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Darksol: You misunderstand some of what I'm saying. I'll try to be brief.

First, let me address the "stacking two wizard schools" thing. That is NOT what I'm talking about. Stacking two schools would suggest taking ALL the benefits of multiple schools. That is NOT what I'm suggesting. Here's a breakdown:

Conjuration Powers:
- Summoner's Charm (not bad)
- Acid Dart (lame!)
- Dimensional Steps (me likey!)

Teleportation Sub-school Powers:
- Summoner's Charm
- Shift (replaces Acid Dart - much better!)
- Dimensional Steps

Extradimension Sub-school Powers:
- Reshape Space (replaces Summoner's Charm - not better, but I like it)
- Acid Dart (barf!)
- Dimensional Steps

As you can see, Teleportation replaces Acid Dart, while Extradimension replaces Summoner's Charm. Both sub-schools keep Dimensional Steps. I'm suggesting it might be possible to combine Teleportation with Extradimension because they both replace different abilities of the base school, much in the way combining archetypes only works if the archetypes don't overlap. So, the result would be:

Extradimension-Teleportation Hybrid Sub-School Powers:
- Reshape Space (replacing Summoner's Charm)
- Shift (replacing Acid Dart)
- Dimensional Steps (no change)

This is not specializing in two schools, otherwise I'd be getting 6 school powers. It's not even combining two schools, as they are both sub-schools of the same base school. If this can be done with class archetypes, why couldn't it be done with sub-schools (treating the base school in the same manner as a base class)?


I'm not good at being brief, hahaha, so I won't explain how you misinterpreted the other stuff. I've never actually played a Sorcerer before (the limited spells known really puts me off), so I've never explored the Sorcerer bloodline options. I'm trying to figure out what bloodlines are good and/or fun and/or don't totally suck! Hahaha!

Swashbucklersdc wrote:
Belefauntes, how is your campaign progressing? I would like to hear how it all has merged together, =)

Hey, sorry for the delayed response. I've been away from the boards for a bit. I haven't yet started the campaign. I'm still mulling over concepts. The campaign it will be replacing hasn't yet ended, so I still have time to flesh things out. I'll try to get back here once the campaign is under way. :)

Thanks for the responses! I apologize for taking so long to come back to this.

So, assuming I decide to try this out (we haven't played this game since I posed the question), and I'm already set on the Teleportation sub-school for the Wizard + School Understanding combo (and can you combine compatible sub-schools? Like Teleportation and Extradimension, where both sub-schools replace different base school powers??? Haven't gotten an answer on that question over HERE), what would be a good/fun bloodline to choose for the Sorcerer + Bloodline Development combination? I'd like it to fit with my teleporter/dimension hopper/"Nightcrawler/Azazel" theme, but I'll entertain any suggestions. I'm more interested in utility and FUN over being a glass cannon.


I'm surprised that nobody has had any input on this!

*wiggling fingers (on keyboard) and mumbling incoherently*


Okay, now that I've brought this one back to life, I have a complex question on this subject.

First, let's assume the following: a) the creature is under the active effect of its own levitate spell, b) said creature is standing firmly on the ground, c) said creature has no other means of airborne movement (such as flight from any source), and d) the spell simply makes the creature unstable when off the ground, but not weightless.

If this creature were to run at full tilt and jump (say off a cliff, chasm, rooftop, whatever, etc), how would the active levitate spell affect this action? The spell states that "You can mentally direct the recipient to move up or down as much as 20 feet each round; doing so is a move action." It does not state anything about maintaining an existing elevation level, however. As such, could you theoretically mentally maintain an existing elevation level (say, for example, the peak height of the jump) as a free or swift action? Would that be reasonable? If so, how far would you be able to travel, horizontally, from the inertia generated by running and jumping, before the effects of friction based on wind-resistance and gravity pushing against your levitation "floor" would bring you to a stop? Would you effectively "slide" along and invisible "floor", or would mentally activating the levitation (to maintain existing elevation, not to ascend or descend) stop your horizontal movement, as if you had landed on a surface (albeit, an unstable one)? Would it be like landing on a Slip-n-Slide from a full run and jump, or like landing in a sand pit from a track and field long jump?

I don't believe there is RAW to support any given ruling on this, so I'm interested in knowing how other people would rule on this? I'm kind of leaning in the direction of the Slip-n-Slide/sheet of ice concept, because the spell makes the creature unstable when levitating, and I can't think of a better example.

