Sleep / Deep Slumber


Rules Questions

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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So once the creatures make or fail their save, you then determine who, of the failed saves, is affected. Most of the time, the GM makes the saves until the limit is met with those that failed. That is what I have seen done at tables in and out of PFS.


seebs wrote:
Sitri wrote:
Quote:

Alchemist, Confusion Bomb: Should this discovery require a saving throw?

Yes. The target of the bomb may attempt at a save against the confusion effect (Will negates, using the bomb's DC).

This will be corrected in the next printing of Ultimate Magic.

Meaning, as written.....no.

Or meaning, as written, "ambiguous or unclear".

I would agree that, if it were up to me, I would personally have interpreted confusion bomb as not allowing a save.

But really, I think this is just another case where the real answer is "Paizo's use of language is inconsistent."

They make errata for when something is typed wrong, they make FAQs for when something is typed unclear.

seebs wrote:

-snip-

Second... How do you reconcile this with the Spells language stating that you determine who is affected by a spell first, and then once you have decided who is affected, you have them roll saves if saves are allowed?

"Once you know which creatures (or objects or areas) are affected, and whether those creatures have made successful saving throws (if any were allowed), you can apply whatever results a spell entails."

While that is the order it is listed in, it doesn't actually say "First" and "Then." Like I said before, I tried to get the same idea across with more precise language and it was going to turn into a lot of very clunky text. While this text isn't great, it still does the job. I will admit that a single line of FAQ would help us here.

Quote:


This clearly includes creatures that made successful saving throws as "affected" in at least one sense.

Hmm. Come to think of it:

PRD wrote:
Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.
If they "feel a hostile force or a tingle", then the spell has affected them, even if it had no other effects. :)

When people use the word affected, they tend to mean meaningfully affected. For example, people who have one Tay Sack's gene don't say they are affected by it. It is true that their DNA is altered by it, but it would really be misleading and frankly pretty insensitive to the people who have members of their family who actually are affected.

For a more in-game example, I mentioned the bleed text earlier. If someone said, "I affected you, you had to dodge my attack, you are bleeding now." Everyone in their right mind would say, "Jack hole, you did not hit me, you have not really affected me."

thaX wrote:

So once the creatures make or fail their save, you then determine who, of the failed saves, is affected. Most of the time, the GM makes the saves until the limit is met with those that failed. That is what I have seen done at tables in and out of PFS.

This is true for me too.


There are cases in the text where making someone roll a saving throw is 'affecting' them. There are other places in the game rules where 'affected' is used to mean failing a save-to-negate. There is no way to know for sure which is meant here. My game design sense says that a sleep spell shouldn't force more saves than the target limit, but I cannot prove this. Arguing back and forwards over ambiguous text is never going to reach a conclusion.

On the other hand, keeping this futile exchange going is a good way of keeping this up on the messageboards and makes it more likely to get an official response. So don't get discouraged! Maybe the other side will back down if you keep trying!

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
thaX wrote:

So once the creatures make or fail their save, you then determine who, of the failed saves, is affected. Most of the time, the GM makes the saves until the limit is met with those that failed. That is what I have seen done at tables in and out of PFS.

Then those people did it wrong.


Matthew Downie wrote:

There are cases in the text where making someone roll a saving throw is 'affecting' them. There are other places in the game rules where 'affected' is used to mean failing a save-to-negate. There is no way to know for sure which is meant here. My game design sense says that a sleep spell shouldn't force more saves than the target limit, but I cannot prove this. Arguing back and forwards over ambiguous text is never going to reach a conclusion.

On the other hand, keeping this futile exchange going is a good way of keeping this up on the messageboards and makes it more likely to get an official response. So don't get discouraged! Maybe the other side will back down if you keep trying!

So which is it, you seem to be saying two different things?

Also, do we have an instance where making a save must mean being affected, or just some instances where it could be interpreted this way? I think we certainly have some instances where being affected really has to go beyond successfully defending against.

Hayato Ken wrote:
thaX wrote:

So once the creatures make or fail their save, you then determine who, of the failed saves, is affected. Most of the time, the GM makes the saves until the limit is met with those that failed. That is what I have seen done at tables in and out of PFS.

Then those people did it wrong.

Nu Uh


thaX wrote:

So once the creatures make or fail their save, you then determine who, of the failed saves, is affected. Most of the time, the GM makes the saves until the limit is met with those that failed. That is what I have seen done at tables in and out of PFS.

