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Black Tentacles vs. Mirror Image


Rules Questions


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Do they make an image go bye-bye or no? On the one hand, "Every creature within the area of the spell is the target of a combat maneuver check made to grapple each round at the beginning of your turn, including the round that black tentacles is cast..."
On the other hand, an attack roll IS being made. (Grapple check) The figments ARE objects, (see the comments about cleaving images in the mirror image spell listing).
The tentacles don't "see" visually...they basically flail about blindly, and mirror image has no effect on blind attackers... Any input?


The black tentacles make an attack against each image.


No, as dumb as it sounds, the correct answer is that the tentacles attack the character and then the normal Mirror Image rules take over--if it hits an image, it has no effect and the character is fine.

Qadira

mplindustries wrote:
No, as dumb as it sounds, the correct answer is that the tentacles attack the character and then the normal Mirror Image rules take over--if it hits an image, it has no effect and the character is fine.

Specific reference for proof?

I mean, if you can Cleave every individual image because it's separate attacks, why not Black Tentacles too? It's not an area effect attack like a fireball.


kevin_video wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
No, as dumb as it sounds, the correct answer is that the tentacles attack the character and then the normal Mirror Image rules take over--if it hits an image, it has no effect and the character is fine.

Specific reference for proof?

I mean, if you can Cleave every individual image because it's separate attacks, why not Black Tentacles too? It's not an area effect attack like a fireball.

It think you ca not cleave individual images. And i think black tentacles should not have miss chance against the wizard, the tentacles do not relly on vision.

Qadira

Nicos wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
No, as dumb as it sounds, the correct answer is that the tentacles attack the character and then the normal Mirror Image rules take over--if it hits an image, it has no effect and the character is fine.

Specific reference for proof?

I mean, if you can Cleave every individual image because it's separate attacks, why not Black Tentacles too? It's not an area effect attack like a fireball.

It think you ca not cleave individual images. And i think black tentacles should not have miss chance against the wizard, the tentacles do not relly on vision.

No, Cleave does take out mirror images. That was answered back in 3.5 when it was brought up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
kevin_video wrote:
Nicos wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
No, as dumb as it sounds, the correct answer is that the tentacles attack the character and then the normal Mirror Image rules take over--if it hits an image, it has no effect and the character is fine.

Specific reference for proof?

I mean, if you can Cleave every individual image because it's separate attacks, why not Black Tentacles too? It's not an area effect attack like a fireball.

It think you ca not cleave individual images. And i think black tentacles should not have miss chance against the wizard, the tentacles do not relly on vision.
No, Cleave does take out mirror images. That was answered back in 3.5 when it was brought up.

maybe, but in PF

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

it is an awful rule but it is the rule.


I don't think Mirror Image would protect against Black Tentacles, and no images would be destroyed. I would say the tentacles can't "see" the targets it is attacking, as it were, and would therefore bypass the spell just as in the description of Mirror Image, much in the same way I think they would bypass an Invisibility spell.

If you don't like that conjecture though, I would say that Black Tentacles being an area spell allows it to bypass Mirror Image just like every other area spell, as written in Mirror Image.

Finally, the tentacles are not actually making an attack roll, which is what Mirror Image protects against, but are making a combat maneuver check against the creature. While this is a similar mechanic, it is fundamentally different from an actual attack, and should be considered as such for cases like this.


Dominigo wrote:
Finally, the tentacles are not actually making an attack roll, which is what Mirror Image protects against, but are making a combat maneuver check against the creature. While this is a similar mechanic, it is fundamentally different from an actual attack, and should be considered as such for cases like this.

Except

PRD wrote:

Performing a Combat Maneuver: When performing a combat maneuver, you must use an action appropriate to the maneuver you are attempting to perform. While many combat maneuvers can be performed as part of an attack action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity (in place of a melee attack), others require a specific action. Unless otherwise noted, performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver. If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver. If your target is immobilized, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, your maneuver automatically succeeds (treat as if you rolled a natural 20 on the attack roll). If your target is stunned, you receive a +4 bonus on your attack roll to perform a combat maneuver against it.

When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

Not that I disagree with the rest of your post, but combat maneuvers are clearly attack rolls.

Qadira

Yeah, I choose to ignore the the PF FAQ. Most of the answers are stupid. PF nerfed enough stuff, they don't need to nerf Cleave which is already a useless feat to begin with unless your whole campaign's based around fighting 1 HD mooks. Just as I don't agree with how wizards should never take a Prestige Class because they'll never advance in spellcasting for spells unless they buy all of their spells.