Sorry to necro this thread, but something stands out as a little... ridiculous.

Spell Resistance vs Beneficial Magic (healing, buffs, etc) is ridiculous, and here is why:

1. Spell Resistance is supposed to be a HUGE boon, not a double-edged sword. It's intended to provide and extra level of protection against (harmful) magical effects, not keep your friends from helping you out.

2. If Spell Resistance is to magic what Armor Class is to attacks, then why don't healers have to make a touch attack against their friends when they cast curative spells? That's a rhetorical question, as the answer is "because the character isn't going to avoid being healed!" In the same vein, a character isn't going to RESIST being healed (or buffed, or whatever other beneficial magical effect applies here), and would instead relax their defenses against the beneficial effect, just as they would lean in for the incoming curative touch spell.

I'm not saying that, by RAW, Spell Resistance does NOT function against beneficial magic by default. I'm saying that requiring the player with SR to spend a standard action to NOT resist a boon is freaking ridiculous! You might as well require a standard action to NOT avoid getting hit by that cure wounds spell, as well!

I understand that this is the way Spell Resistance works, I just think the RAW of this is, to be blunt, EFFING RETARDED! Fortunately, my group agree with this assertion, and do not enforce this rule. Of course, if the character with Spell Resistance WANTS to resist a beneficial effect, they are allowed to do so... but that's their choice.

Side questions: Let's say I'm playing a drow spell caster with healing magic (cleric, inquisitor, paladin, etc) and I cast cure light wounds upon myself. Do I have to spend a standard action to accept my own healing? If I do not, do I have to overcome my own Spell Resistance? Because, by RAW, that seems to be the case. And if that doesn't point out the ridiculousness of applying Spell Resistance against beneficial magics that you wouldn't inherently resist, I can't think of a better example. :P

edit: Well, I just saw that there is some clause in Spell Resistance that states "A creature's spell resistance never interferes with its own spells, items, or abilities", so that does answer the question about SR vs your own healing... but they actually had to put a special clause in just to allow that? Shouldn't the clause go more like this: "A creature with spell resistance may allow effects to bypass their spell resistance if they so choose, as a free action"? I mean, seriously... you're a member of a clergy on a crusade, and you happen to have spell resistance. Are you really going to resist the healing of your fellow clerics? Or a hide from undead spell in the middle of a zombie swarm? Of course not! Because that would be ridiculous.

As a side note, I personally feel that always-active spell resistance, such as that inherently possessed by drow and certain other creatures or granted by a magic item, should become inactive in any scenario where the creature is unable to effectively defend itself, such as when unconscious, flat-footed, helpless, or when they would be denied their dexterity bonus to AC (or, at the very least, significantly reduced). Limited duration spell resistance, such as that granted by a spell or spell-completion item, however, should remain active until dismissed or the effect expires, whether conscious or not.

edit edit: Incidentally, I'm kind of surprised that the spell spell resistance is not dismiss-able. I mean, if it has the side effect of "protecting" you from beneficial magics, then shouldn't you be able to choose to... let it go!?

I've been mulling over a concept. I'm currently playing an Arcanist with the School Savant archetype. He's specialized in the Teleportation sub-school of Conjuration. I'm not worried about optimizing my character, as far as caster level vs character level is concerned, and my group has yet to hit level 20 in the 20+ years we've been playing D&D-based games, so I'm not worried about capstone abilities.

Has anyone here played an Arcanist build with a 1 level dip in Sorcerer AND a 1 level dip in Wizard, taking the Bloodline Development and School Understanding exploits? If so, how did this pan out?

Nobody? Nothing? Nada? Hello? *bump*

Incidentally, I'm inclined to believe that you cannot combine sub-schools, even if they are "compatible". That said, I don't see any good reason why this wouldn't be plausible.

I would love to tack "Extradimension" onto my already Teleportation specialized School Savant Arcanist. Certainly the Summoner's Charm ability has more general usefulness, but the Reshape Space ability meshes better with my character concept.

This is a really quick question, as I cannot find anything that would indicate one way or the other:

Is it possible to combine two (or more) magic sub-school specializations, provided said sub-schools do not replace the same power from the base school (i.e. they would be have to be compatible). The rule for similar situations is that you can do this sort of thing, provided there is no incompatibility, such as combining class archetypes.

