Questions about the Dancing Darkness...


Rules Questions


Hi all,
I was wondering a couple of things about the Dancing Darkness spell:
While it is a 1st level spell, it is obviously the shadowy "mirror" of Dancing Lights, albeit with the difference that each sphere of darkness "reduce the illumination level by one step within a 20-foot-radius" (instead of having a fixed lightning level as Dancing Light)...

...so I guess it can be made permanent on an area or an object (like Dancing Light), which is what is suggested also on d20PFSRD website...

...but I was wondering:

If I "anchor" more than one sphere of darkness to an object (within the 10 feet minimum distance), they'd drop the lightning by one level each? (They "stack"?)

So in normal light...one sphere would change to "dim light", two spheres would change to "darkness" and three spheres would change to "supernaturally dark" (= not visible even with darkvision)?

By "anchoring" all 4 spheres at a fixed distance from the "anchor" object with a Permanency...would the area covered become wider?

For example, if we assume to set them at a fixed distance of 30 feet from each other and from the "anchor" object, I would...

...generate a roughly cubic area of dim-light of about 50 feet side with globular "petals" that expand to a 70 feet side and four "internal" petals at the intersection (20 feet length, 10 feet width) of darkness...if I am in normal light?

...but would be possible to make permanent a single globe fixed on the "anchor" object?

And...if I had that permanently anchored a Dull Gray Ioun Stone, I'd have the darkness "walk with me"?

...if I did that with two or more Dull Gray Ioun Stones, would I be able to control the degree of lighting in the area?

Since the Dancing Darkness limitation is based on a single casting, sphere from different castings would stack, right?

Would be reasonably possible to implant it using the Implanting Ioun Stone rules from Seeker of Secrets?

Thanks,
Skarm


No. On all counts. I see nothing to suggest they are intended to stack with eachother, and if they did the spell becomes vastly more powerful than Darkness and would be desperately in need of attention from the Nerf Bat Battalion.


toastedamphibian wrote:
No. On all counts. I see nothing to suggest they are intended to stack with eachother, and if they did the spell becomes vastly more powerful than Darkness and would be desperately in need of attention from the Nerf Bat Battalion.

I agree...probably they don't stack with the same spell, but different casting, in theory should.

However, how do you deal with the sphere thing?

Would be a single sphere?

I still think it is cool even with one sphere...
Skarm


Multiple castings of the same spell generally don't stack. I also want to say that only the highest level darkness spell in an area functions, but I don't know why I think that to be true.

If each sphere is 10ft from the same grid intersection, one up, one down, one left, one right? You get an affected area 60ft wide (with potentially strange edges) where the light is reduced by one level.

As far as I can tell, dancing lights and dancing darkness affect an area.

Presumably they remain where they are when you cast permanency and do not further move... Not really sure. That is the implication I get from the "these spells cast on an object or area" line from permanency.

I possibly more direct RAW reading is that the duration changes to "permanent" with all other aspects unchanged: move as caster desires up to 100ft per round and ends whenever they go further than 100ft from the caster. (So no prolonged running, teleportation, riding...)


toastedamphibian wrote:

Multiple castings of the same spell generally don't stack. I also want to say that only the highest level darkness spell in an area functions, but I don't know why I think that to be true.

If each sphere is 10ft from the same grid intersection, one up, one down, one left, one right? You get an affected area 60ft wide (with potentially strange edges) where the light is reduced by one level.

As far as I can tell, dancing lights and dancing darkness affect an area.

Presumably they remain where they are when you cast permanency and do not further move... Not really sure. That is the implication I get from the "these spells cast on an object or area" line from permanency.

I possibly more direct RAW reading is that the duration changes to "permanent" with all other aspects unchanged: move as caster desires up to 100ft per round and ends whenever they go further than 100ft from the caster. (So no prolonged running, teleportation, riding...)

Yes, but the permanency states "on objects", which could only happen due to an anchoring (which is more restrictive than a full control of the spell).

