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Potions / oils as weapons


Rules Questions

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Qadira

(Please do not move this to the Rules board, as I want to know if a player can do this in PFSOP, and the only thing I seem to get when I ask questions over there is wrong information, opinions, and comments about how stupid my questions are.)

Can a player use a Potion/Oil as a weapon - basicly throwing it against a target to get the magical effect?

For example, can a PC hit a rogue with Oil of Daylight? (like he could with a flask of acid?)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

nosig wrote:

(Please do not move this to the Rules board, as I want to know if a player can do this in PFSOP, and the only thing I seem to get when I ask questions over there is wrong information, opinions, and comments about how stupid my questions are.)

Can a player use a Potion/Oil as a weapon - basicly throwing it against a target to get the magical effect?

For example, can a PC hit a rogue with Oil of Daylight? (like he could with a flask of acid?)

I've pondered this a bit myself.

For starters, I wouldn't let it be used as a thrown weapon like an acid flask. As I understand it, an oil is substantially smaller in volume, and frankly might not be heavy enough to throw any noteworthy distance. So unless I see a reasonable counterargument, no throwing oils.

As for applying it via the normal method (smearing it on as a standard action) to an unwilling target, you'd need a successful melee touch attack to make contact.

If you miss, I think it makes sense that the oil is wasted, as you tried to pour it on the target but missed. I guess if it's an oil of a spell that can target an object (such as daylight), then I might allow a miss to dump on the ground and affect the spot it landed on. Doing so seems reasonable: you still spent a standard action and got its effects in an area within your reach, so I see no reason it should mysteriously vanish from existence.

Oh, and as per the normal rules for activating an oil, you'd provoke AoO's.

And finally, I would not allow you to use a potion on an unwilling target unless they were helpless (or maybe pinned, I'm not sure).

That's my take on things, and have not (in my previous discussions on the topic) seen any reason to run it any other way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

No, as you aren't smearing the oil on or causing the potion to be imbibed, as the rules require.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Paz wrote:
No, as you aren't smearing the oil on or causing the potion to be imbibed, as the rules require.

I agree as far as throwing them. Any thoughts on melee usage as I described above? I'm very interested in feedback.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
PRD wrote:
A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature as a full-round action, trickling the liquid down the creature's throat. Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.

Given the rules quoted above, logically you can't use a potion or oil as a weapon with a standard action. Otherwise, why waste a full-round action when you can just chuck the oil over the unconscious person next to you as a standard action?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Paz wrote:
PRD wrote:
A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature as a full-round action, trickling the liquid down the creature's throat. Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.
Given the rules quoted above, logically you can't use a potion or oil as a weapon with a standard action. Otherwise, why waste a full-round action when you can just chuck the oil over the unconscious person next to you as a standard action?

Remember, the PRD also says...

PRD wrote:
Drinking a potion or using an oil is a standard action.

So the general rule is that it's a standard action to use an oil, and there's a specific exception if the target is unconscious.

Therefore, any application of an oil to a conscious creature or to an object is going to be a standard action. This part is not debatable.

The only question left, then, is whether that standard action activation can be used against an unwilling target or not. If it can, then I don't think anyone will say it doesn't need an attack roll. So in all likelihood it's just a matter of whether it's an attack roll or an absolute non-option.

Given that oils of inflict spells can exist, calling it a non-option would seem kind of stupid. I see no remaining (rules-legal) alternative than to allow a melee touch attack to use the oil on an unwilling target.

Andoran

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

I would say no. Here is why.

PRD: Potions wrote:

The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

Throwing a potion or oil as a weapon assumes that the target of your attack is the caster of the potion or oil. Therefore you are essentially forcing them to drink the potion or oil.

I would say that this cannot be done as a normal attack action.

If you had someone grappled and pinned, you could then try to force them to drink a potion or apply an oil.

Qadira

I'm not sure about limiting the range of the oil, because of the size of the item to be thown.

I can pitch a 2 oz. bottle (get them with pancakes at mumble-mumble, so I have a number) filled with water easily as far as I can throw a 16 oz bottle. perhaps even farther.

and I am looking for a PFS take on this, so think of it as you would at an event table, say if someone wanted to do pitch an oil of daylight at/on a drow NPC. Brake the potion/oil vial on him.

