Magic is a force utilized by many of Golarion's inhabitants. It is practiced in many different forms and shapes, with different ends and abilities, but it is all characterised, usually by the use of words of power, and the external production of some supernatural effect, be it arcane or divine in nature. Magic allows the caster to cast a spell.
A spell is a one-time 'magical' effect. Spells typically come in three types: arcane (cast by bards, sorcerers, and wizards) divine (cast by clerics, druids, and experienced paladins and rangers) and psychic (cast by the classes introduced in Occult Adventures). Some spellcasters select their spells from a limited list of spells known, while others have access to a wide variety of options.
Most spellcasters prepare their spells in advance—whether from a spellbook or through prayers—while some cast spells spontaneously without preparation. Despite these different ways characters use to learn or prepare their spells, when it comes to casting them, many of the spells are very much alike, magic being guided by certain core principles.
Schools of MagicEdit
Cutting across the categories of arcane and divine spells are the eight schools of magic. These schools represent the different ways that spells take effect.
Spells which do not exist as part of the schools are known under the moniker of "Universal".