Again, read the text.

First you determine who's affected, then you determine whether they make their saves. The list of affected creatures is the list of creatures who have to roll saves, if any are allowed.

PRD wrote:
Once you know which creatures (or objects or areas) are affected, and whether those creatures have made successful saving throws (if any were allowed), you can apply whatever results a spell entails.

First determine affected, then check for saves if any are allowed. That doesn't change which creatures "are affected". The creatures/objects/areas are the things targeted, once you've done that, you're done, you don't get to go back and pick more.

And seriously, in ~30 years of this game, I've never seen it played any other way.

EDIT: I asked around, and it turns out that at least two people I know play it the other way, so go figure. Clearly this is a long-standing ambiguity.


Sitri wrote:


So which is it, you seem to be saying two different things?

Also, do we have an instance where making a save must mean being affected, or just some instances where it could be interpreted this way? I think we certainly have some instances where being affected really has to go beyond successfully defending against.

Instead of focusing on "affected", which is clearly used two different ways, look at the rules for hit die counts:

PRD wrote:
Many spells affect “living creatures,” which means all creatures other than constructs and undead. Creatures in the spell's area that are not of the appropriate type do not count against the creatures affected.

If the intent had been that creatures which do not actually take any effects don't count as "affected", that second sentence would be completely unneeded. They are specifically pointing it out, because any creature targeted normally counts as "affected" whether the spell is resisted or not.


What you bolded is what you wrote, not the prd.

While it is written in that order, there is no terminology that means you must follow that order chronologically.

Likewise, I might tell someone that when making a character, they must select traits, decide what feats they want, and pick spells. The don't have to necessarily do it in that order because I wrote it that way. This is especially true if you can find other instances in the text that would make doing it in this order ridiculous.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Give me an "F"! Give me an "A"! Give me a "Q"! What does that spell? I dunno, hit the button to find out!


seebs wrote:
Sitri wrote:


So which is it, you seem to be saying two different things?

Also, do we have an instance where making a save must mean being affected, or just some instances where it could be interpreted this way? I think we certainly have some instances where being affected really has to go beyond successfully defending against.

Instead of focusing on "affected", which is clearly used two different ways, look at the rules for hit die counts:

PRD wrote:
Many spells affect “living creatures,” which means all creatures other than constructs and undead. Creatures in the spell's area that are not of the appropriate type do not count against the creatures affected.
If the intent had been that creatures which do not actually take any effects don't count as "affected", that second sentence would be completely unneeded. They are specifically pointing it out, because any creature targeted normally counts as "affected" whether the spell is resisted or not.

The focus should be on "affected." That is the word this is all hinging on.

The second sentence is redundant either way. Even under your reading, the first sentence is enough to make undead and constructs not count. It says, "they are not living, therefore they are not affected."

Tacticslion wrote:
Give me an "F"! Give me an "A"! Give me a "Q"! What does that spell? I dunno, hit the button to find out!

I have :)

My wife is laughing hysterically that it spells FAAAAAQUE.


What's important is that it is distinguishing between "the spell has an effect on them" and "they count towards the limit of things affected" as two distinct claims. That sentence implies that you can be "unaffected", but still count towards the limit of things "affected".


If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes. It is just the prudent thing to do. For 4 copper and less than a pound, a first level character can get immunity to sleep.

Granted you can get some extreme odds in your favor with the other reading through a similar means, but it will be with a larger quantity of a bit more expensive and/or heavy creature, and I wouldn't want to waste the time rolling through them all. If I can just say "I have 4 centipedes on me" and the game keeps rolling, that is a no brainer.


Sitri wrote:

If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes. It is just the prudent thing to do. For 4 copper and less than a pound, a first level character can get immunity to sleep.

Granted you can get some extreme odds in your favor with the other reading through a similar means, but it will be with a larger quantity of a bit more expensive and/or heavy creature, and I wouldn't want to waste the time rolling through them all. If I can just say "I have 4 centipedes on me" and the game keeps rolling, that is a no brainer.

I'm torn between this being an awesome idea that's creative and an opportunity for good role-play (Feeding you local goblin, foiling a plot to poison the duke by getting him to change restaurants) and WHY IN GOD's NAME IS THAT IN YOUR PANTS!!


So I guess no faq?


