects. Such spells can be evil (or possess other descriptors) spells despite the absence of descriptors in their header information, making it a good idea to read the descriptions of any spells before they're prepared or cast! \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2017 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, but shouldn't your comment be in the answer itself? \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    May 13, 2017 at 21:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Icyfire It's an edge case that's an aspect of spells unmentioned in the question. I figured the comment would be of more interest to those coming along later who may demand of the answer a higher degree of accuracy, despite the answer already being accurate enough to address the question. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2017 at 21:10

No, casting this type of spell is not considered Evil. Casting a spell is only considered Evil if it has the [Evil] descriptor (e.g. Blasphemy). Spells that block light (e.g. Obscuring Mist) are merely ordinary spells that make it easier to hide.


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