Taldor

Potions are to be taken internally so no you can't throw potions at people similar to alchemist bombs and acid flasks. Also for your example, because Daylight can only target objects, not creatures so it wouldn't work either way so waste of time and 750gp. One could possibly use a potion in conjunction with a dirty trick maneuver, say splashing it in an opponent's eyes to blind them for a round or something like that, but it wouldn't activate the potion's magic.

I disagree about the idea of it being a melee touch attack. IN MY OPINION a grapple would have to come into play, if this were possible at all. I don't think a "touch" is enough to "smear" something onto someone. A standard action while being in control of a grapple I could see working quite well.

Also as almost everyone in the universe forgets this part...

PRD wrote:
Using a potion or oil provokes attacks of opportunity. An enemy may direct an attack of opportunity against the potion or oil container rather than against the character. A successful attack of this sort can destroy the container, preventing the character from drinking the potion or applying the oil.

So it's really a good idea to try tactics like this. For an equivalent price you can buy a wand and use it far more often within the established rules without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

I would say no. Here is why.

PRD: Potions wrote:

The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

Throwing a potion or oil as a weapon assumes that the target of your attack is the caster of the potion or oil.

Huh? The rule you just quoted says the person applying the oil is the caster. How does the unwillingness of the target change that?

Or did I misunderstand what you're trying to say?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I'm suprised that nobody here has so far cited the last paragraph on potion use:

CRB page 478 wrote:


A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature a a full round action, trickling the liquid down the creatures throat. Likewise, it takes a full round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.

So using a potion or an oil as weapon against an unconscious enemy is clearly written out in the rules.

Making it easier / faster against a conscious and unwilling creature seems odd to me.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

I would say no. Here is why.

PRD: Potions wrote:

The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

Throwing a potion or oil as a weapon assumes that the target of your attack is the caster of the potion or oil.

Huh? The rule you just quoted says the person applying the oil is the caster. How does the unwillingness of the target change that?

Or did I misunderstand what you're trying to say?

The drinker of the potion is both the effective target and caster of the effect.

So what you are saying is, but tossing a potion at you, I am forcing you to both cast and target yourself with the effect?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Morgen wrote:
I disagree about the idea of it being a melee touch attack. IN MY OPINION a grapple would have to come into play, if this were possible at all. I don't think a "touch" is enough to "smear" something onto someone. A standard action while being in control of a grapple I could see working quite well.

An interesting take. I can sort of see your point about smearing being harder than touching.

My counter to that would be that taking that difference into account seems a tad more nitpicky than the rules usually are, and requires adding/inventing more mechanics than the alternative.

For instance:
• In my interpretation the range, activation time, and provocation all remain in line with what's in the rules. The only change is adding an attack roll, which already has precedent in applying spell effects with a range of "touch".
• In your interpretation, you add an unrelated prerequisite with no precedent whatsoever, with nothing in the text to hint at it or from which to extrapolate it. Additionally, the idea is based on a difference in ease of touching that is already disregarded by the fact that there's a change in action required based on whether a willing target is conscious or not.

In my experience with other unspecified issues in the rules, every time there's been a final resolution it's been in favor of simplicity and precedent rather than accommodating minor differences in speculated effort.

Therefore, I would still have to say that the intent is more likely to be a standard-action melee touch attack that provokes AoO's and probably wastes the oil on a miss.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

I would say no. Here is why.

PRD: Potions wrote:

The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

Throwing a potion or oil as a weapon assumes that the target of your attack is the caster of the potion or oil.

Huh? The rule you just quoted says the person applying the oil is the caster. How does the unwillingness of the target change that?

Or did I misunderstand what you're trying to say?

The drinker of the potion is both the effective target and caster of the effect.

So what you are saying is, but tossing a potion at you, I am forcing you to both cast and target yourself with the effect?

I wasn't talking about potions at all. I was talking about oils, which (as you cited yourself) have a different caster/target arrangement than potions.

Despite the OP mentioning potions, I think we're all in agreement that unwilling feeding of potions isn't going to work unless the target is already unconscious.

Andoran

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

Unless it makes sense, I probably would not allow it.

Definitely would not allow you to just toss a vial of oil at someone.

If you want to smear it on someone or an attended object of theirs, then I would have it take a full round action.

Also, smearing the oil of daylight in their eyes, is not going to blind them with light.

So no trying to make weird things happen that are not specifically in the spells description.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod wrote:

I'm suprised that nobody here has so far cited the last paragraph on potion use:

CRB page 478 wrote:


A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature a a full round action, trickling the liquid down the creatures throat. Likewise, it takes a full round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.