I was interested in combining the Extradimension and Teleportation sub-schools of Conjuration. One replaces Summoner's Charm, the other replaces Acid Dart. By similar standards, they are compatible.

Does anyone know if this can be done?

Thanks again, DMW.

I didn't think gestalt would be all that bad. From my personal experience of (briefly) playing a gestalt, I didn't feel as though my character was any more "powerful" than he would have been as a single-class character. Just more versatile.

1. Yeah, I think level 3-5 is probably the avenue to take. Level 5 seems to be when most characters start blossoming into coolness.

2. I was afraid of that. I'll have to play around with my options. Not every foe will be NPCs/humanoids, so monsters are the minions/liueys/bosses I'm more worried about. And I'm VERY well aware of the problem with single BBEGs. Especially with large(ish) parties, like mine.

3. As far as themes, at the start they should be themes based around the heroes' home city/kingdom. Just about any idea is worth mentioning. I want to generally stay away from plots involving saving the world, traveling to other worlds (planes), and generally cosmic-level challenges, at least at first. I want to stick with localized themes, at the start. Criminal organizations, corrupt law enforcement, morally questionable government, serial killers... and pepper all that with the existence of magic (and those who wield it), deities, mythical monsters, mysterious plagues, and pretty much anything you would find in a fantasy version of a hybrid Gotham/Metropolis/Marvel NYC.

@ Deadmanwalking: I hadn't considered the gestalt option, but it's something to mull over. Restricting it to Vigilante + Class Of Choice is a reasonable limitation, considering all of the options available to the Vigilante class.

A general question: How "overpowered" do folks feel it would be if I were to implement this limited version of the gestalt option? I'm aiming for low to moderately power-level "super" heroes. If I use this gestalt option, I believe I will utilize the slow experience track.

A couple of thoughts I'm pondering:

1. I want the heroes to begin the game under the pretense that they have spent a little time working the city and have built a modest reputation, but they are still relatively new (haven't had any major encounters). To reflect this (and make them more survivable out the door), I've been considering starting the characters between levels 3 and 5. Alternatively, I could simply give them max hit points for a level 3 to 5 character, but not advance their hit dice until their levels catch up, and grant them each a modest reputation in their respective neighborhoods. What sounds better?

2. Is there any sort of system in place for easily designing minion-, lieutenant-, and boss-level villains? I want minions that are easy to defeat in numbers, lieutenants would be 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 (either way) enemies, and bosses should generally require a team effort defeat (before escaping in their Big Boy rocket w/ Cryo chamber).

Incidentally, I'm also interested in plot ideas. I've got a lot of work ahead of me with this game, and it will be time to run before I know it. Any help is greatly appreciated. Think comic books. Some stories pan out in a single issue, some over the course of 3 to 5, some are ongoing sagas that cross over titles, and some are the drawn out plots that are slowly seeded over the course of numerous issues (and years). Each month's worth of sessions (played once per weekend) should equate to approximately one or two comic books.

Thanks again!

@ Taernia: The email suggestion is a good idea, though I may utilize such for behind-the-scenes (between session) operations, rather than establishing their social identities. Everyone is SUPER excited about this game, and they're bound to share their various character ideas amongst themselves. Many of us have been playing as a group for over 20 years. I'm not too worried about stepping on the Vigilante class' toes, and my players won't really care, either. As far as world building, I'll definitely be taking input from the group on that front.

@ Swashbucklersdc and Broken Zenith: Interesting suggestions. I'll have to read more into these.

@ The Sideromancer: I'm not worried about the players keeping secrets or metagaming knowledge their characters wouldn't actually know. In our current campaign (Carrion Crown), two of the characters are possessed by demons, and one is a vampire. Nobody in the party knew any of this, but the players all knew. We just feign ignorance until the GM informs us we suspect something, or we something happens that can't be ignored. Like two weeks ago, when our cleric used Turn Undead, and the vampire character fled in fear. That was a... dead... giveaway?

@ PCScipio: Thanks for the setting suggestion. Even though I'm not a fan of desert-based adventures (maybe it hits too close to home, as I live in Nevada), "middle eastern" trade nations and port cities are quite ideal for this type of campaign.

@ jedi8187: While I'm not really interested in running an Adventure Path, I don't mind hijacking materials from an Adventure Path, and simply focusing on the social/political/criminal elements of the campaign setting. I'll look into this one.

