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Knowledge Arcana, Spellcraft and Spell knowledge


Rules Questions

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Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

You are educated in a field of study and can answer both
simple and complex questions. Like the Craft, Perform,
and Profession skills, Knowledge actually encompasses
a number of different specialties. Below are listed typical
fields of study.
• Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane
symbols, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)
• Dungeoneering (aberrations, caverns, oozes, spelunking)
• Engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
• Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people)
• History (wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
• Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws,
customs, traditions, humanoids)
• Nature (animals, fey, monstrous humanoids, plants,
seasons and cycles, weather, vermin)
• Nobility (lineages, heraldry, personalities, royalty)
• Planes (the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, the Astral
Plane, the Ethereal Plane, outsiders, planar magic)
• Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic
tradition, holy symbols, undead)
Check: Answering a question within your field of study
has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic
questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
You can use this skill to identify monsters and their
special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of
such a check equals 10 + the monster’s CR. For common
monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5
+ the monster’s CR. For particularly rare monsters, such
as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the
monster’s CR, or more. A successful check allows you to
remember a bit of useful information about that monster.
For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the
DC, you recall another piece of useful information. Many
of the Knowledge skills have specific uses as noted on
Table 4–6.
Action: Usually none. In most cases, a Knowledge check
doesn’t take an action (but see “Untrained,” below).
Try Again: No. The check represents what you know,
and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you
know something that you never learned in the first place.
Untrained: You cannot make an untrained Knowledge
check with a DC higher than 10. If you have access to an
extensive library that covers a specific skill, this limit
is removed. The time to make checks using a library,
however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete
libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in
the fields that they cover.

Says here that you use Knowledge skills to answer questions and identify certain types of monsters. Now the only way to answer questions and to identify a monster is to interact with something "in game". Asking yourself a question does not qualify and trying to transfer player knowledge to your PC does not count either. If "you", the player, come across a new spell you can't in turn have your PC roll a Knowledge check to see if they know that spell exists. I don't see anywhere in it's description that spell knowledge is listed. Now if you are studying an ancient magical civilization and they had signature spells they used then I can see that as a valid reason for spell knowledge that you wouldn't otherwise know of but this takes place in game.

You are skilled at the art of casting spells, identifying
magic items, crafting magic items, and identifying spells
as they are being cast.
Check: Spellcraft is used whenever your knowledge
and skill of the technical art of casting a spell or crafting
a magic item comes into question. This skill is also
used to identify the properties of magic items in your
possession through the use of spells such as detect magic
and identify. The DC of this check varies depending
upon the task at hand.
Action: Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires
no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as
it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a
Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions,
and other factors. Learning a spell from a spellbook
takes 1 hour per level of the spell (0-level spells take 30
minutes). Preparing a spell from a borrowed spellbook
does not add any time to your spell preparation. Making
a Spellcraft check to craft a magic item is made as part
of the creation process. Attempting to ascertain the
properties of a magic item takes 3 rounds per item to be
identified and you must be able to thoroughly examine
the object.
Retry: You cannot retry checks made to identify a spell.
If you fail to learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll, you
must wait at least 1 week before you can try again. If you
fail to prepare a spell from a borrowed spellbook, you
cannot try again until the next day. When using detect
magic or identify to learn the properties of magic items,
you can only attempt to ascertain the properties of an
individual item once per day. Additional attempts reveal
the same results.
Special: If you are a specialist wizard, you get a +2
bonus on Spellcraft checks made to identify, learn, and
prepare spells from your chosen school. Similarly, you
take a –5 penalty on similar checks made concerning
spells from your opposition schools.
An elf gets a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft checks to
identify the properties of magic items.
If you have the Magical Aptitude feat, you gain a bonus
on Spellcraft checks (see Chapter 5).

