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Silent Image: Fog


Rules Questions

Silver Crusade

Exactly as the title says, what's the general consensus, if not an actual rule, for what happens when you use Silent Image to make a cloud of fog, as far as when they get a saving throw to disbelieve it, or if they even do, since there's very little you can do to interact with fog.

Thinking about either doing an Illusionist or Rogue with wand to try and push myself to be a bit more creative with my tactics.


A normal fog feels cold and clammy. Also, it swirls around objects that are moving through it. Walking into the illusion, or even tossing an object into a silent image: fog would be interacting with it and allow a saving through.

It's still not a bad tactic for blocking sight.

Silver Crusade

Could work for an archer rogue, then, cast from a wand around himself, then shoot, he has concealment, so should get sneak attacks. At least until the others close in on him, so make certain he has a good wall between him and them.


If the rogue is shooting from within the fog cloud, then his targets would have concealment against his attacks, too. And if your targets have concealment, you don't get sneak attack. Unless you have an ability or feat or something that would allow it... But if you can't clearly see your target to pick out a vulnerable or extra squishy part, then you don't get the extra damage.


A few problems here.

First, Silent Image has a duration of Concentration. Unless you spend your standard action to concentrate on keeping up the illusion, the fog disappears.

Second, a Spellcraft check as you cast the spell lets the opponent know it was a Silent Image. In this case they get an automatic success against your illusion.

Assuming you can overcome these, it's a valid strategy. Illusions can often be used to block line of sight, whether it's a solid wall or a cloud of fog. A low level wizard can get good mileage out of using this trick and letting his party know it's an illusion.

Of course, creatures within the cloud might get a Will save to notice the illusion since the mist doesn't move or swirl around them naturally when they move through it. You'll find a lot of table variation when it comes to illusions depending on the DM.


Maquist wrote:
If the rogue is shooting from within the fog cloud, then his targets would have concealment against his attacks, too. And if your targets have concealment, you don't get sneak attack. Unless you have an ability or feat or something that would allow it... But if you can't clearly see your target to pick out a vulnerable or extra squishy part, then you don't get the extra damage.

Presumably the rogue would automatically make the save since he knows his wizard buddy is casting the illusion.

Silver Crusade

Or once he casts it through a wand, though I did forget about the duration, does make it more of a tag team strategy.

Sovereign Court

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A wand with a command word bypasses the Spellcraft issue. A familiar with the wand bypasses the Concentration issue.

Enemies getting shot at from the fog can of course try to scrutinize the fog to get a save against the illusion. I would recommend reading the clarifications of just how disbelief works in Ultimate Intrigue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't recall; if you successfully disbelieve the fog, does it still break your line of sight?

Silver Crusade

Not too worried about the spellcraft issue, I have rarely run across enemies in Pathfinder with Spellcraft unless they were an arcane caster of some sort, and even that's a little hit or miss.

Sovereign Court

Ravingdork wrote:
I don't recall; if you successfully disbelieve the fog, does it still break your line of sight?

IIRC if you disbelieve a figment it becomes seethrough for you.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I don't recall; if you successfully disbelieve the fog, does it still break your line of sight?
IIRC if you disbelieve a figment it becomes seethrough for you.

That's right.

And as far as disbelieving and interacting to get the save it's not especially clear but, the general idea is you need to spend an action to interact with it.

Whether it's scrutinizing, or walking through, or attacking. Some action needs to be spent.

As for seeing a spell caster cast an illusion spell and correctly identifying it using spell craft...as a person I can find no reason not to allow that to instantly disbelieve any figment or glamer. This does however make a lot of illusion spells worthless in combat, and I warn my players ahead of time of that when I GM. I also remind them of the various feats to disguise spell casting that are available.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Illusions aren't intended to be used as if you were an evoker. It's not a design flaw, some people just want to use everything as a hammer.

Silver Crusade

But remember that spellcraft is trained only, so it is good against people who don't know what to watch for... Exactly like you'd expect from magic focused on misdirection.


Using Spellcraft to identify a spell being cast is also subject to the same modifiers/penalties as Perception. That could be a +2 to +5 to DC for folks who are in combat.

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