A Spell-like ability is usually a magical effect that works exactly like a spell of the same name yet costs no or fewer spell points. Some SLAs are limited in uses per rest, or have unlimited use but a longer cooldown. Monk SLAs cost ki. A few spell-like abilities are unique and are identified as such in their description.
The big thing about spell-like abilities is that metamagic feats can be applied for free without increasing spell point cost. However, not all SLAs can be affected by metamagic.
Like spells, spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and to being dispelled by Dispel Magic. However, some spell-like abilities, such as bard songs or a "Light" Monk's Finishing Moves cannot be dispelled by spells such as Dispel Magic or Break Enchantment. These abilities are especially useful against creatures such as beholders, which have an anti-magic cone about them, removing most buffs within that zone. However, since Update 21, many SLAs cannot be used in antimagic field any longer.
There are only a few disadvantages of SLAs, compared to spells:
- SLAs are not affected by effects that reduce the spell point cost of spells, such as Magical Efficiency
- SLAs often have longer cooldown than spells
Sources of spell-like abilities
- Dragonmarks - feats and racial enhancements
- Epic Destinies
- Some of the Finishing Moves
- Some of Past Life Feats