Spellcraft looks specific as to what it does. You can identify spells as they are being cast. Now just because you have the capability to identify a spell as it's being cast doesn't enable you to assume that you have the knowledge of the existence of all spells. Your knowledge of that spell comes into play as you interact with it.

Now what you could do is study a magic item and actually gain knowledge of the spells that it took to create that item, once that is done you could then say you have the knowledge of spells XYZ.

Sitting at home after a game, flipping through the corebook and writing down the spells you want to try and buy at the next magic shop is metagaming unless you have an in game reason to posses this knowledge and just being a Wizard doesn't count.

I'm seeing a few people who seem to think it's okay to metagame spell knowledge in order to get the spells they want and to create the magic items they want. Now the only RAW way I see of a Wizard getting spells is the 2 per level rule. Now if you go that route then that's fine because it's perfectly legal but using the knowledge of something that you haven't gained yet in order to give you an advantage isn't right.

I would like a designer's input on this whole thing.

Scarab Sages

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

Sitting at home after a game, flipping through the corebook and writing down the spells you want to try and buy at the next magic shop is metagaming unless you have an in game reason to posses this knowledge and just being a Wizard doesn't count.

I'm seeing a few people who seem to think it's okay to metagame spell knowledge in order to get the spells they want and to create the magic items they want. Now the only RAW way I see of a Wizard getting spells is the 2 per level rule. Now if you go that route then that's fine because it's perfectly legal but using the knowledge of something that you haven't gained yet in order to give you an advantage isn't right.

How are you going to prove they're metagaming?

The player could have his PC ask the relevant questions in-character,

"I ask the scroll-endor if he knows of a spell that produces X effect, at Y range, against Z targets....Oh, he does? What a coincidence. Just put it on my next order, if you please."

Silver Crusade

Snorter wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Sitting at home after a game, flipping through the corebook and writing down the spells you want to try and buy at the next magic shop is metagaming unless you have an in game reason to posses this knowledge and just being a Wizard doesn't count.

I'm seeing a few people who seem to think it's okay to metagame spell knowledge in order to get the spells they want and to create the magic items they want. Now the only RAW way I see of a Wizard getting spells is the 2 per level rule. Now if you go that route then that's fine because it's perfectly legal but using the knowledge of something that you haven't gained yet in order to give you an advantage isn't right.

How are you going to prove they're metagaming?

The player could have his PC ask the relevant questions in-character,

"I ask the scroll-endor if he knows of a spell that produces X effect, at Y range, against Z targets....Oh, he does? What a coincidence. Just put it on my next order, if you please."

DM: "How did you come upon the knowledge that spell X actually exists?"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The vendor told him so.

Silver Crusade

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The vendor told him so.

Ding ding ding!!!! Now that would be a legitimate reason. If you approach a vender and he tells you he has a scroll of Color Spray then you have gained the knowledge through interaction with the game.

DM: "You approach a vendor of scrolls"

Wizard Player: "Could I see what scrolls you have available?"

DM Vendor: "Of course, I have scrolls of Color Spray and Shield available for purchase."


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Next thing you know, fighters can't learn feats they haven't encountered in-character.

Fighter: "I want to learn power attack."
GM: "You haven't had training."
Fighter: "Okay. I'll find a trainer."
GM: "You haven't heard of power attack so you don't know to look for training."

Silver Crusade

Umbral Reaver wrote:

Next thing you know, fighters can't learn feats they haven't encountered in-character.

Fighter: "I want to learn power attack."
GM: "You haven't had training."
Fighter: "Okay. I'll find a trainer."
GM: "You haven't heard of power attack so you don't know to look for training."

Not the same thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wizard: "I want to learn fireball."
GM: "You haven't heard of fireball."
Wizard: "I want to seek knowledge to find out about fireball."
GM: "You don't know of it so you can't know to look for it."


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The vendor told him so.

Ding ding ding!!!! Now that would be a legitimate reason. If you approach a vender and he tells you he has a scroll of Color Spray then you have gained the knowledge through interaction with the game.

