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Cleave / Great Cleave vs Mirror Image


Rules Questions

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Osirion

Mergy wrote:
You're making a mistake of disagreeing with both the developer and the creative director?

The creative directors post was only how he would rule in a home campaign and the developers post was in beta and promised a follow up and that was never made. I don't see how those posts are relevant to this conversation.

Cheliax

I know that we have hit an impasse of agree to disagree. The official input thus far has been that you can't, and you can argue how official it is, but I've got my answer! :)

Osirion

Mergy wrote:
I know that we have hit an impasse of agree to disagree. The official input thus far has been that you can't, and you can argue how official it is, but I've got my answer! :)

If I officially tell you that I am a good DM would you go with my answer? :)

(because that is about as good as an answer from beta)


Mergy wrote:
I know that we have hit an impasse of agree to disagree. The official input thus far has been that you can't, and you can argue how official it is, but I've got my answer! :)

Working for Paizo does not mean your answers are official on everything.

Just like Sean can't go and change things that are based on Golarion, James lacks the authority in the rules department to make any official decisions. It does not mean neither of them has knowledge of the other's department, but knowledgeable is not official. There is no argument on how official it is because the devs have clarified themselves that only 3 people get to make rules decisions.

PS:Of course I still think our decision is correct, but I have pulled the "only certain people can make rules" card enough times that I would be a hypocrite to ignore it now.


Malignor wrote:

Mirror image does not say that images can't be targeted intentionally.

Mirror image only says that attempting to hit the caster can result in targeting an image.

Don't confuse "if-then" for "if-and-only-if"
That's a failure of elementary logic.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein himself realized when he abandoned the logical positivism of the logico philosophicus tractatus for the more interpretive understand of language presented in the philosophical investigations, language does not map perfectly onto formal logic.

Once again, the actual spell text:

"Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment."

One could easily argue that you only really attacked the thing that you targeted. In fact, in order to declare an attack, you have to declare the target of that attack. If the selected target was a figmant, it was never real.

The thing that trips people up (other than there desire for an easy defense for their wizards and/or vrocks), is that the spell says 'whenever you are attacked'. This implies that in order for an image to have been the selected target, you would have had to first been attacked. But you were not first attacked, because in order to have been attacked, you would have had to be targeted, and you were never targeted.


moon glum wrote:
Malignor wrote:

Mirror image does not say that images can't be targeted intentionally.

Mirror image only says that attempting to hit the caster can result in targeting an image.

Don't confuse "if-then" for "if-and-only-if"
That's a failure of elementary logic.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein himself realized when he abandoned the logical positivism of the logico philosophicus tractatus for the more interpretive understand of language presented in the philosophical investigations, language does not map perfectly onto formal logic.

Once again, the actual spell text:

"Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment."

One could easily argue that you only really attacked the thing that you targeted. In fact, in order to declare an attack, you have to declare the target of that attack. If the selected target was a figmant, it was never real.

The thing that trips people up (other than there desire for an easy defense for their wizards and/or vrocks), is that the spell says 'whenever you are attacked'. This implies that in order for an image to have been the selected target, you would have had to first been attacked. But you were not first attacked, because in order to have been attacked, you would have had to be targeted, and you were never targeted.

Your argument has also been presented already, well this one anyway. We are at a deadlock still.

I will be glad when the devs or freed up again so they can answer this one. :)


moon glum wrote:
Malignor wrote:

Mirror image does not say that images can't be targeted intentionally.

Mirror image only says that attempting to hit the caster can result in targeting an image.

Don't confuse "if-then" for "if-and-only-if"
That's a failure of elementary logic.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein himself realized when he abandoned the logical positivism of the logico philosophicus tractatus for the more interpretive understand of language presented in the philosophical investigations, language does not map perfectly onto formal logic.

Once again, the actual spell text:

"Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment."

