Each negative level gives a creature a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saves, skill checks, ability checks. Also inflicts a -1 penalty to effective level (affects things like spells and abilities which rely on caster level or character level). Negative levels stack.
If the target has as many negative levels as its Hit Die or levels, it dies.
Negative levels also affect maximum hit points.
- For monsters, each negative level reduces hit points by 10 %. ( ) Epic monsters regenerate negative levels at a very fast pace, however, the inflicted HP damage does not heal.
- Players lose HP and SP, probably also 10 % per negative level. Healing negative levels does not restore HP nor SP.
- Negative levels from wearing items inflict a -5 penalty to hp and a -1 penalty to attack, skills, and saving throws. They do not affect spell points or caster levels. One negative level per contradiction in alignment (max 2), regardless of the number of items equipped. An item can give more than one negative level. These negative levels do not stack with negative levels from spells and attacks with regard to death by insufficient levels.
- Circle of Death
- Energy Drain
- Gaze of Mabar from Mabar's Anger or Mabar's Interest
- Necrotic Ray
- Symbol of Death
- Wearing Taint of Evil items while Good, Taint of Chaos items while Lawful, or Embodiment of Law items while Chaotic
- Wight melee attacks
- Life Stealing / Obscenity weapons
- Touch of Despair finishing move
- Item:Ruby of the Endless Night from The Night Revels
- One for each stack of Death penalty (heals at a rate of 1 every minute)
Permanent / undispellable
- Cleric Death domain - level 9 feat
- Druid Nature's Protector Undying Beast (tier 4)
- Paladin Improved Courage of Heaven (core 4)
- Wizard Pale Masters in undead form are immune to negative levels.
- Vistani - Mist Stalker IV
- Shadowdancer's Sealed Soul ability (T5)
- Warforged / Bladeforged are naturally immune to negative levels from spells.
- Purity sentient filigree set bonus
- Raging Inferno on Mail of the Mroranon
Temporary / dispellable / with limited charges
- Death Ward / Death Ward, Mass
- Various Absorption items and effects
- Spell Resistance can protect you against many sources of neg. levels
- While undead after using Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers
- Resting (at a shrine or after a quest completion) cures all negative levels.
- Negative levels wear off naturally, at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes.
Spells and SLAs
- Restoration restores a single negative level.
- Greater Restoration purges all negative levels.
- Regenerate / Regenerate, Mass restores 4 negative levels over a short duration.
- Break Out The Leeches restores negative levels over time.
- Unyielding Sovereignty granted as Paladin, Cleric and Favored Soul level 6 feat, or from Unyielding Sovereignty restores all negative levels. Also available as Kingly Recovery and Rejuvenation of Dawn.
- Positive Energy Burst restores 1d4 negative levels.
- Axe of Famine - Greater Restoration on vorpal