But…that’s what Snorter said in his first post:

Snorter wrote:


"I ask the scroll-endor if he knows of a spell that produces X effect, at Y range, against Z targets....Oh, he does? What a coincidence. Just put it on my next order, if you please."

Silver Crusade

Hobbun wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The vendor told him so.

Ding ding ding!!!! Now that would be a legitimate reason. If you approach a vender and he tells you he has a scroll of Color Spray then you have gained the knowledge through interaction with the game.

But…that’s what Snorter said in his first post:

Snorter wrote:


"I ask the scroll-endor if he knows of a spell that produces X effect, at Y range, against Z targets....Oh, he does? What a coincidence. Just put it on my next order, if you please."

If he has seen an effect like that in action then I would say that it is legitimate. Maybe he went to make a spellcraft check and didn't make it but saw it's effect.

How would we know the full range?

Star Voter 2013

So shallowsoul if I as a wizard have no clue what Color Spray is how am I able to identify it when its stilled and silenced and cast with escheww materials?

Silver Crusade

Talonhawke wrote:
So shallowsoul if I as a wizard have no clue what Color Spray is how am I able to identify it when its stilled and silenced and cast with escheww materials?

You can't.

Spellcraft: Action: Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires
no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as
it is being cast

If you can't see it you can't identify it.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I can see the spell i can't see any componets but i can see the spell.

A standard action is still being taken.

Or are you saying that with just one trait one feat and the deaf curse oracles are unable to be counter-spelled?

Deaf auto silences and with magical lineiage i think you can now still for no level adjustment.

You have to be able to identify a spell ot counter it so by your rules a oracle can actually be uncounterable.


Do you create and maintain a list of spells casters are allowed to know at any given stage?

Is a wizard allowed to say, "During my training in the academy of wizardry and whatever, I made sure to read books about as many spells as I could."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Shallowsoul, in your quest against metagaming you are deliberately crippling your players to kingdom come.
If you think this is good GM'ing, or even necessary for fun play, go ahead. However, don't expect many others to applaud your stance.

When I emerged university as a Level 1 expert (or whatever someone with a master degree in process engineering translates into), with skill ranks in knowledge (engineering), I knew the basics of quite a few things, along with how to calculate and construct things.

According to your stance on 'Knowledge checks can only determine whether you know something if you encounter it', I'd have to experience a hydrocyclone separator in real life before being able to open my formula book, and calculate the parameters one the one my company needs for a certain process. Heck, according to your logic, I'd be ignorant of the fact these things actually exist, regardless of them having been topics in my studies.

Silver Crusade

Talonhawke wrote:

I can see the spell i can't see any componets but i can see the spell.

A standard action is still being taken.

Or are you saying that with just one trait one feat and the deaf curse oracles are unable to be counter-spelled?

Deaf auto silences and with magical lineiage i think you can now still for no level adjustment.

You have to be able to identify a spell ot counter it so by your rules a oracle can actually be uncounterable.

Hey you need to take that up with the designers. What I posted was from the Corerule book under Spellcraft. It says that you must be able to clearly see the spell being cast. It's not my rule.

If there are no components, it's stilled and silenced then how are they supposed to see it until the spell has already gone off?

Now the DM could say that the moment the spell's effect goes off you can identify it that way but that would be something you would have to ask the designers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:

If he has seen an effect like that in action then I would say that it is legitimate. Maybe he went to make a spellcraft check and didn't make it but saw it's effect.

How would we know the full range?

He doesn’t know the specifics on Color Spray, but the player is asking the vendor on what spells he knows that has them.

How about this:

Player: I would like a 1st level spell that allows me to potentially make opponents stunned, blinded and/or unconscious in an area of effect. Do you have something like that?

I mean I understand you want to keep outside knowledge as much as possible, but really, it gets to point where it just bogs down the game where you just get too technical with in-game conversation. There are going to be times where you need to have some assumptions to allow the game move on at a reasonable and enjoyable pace.