One could easily argue that you only really attacked the thing that you targeted. In fact, in order to declare an attack, you have to declare the target of that attack. If the selected target was a figmant, it was never real.

The thing that trips people up (other than there desire for an easy defense for their wizards and/or vrocks), is that the spell says 'whenever you are attacked'. This implies that in order for an image to have been the selected target, you would have had to first been attacked. But you were not first attacked, because in order to have been attacked, you would have had to be targeted, and you were never targeted.

I tried this one already and they're not buying it. Cause if you and your twin were standing in the same square and I attacked your twin thinking it was you I still attacked you even though your twin is now dead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Except that common sense says that you could then cleave into the remaining twin.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The whole debate is "common sense" vs. "rules lawyering" - and I will be very sad if the staff let the loophole-hunters win.


Which side is common sense and which is the rules lawyering? Who are the loophole hunters?


... And here I thought we had settled all this. Wishful thinking perhaps.

shiiktan wrote:
The whole debate is "common sense" vs. "rules lawyering" - and I will be very sad if the staff let the loophole-hunters win.

This is a rules forumn after all. Common sense is not required. There are rules where the mechanics dont fit the intent behind the design. Cleave is a perfect example of this. Design intent says one single blow. Mechanics are written as multiple attacks.

Considering design intent of MI is pretty clear from the two developers, until we hear anything differnt from them, we should use thier opinions. As it stands.. RAW could go either way depending on how you read it. RAI, as far as we know from what the devs have out there, seems to favor disallowing cleave.

Feel free to house-rule as you see fit.


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Dr Grecko wrote:

... And here I thought we had settled all this. Wishful thinking perhaps.

shiiktan wrote:
The whole debate is "common sense" vs. "rules lawyering" - and I will be very sad if the staff let the loophole-hunters win.

This is a rules forumn after all. Common sense is not required. There are rules where the mechanics dont fit the intent behind the design. Cleave is a perfect example of this. Design intent says one single blow. Mechanics are written as multiple attacks.

Considering design intent of MI is pretty clear from the two developers, until we hear anything differnt from them, we should use thier opinions. As it stands.. RAW could go either way depending on how you read it. RAI, as far as we know from what the devs have out there, seems to favor disallowing cleave.

Feel free to house-rule as you see fit.

I like this summary. I agree with it entirely. This is most definitely a case where the text of the mechanics doesn't fit the intent. In fixing an issue with the 3.5 version of mirror image, they went too far, and now it's up to GMs to house rule one way or the other, because the actual text is impossible to derive a clear ruling from.

Osirion

Dr Grecko wrote:
RAW could go either way depending on how you read it.

Perhaps I am being dense but I don't see how RAW could be read as anything but allowing Cleave to work against images if you don't hit the Mage on the first attack. RAI is up for debate.

I am quoting both cleave and mirror image here in order for someone to bold where RAW could prevent it from working.

Quote:


Cleave (Combat)
You can strike two adjacent foes with a single swing.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Power Attack, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a single attack at your full base attack bonus against a foe within reach. If you hit, you deal damage normally and can make an additional attack (using your full base attack bonus) against a foe that is adjacent to the first and also within reach. You can only make one additional attack per round with this feat. When you use this feat, you take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class until your next turn.
Quote:


Mirror Image
School illusion (figment); Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 min./level
This spell creates a number of illusory doubles of you that inhabit your square. These doubles make it difficult for enemies to precisely locate and attack you.

When mirror image is cast, 1d4 images plus one image per three caster levels (maximum eight images total) are created. These images remain in your space and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly. Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. If it is a figment, the figment is destroyed. If the attack misses by 5 or less, one of your figments is destroyed by the near miss. Area spells affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments. Spells and effects that do not require an attack roll affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments. Spells that require a touch attack are harmlessly discharged if used to destroy a figment.

An attacker must be able to see the figments to be fooled. If you are invisible or the attacker is blind, the spell has no effect (although the normal miss chances still apply).


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Muzir wrote:
... <what he said> ...