You should probably at least read the first few posts before talking about what has or hasn't been cited yet.

Thod wrote:
So using a potion or an oil as weapon against an unconscious enemy is clearly written out in the rules.

No, it tells you what action it is against an unconscious creature, but says nothing about it being used as a weapon or not. Claiming that something you added yourself is clearly written in the rules is rather dishonest, Thod.

Quote:
Making it easier / faster against a conscious and unwilling creature seems odd to me.

In my reply to the above-linked post that you thought didn't exist, I already pointed out that the default activation time for oils is a standard action. The only explicit exception is if the target is unconscious. If you want to argue that there are additional cases of it taking longer than a standard action, you're going to need to cite some precedent or something. Otherwise, you're just making things up, which doesn't really help the discussion at all.


In the absence of any rules suggesting it's possible, I'd only allow it with a pinned or helpless target. That goes for PFS or non-PFS tables.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:
If you want to smear it on someone or an attended object of theirs, then I would have it take a full round action.

Why?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:


Quote:
Making it easier / faster against a conscious and unwilling creature seems odd to me.
In my reply to the above-linked post that you thought didn't exist, I already pointed out that the default activation time for oils is a standard action. The only explicit exception is if the target is unconscious. If you want to argue that there are additional cases of it taking longer than a standard action, you're going to need to cite some precedent or something. Otherwise, you're just making things up, which doesn't really help the discussion at all.

Jiggy, I'd apply the full round to any attended object that you aren't personally attending, and any conscious creature that isn't you.

Potions aren't intended to be used this way, which is why the rules don't cover it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
In the absence of any rules suggesting it's possible,

I would agree, if there were anything in the potion/oil rules even remotely suggesting that it was only talking about willing targets. However, an oil can be made of any 3rd-level or lower spell that targets one or more creatures or objects and doesn't have a range of "personal". So right from the beginning, we have a lack of differentiation between friend and foe.

Inserting such a distinction in the absence of any rules suggesting it, and then citing an absence of rules relating to one side of that line, seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Jiggy

I did read it - I just didn't grasp the intricacy of it as I missed part of it.

The way I read the rules:

Using an oil or a potion on yourself is a standard action.

Using it on someone else who is unconscious is a full round action.

Both is non-debatable

Now comes the bit where I think we differ. In the rules the part with unconscious people is the only part of the rule that says something about using it on someone else.

To me the whole rest of the rule is interpreted that the user and the recipient are the same. I'm happy as GM to extend it to someone willing but this is already undefined.

As I say - in my view it is undefined. Please cite me the part that says in the rules you can apply it as standard action on a willing creature other then the user. I haven't seen it yet.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:
Jiggy, I'd apply the full round to any attended object that you aren't personally attending, and any conscious creature that isn't you.

Again, why? The rules say it's a standard action unless the target is an unconscious creature. What basis do you have for making exceptions?

Quote:
Potions aren't intended to be used this way,

According to what? Who told you that oils weren't meant to be used offensively?

Quote:
which is why the rules don't cover it.

The rules say "It's X, except in circumstance Y." Therefore, any circumstance other than Y is covered by X because X is a blanket statement; it's the default.

Calling that "not covered" is not an honest/unbiased reading of the rules.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
hogarth wrote:
In the absence of any rules suggesting it's possible,

I would agree, if there were anything in the potion/oil rules even remotely suggesting that it was only talking about willing targets. However, an oil can be made of any 3rd-level or lower spell that targets one or more creatures or objects and doesn't have a range of "personal". So right from the beginning, we have a lack of differentiation between friend and foe.

Inserting such a distinction in the absence of any rules suggesting it, and then citing an absence of rules relating to one side of that line, seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

The distinction is that you are forcing someone else to cast a spell as opposed to casting the spell for yourself to use.

For example, if I drink an elixir of fire breath, I gain the fire breath spell and can use it as per the spell.

If I throw an elixir of daylight into a creature’s mouth, his mouth doesn’t suddenly light up, the creature then becomes capable of casting daylight however they wish.

If I throw an oil of daylight on someone’s sword, then I have to attempt to hit an attended object first, and that’s assuming you’ll allow a breaking oil vial to be the application method of said oil (you are supposed to “apply” it externally—it’s a loose interpretation of the word apply to say it spilling out of a broken vial onto you is application).