Star Voter 2013

shallowsoul wrote:

Hey you need to take that up with the designers. What I posted was from the Corerule book under Spellcraft. It says that you must be able to clearly see the spell being cast. It's not my rule.

Right it says see the spell not the components of the spell.

Silver Crusade

Midnight_Angel wrote:

Shallowsoul, in your quest against metagaming you are deliberately crippling your players to kingdom come.

If you think this is good GM'ing, or even necessary for fun play, go ahead. However, don't expect many others to applaud your stance.

When I emerged university as a Level 1 expert, with skill ranks in knowledge (engineering), I knew the basics of quite a few things, along with how to calculate and construct things.

According to your stance on 'Knowledge checks can only determine whether you know something if you encounter it', I'd have to experience a hydrocyclone separator in real life before being able to open my formula book, and calculate the parameters one the one my company needs for a certain process. Heck, according to your logic, I'd be ignorant of the fact these things actually exist, regardless of them having been topics in my studies.

Hold on a moment. One of the balancing factors to playing the most powerful class in the game, the wizard, is actual control of spell accumulation. People want to gobble up all the advantages they can get for the class but they want to dismiss any disadvantages such as spell knowledge, buying spells, having a spellbook destroyed etc...

I have posted the exact skills that are in question here. As of right now, nobody has proven that I am incorrect in this, saying that I am incorrect doesn't make it so.

Knowledge skills do not automatically make you knowledgeable in everything and they are to be used during in game interaction. If someone asks you a question, in game, about an ancient civilization then you can make a Knowledge Arcana check to see if you know some information about it.

People are leaving out the in game aspects of the game in order to gain an advantage.

Silver Crusade

Talonhawke wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Hey you need to take that up with the designers. What I posted was from the Corerule book under Spellcraft. It says that you must be able to clearly see the spell being cast. It's not my rule.

Right it says see the spell not the components of the spell.

See the spell being cast. Make sure you post everything and not just pieces of it.

Silver Crusade

Hobbun wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

If he has seen an effect like that in action then I would say that it is legitimate. Maybe he went to make a spellcraft check and didn't make it but saw it's effect.

How would we know the full range?

He doesn’t know the specifics on Color Spray, but the player is asking the vendor on what spells he knows that has them.

How about this:

Player: I would like a 1st level spell that allows me to potentially make opponents stunned, blinded and/or unconscious in an area of effect. Do you have something like that?

I mean I understand you want to keep outside knowledge as much as possible, but really, it gets to point where it just bogs down the game where you just get too technical with in-game conversation. There are going to be times where you need to have some assumptions to allow the game move on at a reasonable and enjoyable pace.

To be honest I would be asking what is 1st level? This is supposed to be a role playing game after all.

Try phrasing it in a less game term way.

Ignoring rules for fear of being "bogged" down would be a houserule issue.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:

To be honest I would be asking what is 1st level? This is supposed to be a role playing game after all.

Try phrasing it in a less game term way.

Ignoring rules for fear of being "bogged" down would be a houserule issue.

Wow, ok, then substitute ‘x’ level spell for whatever you want to call it in game. I was just using ‘1st level spell’ for simplicity sake of the discussion. The PC ‘would’ know what power level (spell level) he could cast, right?

And the only person who feels rules are being ignored here is you.

Star Voter 2013

You can see the spell being cast unless your claiming that its not being cast anylonger.

Silver Crusade

Talonhawke wrote:
You can see the spell being cast unless your claiming that its not being cast anylonger.

What comprises the actions of a spell being cast?

Verbal, Somatic and material.

These three things make up what is known as casting a spell. Now, if you take away these things then you can't see the spell being cast.

If you were blind and deaf, could you still be able to identify a spell being cast?