@ Luthorne: I'm definitely planning to use Automatic Bonus Progression. I want the game to spotlight the heroes and their abilities, rather than their equipment (something that has bothered me about many RPGs and CRPGs for a LOOOOONG time). I wasn't familiar with Background Skills before, so thank you for pointing this optional system out to me. I'll definitely be using this. As far as Inner Sea Intrigue... I'm not quite ready to jump on another book, but I'll look into it.

Thanks everyone for your feedback, thus far!

That's the premise.

My group is currently about to finish up the Carrion Crown adventure path, and the GM would like to rejoin the ranks of the players. I offered to run the next campaign/adventure saga. My group consists of seven players, most of whom are highly experienced, in addition to myself (I've been involved with RPGs for nearly 30 years, myself). A number of players have had a hankering for a superhero-themed game, many strongly pushing me to run the Champions/HERO System RPG. As much as I love the system, I'm really the only player in my group with an in-depth knowledge and experience with it, and just don't feel up to holding everyone's hands while simultaneously trying to guide a story.

As a compromise, I've decided on running a fantasy-based, superhero-themed campaign in Pathfinder. I own the Ultimate Intrigue book (and LOVE it), and would like to build my campaign around the Vigilante class concept (players are free to play any class, however). The saga should be generally centered around a city within which the heroes/vigilantes operate, with occasional excursions to outlying areas of the kingdom/countryside. I'd like this to be an expansive city, with numerous districts, some dark and riddled with crime and poverty, others more affluent and regal, and everything in-between. Preferably, a location with a wide range of cultural diversification, as well. I'm not particularly familiar with Golarian, so if there is a city that fits this description, please direct me that way. I like Caliphas, but it's quite possibly too dark (and deadly) for upstart heroes. But it has a lot going for it.

Any suggestions for custom/house/optional rules that would promote and/or amplify the super-heroic vigilante concept would be greatly appreciated.

I'm thinking that initially the characters will not "know" one-another. Each hero (unless they opt otherwise) will be have both a social identity and a vigilante identity. Non-Vigilante class characters will get a limited version of the Dual Identity ability, and the effects of the Double Time social talent with any single skill of their choice. Prior to the start of the story, each hero will already have established a brief history of masked vigilantism, as well as a rudimentary/obscure reputation (Knowledge (local) check DC 20 to recognize them in their vigilante identity). A series of events (campaign prologue) will have inspired investigations which inevitably have drawn their vigilante identities together. If I play it right, the heroes should be inspired to form a team, banding together to right wrongs which are bigger than themselves as individual.

This will be a tricky game to run, and there is no reason for the heroes to feel obligated to reveal their social identities to one-another. The game will likely be episodic. Occasionally, I may attempt brief sessions of split party adventures, where I'm running two separate scenarios in parallel, but that my be too big a challenge. This sort of adventure does, however, make it easier to suspend disbelief as to why one of the heroes is not present when their player can't make it to game.

This campaign has potential to be both very fun, as well as very challenging (to me, as GM). Right now, it's in its basic development stage. Any advice, ideas, suggestions, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Anything from rules options to campaign settings to plots and plot devices.


I only read the OP and a few responses, but here's my take on the scenario, as presented in the OP. There are two approaches one can take with this style of story-telling:

1. Colorful, Explanatory Narrative - This is where the GM tells the players the events of what went down and how they got to where they are now, with no interactive feedback from the players. It's setting the stage with storytelling. This, IMHO, is the best approach. It can happen at the beginning of the campaign, as well as in between "chapters", though the more advanced the characters become, the less "creative license" a GM should take with the characters and their hard-eared stuff.

2. Semi-Interactive Narrative - This is where the GM sets the stage, allows the player(s) to respond, but ultimately has a direction they are taking the story, and the player(s) really have no control over the outcome. This, IMHO, is a HORRIBLE approach. It is bound to PISS OFF at least one player, if not multiple, and could result in the loss of players when they feel like the GM's story is more important than any contribution the player(s) have to offer. I've been in this situation, and it made no sense to me that my wizard couldn't Magic Missile the bad guys he could clearly see. Apparently there was some magical force field on the woodshed I was in! All because the GM wanted me to watch the bad guys kill in cold blood the farmers who were putting me up. I was allowed to ATTEMPT to help, but the GM had predetermined that there was nothing I could do to stop the butchering. This would have gone much better with a Colorful, Explanatory Narrative.