Why would I have to spend a full round action to apply an oil or potion to someone that is unconscious, but then I could use a standard action to apply it to them if they were conscious? There is a disconnect in the logic here. I don’t care if the rules don’t say it to be honest.

The rules don’t cover using a potion as a weapon against an enemy. Therefore I’d expect table variation.

You’ve heard what variation I’d use at tables I was GM for.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Jiggy, I'd apply the full round to any attended object that you aren't personally attending, and any conscious creature that isn't you.

Again, why? The rules say it's a standard action unless the target is an unconscious creature. What basis do you have for making exceptions?

Quote:
Potions aren't intended to be used this way,

According to what? Who told you that oils weren't meant to be used offensively?

Quote:
which is why the rules don't cover it.

The rules say "It's X, except in circumstance Y." Therefore, any circumstance other than Y is covered by X because X is a blanket statement; it's the default.

Calling that "not covered" is not an honest/unbiased reading of the rules.

The rules do not cover using a potion on a conscious person other than yourself.

The rules cover two things.

Using it on yourself (or an item or object in the case of some oils) or using it on someone else that is unconscious.

You can’t apply a blanket rule to a situation that isn’t covered.

It is not a biased reading the rules.

You are applying a part of the rule that isn’t meant to be applied that way.

And because the rules of potions don’t cover using them as a weapon, then by default they are not meant to be used that way.

Paizo Employee Global Organized Play Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
nosig wrote:

(Please do not move this to the Rules board, as I want to know if a player can do this in PFSOP, and the only thing I seem to get when I ask questions over there is wrong information, opinions, and comments about how stupid my questions are.)

If you can't do it in a normal game, what makes you think you could do it in a PFSOP game as an exception? I will leave this here for now. But, if it devolves into endless rules debate, it will go over to the rules forum.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod wrote:

The way I read the rules:

Using an oil or a potion on yourself is a standard action.

That's your mistake, right there. You added the bolded part yourself; the rules don't say that. The rules say that "using an oil is a standard action". No qualifiers whatsoever. To say that it's only talking about a specific subset of targets is just you making stuff up.

If you think it's assumed that the target is normally going to be the user, then you need to read this part again:

PRD wrote:
The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

This is pretty solidly the opposite of some of your "interpretations":

Thod wrote:

In the rules the part with unconscious people is the only part of the rule that says something about using it on someone else.

To me the whole rest of the rule is interpreted that the user and the recipient are the same. I'm happy as GM to extend it to someone willing but this is already undefined.

The rules have an entire line (it's even its own paragraph!) pointing out that the user and target do NOT have to be the same person (or even both BE people). So, it's NOT undefined.

The reason you think it's undefined is because your assumptions of intent have crept into your reading (like adding "on yourself" to the standard action usage), causing you to read a blanket statement of the default action to instead be applied only to a specific circumstance.

But that's you, not the rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Jiggy

Drinking a potion is a standard action

Drinking is active - there is no passive to it.

PC A takes a potion, I stoppers it, holds it for PC B to drink.

Is the drinking part a standard action of PC A or PC B.

You correctly said it is uk debatable that this is a standard action. But is it the standard action of A or B. if it is B then you need something else to do to prevent his action In the round if he is unwilling.

Oils are easier to administer on an unwilling target. But let's start with potions.


Jiggy wrote:
Inserting such a distinction in the absence of any rules suggesting it, and then citing an absence of rules relating to one side of that line, seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

I don't know what to tell you.

There are rules for casting spells on an enemy, but using a potion/oil is not casting a spell.

I don't think I'm a hypocrite.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

The distinction is that you are forcing someone else to cast a spell as opposed to casting the spell for yourself to use.

For example, if I drink an elixir of fire breath, I gain the fire breath spell and can use it as per the spell.

If I throw an elixir of daylight into a creature’s mouth, his mouth doesn’t suddenly light up, the creature then becomes capable of casting daylight however they wish.

....

Okay, with all due respect, you're apparently a bit out of the loop on the nature of oils.

First, oils and elixirs are nowhere near the same things. Elixirs are not inherently related to spells at all, for one thing. You don't use an elixir of fire breath as per the spell. Read them both. They function differently (in fact, the spell didn't even exist when the elixir was printed).

Second, there's no such thing as an elixir of daylight.

Third, unlike an item like an elixir of fire breath (which is a wondrous item, btw), an oil does effectively cast the spell on the recipient, not grant them the ability to cast the spell themselves. As I already cited, the person applying the oil IS THE CASTER. The recipient is the target of the spell. How you could read that and think that the recipient was gaining the ability to cast/use the spell at their leisure is beyond me.