Dedicated Voter 2013

I could understand your stance if magic was exceedingly rare (Hey there are only 5 Wizards in the world), but in general, in Pathfinder, magic is common, spellcasters are common.

Even you lowly peasant can probably rattle off a decent description of most common spells. In addition with the prevalence of magic, anyone who can read can get the same knowledge of Magic that say I have of astrophysics from reading books on it and watching the Discovery Channel.

So to limit someone who already cast magic, has trained in magic, and even gone to school for it, etc. To not recognize most spells is stupid.

Real life equivalent. I have Master's Degree is painting (I am a 8th level wizard). While I don't know every painter (Wizard) who every existed, you can show me a painting (Spell), I can tell you the Style (School) the artist was aiming for, the materials he used to create it, the technical (somatic and verbal components) way he made it, and even extrapolate his intent with the painting (the results of the spelL). From there I could copy said painting, even by memory, and a get similar result.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Talonhawke wrote:
You can see the spell being cast unless your claiming that its not being cast anylonger.

What shallowsoul is saying is you can’t see the act of casting the spell, which is when you would need to counter it. Once you see the visible effects of the spell going off, it is too late.

But besides that, going strictly by RAW, a spell casted with a Still, Silent and Eschew materials does not mean you cannot idenitify it being cast. It says specifically in the feat descriptions what those feats do. Saying the spell ‘cannot be seen or heard being casted’ is making an assumption, and therefore, a houserule.

Star Voter 2013

Please Quote from raw where it says that spells without components can't be Identifiied.

You have quoted where yuou have to see it cast but still and silience both say you cast the spell without those components. Which means if i can see you I can still see you cast the spell.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

shallowsoul, stop trying to fight with your players. If spell selection is the worst of your meta gaming problems then you're in luck. Christ I know people that go into combat mode as soon as they see the battle mat, it's frustrating...

Also just remember that to just get a scroll(spell level dependent size of the town) on there's a 75% chance a town will have it, or 93.75% if they can wait a week. With enough cash your wizard can get every first level spell just by visiting a thorp or two(that's less than 20 people). So that's a week for each thorp, and lets be really generous and give a week between traveling from the first to the second.

3 weeks, 3 freaking weeks and the wizard could get every first level spell on his spell list. And that'd cost far to much for any wizard 1st level anyway, core only you're looking at 975g, everything on the SRD brings that up to a heavy 2500g.

What's my point? If the devs made it this easy to get scrolls (hence add spells to your spellbook) but adding every spell costs to much then it's pretty clear that how the scroll acquired isn't important, it's a balancing factor between gear and spell selection.

But all that doesn't matter, because shallowsoul, I'm a little jealous of you. Considering that you actually went to the effort of posting this and have given thorough thought to this "meta gaming" implies that this is a large meta gaming issue for you. I wish I could have meta gaming issues this small...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The vendor told him so.

Ding ding ding!!!! Now that would be a legitimate reason. If you approach a vender and he tells you he has a scroll of Color Spray then you have gained the knowledge through interaction with the game.

DM: "You approach a vendor of scrolls"

Wizard Player: "Could I see what scrolls you have available?"

DM Vendor: "Of course, I have scrolls of Color Spray and Shield available for purchase."

What about:

Wizard Player: "Have you any scrolls of magic I can use to incapacitate my enemies?"

Would you consider that metagaming?

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The spellcraft skill represents your character's knowledge of the programming language of magic. Each spell formula is different, which is why you have to make spellcraft checks to understand a spell you already know if that spell was developed by a different wizard. You can develop new spells every time you level and scribe them into your book. Those spells are uniquely your own creation. The fact that many other wizards have developed spells that have the exact same effect is irrelevant.

When you hear your enemy chanting:
for (DiceOfDamage = 1; DiceOfDamage <= MyLevel; DiceOfDamage++)
{d6Fire}

You can make a spellcraft check to realize a fireball is coming online. You may also realize that if you had written that spell, you'd have used a do-while loop instead of a for loop, but the results are the same.