The problem I've found is that if you don't specialize, you lose. In the short game (early levels) it's not much of a problem, and being a generalist can be quite beneficial. But when you start hitting the mid levels (8+), all that effort spent being okay at multiple facets starts to hang you. That is, of course, unless everyone in the group has taken the generalist approach. But Pathfinder, more often than not, rewards specialization and penalizes generalization.

My group has been playing an adventure path for quite some time. Like you, I was the generalist. I built an Inquisitor who was kinda good at a lot of things. In the early levels, I was awesome! I could do it all! But by the time we hit level 8 or 9, I noticed I had drastically fallen behind every other character in the game. Everyone had focused their characters on specific strengths, and to be comparable I had to expend several spells over several rounds. By the time I was adequately buffed, most fights were almost finished. Non-combat scenarios were the only place where my character would shine above the others, and those were becoming fewer and further between.

With special permission from my GM, I retrained virtually every aspect of my character except his class. I changed his feats, skills, spells, inquisition, and archetype. I SUPER specialized! Now I'm a crossbow sniper (the only real ranged character in the group) who is entirely focused on slaying undead. And nobody in the party can destroy undead even half as well as me (including the combinded efforts of the Paladin AND Cleric). I'm freakin' Van Helsing!

Specializing is not a bad thing. It's almost a necessity of the game. Arcanists, Clerics, Druids, Witches, Wizards, and any other spellcaster with a mutable spell list are about the only character types who don't need to specialize, perse. They are the only types who truly suffer virtually no penalties for being generalized. They're built for it. All others are pretty much required to specialize if they want to survive (campaign dependent, of course).

About the only types of games where it doesn't pay (as much) to specialize are social campaigns, like those based around the rules and concepts in the Ultimate Intrigue book.

You describe the other characters as "over" specialized, but I don't see that. The character I mentioned above? THAT is OVER specialized. Being melee focused, ranged focused, blast focused... that's just general specialization. Being a melee focused dragon slayer, ranged focused undead hunter, blast focused construct crusher; where these are the only things you're good at doing, and you suck at anything but these specific situation; that's OVER specialized. I over specialized because we're playing Carrion Crown, and it's almost all about undead at the end game (plus, it fit my character concept).

You say your tank doesn't have a ranged attack. Did they take a class or archetype that doesn't get a ranged weapon, or do they just not HAVE a ranged weapon? Almost every martial class I know of gets AT LEAST simple weapons proficiency, which includes light and heavy crossbows. Not possessing a weapon is not the same as not possessing the ability to use a weapon. If he chose not to carry a ranged weapon "just in case", well that's foolish. My sniper inquisitor still carries a melee weapon "just in case", even though I rarely have reason to use it.

As far as building a campaign for specialists, again, the game hits a point where that's almost a necessity for survival, unless is a city/socially-based campaign. It may take some experimentation, but I recommend finding the weakness in the characters' strengths. For example, your tank lays down the hurt in melee. They can deal loads of damage and drop a BBG without breaking a sweat. Welcome to Pathfinder, buddy! BBGs with loads of HP are DOA. Swarms are a trap. They're too good, or they suck. You don't want that. Try the alternative to swarms: hordes. Hurt 'em with numbers. Ranks of mediocre monsters. One BBG is easy. But 30 mediocre monsters that move quickly and can only take 1-3 hits from Captain Hammer will whittle him down. Find the weakness in the strength. Being able to deal 40-60 HP damage per hit doesn't matter when your surrounded by moderate mooks with 30-50 HP each. And use spells (or similar effects) when you can to slow them down. An Obscuring Mist effect will cause 20% of Superman's blows to miss, and will give total concealment beyond 5 ft (simulating Invisibility). Be creative. Analyze strengths and find the loopholes. It doesn't make the specialized characters any less cool, it just makes them a little less effective in scenarios where their specializations are excessive for their oppositions.

Good options. I also like Friendly Fire, hehehe!

What's that? I "accidentally" shot the group vampire with my Unravel Animation enhanced bolt? OOPSIE!!! Hahaha!