Hasn't been answered yet. And I've asked around more and concluded that no one appears to agree on this; it's pretty close to an even split, on all the HD-limited spells, and most people think it's "obvious".


Sitri wrote:
If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes.

As GM I'd rule that bugs don't have hit dice. Otherwise you'd get situations like this:

GM: The bone mage casts Circle of Death... here! Catching the entire party. You're under 40HD total so you all have to make a save or die.
Player: Ah, but there's a tree there in the middle. There must be hundreds of insects living on and under that tree. Forty of them have to save or die. Everyone else is fine.


This is a flaw of language more than rules.

The use of affect and effect.

You determine who is affected, based on HD/location/creature type.

In order to make the save vs the effect, you have to be affected.

Then, after that, they roll a save to see if they are effected and fall asleep.

You can be affected, but save and suffer no effect.

Gotta love homonyms (sp?).


Matthew Downie wrote:
Sitri wrote:
If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes.

As GM I'd rule that bugs don't have hit dice. Otherwise you'd get situations like this:

GM: The bone mage casts Circle of Death... here! Catching the entire party. You're under 40HD total so you all have to make a save or die.
Player: Ah, but there's a tree there in the middle. There must be hundreds of insects living on and under that tree. Forty of them have to save or die. Everyone else is fine.

In a home game, this issue doesn't really matter that much, you can rule how you like. In PFS where GMs are mandated to follow the rules, this would also be a violation.

TGMaxMaxer wrote:

This is a flaw of language more than rules.

The use of affect and effect.

You determine who is affected, based on HD/location/creature type.

In order to make the save vs the effect, you have to be affected.

Then, after that, they roll a save to see if they are effected and fall asleep.

You can be affected, but save and suffer no effect.

Gotta love homonyms (sp?).

I am not on board with your assessment. As far as I can tell it is entirely possible to read "affected" as those who don't pass a save negates. Some people find that reading unpalatable, but I think it is entirely possible. It is absolutely impossible to include those that make a save negates (or some other similar condition) as being affected in every situation.


So, I got an official ruling on this issue.

I don't feel its right to state the ruling as it should come from horses mouth.

But in conclusion there should hopefully be a faq produced soon if all goes well.

So keep your fingers crossed.


Sitri wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Sitri wrote:
If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes.

As GM I'd rule that bugs don't have hit dice. Otherwise you'd get situations like this:

GM: The bone mage casts Circle of Death... here! Catching the entire party. You're under 40HD total so you all have to make a save or die.
Player: Ah, but there's a tree there in the middle. There must be hundreds of insects living on and under that tree. Forty of them have to save or die. Everyone else is fine.
In a home game, this issue doesn't really matter that much, you can rule how you like. In PFS where GMs are mandated to follow the rules, this would also be a violation.

A swarm of thousands of centipedes has nine hit dice. Therefore by RAW a jar of dozens of centipedes has less than one hit dice.


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Quick! Everyone get back to flaming angrily so we can look like idiots when the ruling comes out!


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Sitri wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Sitri wrote:
If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes.

As GM I'd rule that bugs don't have hit dice. Otherwise you'd get situations like this:

GM: The bone mage casts Circle of Death... here! Catching the entire party. You're under 40HD total so you all have to make a save or die.
Player: Ah, but there's a tree there in the middle. There must be hundreds of insects living on and under that tree. Forty of them have to save or die. Everyone else is fine.
In a home game, this issue doesn't really matter that much, you can rule how you like. In PFS where GMs are mandated to follow the rules, this would also be a violation.
A swarm of thousands of centipedes has nine hit dice. Therefore by RAW a jar of dozens of centipedes has less than one hit dice.

So if part of the name matches with a swarm, you can combine and divide them with impunity to pick and choose what bits of text to use from each regardless of size, HD, or other mechanics? Sweet; I am going to start using swarm skin to have all my diminutive centipedes trample for 1354d6 damage. >.>


Come to think of it, centipedes are vermin, which are immune to mind-affecting spells like Sleep, so even if you house-rule it that they have their own hit dice, it still doesn't protect you from Sleep spells (though it does make Circle of Death completely ineffective in all normal environments).


I looked it up before, and holding to the wording that made the loophole for the quick burnout reading, it would make insects valid for sucking up HD but not for actually being put to sleep. Since it was a bit of a mock point, I haven't bothered to look it up again, but if you would like I would be willing to find the relevant lines of text.