Even if a wizard has never heard of another wizard casting a particular spell, his knowledge of spellcraft gives him all the tools he needs to develop any spell whose effects he can dream of and that his current level of skill will allow him to cast.


What have you got for sale?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can see the point if the spell in question was exceptionally unusual. It would be one of those ‘now why didn’t I think of that?’ moments that generally lead to entrepreneurs making millions. I’ve been DMing for thirty years, and I still come across spells in core and 3PP products and think ‘wow, that’s so cool, I’d never have thought of that.’

But for the other 99% of cases? Wizards have spent years in study, analysing components, effects, reading up on famous spell duels, creative problem solving with spells, even supernatural abilities that can be duplicated or countered with spells. Rumours, heresay (‘did you hear about the time Barrington the Black had his eyes turned to paper by Harding the Scribe’s ‘Transmute Flesh to Writing Material?’), after hours attempts to scare other students with hideous spell effects. And we have to believe that they can’t ‘know’ about the existence of every low – mid level spell in Core rules. I studied Archaeology at college and can still name every Roman emperor and give you brief details of his reign. I was there for three years. What if I'd been studying for eight years, or ten? C'mon.


Franko a wrote:

What have you got for sale?

Spell lists! For a mere 5gp a piece, I'll tell you about the existence of spells you've never heard of! Since you can't actually ask for them by name, I'll just go through the ones I know of in alphabetical order until I've told you about all of them or you stop giving me money.

I'm not actually selling the spells themselves. I'm just selling the awareness of them. You'd be surprised how hard it is to have knowledge these days!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This ruling means two equal level wizards cannot talk about spells they do not know. Each has to explain to each other all the spells he knows that the other does not, and they can not discuss spells neither of them know.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
If there are no components, it's stilled and silenced then how are they supposed to see it until the spell has already gone off?

My view is that there are still indications. Exactly what they are is up to the GM and may vary from campaign to campaign and/or spellcaster to spellcaster.

Cast a stilled, silenced, eschewed Magic Missile ? Missiles of Force still gather themselves and launch themselves at the target. The caster isn't moving a muscle nor making any noise himself, but the spell itself can. Perhaps yours look like little motes of light that gather themselves toward the caster for a second or two and then launch themselves as a tiny glowing orb at the target. Perhaps a different casters magic missiles appear to launch themselves from a small magic circle at the casters feet like a Polaris launched from a submarine.

This is all fluff, the only crunch is that an observer who can see the caster and makes his spellcraft check can tell what spell is coming, regardless of stilled, silenced, eschewed materials, etc.

Admittedly, this is somewhat problematic for spells like Suggestion and Illusions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The rules also don't say that walking off a cliff makes you fall down, that people in Golarian find it normal to wear clothing, or where babies comes from.

Claiming that casters don't know about spells is ludicrous and doesn't need any more scrutiny than that.

Need rules to prove you wrong still? Fine:

Rule: wrote:
You are educated in a field of study and can answer both simple and complex questions.

There, knowledge can let you know just about anything if it fits into the right area of expertise. Apply circumstance bonuses/penalties as needed.

*loving sigh* Ah circumstance bonuses/penalties; the bread and butter of turning a rigid rules system into something that makes sense.

Also: wrote:

What comprises the actions of a spell being cast?

Verbal, Somatic and material.

These three things make up what is known as casting a spell. Now, if you take away these things then you can't see the spell being cast.

You really think that's all the visual aspects there are of a spell? A standard action takes 3 seconds, and during which the magical energies of the infinite gather and take form in the hands of the eldritch!

"A phosphorescent blue glow begins to form in front of the caster."

"The caster's hands begin to crackle with arcane electricity."

"A small pea sized red ball takes shape in the hands of the caster."

I'm sure these descriptions of the gatherings of magical energy are enough that most people on this forum can identify these "still, silent, eschewed" spells!