At any rate, from the D&D 3.5 FAQ for what it's worth:

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

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

As for Black Tentacles, it can't grapple what isn't actually there. So you'll be going against the caster. If you grab the caster, all images look like they've been grappled too.

Unfortunately, the only damage BT does is when it squeezes you.


Mirror Image:
"Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead."

Black Tentacles:
"Every creature within the area of the spell is the target of a combat maneuver check made to grapple each round at the beginning of your turn, including the round that black tentacles is cast. Creatures that enter the area of effect are also automatically attacked."

Combat Maneuvers:
"Combat maneuvers are attack rolls..."

So, Black Tentacles require a combat maneuver check, which is an attack roll. Any spell with an attack roll might hit an image instead. If an image is hit, the hit has no effect on the intended target.

Thus, by RAW, Mirror Image can protect you from Black Tentacles, no matter how silly it may seem.

Unless you are house ruling (which is fine, but there's a different forum for that), you have to go by what is written. You can't go making up extra stuff about the black tentacles being unable to see or whatever. Nothing in Black Tentacles says they're blind. Concealment works against Black Tentacles as well, actually.

kevin_video wrote:
Yeah, I choose to ignore the the PF FAQ. Most of the answers are stupid. PF nerfed enough stuff, they don't need to nerf Cleave which is already a useless feat to begin with unless your whole campaign's based around fighting 1 HD mooks.

Cleave doesn't even do the same thing anymore (that's Cleaving Finish now). How could a 3.5 FAQ be relevant?

Grand Lodge

BT obviously has a mode of trageting to make those CMB checks right? Nothing says those modes of targeting is sight based and by the fluff, it most certianly isn't. Sightless senses are not affected by mirror image so BT attacks you, your images stay in tact.


Black Tentacles does not have any listed Sensory Perception or Perception score: it's blind, thus immune to Mirror Image.
Black Tentacles shouldn't take AoO vs. anybody leaving it's area, for example,
nor would they make additional attacks/AoO's vs. somebody who they fail to grapple (in their area),
who subsequently moves thru their AoE on their way to leave the area
(the character is entering new squares of the AoE, but is not 'entering the AoE': they are already in the AoE)


I might tentatively suggest that these two spells are in direct conflict with each other due to how Black Tentacles works.

While I can't argue that it certainly makes an attack and would thus be affected like any other attack as per Mirror Image, Black Tentacles is an area spell and Mirror Image specifically calls out that area spells essentially ignore Mirror Image and don't interact with it in any way, including attacking all "creatures" (i.e. the caster and all his images) at the same time.

So, Black Tentacles is an area of effect spell that produces an attack roll, which technically means that both aspects of Mirror Image would apply to it. It seem to me like it would be up to the GM to decide how it is affected.

Personally, if it were my game, I would say that as an area spell, Black Tentacles would ignore Mirror Image and attempt to grapple as normal. Nothing to do with seeing or whatnot, just the fact that it is an area spell.

As a caveat I could be convinced otherwise if someone knows whether the attack aspect or the area aspect supersedes the other.


I would say it would try to "attack" you and you would role to see if it tried to grapple you or an image if you role on an image then the image disappears and your fine tell next round if your still in the Black tentacles, and it happens again.

Black tentacle may be an area affect spell but its nothing like fireball where that would make mirror image useless(if aoe spells just wiped out all images in one, like cleave too), are you saying black tentacle should get an attack role on all the images aswell?


I'm just saying that Black Tentacles is a bit of a ambiguous case because it is both an area effect and an attack. Since a standard creature, lets say a Fighter with some appropriate feats, can't "AoE" grapple like Black Tentacles can, there isn't really a direct comparison that can be made with this spell as oppose to, say, Grasping Hand.

I certainly don't think it should attack all of the images, just like Fireball doesn't. But Mirror Images doesn't say anything about it only being ignored by instantaneous area effects. It simply says that area spells affect you normally and don't destroy any of the images.


The reason there is a difference between 3.5 and PF when it comes to Mirror Image and cleave is simple. In 3.5 Mirror Images each occupied a separate square. So if you had 8 images they would occupy 8 squares surrounding you.

PF Mirror Image did away with this. Now it is up to 8 mirror images in your square.

Since PF no longer treat them as separate individuals it makes sense that you cannot cleave the separate images.

Regarding Black Tentacles, I see nothing in the spell description that states it is sight based, touch based, or any other sensation based. Since it requires sight to be fooled by Mirror Image I would say the tentacles ignore a Mirror Image.

Remember, players can ignore Mirror Image too...close your eyes and swing. You are now blind (50/50 miss chance) but you ignore the mirror images.

- Gauss


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

how is the AoE aspect of Black Tentacles (vs. every creature in area) different from whirlwind attack, for example?
one is every opponent within the area of your reach, one is every creature within area of spell.