If you wish, just go back and read the 500 or so odd posts explaining both sides of the argument, each bolding parts of the spell/feat (often the same bolded statements) and read the different opinions on what it all means. RAW is not clear in this matter... RAI from the two devs that have commented on the matter (so far until we hear something else) favors dissallowing cleave.

As always, its GM's call how they want to apply it.

I have no desire to punish myself with continued circular arguments any longer... :)


Dr Grecko wrote:
Muzir wrote:
... <what he said> ...

If you wish, just go back and read the 500 or so odd posts explaining both sides of the argument, each bolding parts of the spell/feat (often the same bolded statements) and read the different opinions on what it all means. RAW is not clear in this matter... RAI from the two devs that have commented on the matter (so far until we hear something else) favors dissallowing cleave.

As always, its GM's call how they want to apply it.

I have no desire to punish myself with continued circular arguments any longer... :)

But if you quit I will have to find another thread to derive amusement from.

On topic, I really haven't been in the debate aside from correcting a few facts here and there. I would personally rule that cleave does work against MI, but I do not believe that the RAW clearly supports that position beyond a reasonable doubt, and anyone who disagrees is being *insert insult here*. There is plenty of grey area here.


It's cooler looking for people to be allowed to cleave through mirror images than for them not to be allowed to do so. In fact, cleaving through stuff is just cool looking. Same with whirlwind attack. Its cooler looking for some fighter to make a half dozen or so attacks and take out a bunch of images (they might miss some, of course).

I am saying that despite the fact that mirror image saved my 10th level wizard's gorgeous behind last night. I guess I am an ingrate in that regard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Disagreeing with the developers is not a mistake, it's a personal choice.

Shadow Lodge

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Ravingdork wrote:
Disagreeing with the developers is not a mistake, it's a personal choice.

Depending on the developer, its an obligation. :)


Well it seems that this has been cleared up figured i would pass it along.

Cleave (page 119): Can I use this feat or Great Cleave (page 124) to cleave to or from an image created by a mirror image spell?
No. If your initial attack hit the caster, you can’t cleave to an image as if it were an actual creature. If your initial attack hit an image, you failed to hit your intended target (the caster), and therefore can’t cleave. As you can’t specifically target an image (because you can’t tell the images from the actual caster), you likewise can’t aim for an image and try to cleave to another image.

—Sean K Reynolds, Wednesday


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I'm taking the road blessed by the Ravingdork; I disagree with the FAQ.

Honestly, I suspect that the answer was provided in isolation by SKR and maybe 1 or 2 like-minded people, without considering arguments from the other side.


I agree homegames its fair game. Just wanted to make sure its seen for PFS purposes.


I like the FAQ as a clarification of RAI, and it matches how I'd run it or expect it to be run in a PFS game, but I don't think it actually addresses the RAW, per our excessively long earlier discussion. It also doesn't address all the really edge cases, like true sight.

I'm sufficiently satisfied with it to not reopen the discussion, though.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

I saw the FAQ post just now, while I was scrolling through older blog entries.

Geeze. Wasn't Mirror Image retardedly overpowered before already? Did we really need to make beatsticks even more useless? Who in development thought this was a good idea?

This FAQ entry will be deservedly ignored for my own campaigns. Whomever thought this was balanced should be ashamed as a developer.


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I'm just implementing 3.5 Mirror Image into any future PF games I run, if any. It was WAAAAAY WAAAAAAY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more balanced and well thought out than this disgusting drivel.

For the benefit of those who'd like to see how to keep the essence of the spell the same, but make it less stupidly powerful (but still pretty good for a level 2), behold the glory:

Spoiler:
Mirror Image
Illusion (Figment)
Level: Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal; see text
Target: You
Duration: 1 min./level (D)

Several illusory duplicates of you pop into being, making it difficult for enemies to know which target to attack. The figments stay near you and disappear when struck.

