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How to use a Pearl of the Sirens


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

Simple question. Being a slotless magic item, I assume that you only need to have it on your person in order to gain the benefits?

Pearl of the Sirines

Aura moderate abjuration and transmutation; CL 8th

Slot —; Price 15,300 gp; Weight —

DESCRIPTION

This pearl is worth at least 1,000 gp for its beauty alone, yet if it is clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast while the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl’s powers, she understands and is able to employ the item.

The pearl enables its possessor to breathe in water as if she were in clean, fresh air. Her swim speed is 60 feet, and she can cast spells and act underwater without hindrance.

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS

Craft Wondrous Item, freedom of movement, water breathing; Cost 8,150 g


It specifies that the item not only is identified by holding it to the chest but can be employed through such, so I would say it needs a hand to 'use'.


It doesn't take the hand slot, so I don't think it takes a hand. Hold it to your breast with a strap.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The words "clasped" and "held" strongly suggest that you must use your hand to do this.
"if it is clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast"

Holding it to your breast with duct tape isn't going to cut it. (ouch!) Pierced nipples don't correspond to the item description either.

As a DM I'd rule you must hold it in your hand (thus requiring a free hand). That looks like RAW to me.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

So, it says held to the breast, or clasped firmly in the hand. So you could sew it into the palm of a glove, and still hold other things, you could also embed it in your chest armor or shirt, or embed it in yourself like an ion stone most likely, as long as it's in the palm or the chest. Since it says clasped firmly in the hand OR held to the breast, that seems to indicate you don't have to hold it in your hand while it's being held to your breast. You could also most likely embed it in the hilt of a weapon, or something of that nature. Since it's slotless, it's a bit more flexible. At least that's how I read it. It has to be in in one of those two places, and must either bed "held against your breast" or "Clasped firmly in your hand", the rest of the details are up to you.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

I also figure, that you could use the ion stone implantation process to embed the stone in your chest, so that it works for good. You'd ignore the part where you have to bond with the stone, since it is NOT an ion stone, but being embedded in your chest means that it is certainly 'Held against the breast'.


Xavier319 wrote:
I also figure, that you could use the ion stone implantation process to embed the stone in your chest, so that it works for good. You'd ignore the part where you have to bond with the stone, since it is NOT an ion stone, but being embedded in your chest means that it is certainly 'Held against the breast'.

Agreed.

EDIT: Though this goes a bit beyond "rules" into "advisable GM rulings."

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

Agreed. Rules as written, as long as it is held against your breast, or clasped in your hand, you're good. So (in my opinion) 100% RAW allowances are...

1. Just simply holding it in your and.
2. installing it in the hilt of a weapon and grasping it
3. sewing or installing it into the palm of your glove, and as long as you keep your fist closed (or closed raound something) it will work.
4. hold it against your breast with your hand.
5. embed it into your chest armor. so having it as a sort of iron-man esque center piece on your chest piece it would work as well.

Am I leaving any out? or any you disagree with?


Xavier319 wrote:

Agreed. Rules as written, as long as it is held against your breast, or clasped in your hand, you're good. So (in my opinion) 100% RAW allowances are...

1. Just simply holding it in your and.
2. installing it in the hilt of a weapon and grasping it
3. sewing or installing it into the palm of your glove, and as long as you keep your fist closed (or closed raound something) it will work.
4. hold it against your breast with your hand.
5. embed it into your chest armor. so having it as a sort of iron-man esque center piece on your chest piece it would work as well.

Am I leaving any out? or any you disagree with?

#2 is pretty dangerous. You can't put the weapon down for even a moment, and if you get disarmed then glub glub. It's technically correct, though.

I could add

6. Sew it into the inside of a belt-like strap that you then strap around your torso (over or under your armor).

7. Glue it onto your skin with alchemical adhesive or (much better) sovereign glue. Closest you can get to the pseudo-ioun-stone solution RAW.

Otherwise, looks good.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

Awesome, thanks for the input!


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New piercing?

Nipple rings are the most literal possible interpretation of "clasped to the breast"


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Sorry to derail your debate, but that is not how it works.

Holding it to the chest while attempting actions related to the pearl’s powers, allows understanding of use. It is not required to use. Mere possession allows use.

/cevah


The "hand" slot is for gloves and such, things worn ON the hands, not things that you hold, such as weapons, wands, etc.

Looks like a "use activated" item to me.

Gotta go with Wheldrake on this one, I'd rule you have to hold it.


If I am stuck holding the pearl in my hand while casting underwater, how is my casting unaffected? Note that this is a slotless item, not a slotted item. Mere possession is sufficient to use.