I guess I'm metagaming the reality... Last time I was in a computer store, I asked "my last PC is dead, do you have something that can turn an internal hard disk into an external one ?", and I didn't know if such a device existed.

I'll try to be more RP in the real life next time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GâtFromKI wrote:

I guess I'm metagaming the reality... Last time I was in a computer store, I asked "my last PC is dead, do you have something that can turn an internal hard disk into an external one ?", and I didn't know if such a device existed.

I'll try to be more RP in the real life next time.

You know, I read 'PC' there as Player Character, and thought that sentence was a total non sequitur.

Scarab Sages

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

How are you going to prove they're metagaming?

The player could have his PC ask the relevant questions in-character,

"I ask the scroll-vendor if he knows of a spell that produces X effect, at Y range, against Z targets....Oh, he does? What a coincidence. Just put it on my next order, if you please."

shallowsoul wrote:
DM: "How did you come upon the knowledge that spell X actually exists?"

He doesn't need to.

That's why he's asking.

My question remains; how are you going to separate metagaming attempts from valid, sensible, in-character requests?

"We got shot up by gnolls, up at Pine Ridge, yesterday. Almost didn't make it back. Have you got anything to protect someone from arrows, or other normal-sized missiles, like bolts and sling bullets?"
"Something that slows them down as they come in, takes the momentum out of them? Something that works alongside, and doesn't invalidate my long-term, personal ectoplasmic armor?"

What are you going to reply to that? Are you going to refuse to answer?
Are you going to refuse to allow them to even ask the question?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Removed some posts and their replies. Please post civilly, thanks!


Seems like this is a fairly sore subject for most people here. I have to say I agree that it is silly to think a wizard would not know to look for a particular spell (being that he spends his whole life seeking knowledge of the arcane).

Perhaps the argument could be made of a sorcerer since they do not study magic but "know" magic. It is fine to say that perhaps all the spells in the core rule book are "common knowledge". and through considerable effort spells in other books could be obtained.

But to say that in the end you don't know the existence of a spell so therefore you can't have it? That seems to be a stretch since they are so capable as scholars that every level they learn 2 spells derived from no scroll or spell book whatsoever. How could you explain that any other way than they know of so many spells that they can seemingly reinvent the affect of the spell out of nothing but there own wit no skill roll required.

I guess I make no other point than what has been made so far but meh. I would only apply this "not knowing of it" rule to people who became wizards later while out adventuring. A fighter probably needs awhile thinking about something other than how big his sword is to figure out "common knowledge about spells"


shallowsoul wrote:
Says here that you use Knowledge skills to answer questions and identify certain types of monsters. Now the only way to answer questions and to identify a monster is to interact with something "in game". Asking yourself a question does not qualify and trying to transfer player knowledge to your PC does not count either.

Wait, where are you getting this? A PC with Knowledge: Nature can't just ask the GM "Hey, do I know of any animals that can climb up a sheer cliff wall?" He has to wait until he sees something climb up a sheer cliff wall and then retroactively know what it was all along? I'm not sure how that's supported by the printed Knowledge rules.

Star Voter 2013

Benly wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Says here that you use Knowledge skills to answer questions and identify certain types of monsters. Now the only way to answer questions and to identify a monster is to interact with something "in game". Asking yourself a question does not qualify and trying to transfer player knowledge to your PC does not count either.
Wait, where are you getting this? A PC with Knowledge: Nature can't just ask the GM "Hey, do I know of any animals that can climb up a sheer cliff wall?" He has to wait until he sees something climb up a sheer cliff wall and then retroactively know what it was all along? I'm not sure how that's supported by the printed Knowledge rules.

Actually thats exactly what shallow is saying. Check some of the threads on the gen discussion forums he believes that Druids are metagaming if they try to use kn nature to see what animals they are capable of turning into to help with a situration.

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