Mirror Image does have a specific line saying the attacker must be able to see to be 'fooled'.
Black Tentacles doesn't even create/summon CREATURES in any sense, it's just the spell doing the attacking.
Nothing in the spell suggests it can see, it just automatically attacks creatures in the area,
regardless of whether they are Invisible or not, so how could the spell possibly be implied to SEE?

I don't see how Black Tentacles CAN be fooled, any more than Smite Evil can be fooled if something REALLY is Evil or not (regardless of Detecting as Evil or not). Black Tentacles attacks every Creature within it's Area... If you make an Illusionary creature walk thru it's area, it wouldn't attack it because it's not really a creature, just like Smite Evil wouldn't work against somebody with a false Aura of Evil. Spells do what they say.

One issue here is that it isn't clear whether Black Tentacles should ALWAYS be subject to Full Concealment Miss Chance because it can't see. That seems strange since it would always be the case for it, but nothing excepts it from that rule for attack rolls. Or imagine, if an uber Stealth Invisible character is in the area, would Black Tentacles need to roll Miss Chance? But that case wouldn't matter if it can't see in the first place... I would say that the net sum of facts suggests that Black Tentacles doesn't see, and isn't intended to be subject to Full Concealment Miss Chance, but that should really be spelled out in the RAW. Obviously, Full Miss Chance on everybody, Invisible or not, weakens it's effect alot. Perhaps it could be weakened somewhat, since it's widely considered a strong spell for it's level (especially when you first get it), but I don't think 50% Miss Chance across the board is balanced for it (maybe 20%, or 25% ala Blind-Fight).

I'm hitting FAQ on this, feel free to do so as well.

------------------------------------------

I do believe the FAQ for Mirror Image and Cleave is bad...
Cleave doesn't actually say 'if you hit your intended target', it says 'if you hit'. even if you take it as 'intended target' (which should really be added via errata if the FAQ is to correspond to RAW), hitting an image is considered a 'hit' by the game, destroying said image, thus you did hit the intended target (the image you randomly chose because all images/real target are just as likely for you to choose to attack). sure, you WISHED that target XYZ that you (randomly) chose to attack was REALLY the enemy and not the mirror image it really was, but how is that different than if you Cleaved a house-cat or a tree that was Illusioned to appear as an Orc? (which is a valid Cleave AFAIK) or if you are fighting the BBEG and his mooks who are perfectly DISGUISED as the BBEG, you are unlucky and decide to attack the mook who disappears because he only has 1 hp...


Quandry: I just see it as the difference between:
3.5: completely distinct mirror images each occupying a 5foot space
PF: mirror images occupying your space and being indistinct from you. In my mind this is almost a blur effect.

As a result of the PF rewrite of Mirror Image it makes sense to me that you cannot cleave the separate images because they are no longer 'separate'.

- Gauss


they can separately be hit, and destroyed as a result of said hit.
to rip off tina turner: 'what's Hit Points got to do with it?'
mirror image just doesn't give you any information to distinguish between which one to target, so you can only target them randomly.
i don't see how that's different from being blind and targetting a square with 5 tiny creatures in it.
(which isn't explicitly covered by the rules AFAIK, but i imagine it should work pretty much like mirror image, after you roll the normal miss chance to miss completely, you would need to randomly determine which target in the square you actually hit)

being in the same square is irrelevant, tiny creatures share squares, so do incapacitated characters or allies passing thru each other's space, etc.


But at least the black tentacles would destroy one image per turn the caster stays in the area of effect.
So if you place it cleverly you can force him to move and to provoke an AoO for moving through squares threatened by you or your buddies..

Just as a thought, what would happen if a caster already in the area of a black tentacles spell would cast mirror image.
Would the images count as creatures that enter the area of effect?
How about summoned creatures appearing, would they be treated as entering, thus being attackes at once, or would they not be attacked before the beginning of the caster's next turn?


I think the BT should either ignore the images and just hit the caster since it's an area affect that gets everything in it's area OR it hits the caster and all his images...

But, since this is PF and the paizo forums... has mirror image ever *lost* a contest here? Yeah, don't think so.... mirror image wins thanks to home field advantage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think BT "feels" it's targets so neither invisibility nor mirror image would protect you.

That makes sense, I don't care what the rules say on things like this, you have to go with what is logical imo.


Umbranus wrote:

Just as a thought, what would happen if a caster already in the area of a black tentacles spell would cast mirror image.

Would the images count as creatures that enter the area of effect?