/cevah


I didn't mean the hands slot, but wielding it in one hand, like a weapon. Or a buckler.


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Cevah is correct; this is a possession-based item. It doesn't have to be held like a rod or something. (Unless the GM says so, anyway.)


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Perhaps it is possession-based. But do you really want to chance it leaving your possession while deep underwater? Embed it in your chest just to be sure.


scene: outhouse

"...Qizzlik?"

"(heehee)...Yeah?"

"...Did I really have to eat the pearl of the sirines to make it work?"

"AHAHAHAHAHHAH!"


Rods are also slotless items. All held items are slotless.

It is already ridiculously good for its price, compared to any comparable slotted items. Only way I could see it being at all appropriate is if it takes up one of your free hands.

Helm of Underwater Action

Crystal Helm

Face of Dagon

Slippers of the Triton

Bottle of Air


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Absolutely.
It's a slotless item.
The item description specifically says "held" or "clasped in your hand" so it uses up one of your free hands.

This, regardless of what anybody *wants* it to do. RAW says it must be in hand. If your DM wants to allow it to function from your pocket, from your backpack, from under duct tape or from your nipple piercing, hey, more power to him. But that's not RAW, and this is the RAW board, last I checked.

Anything else is wishful thinking.

And kudos to toastedamphibian who gives us similarly powered items and their costs as points of comparison.


It does not say that you must hold it to use. It says that if you hold it while attempting to do pearl-relevant things, you understand and become able to use its powers.

I agree that it's a good item for its price, but mostly because the other items are (relatively) bad for theirs.


It says "clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast." It does not say "held to the breast with a hand," nor does use of the verb "to hold" imply "in the hand." Thus any means of holding it to your breast will suffice... such as sovereign glue.

Scarab Sages

wow i don't think i have ever heard anyone say "hold" does not mean "with a hand" I mean maybe if you have tentacles only, or prehensile hair. But it says held. That means held.


A sheathe can hold a sword.

A bottle can hold liquid.

I can hold a cigar in my mouth.

And adhesive can hold a band-aid on your skin... or a pearl.

If you've never heard "to hold" save for a hand, you must be deaf. People say such things all the time. Check any good dictionary for more examples.


You are attempting shenanigans. That's between you and your DM, of course, but if you try and force this, that is rude. Be sure to point out to your DM that other items, items that take up a magic item slots, cost more, do less than this item, and often with drawbacks, exist. Then point out that you want to use this item, but also want to duct tape it to your chest because "held to the breast" could be interpreted as "touching your breast through any means" by someone who is not familiar with typical english phrases.


Actually, I am the GM for my group (I am not the OP), and I'd be perfectly happy to let a player do that, as it is well within the meaning of typical english phrases.


Okay. Are you the DM for the OP's group? If not, my statement stands, it would be impolite to try and do this without pointing out that it is completly outside the normal power of these sorts of effects and comes down to an intentionally permissive interpretation of "held".

If you are his DM, well, you've had it pointed out to you already.


I personally don't get what's so disliked about cheese/unintended effects. Sure, they should be checked for balance like anything else, but it feels awesome to discover something, and that's even cooler when you know it's a true discovery, not something a dev already knew about. In much the same way as it's art to take a few paints and a blank surface and make something unique out of it, I think it's much the same when done with game mechanics.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's not a question of disliking cheese, or anything else. It's a question of the RAW. This is the "rules questions" board, and folks here try to give a RAW answer.

Which generally comes down to interpreting the specific language used in the description of some item, power or spell.

Some, like me, feel that the words "clasped in your hand" and "held to your breast" specifically require the item to be held in your hand. But because the author of this item (and indirectly Paizo itself) decided to use more artistic language rather than iron-clad game terminology, there is some degree of ambiguity.

What I find amazing is the extent to which some folks will argue that rules text doesn't mean what it says, by offering an alternative and clearly disingenuous interpretation.

But hey, at the end of the day it's up to the DM to decide. Since the DM in question has chimed in to say he doesn't care if this pearl is in a PC's pocket, it'll still work, that's great. But if he's trying to say that's the RAW, we can still disagree and argue until we're blue in the face. <g>


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think the dispute here is whether the clasped in hand/held to breast language refers to the process for using the item or just the process for making it usable by a character. In the latter case, mere possession of the item would permit its subsequent use once a character has attuned it to himself.


The “clasped” part is just fluff to easily allow a character to understand the item without identifying it. It’s a slot less item. As such you only need to have it on your person to use it. There’s no slot or negative effect required to use the item.


Quote:
if it is clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast while the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl’s powers, she understands and is able to employ the item.

Clearly, clasping allows understanding and enables use.