Please, please, please get all that worked out before continuing in this discussion. I mean no disrespect, as you're one of my favorite local GMs (and a pretty cool guy in general).

Andrew Christian wrote:

The rules do not cover using a potion on a conscious person other than yourself.

The rules cover two things.

Using it on yourself (or an item or object in the case of some oils) or using it on someone else that is unconscious.

As I pointed out to Thod, the qualification of "on yourself" isn't in the rules. That's something you (and he) have inserted based on your own assumptions.

Quote:
And because the rules of potions don’t cover using them as a weapon, then by default they are not meant to be used that way.

So an oil of bestow curse should only be used on myself or an unconscious creature? Or an oil of blindness? Shocking grasp? The bazillion other purely-offensive spells that are 100% legal to make into oils?

Those aren't the intent of the rules for oils? I'd love to see your argument for that.


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If you throw an oil at someone you are not "smearing" it on them. At best you might be "splashing" it on them, which is the word thrown weapons like alchemist fire use.

Use of oils as a splash type weapon is house rule territory, and like many things is not supported*. If it is not directly supported then it falls under rule 0.

*That does not mean it is not logical, but since PFS is very rules oriented, if you don't have a quote saying you can or can't depending on what you are trying to do it is up to the GM heading the table you are playing at.

edit:Splashing and smearing are not defined game terms, but the real life words do have different definitions.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod wrote:

Jiggy

Drinking a potion is a standard action

Drinking is active - there is no passive to it.

PC A takes a potion, I stoppers it, holds it for PC B to drink.

Is the drinking part a standard action of PC A or PC B.

You correctly said it is uk debatable that this is a standard action. But is it the standard action of A or B. if it is B then you need something else to do to prevent his action In the round if he is unwilling.

Oils are easier to administer on an unwilling target. But let's start with potions.

Why do you want to talk about potions? They function differently than oils regarding caster/target relationships.

PRD wrote:

The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect...

Drinking a potion ... is a standard action.

It's right there in black and white. Whoever drinks it has to spend a standard action, and is both the caster and the target. Why are you even bringing it up?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Inserting such a distinction in the absence of any rules suggesting it, and then citing an absence of rules relating to one side of that line, seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

I don't know what to tell you.

There are rules for casting spells on an enemy, but using a potion/oil is not casting a spell.

I don't think I'm a hypocrite.

PRD wrote:
The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

Your move.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

wraithstrike wrote:

If you throw an oil at someone you are not "smearing" it on them. At best you might be "splashing" it on them, which is the word thrown weapons like alchemist fire use.

Use of oils as a splash type weapon is house rule territory, and like many things is not supported*. If it is not directly supported then it falls under rule 0.

I agree with all of this. I absolutely would not let an oil be thrown like a splash weapon.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Jiggy

In case you don't like my or Andrews opinion - I hope at least you accept the one from Mike. Seems it got buried in the slew of other answers.

So no - you can't use it as a weapon in the way Nosig intended.

There have been a few interesting suggestions here and I still think in certain circumstances (a grappled and prone foe, a helpless foe) there is a range of debate to allow administering an oil similar to a unconcious person.

But the issue of an unwilling foe seems solved.

Michael Brock wrote:
nosig wrote:

(Please do not move this to the Rules board, as I want to know if a player can do this in PFSOP, and the only thing I seem to get when I ask questions over there is wrong information, opinions, and comments about how stupid my questions are.)

If you can't do it in a normal game, what makes you think you could do it in a PFSOP game as an exception? I will leave this here for now. But, if it devolves into endless rules debate, it will go over to the rules forum.

Qadira

Michael Brock wrote:
nosig wrote:

(Please do not move this to the Rules board, as I want to know if a player can do this in PFSOP, and the only thing I seem to get when I ask questions over there is wrong information, opinions, and comments about how stupid my questions are.)

If you can't do it in a normal game, what makes you think you could do it in a PFSOP game as an exception? I will leave this here for now. But, if it devolves into endless rules debate, it will go over to the rules forum.

thank you sir for leaving it as long as you did. We seem to have missed the usual "you're an idiot" response I seem to get when I post something to the Rules forum.

and actually I think wraithstrike covered it best.
wraithstrike wrote:
... Use of oils as a splash type weapon is house rule territory, and like many things is not supported*. If it is not directly supported then it falls under rule 0.

thank you all for your time and input, I'll set it asside now.

