Up to 7th level cleric spells in my rewrite, I started with Astral Spell, and in short order realized what a lot of bunk it is. I had already written the Plane Shift (5th level) so that you were able to travel to other planes of existence by shifting there. How would it be better to actually have to travel there, silver thread and all?
Seemed pretty crappy for a 7th level spell. So I wrote this one to replace it:
Range: self. Duration: see below. Area of Effect: self. Casting Time: 3 rounds. Saving Throw: none.
Creates an alternative, incorporeal body of the cleric which can be projected anywhere upon the prime material, astral or outer planes. Where ever this may be, through the avatar the cleric will be able to comprehend his or her surroundings, or communicate with creatures at that place, though the cleric’s body and possessions will remain behind.
To anyone else, the cleric on sight will appear to be completely human. The avatar cannot become invisible, though it may hide behind objects to avoid being seen, and may pass through objects freely. Still, the avatar is without physical substance—physical or magical attacks against the avatar will have no effect. In turn, the cleric will be unable to cast spells or take physical action through the avatar.
As an avatar, the cleric cannot hear or see through walls or other solid objects, any more than if the cleric were actually present at the location. Nor can the cleric fly, or perform any form of travel which the cleric could not perform. Magical spells which would affect the cleric cannot be cast upon the avatar.
There is no distance to which the avatar cannot be projected. The cleric must identify the name or condition of a place, or the name or condition of a creature to be found, but the cleric need not have ever seen or met the place or individual sought. Success will be unfailing, the cleric’s avatar appearing at a distance of the cleric’s choosing—thus, the cleric might specify, “One mile north of the largest pyramid in Egypt,” or “Five feet from the oldest man named Robert in England.” When not specified, the avatar will always appear to the north of the location.
When in sight, the cleric may visually ascertain the desired location of the avatar and it will appear there—such as, on the top of a wall, or at the far end of a street, etc.
Those who have a percentage chance to detect invisibility have an equal chance of identifying an avatar from a real being. If done, a thin silvery thread will lead back to the cleric’s physical body. Those who have the power to follow this thread have the potential to find and kill the cleric wherever he or she may be. While participating as an avatar, the cleric does not have any comprehension of what may be going on wherever his or her body may be—so it will be up to others to protect the true body from harm.
The cleric must cease to be an avatar in order to communicate any knowledge to others who are located with the cleric’s true body.
The cleric may continue to exist as an avatar indefinitely; however, once the avatar’s location has been determined, the spell must be broken before the avatar can be sent anywhere else. Until then, the avatar can only travel as the cleric might without aid of a horse or cart—only the physical earth under the cleric’s feet will support the avatar.