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A quick question about Evil Eye


Rules Questions


The Hex description makes it clear that the victim knows something is happening. But should have any idea where it's coming from? Hexes don't use verbal or somatic components, after all. It seems like I could just look at the back of your head from across the room and hit you with Evil Eye. You'd feel "doubt creeping into your mind" as per the Hex description, so you'd probably know something weird and bad was happening, but you'd have no reason to whirl and say "aha! you, over there!"

It makes a big difference! If you can EE someone like this, then you can debuff them and soften them up for a real attack. If not, the hex becomes much less useful -- it's still an OK combat buff, but you can't use it in (for instance) a social situation.

Thoughts?

Doug M.


I understand hexes to be purely an act of will and require no outward action to use, except where otherwise noted. So, in the case of standing behind someone I don't see how they could perceive you to be the source of their affliction. Now, depending how knowledgeable they are, they might discern you to be a Witch and know what that means. But up to the act of casting the spell and the casting itself I'd say no. The aftermath would be interesting though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting. I just played a witch to about 11th level. I always played her as actively 'throwing' the hexes at people in a very visible way. I went a little comic with it so it was fun...of course, it may have gotten her targeted a bit more than might have otherwise been the case. She never used any hexes in a social situation (though she did try dominate person unsuccessfully once at a party)...social situations generally bored her. I can see why you might want to though.
M


I would impose a stealth or bluff check if the character was trying to hide her intent.
Situation: You feel like the world is staring daggers at you and nothing feels like it's going right. You look around because something nearby just feels off. You see one person standing still in a crowd of people giving you the old stink-eye. You are now officially creeped the hell out.


Well, they're supernatural abilities. I equate the supernatural generally to gods, mythology, etc. Zeus didn't need to chant to throw a bolt of lighting. He just did it. :) Kudos for playing up the theatrics, though. I would probably have never thought to do that. :)

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The acid test for whether anything is overpowered, is whether your players would scream bloody murder, if you used it that way with an NPC vs their PCs.

I wouldn't want to be the GM explaining to a player that the reason why their PC got shot (by a minion who would otherwise have missed), failed their Acrobatics check to stay on their ledge (with a roll that should have succeeded), and failed the subsequent Reflex save to grab the ledge (with a save that should have passed) is because they were hexed three times by an enemy they were oblivious to.

Most players wouldn't stand for it; they'd insist on making any saves themselves, they'd insist that whenever they roll a save they would be aware something was going on, and even if they did fail a save vs an effect that wouldn't be noticeable, they'd find a way to metagame round it ("I have no reason to believe I've been charmed, but I still have an inexplicable urge to drink this potion of protection from evil. No particular reason.").

If PCs can never be tricked, or taken unaware, by a (Su) ability, why should they be able to do so to NPCs?
(See also; Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, enchantment spells...if a player is not mature enough to honestly play along when targetted by these things*, then they're not mature enough to be able to affect NPCs.)

*without winking at the other players, playing charades, passing notes, sending texts, emailing between sessions, or acting up in an attempt to draw attention to their situation, of course.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And I say all the above, as a person currently playing a witch, using the Evil Eye hex several times in some encounters.

My evil eye hexes are psychically-charged Harrow cards flicked at my enemies.


Snorter wrote:

The acid test for whether anything is overpowered, is whether your players would scream bloody murder, if you used it that way with an NPC vs their PCs.

I wouldn't want to be the GM explaining to a player that the reason why their PC got shot (by a minion who would otherwise have missed), failed their Acrobatics check to stay on their ledge (with a roll that should have succeeded), and failed the subsequent Reflex save to grab the ledge (with a save that should have passed) is because they were hexed three times by an enemy they were oblivious to.

Most players wouldn't stand for it; they'd insist on making any saves themselves, they'd insist that whenever they roll a save they would be aware something was going on, and even if they did fail a save vs an effect that wouldn't be noticeable, they'd find a way to metagame round it ("I have no reason to believe I've been charmed, but I still have an inexplicable urge to drink this potion of protection from evil. No particular reason.").

If PCs can never be tricked, or taken unaware, by a (Su) ability, why should they be able to do so to NPCs?
(See also; Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, enchantment spells...if a player is not mature enough to honestly play along when targetted by these things*, then they're not mature enough to be able to affect NPCs.)

*without winking at the other players, playing charades, passing notes, sending texts, emailing between sessions, or acting up in an attempt to draw attention to their situation, of course.

That's a character metagaming though.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Indeed it is, and it should be banned for that reason alone.
But it's not always easy for a GM to spot when it's happening, if it occurs between sessions.
And it can be that a GM can be too heavy-handed, banning actions that could be justified for other reasons ("I was always going to cast protection from evil on Jim before the boss fight, for the AC bonus, it's nothing to do with the fact I know he's been charmed.").

The main point still stands; that if the GM always ruled that (Su) abilities were even less prone to detection than even a Still, Silent, Eschewed spell (both of whom have zero verbal/somatic/material components, but the spell is still apparent in its casting, according to the devs), the players would get very sick of it, and declare it overpowered.


Even when it's a save-or-suck ability that can be completely negated by things such as being immune to mind-affecting effects?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A case could certainly be made the the target may be completely unaware of being targetted by something they are completely immune to.
It depends on how the immunity is flavoured.

A skeleton could be immune to a mind-affecting ability, due to having no mind to affect. The connection may never even be completed, since the 'circuitry' is absent.

A fanatic, drugged or fated warrior may be immune to the effects of such an attack, but the reasoning is due to them being desensitized by overexposure. They may see the illusory creature formed by phantasmal killer, but just laugh at it.

"I was killed by worse than that, before I was picked for Valhalla. I didn't run then; why should I do so now, when I know the Valkyries are real, and will bring me back to Odin's Hall by nightfall?"

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