By the way, I had originally considered throwing Oil of Daylight/Darkness on unattended objects (such as a door, or wall or even a statue), so that it MIGHT be applied from a distance. I was thinking it would have much the same spread pattern as pouring down the wall to smash the potion bottle on the wall. But, well... never mind.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

It seems to me that Mike was only replying to what he quoted. I hope he'll correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that he was merely reiterating that PFS is not deviating from Core Rules, rather than stating his stance on the rules themselves.

And with respect, Mike, I'd still continue the dialogue if you took a stance of the Core Rules prohibiting offensive use of oils, given the many (probably over 100?) purely-offensive spells that are legal for making into an oil. (Though obviously if you put it into the PFS FAQ, I'd defend that wholeheartedly.)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

nosig wrote:
By the way, I had originally considered throwing Oil of Daylight/Darkness on unattended objects (such as a door, or wall or even a statue), so that it MIGHT be applied from a distance. I was thinking it would have much the same spread pattern as pouring down the wall to smash the potion bottle on the wall. But, well... never mind.

Smear an oil of daylight/darkness or whatever on an arrow or crossbow bolt. I'm sure you can figure what comes next. :D


Jiggy wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Inserting such a distinction in the absence of any rules suggesting it, and then citing an absence of rules relating to one side of that line, seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

I don't know what to tell you.

There are rules for casting spells on an enemy, but using a potion/oil is not casting a spell.

I don't think I'm a hypocrite.

PRD wrote:
The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.
Your move.

Do you honestly think that you should be able to counterspell using an oil?

Or that oils come with ranges of Touch, Short, Medium and Long?

Or that you can cast defensively using an oil?

The problem with the rules saying "A is like B" is that you quickly end up with contradictions. For instance, is a natural weapon (e.g. a bite attack) a "melee weapon"? If you answer "yes", then you end up with one set of ridiculous results (e.g. someone trying to wield a snake head to use its poisonous bite attack) and if you answer "no", then you end up with a different set of ridiculous results (e.g. a dragon can't bite through a rope because you can only sunder with a melee weapon).

My principle is that, in the absence of clear rules either way, I try to use common sense, but to err on the side of caution. Since the rules clearly state that even using an oil on an unconscious creature is not that easy (i.e. it takes a full round to do), then it should be even more difficult if the target is actively avoiding you. Furthermore, I don't want PFS to turn into a game where PCs dump 5-gallon buckets of Magic Missile on an enemy's head. So I would rule quite conservatively.

Jiggy wrote:
Smear an oil of daylight/darkness or whatever on an arrow or crossbow bolt. I'm sure you can figure what comes next. :D

I've had success casting Light on a tanglefoot bag, for instance.

Qadira

Thod wrote:

Jiggy

In case you don't like my or Andrews opinion - I hope at least you accept the one from Mike. Seems it got buried in the slew of other answers.

So no - you can't use it as a weapon in the way Nosig intended.

There have been a few interesting suggestions here and I still think in certain circumstances (a grappled and prone foe, a helpless foe) there is a range of debate to allow administering an oil similar to a unconcious person.

But the issue of an unwilling foe seems solved.

Michael Brock wrote:
nosig wrote:

(Please do not move this to the Rules board, as I want to know if a player can do this in PFSOP, and the only thing I seem to get when I ask questions over there is wrong information, opinions, and comments about how stupid my questions are.)

If you can't do it in a normal game, what makes you think you could do it in a PFSOP game as an exception? I will leave this here for now. But, if it devolves into endless rules debate, it will go over to the rules forum.

sorry Thod - where did Mike say you can't do this? His line:

"If you can't do it in a normal game, what makes you think you could do it in a PFSOP game as an exception?" (bolding mine) seemed to be in reply to my request to keep this on the PFS board - and not answering the "IF" at all. He appeared to be saying the answer would be in same in PFS and out in a normal PF game.
(If I am mis-intrepting what Mike ment, I am sorry - I am trying not to assign a stance to him one way or another)

Qadira

does an unconscious creature still "attend" his equipment?
Can I apply Oil of Daylight to the shield on the wall faster than I can apply it to the shield of an unconscious creature?
or the shielf of a statue faster that to the shield of a creature that is held.?

Andoran

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

Jiggy,

You are coming off as very confrontational here. I don't know why. Usually you are very even keeled.