Not clear is any requirement to clasp in order to use.

This item, was in 2nd edition:

2nd wrote:

Pearl of the Sirines:

This normal-seeming pearl radiates faintly of enchantment if magic is detected for. In any event, the stone will be very beautiful and worth at least 1,000 gp on this basis alone. If it is clasped firmly in hand (or to the breast) and the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl's power areas, he will understand and be able to employ the item.
The pearl enables its possessor to breathe in water as if he were in clean, fresh air. Underwater movement rate is 24. The possessor is immune to ill effects from the poison touch of a sirine. The pearl must be within the general area of the possessor—less than 10 feet distant—to convey its powers to him.

In 2nd, the pearl only had to be close to convey its power. It did not have to be held.

Compare to Pathfinder:
SRD wrote:

Pearl of the Sirines

This pearl is worth at least 1,000 gp for its beauty alone, yet if it is clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast while the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl’s powers, she understands and is able to employ the item.
The pearl enables its possessor to breathe in water as if she were in clean, fresh air. Her swim speed is 60 feet, and she can cast spells and act underwater without hindrance.

You lost the poison immunity and gained limited freedom of movement for casting and acting.

The clasping language is practically identical, yet in 2nd ed. it referred to gaining knowledge only and not using the item. So why would this change in 3rd ed. or PF without also changing the wording?

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
Quote:
if it is clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast while the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl’s powers, she understands and is able to employ the item.

Clearly, clasping allows understanding and enables use.

Not clear is any requirement to clasp in order to use.

This item, was in 2nd edition:

2nd wrote:

Pearl of the Sirines:

This normal-seeming pearl radiates faintly of enchantment if magic is detected for. In any event, the stone will be very beautiful and worth at least 1,000 gp on this basis alone. If it is clasped firmly in hand (or to the breast) and the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl's power areas, he will understand and be able to employ the item.
The pearl enables its possessor to breathe in water as if he were in clean, fresh air. Underwater movement rate is 24. The possessor is immune to ill effects from the poison touch of a sirine. The pearl must be within the general area of the possessor—less than 10 feet distant—to convey its powers to him.

In 2nd, the pearl only had to be close to convey its power. It did not have to be held.

Compare to Pathfinder:
SRD wrote:

Pearl of the Sirines

This pearl is worth at least 1,000 gp for its beauty alone, yet if it is clasped firmly in hand or held to the breast while the possessor attempts actions related to the pearl’s powers, she understands and is able to employ the item.
The pearl enables its possessor to breathe in water as if she were in clean, fresh air. Her swim speed is 60 feet, and she can cast spells and act underwater without hindrance.

You lost the poison immunity and gained limited freedom of movement for casting and acting.

The clasping language is practically identical, yet in 2nd ed. it referred to gaining knowledge only and not using the item. So why would this change in 3rd ed. or PF without also changing the wording?

/cevah

It’s not unclear. The item is slot less therefore it doesn’t require a slot to use. It works like every other slot less item in that it only has to be carried on ones person.

2nd edition is interesting for historic purposes, but not a factor for Pathfinder RAW.


Can you find any item that is held in hand and is NOT slotless? Being slotless does not, alone, mean an item isn't used in the hand. All items that take a hand to use are slotless.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Take the examples of, the various horns (of fog, of valhalla, of blasting, etc). They are slotless. Not one of them says you have to hold it in hand. They just say you blow or sound the horn or speak the command word and blow the horn.

Surely, the PC must still hold it in his hand to blow it, however.

The pearl seems to be one of the exceptions spelled out in the general rule:

CRB wrote:
Typically the possession of such an item is enough to gain its benefit, but sometimes one must manipulate and activate the item.

Since the text of the Pearl of the Sirines states it must be held to the breast or clasped in one's hand to be "able to employ the item", this appears to be one of those "sometimes". It implies that if the item is *not* held, one is *not* "able to employ the item".

Now the quote from 2nd edition is interesting. Originally this item was specifically called out as not needing to be in hand, just within 10 feet. If that was the intent, then somebody dropped the ball between DD2e, DD3.0, DD3.5 and PF.

RAI favors pocketing the item. But RAW still seems to require a hand.


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The important thing is that the horn is blown, not that it is held. If some PC wanted to put together some kind of one-man-band rig so they could play their Horn of Blasting and Lyre of Building a the same time, I can't see why it wouldn't work.

The same sort of logic should apply to the pearl. I really don't see how holding it is the contingent part of the activation.


Quote:
If that was the intent, then somebody dropped the ball between DD2e, DD3.0, DD3.5 and PF.

They also dropped the ball in pricing, and general power level.

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