Good point. There are actually three possible situations for a potential Sleep target. (a) Fails the save. (b) Passes the save. (c) Is immune.
Now, so far we've been debating (mostly) whether having to make a save counts as being 'affected' but even if it does, that doesn't tell us if a creature who is immune is 'affected'. I wonder if the FAQ will cover that?


Oooh, interesting. There's a general thing about creatures that aren't valid targets, but that's not quite the same thing.


reika michiko wrote:

So, I got an official ruling on this issue.

I don't feel its right to state the ruling as it should come from horses mouth.

But in conclusion there should hopefully be a faq produced soon if all goes well.

So keep your fingers crossed.

I didn't realize they did this. But Rieka, in light of a few weeks passing and no official word here, would you be willing to share how you would currently rule this at your table?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
weavminas wrote:
Sitri wrote:

If for some reason they rule those that make the save count towards the HP total, my characters are going to start buying house centipedes. It is just the prudent thing to do. For 4 copper and less than a pound, a first level character can get immunity to sleep.

Granted you can get some extreme odds in your favor with the other reading through a similar means, but it will be with a larger quantity of a bit more expensive and/or heavy creature, and I wouldn't want to waste the time rolling through them all. If I can just say "I have 4 centipedes on me" and the game keeps rolling, that is a no brainer.

I'm torn between this being an awesome idea that's creative and an opportunity for good role-play (Feeding you local goblin, foiling a plot to poison the duke by getting him to change restaurants) and WHY IN GOD's NAME IS THAT IN YOUR PANTS!!

What are the HD of house centipedes? AFAIK none, so they are put to sleep and don't detract for the spell limit. Same thing for bacteria (that probably are immune to sleep), the mites on your body (vermin and immune, like the centipedes BTW), and so on.

As the centipedes are immune, let's use mice. What are the HD of one house mice? Not rated AFAIK, so it will be put to sleep if they fall the ST and don't detract from the spell.

- * -

I am in camp 1 but at times I have wondered. When speaking of sleep it is not so important after the first few levels, but with the other spells affecting X HD of creatures or X hp it become very important.

Generally a spell "affecting" someone mean that it has influenced him/it in some way (dealing damage, inflicting a condition, ecc.) but with this kind of spell "affect" seem to mean "target".

So, FAQed.


1 HD

Even the non-familiar can't be truly affected by this spell, but according to the logic previously expressed, everything except for illegal targets sucks up the potential HD that can be affected by area spells that care about total HD.


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This thread is getting a bit silly. Carrying around a bunch of 1HD creatures works to negate sleep regardless of interpretation 1 or 2 (the only difference is the rate of success), so it doesn't work as a counterargument at all.

In any case you cannot make the argument that <1HD creatures soak up the spell: suddenly any resident mice, rats, lice, flies, mosquitoes, earthworms etc need to be taken into account (perhaps even bacteria?) and that way leads to obvious farce.


If I cast sleep on a crowd of commoners, and it affects a certain number of HD, then I guess the spell will more or less always put that many creatures to sleep, since those who succeed their saves simply "toss the hot potato on"?


Well a few points about it matter. If only things that are "truly affected" count as affected, you would have to carry a lot of heavier, larger, more expensive animals to ensure your immunity. For the sake of sleep, this might not matter for some characters, but at later levels when you are looking at some of the death spells it certainly will for many more. I have many characters that carrying capacity is a problem for, so it is going to matter for me right out of the gate.

Also it points to the fact that the whole "counts as affected" but isn't "truly affected" argument doesn't make any sense.

And as I stated earlier, if I am having to roll for all these creatures, I am less likely to do it. I don't want to bog down the game. However, if I can use immune creatures, I don't have to worry about slowing down the game, and I am much more likely to do it.


Language is a fuzzy tool at times. For my vote, you are affected if you need to make a save against it.


If someone swings at you with an attack that causes bleed damage and their attack roll is above 4 but doesn't hit you, did they affect you?

If not, what about the language makes successfully defending against a spell different than successfully defending against a physical attack?


You assumed to save(not fail) against a spell because you made a save, and as the defender you are the one determining the result if a spell requires a save.

For a melee attack the langauge references the attacker as having been successful or not because they are the ones finalizing the action.

In other words your analogy does not fit, and the game rules would bog down if creatures that can't be affected actually counted.

