Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Incorporeal spellcasters


Rules Questions


OK, it might be that I missed a memo or something, but I really wonder about this:

If a spellcaster becomes a ghost, can he use his spells as normal, or would his spells have a 50% miss chance against corporeal creatures?

I can't find any rules clarification on this.


Incorporeal (Ex) wrote:

An incorporeal creature has no physical body. It can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it takes only half damage from a corporeal source (except for channel energy). Although it is not a magical attack, holy water can affect incorporeal undead. Corporeal spells and effects that do not cause damage only have a 50% chance of affecting an incorporeal creature. Force spells and effects, such as from a magic missile, affect an incorporeal creature normally.

An incorporeal creature has no natural armor bonus but has a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma bonus (minimum +1, even if the creature’s Charisma score does not normally provide a bonus).

An incorporeal creature can enter or pass through solid objects, but must remain adjacent to the object’s exterior, and so cannot pass entirely through an object whose space is larger than its own. It can sense the presence of creatures or objects within a square adjacent to its current location, but enemies have total concealment (50% miss chance) from an incorporeal creature that is inside an object. In order to see beyond the object it is in and attack normally, the incorporeal creature must emerge. An incorporeal creature inside an object has total cover, but when it attacks a creature outside the object it only has cover, so a creature outside with a readied action could strike at it as it attacks. An incorporeal creature cannot pass through a force effect.

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore) natural armor, armor, and shields, although deflection bonuses and force effects (such as mage armor) work normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through and operate in water as easily as they do in air. Incorporeal creatures cannot fall or take falling damage. Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled. In fact, they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions. Incorporeal creatures have no weight and do not set off traps that are triggered by weight.

An incorporeal creature moves silently and cannot be heard with Perception checks if it doesn’t wish to be. It has no Strength score, so its Dexterity modifier applies to its melee attacks, ranged attacks, and CMB. Nonvisual senses, such as scent and blindsight, are either ineffective or only partly effective with regard to incorporeal creatures. Incorporeal creatures have an innate sense of direction and can move at full speed even when they cannot see.

Format: incorporeal; Location: Defensive Abilities.

It's all there, if you don't see anything stating he does then he doesn't.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Orcadorsala wrote:

OK, it might be that I missed a memo or something, but I really wonder about this:

If a spellcaster becomes a ghost, can he use his spells as normal, or would his spells have a 50% miss chance against corporeal creatures?

I can't find any rules clarification on this.

ghost spellcasters have major problems with material components. They won't be able to use any spells that require them without other help.

And yes they do have the miss chance..... Unless they possess someone first like another spellcaster.


@Abraham spalding: Sorry, but I have read that entry and when something is neither stated clearly nor stated at all I tend to still be confused.

Do you mean "if it doesn't say he casts spells as normal then he doesn't cast spells as normal"? Is this default? It doesn't say that he doesn't cast spells as normal either... so maybe he does.

This is what I mean by "unclear". :P

Thing is, ghosts are affected normally by spells (although damage is halved) so why shouldn't they affect corporeal creatures with their own magic? Does the magic become incorporeal as well?

@LazarX: The component thing I understand!


Incorporeal creatures do not have a 50% miss chance with their spells or abilities.

In the case of ghosts specifically:

Quote:
When a ghost is created, it retains incorporeal “copies” of any items that it particularly valued in life (provided the originals are not in another creature's possession). The equipment works normally for the ghost but passes harmlessly through material objects or creatures. A weapon of +1 or better magical enhancement, however, can harm material creatures, but any such attack deals only half as much damage (50%) unless it is a ghost touch weapon. A ghost can use shields or armor only if they have the ghost touch quality.


@Abe: thanks for giving me a clear answer. This means that if the ghost valued his components then he can actually use them, right? What you quoted there reads very clearly and I must have missed that.

So it doesn't have a miss chance with its spells... but it does cause only 50% damage with the spells then? If I understand correctly?

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:

Incorporeal creatures do not have a 50% miss chance with their spells or abilities.

In the case of ghosts specifically:

Quote:
When a ghost is created, it retains incorporeal “copies” of any items that it particularly valued in life (provided the originals are not in another creature's possession). The equipment works normally for the ghost but passes harmlessly through material objects or creatures. A weapon of +1 or better magical enhancement, however, can harm material creatures, but any such attack deals only half as much damage (50%) unless it is a ghost touch weapon. A ghost can use shields or armor only if they have the ghost touch quality.

I think it's stretching it a bit to consider spell components as being of "particular value".

On the other hand if they are lying around, or simple enough, just posess the first living arcanist who invades your haunt. He'll be likely to be carrying one that the ghost can now use. Also while posessing a living person, the ghost's spells will work as normal. And what does he care if he nukes himself?


Not 'of particular value,' but 'particularly VALUED' by the ghost.

The only thing I can think of that a caster would particularly value MORE than components would be spellbook/holy symbol.


Yeah I could see a spell component pouch being of extreme value to a spellcasting ghost. However a sorcerer ghost might not have particularly valued his diamond dust though (especially since it was an expendable component) -- so he might be out of luck when it comes to something like the stoneskin spell or true seeing.

Look out for cheese with ghosts that have ghost touch gauntlets and try to then use said gauntlets to interact with the rest of the world.


Cool. Thanks, I'll avoid the cheese (I usually do anyway). :D

But the final stupid question then: Does the ghost do only 50% damage with spells (except force spells)? And how would spells like Vampiric Touch work?


I would think since a ghost's spells come from an incorporeal source (like a ghost with a ghostly +1 weapon), it would probably do 50% damage. Otherwise, ghost wizards would be able to affect everyone at 100% while living wizards can only do so with corporeal creatures.

As for Vampiric Touch, I suppose it would still work off a normal touch attack... Though, a ghost's touch deals damage... Yeah, I'm not touching that issue with a ten foot pole.


Well... nothing in the incorporeal write up or the ghost write up states that ghosts deal less damage with their spells, their spells are real, they themselves simply aren't all there so to speak. As such from what I can see their spells have 100% of their normal effect.


Thanks! Maybe the Vampiric Touch thing should go to the FAQ or errata.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Incorporeal spellcasters All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.