Since I can't find a compatible archetype that offers enough useful replacements, I think I'll be making a new list of TW feats for which I qualify. We're playing Carrion Crown, and I'm the team's ranged damage dealer (and maybe a little TOO good at what I do). This game has been on a rotation, so I ran the previous portion (Ashes at Dawn), and chose not to use my character while I was running the game.

After relinquishing the reins to the current GM, I did a complete rebuild of my character: he was a Sin Eater, and he totally SUCKED largely due to my desire to play a guy who would be kinda good at melee AND ranged combat... splitting my focus really hurt, and by the time all of my self-buff spells were in effect, the combat was usually over. With my rebuild, I completely focused on being an undead-slaying crossbow sniper (I'm the only ranged-focused martial character in the group).

But during the process of retraining my character, I totally forgot to bother with my Teamwork feats (in fact, forgetting I even had them). So, I'll need to decide what my 3 permanent TW feats are (we're level 13), and make a list of qualifying TW feats that I can change out, as necessary. What are some good options for a ranged sneak attacker? Consider the following:

I can cast both Invisibility/Greater. We house-rule flanking works from range (adding to my sneak attacking shenanigans). I have Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim (in case it matters). I have a Guided repeating heavy crossbow. I have Sniper Goggles, Greater and Bracers of Archery, Greater which the GM has allowed to work with my crossbow. I'm a Drow Noble (the wicked sick version... selected before the Race book was available to us). Our party includes one of each of the following: winged Aasimar Paladin (sword and board), Ranger (2-H style), Slayer (also 2-H focused), Sorceress (draconic - acid), Wizard (Universalist... the fool), Cleric, and (if the cleric ever builds his Leadership sidekick) an NPC Witch. If there are any other details I'm leaving out that might be needed, let me know. Assume I meet the qualifications for any TW feats that involve ranged combat or crossbows. Also, we're liberal with the house-rules, so if it's a "maybe" or a RAI question, then the answer is probably a "yes, we allow it". The only thing we do not allow are third-party materials. Paizo only, but anything Paizo is allowed.


Yes, I do understand how solo tactics works with teamwork feats, and that it's far superior to the way teamwork feats normally function.

As a general rule, I feel that teamwork feats (sans Solo Tactics) are a horrible implementation. Due to the nature of how feats work in Pathfinder, and how scarce they are, the idea that two characters have to share the same teamwork feat in order for them to have a chance of functioning is a terribly flawed design. These feats would be MUCH better if they allowed the owner of the feat to bestow their benefits upon their teammates, say at the cost of a swift or immediate action. Besides that, the benefits of most teamwork feats are often more circumstantial than most of their standard counterparts. I feel like teamwork feats were a great idea someone had, but were poorly executed and need a functionality overhaul. There are many feats which I would easily choose over any teamwork feat.

I'm not saying that teamwork feats (especially with the Solo Tactics ability) are completely worthless, I just find them a bit lackluster and often forget I even have them. At one time I had made a list of all teamwork feats for which my character qualified, and kept that sheet WITH my character sheet, and I would STILL forget to use them. One of my fellow players (a Vanguard Slayer) has a teamwork feat that she can grant to all the players (with the Vanguard's Tactician ability), and she finds she is always forgetting to use it, too! Incidentally, I feel a version of the Tactician ability should be inherent in the possession of ANY teamwork feat, and it shouldn't have a per-day limit. Teamwork feats generally are not all that great.

I like the Cloaked Wolf, as it grants NORMAL feats in place of the Teamwork feats, but I'd hate losing my +8 bonus to initiative for a version that only functions in circumstances I'll probably never get to capitalize upon.

I could probably make good use of my teamwork feat/solo tactics combo, but bonuses that, in any way, are heavily reliant upon circumstances and the how your allies are positioned, are very forgettable.

Hadn't seen that archetype before. I like it a lot.

However, this brings up a painful question for me. Under the Nature Fang, it calls out Swift Studied Target as a separate ability, implying that it is not an inherent part of the Studied Target slayer ability. It is not listed as a separate ability for the Slayer, but is wrapped into the Studied Target entry as a 7th level advancement. It's not even listed separately on the Slayer's advancement table.

For the Sanctified Slayer, it says: "At 1st level, a sanctified slayer gains the slayer's studied target class feature. She uses her inquisitor level as her effective slayer level to determine the effects of studied target." That's it. It doesn't call out the limitation on the ability.