PS: I do see both sides of the argument, it only makes sense to count legit targets. Unless your GM loves the spell it wont be worth the trouble of carrying animals around.


Quote:


Bleed (Ex)

A creature with this ability causes wounds that continue to bleed, inflicting additional damage each round at the start of the affected creature’s turn.....p

Quote:


Sleep

...Creatures with the fewest HD are affected first...Sleep does not target unconscious creatures, constructs, or undead creatures.

I can't see the meaningful difference you are talking about.

Also, as listed in this spell, and reinforced by the holy grail of "save equals affected" arguments I have seen to this point, only not being a legal target (which is different than being immune, making a save, or having spell resistance) does not add to the HD affected pool.

I am not 100% that I have gotten the main idea of your first point. If you were pointing to the idea of who is rolling the dice instead of the language used for the effects, remember that the characters are doing things to prevent themselves from being hit, even if you don't roll the dice. Only a character with no defensive feats, no armor, and 1 dex would would be making no contribution to defending from an attack. Such a person would have an AC equal to a door, spot on the floor, or whatever: 5.


I side with option one just because of balance. It is basically a level 1 death spell. I don't see the balance in letting it keep trying until it fills its quota. Of course that is just my opinion.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The spell, in my mind, would loose it's effectiveness if it determined the affected before the saves are made. That is, if cast in a crowd, it doesn't sweep through until the limit is made, but only affects the first few and quits save or no.

The caster would try to cast Sleep in an area with the most creatures, raising the chances of having more be affected by the spell than if he only has a few in the area instead.

It would also be funny if the only monster that failed was the one that hits the HD limit exactly.

"Boss? uh, boss?"

The Exchange

thaX wrote:

Some have, but are not supposed to...

The spell, as mentioned above, effects an area, not individual creatures, so it would keep trying until the limit is met. My previous statement stands.

Since the sleep spell is negated on a successful save, you only count the effected creatures for the HD total. (those that failed)

If this were true, then a slow spell would work the same way?

If a 5th level caster were to cast slow he would keep picking targets until 5 had failed there save?


shadowkras wrote:
Quote:
Area one or more living creatures within a 10-ft.-radius burst

When casting, there is no distinction on HD limit.

Quote:
A sleep spell causes a magical slumber to come upon 4 HD of creatures. Creatures with the fewest HD are affected first.

It will try to sleep the weakest creatures by order of HD, when the spell reaches the HD limit of targets, it ceases functioning, as in no more targets are affected, regardless if the first few made their saves or not.

Spells arent retroactive.

This. You figure out which creatures the spell might affect, then they roll saves. Making or failing the save has no effect on anybody else.


Every table I have ever sat at, these type of spells keep trying as long as there are valid targets and the HD limit of creatures with failed saves has not been met. Never once have I heard anyone say anything along the lines of "OMG this overpowered, game breaking, ect..." and I have seen them used on both sides of the table.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nosig wrote:
thaX wrote:

Some have, but are not supposed to...

The spell, as mentioned above, effects an area, not individual creatures, so it would keep trying until the limit is met. My previous statement stands.

Since the sleep spell is negated on a successful save, you only count the effected creatures for the HD total. (those that failed)

If this were true, then a slow spell would work the same way?

If a 5th level caster were to cast slow he would keep picking targets until 5 had failed there save?

It isn't the caster picking and choosing targets, the spell emminates from the point directed by the caster and the effects go from there, affecting creatures until no more is in the area of effect or the HD limit is met. Whether or not it is met when the save is made is what is being discussed, I maintain it is only the failed save attempts.


I know someone who has worked on the rules of one of these games, who confirmed that they always played it as "pick targets, then once picking of targets is finalized, roll saves". He made the observation that, if you don't do this, this spell violates the general rule that creatures which make their saves are making a spell less effective, and points to the language in the magic chapter stating that you determine the creatures affected by a spell, and then determine whether or not they make saves (if saves are allowed).

Historically, sleep used to have no save, making the question irrelevant. When the save was added, in 3rd Edition, the example text showing how the spell is applied to various targets was updated slightly, but continued to show selecting a set of targets based on hit die counts. It did not address the question of whether or not the targets saved, but this can be read as weakly implying that the question of whether they save is irrelevant.

To put it another way: If the spell has a mechanic where creatures who make their saves cause additional creatures to become targets and need to save, that mechanic probably needs to be explicit in the text. The few spells I can think of where creatures making or failing saves affect targeting do it explicitly (say, chain lightning).

