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Advice on Spellcraft check ruling and movement inside fog


Advice

Sczarni

I just wanted to ask certain question regarding Spellcraft checks and movement inside fog.

1. Would -4 penalty on Spellcraft check, to recognize the spell as it is being cast, be appropriate if the target can't see or hear the spell, considering for the moment that spell has both somatic and verbal components?

2. Would it be appropriate to consider movement inside a fog/mist as a difficult terrain? It makes sense to me since your character shouldn't be able to charge blindly and should be careful where he walks. There is also noted in Movement Section that due to poor visibility character's movement is reduced to 2 squares.

I searched a bit, but couldn't really find answers for these.


Malag wrote:

I just wanted to ask certain question regarding Spellcraft checks and movement inside fog.

1. Would -4 penalty on Spellcraft check, to recognize the spell as it is being cast, be appropriate if the target can't see or hear the spell, considering for the moment that spell has both somatic and verbal components?

2. Would it be appropriate to consider movement inside a fog/mist as a difficult terrain? It makes sense to me since your character shouldn't be able to charge blindly and should be careful where he walks. There is also noted in Movement Section that due to poor visibility character's movement is reduced to 2 squares.

I searched a bit, but couldn't really find answers for these.

1. No. For example there is no listed penalty for a spell that doesn't have all 3 components, let alone for one that way via metamagic. Thus it doesn't seem in line to adjust the check there. If a true strike (V only) isn't harder to spellcraft than charging a cure light wounds spell (VS), then why should a stilled cure light wounds (V only) be harder to identify than a true strike?

2. Yes, as a DM you decide if 5' visibility is sufficient to reduce movement... that said I'd certainly allow for 5' adjusts within it.. so I guess I'm more along the lines of it not hampering movement.

-James

Sczarni

I guess I kind of agree with both your answers.

I am not really sure only what type of visibility would be sufficient to reduce movement, so mist/fog seems valid enough to me that it should reduce movement, if the effect is strong enough (Obscuring Mist).
I always perceived those kind of spells to be slightly underpowered due to fact that players often metagame and/or can reach the target in 1 move action.

I usually like to stick with rules as much as possible.


Silent Spells and spells without verbal components would be impossible to detect with spell craft in a fog.

People can move at any speed within fogged areas, granted that they do not get reflex saves/acrobatics checks to avoid traps/running into walls, if they move fast.

Sczarni

Mapleswitch wrote:


People can move at any speed within fogged areas, granted that they do not get reflex saves/acrobatics checks to avoid traps/running into walls, if they move fast.

Still doesn't feel right. People would bump into opponents then and even provoke AoO's like that.

Sczarni

Small bump.

Still having hard time deciding about movement in fog/mist/smoke. The more I think about it, the more complicated it gets.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just say they can't run in the fog. Remember, moving (even a move-move) is hustling, not the full-out run that the run action is. If you want to be more severe, insist that you can't declare a charge against a target you can't see (well, sense. You want to let other senses work) at the moment you declare it.

As to knowing too much about where things are in a fog, the only real way to deal with that is a double-blind system where you only show them what they can actually see, but the problem is that's a very effort-intensive thing to do. You'd end up having to re-evaluate what can be seen after each square of movement.


SlimGauge wrote:

If you want to be more severe, insist that you can't declare a charge against a target you can't see (well, sense. You want to let other senses work) at the moment you declare it.

How is that severe as opposed to simply how the rules work?

Charging wrote:
If you don't have line of sight to the opponent at the start of your turn, you can't charge that opponent.

As to metagaming, that's a side issue which should be addressed on its own rather than in a setting.

Encourage it, demonstrate it, then demand it.

Have your NPCs do things 'clearly' wrong, but reasonable from their point of view. This, in turn, demonstrates that we are playing a role playing game rather than a strategic war game on a grid.

When the players accept this then illusions, fogs, and interparty communication all become viable and valuable... as they should be.

-James


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
SlimGauge wrote:

If you want to be more severe, insist that you can't declare a charge against a target you can't see (well, sense. You want to let other senses work) at the moment you declare it.

How is that severe as opposed to simply how the rules work?

Charging wrote:
If you don't have line of sight to the opponent at the start of your turn, you can't charge that opponent.
-James

Perhaps I should have said "strict" instead of "severe". I have let characters declare a charge against an invisible opponent that they knew was present, despite the fact that they don't technically have a line of sight to it, but as you say that's not fully compliant with RAW.

Sczarni

Charging is actually quite clear in it's explanation. You can't charge what you don't see.

Even if player insisted on charging someone they would be forced to keep up with Acrobatics and suffer the consequences when he charges into blunt wall.

Still, the most simple thing to adjudicate for me would be that movement in fog/mist/smoke is hampered but I don't have clear answer which would follow RAW as to why can't they choose to move at full speed(when I say full speed, I mean normal base move speed) in it.

So the question still bugs me, what if they ask me, "Why?".


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem is that you CAN see in fog, just not very far. By RAW, other than the charge limitation, you can move just fine in the fog.


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

In my games, if the spell has no components (V, S, M, F) then it's pretty much impossible to identify. Spell identification uses the Perception rules. If there is nothing to perceive, then there is nothing that can be identified.

If some of the spell components were missing, but not all, then I might consider a circumstance penalty to the check.

Don't forget to add additional penalties for range and the like.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jason talked about #1 here. He suggests at most a penalty of -4.

Sczarni

@Cheapy
That link helped out, thanks.

@SlimGauge
You can't really beyond 5 feet, everything else is fully obscured. Even if you decide to move 5 feet, check the area around you and repeat this sequence, it still means that your character has set some effort into moving through the fog more then usual.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is no rule for that Malag. It doesn't say you have to spend any sort of action to just see what's in the squares around you (unless it's something subtle that would require an active perception check, those are usually move actions when they're not passive non-actions). By RAW, you can move just fine. Anything more is GM fiat.

Think of it like carrying a lantern/torch/candle in the dark. The only difference is how far you can see in the light provided. It doesn't matter if it's 40 or 20 or 5 feet of light, it's still light, and you can still see to move without the blindness/darkness penalty. You still can't charge a target outside of the radius of your light, however.

Sczarni

Well, I guess I will just stick with the RAW then only. Regular move actions it is.

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