Secondly, I might have used the word elixir instead of potion of, but the statement remains valid.

Thirdly, I already quoted about a potion. It says that the drinker is the caster and the target.

Oil specifically says object. So you could not smear an oil, in combat, on an enemy. Creatures are not objects.

If you want to smear an oil of daylight on someone’s sword, go for it. But several things must be considered. I wouldn’t let you throw it regardless, because you need to apply it. And throwing it and hoping it breaks open and splashes over the object is not applying.

What are the rules for casting a spell on an attended object? I believe the object gets a saving throw. Not going to go look right now.

Qadira

hogarth wrote:
...I've had success casting Light on a tanglefoot bag, for instance.

what happens to the spell after you throw the bag, and it is distroyed?

just wondering?

In LG days someone hit me with a silence spell cast on a tanglefoot bag...

Qadira

you know guys - I'm sort of sorry at this point I brought it up.

I think I'm going to go away for a while and ponder things...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Inserting such a distinction in the absence of any rules suggesting it, and then citing an absence of rules relating to one side of that line, seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

I don't know what to tell you.

There are rules for casting spells on an enemy, but using a potion/oil is not casting a spell.

I don't think I'm a hypocrite.

PRD wrote:
The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.
Your move.

Do you honestly think that you should be able to counterspell using an oil?

Or that oils come with ranges of Touch, Short, Medium and Long?

Or that you can cast defensively using an oil?

No, I was trying to use brevity as the soul of wit. I may have inadvertantly turned wit into an undead creature instead. My bad.

Anyway, given your stance of believing that applying oils to enemies is not covered by the rules, let's break it down:

1. Is it even possible to apply an oil to an unwilling (conscious) target?
2. If so, what action is it?
3. How would it play out, exactly?

For #1, I do concede that the rules for oils don't explicitly call out that you can do it. However, they also say that ANY spell (of 3rd level or lower that targets blah blah blah) can be made into an oil. Now, how many eligible spells are meant to be used offensively, and how many are meant to be used on yourself? I haven't counted, but I bet a VERY large proportion of eligible spells are offensive in nature. If it wasn't possible to use oils offensively, shouldn't the eligibility requirements for making a spell into an oil have mentioned some kind of restriction on that?

To me, if dozens upon dozens of Core options (as opposed to a handful of corner cases, as in some rules debates) are explicitly legal, then claiming them to be outside the intent just seems silly. So for #1, I have to say that yes, it's possible to use oils offensively. (One way or another, to be determined below.)

For #2, if we're assuming that #1 is "yes", then we have to assume that it uses the default action listed, since no exception was made for unwilling targets. Therefore, it's a standard action.

For #3, it's a bit fuzzier. It doesn't say what might or might not change when the target is unwilling. Yet I think we can all agree that it shouldn't be automatically successful like it would on a willing target, and would therefore require an attack roll of some kind (most likely touch). Also, since no range increment is specified, it's reasonable to assume that a thrown application is out of the question. Furthermore, there's nothing to suggest an exception to the rule that activating an oil provokes AoO's.

I think we can at least agree on that much: it requires at least an attack roll, can only be done in melee (not range), and provokes.

But does it require anything else (such as the target being pinned or helpless)? This is where precedent comes in. With spells, if you want to move a negative spell effect from your hand to your enemy, you make a touch attack. Oils duplicate spells, and you're trying to get a spell effect from your hand (in the vial) to the enemy. So a melee touch attack seems appropriate. But other requirements (like a grapple) have no precedent whatsoever. That's not inherently a deal-breaker, but if we're already adding restrictions without precedent, then how do we decide what those restrictions should be? What examples do we have to work from?

In my opinion, if you already have enough to make everything functional (which we do), and additional restrictions have nothing upon which to be based, then in all likelihood, such restrictions are not the intent. Why? Because whenever something has special rules that you couldn't extrapolate from elsewhere, those rules get specified. If they're neither explicit in the text, nor implicit from precedent, then how can we believe it's the intent?

As a result, I cannot believe that the application of an oil to an unwilling target requires any sort of incapacitation beforehand.

Andoran

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

Because you aren’t casting a spell.

You are applying an oil (administering a potion) with your hand, that is essentially the somatic component required for the spell casting to take place.

The rules don’t cover exactly what apply means. But you have to at least look at that word when trying to make an adjudication. You can’t ignore it because it is inconvenient.