Images are not creatures. BT is seemingly a 'perfect' test if actual creatures in it's area, just as Smite is a 'perfect' test of Evil Alignment, beyond how Detect Evil can be fooled. Why? It's Magic.

Quote:
How about summoned creatures appearing, would they be treated as entering, thus being attackes at once, or would they not be attacked before the beginning of the caster's next turn?

Well, this gets into details of exactly how teleportation type effects count as movement... But in this case, I think they would immediately be attacked, given the ongoing spell effect nature of the Black Tentacles.

In cases like Barbarian Unexpected Strike (giving AoO on ENTRY to threat area instead of just on movement leaving the area), I *don't* think summoning/teleportation into threatened area would trigger the ability, because it's not 'movement' per se, so no movement AoO could possibly be triggered (entering or exiting the area: which means that teleporting away from an enemy threatening you doesn't provoke twice - once for the spell, once for 'leaving the square' - that's how I've seen it played, and I'd rather not people start rolling Acrobatics in that situation to avoid 'movement' AoOs...)


stuart haffenden wrote:

I think BT "feels" it's targets so neither invisibility nor mirror image would protect you.

That makes sense, I don't care what the rules say on things like this, you have to go with what is logical imo.

The rules seem to support your conclusion, just fine, don't give up on them yet :-)

Re: 'feeling', I understand where you're coming from, but even that isn't true I believe...
The spell can simply unerringly 'know' all the creatures in it's area with total omniscience, just like Smite Evil has perfect 'knowledge' of whether targets are evil or not. Of course, 'knowledge' is a non-sequitor, knowledge is applicable to conscous beings who can act or decide based on that knowledge, in this case, the spell effects just unerringly happen, based on what the spell says.
If a creature is PERFECTLY disguised as a barrel (no Perception check, Sense Motive, or Detection Spell could reveal otherwise), BT will still attack them... Even though it doesn't attack real barrels in the AoE, since they are not 'creatures'.

Really, an effect like this (or Whirlwind Attack for that matter) sort of under-cuts the rationale for Swarms' special treatment vs. attack rolls, but the rules don't give us any way to resolve such attacks when they ARE made vs. every single creature making up a Swarm.

Qadira

Answered:

James Jacobs wrote:
kevin_video wrote:

Dear James,

How does Mirror Image interact with Black Tentacles?

It doesn't really. The tentacles more or less hit the target with the CMB check but don't remove any images; they essentially ignore mirror image.


mplindustries wrote:

Mirror Image:

"Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead."

Note that "Black tentacles" is not a spell that requires an attack roll.

it's simply a spell that you cast. afterwards, the spell generate attack roll, but the successful casting of BT doesn't require any attack roll in itself.

A spell that requires an attack roll, like "Acid arrow" is an example that would apply to the Mirror image rules, but BT is not.


nope, CMB checks are attack rolls, BT does CMB checks, thus BT does attack rolls.
the line you quote doesn't care about WHAT is doing the attack roll, a person, a spell, etc.
if a spell is attacking you, 'you are (being) attacked'.
the bit about spells requiring attacks rolls is really just superfluous, since all attack rolls count.

but MI has no effect if you can't see it, and there's no reason to think that BT 'sees' per RAW.

Taldor

This is pretty simple as black tentacles is an Area spell and mirror image has a specific clause that states area spells do not check for images. See bolded sections in quote:

PRD wrote:


Black Tentacles
School conjuration (creation); Level sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (octopus or squid tentacle)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area 20-ft.-radius spread
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no

Mirror Image
School illusion (figment); Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 min./level

This spell creates a number of illusory doubles of you that inhabit your square. These doubles make it difficult for enemies to precisely locate and attack you.

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

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


2 people marked this as a favorite.
kevin_video wrote:
Yeah, I choose to ignore the the PF FAQ. Most of the answers are stupid. PF nerfed enough stuff, they don't need to nerf Cleave which is already a useless feat to begin with unless your whole campaign's based around fighting 1 HD mooks.

Before complaining about cleave, you should understand that cleave was buffed in PF. You are no longer required to kill the first target to get your 2nd attack. You only have to hit the first target. So it is good against more than just level 1 mooks you can one shot. Cleave is a solid feat for any martial at low levels. At mid levels it is a decent feat to use in any fight you don't have haste going (read: most mook only fights). At high levels (3+ iterative attacks) it becomes just a so-so feat.


+1. PRPG may have added the 'adjacent' clause to Cleave, but they also made it much more useful by not needing to kill/drop the 1st opponent... And you can now 5' step between the attacks, although you need to threaten the 2nd opponent from the original position (per FAQ/board post). They also removed the 'same weapon' wording, which just confuses things (if you believe that is still the intent, as seems reasonable to believe).

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