Skarm


Permanency states that those spells can be made permanent when cast on 'objects or areas'. You would need to be anle to cast it on an object, which you cannot. Casting permanency afterwords does not retroactively put the spell on an object.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Permanency states that those spells can be made permanent when cast on 'objects or areas'. You would need to be anle to cast it on an object, which you cannot. Casting permanency afterwords does not retroactively put the spell on an object.

Yeah...on this I probably have to agree with you:

It is probably an inexact and cr...y issue caused by the word-limit of the manual:

In theory, they should have kept separated the spells that were area-only, those who were object-only and those who were both area and object targetable.

They probably didn't do so just to save a few lines of text.

However...I have an ever cooler way to achieve what I wanted to do that came up after you pointed out this issue with Dancing Darkness:

If...

...I buy a Lesser Metamagic Eclipse Rod for 1.500 gp, any spellcaster would be able to add Eclipse metamagic feat to any light or darkness spell they could cast up to 3 times a day.

Eclipse Metamagic Feat states:
"Only spells that create areas of light or darkness can be eclipsed spells. If the eclipsed spell creates an area that shines like a torch or raises the light level by one step, you can choose to have the spell lower the illumination level in the affected area by one step, functioning like darkness. If the eclipsed spell creates an area that shines like daylight or raises the light level by two steps, you can choose to have the spell lower the illumination level in the affected area by two steps and create an area of magical darkness, functioning like deeper darkness."

...and this is the only change caused by the spell, so...

After buying the metamagic rod, I'd have only to buy my amazing Dull Gray Stone for 25 gp and then find a 3rd level Wizard to cast Continual Flame *while* using the Rod for 110 gp (= 3 x 2 x 10 + 50).

This would grant exactly what I wanted to do with the original Dancing Darkness effect at a cost of 1.635 gp and in a perfectly rule-compliant way!! :)

Don't you agree on this?

Moreover I think, even if the metamagic rod would be pretty useless for a ninja, it would allow all kind of nifty extra-uses such as....

...buy a durable masterwork adamantine shuriken for 61 gp (= 60 + 1) and then cast the Eclipsed Continual Flame on it for 110 gp and then one throws it *wherever he likes* to drop the light in the surrounding area!

Could be also an amazing way to render the movement while surrounded by the effect of the Eclipsed Continual Flame on the ioun stone a bit more suble: One just throws the shuriken forward to the ground and then move in the area subsequently!

Since it is shooting to the ground should be somehow easy...since the shuriken is durable and made of adamantine, it shouldn't be prone to breakage and since it is masterwork it would be easier to target it (and throw farther)!

What do you think? Wouldn't be cool to throw a shuriken just at ground level to "drop" the lightning level and then ...tadaaaan!

Moreover, with that fancy "ignore up to 20 hardness" one could stuck them in all kind of material!

And for the maximum fun effect?

Throw it in pair with a caphorite shuriken!!

"Caphorite Ammunition: This ammunition typically consists of crossbow bolts, often employed by drow house guards. A caphorite arrow or bolt detonates on impact, its head shattering in a mass of fine caphorite particulate. Any nonmagical light in a 10-foot radius is immediately extinguished, while spells of 2nd level or lower with the light descriptor are rendered inactive for 1d4+1 rounds. Higher-level spells with the light descriptor are unaffected. Caphorite ammunition has a cost of +10 gp per item."

The caphorite shuriken reduces the lightning in a more "mundane way" and the darkness effect of the shuriken expands it! Moreover, the caphorite shuriken deals with any "pesky" Light or Dancing Light spell! :)
Skarm

P.S.: Also I wonder...but the fact that dim light grants concealment means that, if the enemy is distracted, a character can go in Stealth in dim light?

P.P.S.: Honestly if we didn't had this discussion, I'd never doubted the effectiveness of the Dancing Darkness idea and I'd never had this new idea, which is much more cooler!!
I really love the Continual Flame concept and I thought was a pity that there wasn't a Darkness equivalent!! :(


Eclipsed Continual Flame is perfectly legit. Adamantine shiruken still break though. See if your DM will allow Durable Shiruken.

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