If the rules don’t cover it, you can’t assume it’s possible. You must expect table variation.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

Jiggy,

You are coming off as very confrontational here. I don't know why. Usually you are very even keeled.

I'm not trying to be, so I apologize. This topic (or at least the discussion of it thus far) does touch a sore spot for me, so I might be getting more animated than is necessary. I'm trying to be as matter-of-fact as possible, though I may not be having as much success as I'd like. (On the other hand, I've had enough people think I was attacking them just by quoting rules to know that sometimes it's not me, so who knows?) If you could PM me with individual quotes where I come off as confrontational, that would be helpful for future discussions. Otherwise, I'll just do my best. :)

Quote:
Secondly, I might have used the word elixir instead of potion of, but the statement remains valid.

Which statement? The statement that it grants the recipient the ability to cast the spell as they wish? No, that statement is not valid, as I already showed with rules text. If you mean a different statement, please specify.

Quote:
Thirdly, I already quoted about a potion. It says that the drinker is the caster and the target.

Why do you (and others, for that matter) keep bringing up potions when we're talking about oils? Potions and oils do not have the same caster/target relationship. The drinker of a potion is both caster and target, while the user of an oil is the caster but the recipient is the target. So what point are you trying to support by referencing the potion's caster/target rule?

Quote:
Oil specifically says object. So you could not smear an oil, in combat, on an enemy. Creatures are not objects.

If you want to go this route, then you have to disallow applying oils to creatures in any circumstances, not just in combat. You're right that creatures are not objects; they also don't become objects once they're incapacitated, or when they're willing; yet we know that creatures are valid targets of oils in those circumstances. Clearly, then, this was just an oversight in the wording (or an effort to save words, as "object" is much shorter than "object or creature on which the oil is smeared"). But using "creatures are not objects" to mean "enemy creatures are not objects" doesn't make sense at all.

Quote:
If you want to smear an oil of daylight on someone’s sword, go for it.

How about an oil of bestow curse, inflict moderate wounds, shocking grasp, etc?

Quote:
But several things must be considered. I wouldn’t let you throw it regardless, because you need to apply it. And throwing it and hoping it breaks open and splashes over the object is not applying.

On this point I've already voiced my agreement, multiple times to multiple posters.

Quote:

What are the rules for casting a spell on an attended object? I believe the object gets a saving throw. Not going to go look right now.

Nor am I, but since oils function like the spells they're made from, any applicable saving throws would apply as normal (such as the Will save for half damage for inflict spells).

Andoran

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

Actually, I think its quite clear.

Oils are for objects.

Potions are for creatures.

I can't recall an oil being allowed to be used on creatures.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

Because you aren’t casting a spell.

You are applying an oil (administering a potion) with your hand, that is essentially the somatic component required for the spell casting to take place.

First you refute an unspecified point by saying "you aren't casting a spell", and then in the next breath say that smearing it is a somatic component? You lost me.

You are correct that you're not casting a spell. Instead, you are "duplicat[ing] the effect of a spell". So no concentration, no components (somatic or otherwise; material components are used in the creation of the oil), etc.

What point were you refuting?

Quote:
The rules don’t cover exactly what apply means.

Sure they do: rules say you smear it on the target.

Quote:
But you have to at least look at that word when trying to make an adjudication. You can’t ignore it because it is inconvenient.

What have I said that conflicts with the idea of "applying" the oil by smearing it on the target? If you want to say I'm ignoring something, at least show me what statement of mine conflicts with what I'm allegedly ignoring.

Quote:
If the rules don’t cover it, you can’t assume it’s possible.

Indeed. And this remains true when "it" is "restricting oil usage to willing or unconscious targets".

"If the rules don't cover restricting oil usage to willing or unconscious targets, you can't assume restricting oil usage to willing or unconscious targets is possible."

Qadira

1) Can I apply Oil of Daylight to my shield?
2) Can I apply Oil of Daylight to Joes's (friendly NPC) shield?
3) Can I apply Oil of Daylight to Bobs' (Unfriendly NPC) shield?

and how long can does it take to do this (and are there any attack rolls or saving throws involved)?

Can there be an Oil of Mage Armor?
if so, can you apply it to yourself? to Joe? to Bob?
and how long can does it take to do this (and are there any attack rolls or saving throws involved)?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

Actually, I think its quite clear.

Oils are for objects.

Potions are for creatures.

I can't recall an oil being allowed to be used on creatures.

PRD wrote:
Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.

EDIT: This subtopic has been hashed out before.

Twice.

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