The Exchange

thaX wrote:
nosig wrote:
thaX wrote:

Some have, but are not supposed to...

The spell, as mentioned above, effects an area, not individual creatures, so it would keep trying until the limit is met. My previous statement stands.

Since the sleep spell is negated on a successful save, you only count the effected creatures for the HD total. (those that failed)

If this were true, then a slow spell would work the same way?

If a 5th level caster were to cast slow he would keep picking targets until 5 had failed there save?

It isn't the caster picking and choosing targets, the spell emminates from the point directed by the caster and the effects go from there, affecting creatures until no more is in the area of effect or the HD limit is met. Whether or not it is met when the save is made is what is being discussed, I maintain it is only the failed save attempts.

the fact that a target has to make a save IS an effect. if the target has something that allows him to Auto-Save or even just a bonus to the save, the fact that he was targeted is an effect from the spell - even if he saves. The spell targets 4 hit dice... pick those hit dice please. If target A has 2 dice - and then burns the guidance spell that was cast on him 2 rounds ago to boost his save, and perhaps has the Bard burn the spell Saving Finale, because he missed the roll anyway, does the sleep go on to another target? It had an effect on the first guy... So it had an effect, then "bounced" to a new target?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sitri wrote:
I looked it up before, and holding to the wording that made the loophole for the quick burnout reading, it would make insects valid for sucking up HD but not for actually being put to sleep. Since it was a bit of a mock point, I haven't bothered to look it up again, but if you would like I would be willing to find the relevant lines of text.

And what is this "quick burnout loophole"?

- * -

PRD, Magic chapter wrote:

Creatures: A spell with this kind of area affects creatures directly (like a targeted spell), but it affects all creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures you select. The area might be a spherical burst, a cone-shaped burst, or some other shape.

Many spells affect “living creatures,” which means all creatures other than constructs and undead. Creatures in the spell's area that are not of the appropriate type do not count against the creatures affected.

I think that it very clear that invalid targets don't "suck up HD", as you put it.


The ambiguity is that insects may be of a valid type for the spell's description, but immune to sleep effects.

Similar things could be at issue with, say, elves. Elves are clearly valid targets for sleep given the spell description, but are "immune to magic sleep effects". So what happens?

The Exchange

seebs wrote:

The ambiguity is that insects may be of a valid type for the spell's description, but immune to sleep effects.

Similar things could be at issue with, say, elves. Elves are clearly valid targets for sleep given the spell description, but are "immune to magic sleep effects". So what happens?

Well, either they count as valid targets and reduce the HD total, or they don't count as valid targets and ... are not counted.


nosig wrote:
seebs wrote:

The ambiguity is that insects may be of a valid type for the spell's description, but immune to sleep effects.

Similar things could be at issue with, say, elves. Elves are clearly valid targets for sleep given the spell description, but are "immune to magic sleep effects". So what happens?

Well, either they count as valid targets and reduce the HD total, or they don't count as valid targets and ... are not counted.

Well, yes. But we don't know whether "of a type the spell says it affects, but immune to the spell" is a kind of "valid target".

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
seebs wrote:

I know someone who has worked on the rules of one of these games, who confirmed that they always played it as "pick targets, then once picking of targets is finalized, roll saves". He made the observation that, if you don't do this, this spell violates the general rule that creatures which make their saves are making a spell less effective, and points to the language in the magic chapter stating that you determine the creatures affected by a spell, and then determine whether or not they make saves (if saves are allowed).

Historically, sleep used to have no save, making the question irrelevant. When the save was added, in 3rd Edition, the example text showing how the spell is applied to various targets was updated slightly, but continued to show selecting a set of targets based on hit die counts. It did not address the question of whether or not the targets saved, but this can be read as weakly implying that the question of whether they save is irrelevant.

To put it another way: If the spell has a mechanic where creatures who make their saves cause additional creatures to become targets and need to save, that mechanic probably needs to be explicit in the text. The few spells I can think of where creatures making or failing saves affect targeting do it explicitly (say, chain lightning).

Thank you for this. I can see the reasoning behind choosing before having the saves attempted now.


Not sure if the FAQ ever came out, but I was checking my account and remembered this so I thought i'd post the ruling I got.

Scenario 1 is correct.

Per the Florida PFS organizer, who apparently asked even higher up the chain regarding it.

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