I’ve always liked the “Buff” spells that boost up a character’s attributes for a time. In D&D 3e, these spells lasted too long — hours at a time. In D&D 3.5, the duration is now minutes long, but it means that the spellcaster has to waste an action early on in combat to provide the spell for himself or his teammates.
I’d like to change that a bit.
Instead of eating up valuable time in combat, I want to make it a “charged” spell, kind of like activating a magic item.
This allows the creature to store the spell for later use at the appropriate time. The duration is still only long enough for one combat, but it has increased utility for players and DMs alike.
Here’s my rule …
‘BUFF’ SPELLS: Bull’s Strength, Cat’s Grace, Owl’s Wisdom, Bear’s Endurance, Eagle’s Splendor and Fox’s Cunning are charged spells, in that they do not immediately take effect and are activated as a free action with a predetermined command word. Once activated, the duration stays the same. The charge remains in effect for 24 hours or until used. A creature can only hold one such charge at a time.