Mirror image creates 1d4 images plus one image per three caster levels (maximum eight images total). These figments separate from you and remain in a cluster, each within 5 feet of at least one other figment or you. You can move into and through a mirror image. When you and the mirror image separate, observers can’t use vision or hearing to tell which one is you and which the image. The figments may also move through each other. The figments mimic your actions, pretending to cast spells when you cast a spell, drink potions when you drink a potion, levitate when you levitate, and so on.

Enemies attempting to attack you or cast spells at you must select from among indistinguishable targets. Generally, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. Any successful attack against an image destroys it. An image’s AC is 10 + your size modifier + your Dex modifier. Figments seem to react normally to area spells (such as looking like they’re burned or dead after being hit by a fireball).

While moving, you can merge with and split off from figments so that enemies who have learned which image is real are again confounded.

An attacker must be able to see the images to be fooled. If you are invisible or an attacker shuts his or her eyes, the spell has no effect. (Being unable to see carries the same penalties as being blinded.)

Bolded the particularly well thought out, balanced bits. Like whichever one you end up randomly rolling to attack is your defined target. Or how you can move the images on YOUR TURN but out of turn, if an enemy finds the real you, all his buddies get to ignore the images until your turn comes back up (every DM I've had in PF has ruled that by removing this text, PF intended that you can never target the caster automatically if an ally strikes true, the images shift around even out of turn, or something else like that). Or how the image AC is pitifully easy to hit.

For yet still more of a respite from the insanity, check out this awesome quote from p. 62 of the D&D 3.5 FAQ:

Spoiler:
Are the multiple figments from a mirror image spell
legal targets for cleaving? That is, if you have the Cleave
feat and you hit an image and destroy it, can you then
attack another target within reach (such as another figment
from the spell or perhaps the spell user)? What about
Whirlwind Attack? Can you use this feat to attack all the
images around the spell user? What about spells that allow
multiple targets, such as magic missile? Can you aim magic
missiles at different images?

For all intents and purposes, the figments from a foe’s
mirror image spell are your foes. You aim your spells and your
attacks at the figments just as though they were real creatures.
Any spell you can aim at a creature you can aim at an image.
When you use a spell that allows you to select multiple
creatures as targets, such as magic missile, you can choose
multiple images as targets.
If you have the Cleave or Great Cleave feat, destroying an
image with a melee attack triggers the feat (and your cleaving
attack might well strike the spell user instead of another
image). Likewise, you can use Whirlwind Attack to strike at
any image you can reach. A Whirlwind Attack almost certainly
will allow you to strike once at the spell user.

What PF did with Mirror Image is abominable. It should be made clear: If you think MI is overpowered, this is not how it always was! This is solely a Paizo created problem. THEY are the ones who wanted Mirror Image to make fighters suck. THEY are the only ones responsible for it.


Cleave and great cleave should work on mirror image. I'm not saying it does by the rules but it should to make sense.

So I guess this hasn't been officially answered from what I can see?

Qadira

No you can't

Faq

Cleave: Can I use this feat or Great Cleave to cleave to or from an image created by a mirror image spell?
No. If your initial attack hit the caster, you can’t cleave to an image as if it were an actual creature. If your initial attack hit an image, you failed to hit your intended target (the caster), and therefore can’t cleave. As you can’t specifically target an image (because you can’t tell the images from the actual caster), you likewise can’t aim for an image and try to cleave to another image.

posted February 2012


Lemartes wrote:

Cleave and great cleave should work on mirror image. I'm not saying it does by the rules but it should to make sense.

So I guess this hasn't been officially answered from what I can see?

FAQ'd already. No you can't

I agree it should work though.

Edit: ninja'd by 16 seconds.


It's probably for the same reason fireballs don't wreck them, though: Too easy to nerf the spell.


Ah for some reason I thought that was unofficial as I took a post out of order.

Anyways, this spell is a pain in the ass. Oh well.


And thanks for the replies.

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