For the Nature Fang, it says: "At 1st level, a nature fang gains the slayer's studied target class feature. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the nature fang's bonus against her studied target increases by 1. Unlike a slayer, a nature fang does not gain the ability to maintain more than one studied target at the same time." The only limitation it calls out is that they cannot have multiple studied targets at any given time. It also doesn't call out the 7th level advancement. However, they get the 7th level advancement at level 9 in the form of a separate ability.

This begs the question: Does the Sanctified Slayer get the 7th level advancement for Studied Target, or is it considered a separate ability? I've been playing it as if it's an inherent part of the advancement of the ability.

The Morphling: Even calling the advancement out at a higher level, I think it's a very strong archetype. I hope you took the Animal Companion option, for awesome flanking shenanigans! Have you spent any of your feats on Accomplished Sneak Attacker? Nature's assassin! It's too bad feats are so scarce. Unlike a standard Slayer, or even my Sanctified Slayer, a Nature Fang is a prime candidate for Teamwork Feats with their animal companion.

With my Sanctified Slayer, I almost never use my teamwork feats (I kind of hate the way they work) and am looking for a second archetype that compliments my Van Helsing concept, and replaces the bonus teamwork feats and solo tactics with something I'll actually use! Cloaked Wolf was close, but they neutered the inquisitor's initiative bonus to something extremely circumstantial.

I see your point, though it is an ability you apply to a weapon (any weapon you wield, theoretically including natural weapons) which has a save dependent on your character, not the weapon (DC = 10 + 1/2 Inquisitor Level + Wisdom Modifier). It's much better than the standard Disruption weapon enchantment. So the save DC is coming from the Inquisitor, not the weapon. There is nothing to stop you from applying it to your Improved Unarmed Strike, and punching the undead into oblivion.

Honestly, I use my Inquisition power (Unravel Animation) far more than I use spells that target enemies. I can understand not wanting to apply it to the Sanctified Slayer's spell DC's (although I see a precedent for both interpretations), but since the Sanctified Slayer really doesn't get any other save-based Slayer powers, this would be an aspect of Studied Target which they would otherwise have no use for. Considering they are giving up a key inquisitor ability (everything Judgment-related, including their capstone power), I think it's a small thing to allow this.

The only Slayer ability (talent) the Sanctified Slayer has access to, which has a save-based outcome, is Slowing Strike. There may also be combat feats (via Rogue Talent -> Combat Trick), but I'd have to do some digging. The Slayer also gets access to: Assassinate, Knockout Blow, any feat(s) they take via Rogue Advanced Talents and Ninja Master Tricks which involves a target making a save, and Master Slayer, as well as abilities gained from archetypes, such as: Distant Voices, Something's Not Right, and Cruel Trick (Bloody Jake), Painful Strike (Executioner), Find Family (Family Hunter), Dust Bringer (Grave Warden), Spell Use (Stygian Slayer), and Burn The Witch (Witch Killer)... as well as such abilities of any upcoming Slayer archetypes.

Now, if we look at the Spell Use ability of the Stygian Slayer, this sets a precedent for the effects of Studied Target to be applied to spells.

In this vein, would it be safe to assume that powers usable against an enemy gained from the Inquisitor's Inquisition would likewise get the same DC boost? For example, my Sanctified Slayer has the Final Rest inquisition, which grants the following powers:

Final Rest Inquisition

Granted Powers: The dead have paid their dues; there is no need, and no excuse, for them to walk. You protect their rest personally.

Disrupt Animation (Sp): You can use disrupt undead as a spell-like ability, adding your Wisdom modifier to the damage. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Unravel Animation (Su): At 8th level, when you activate your bane ability with undead as the creature type, you can choose for your weapon to instead gain the disruption weapon special ability. The DC to resist this effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 your inquisitor level + your Wisdom modifier.

So... is it safe to assume the Studied Target bonus would apply to the save DC of the Unravel Animation power? I hadn't even considered it before, but that would make me an even better undead slayer (the entire concept behind my build).

Whoops! I didn't realize this was a necro'd thread. That would have been my advice six months ago. Hahaha!

I realize there is a certain appeal to being a heavy-hitting damage dealer / face melter. But your party has sooooooo many martial types already, you would be better to approach the game with a different mindset. There is no need for you to compete with their damage output. You're the mastermind. You're the thinker. What you do may not seem as glamorous, but what you do makes them better at what they do. Every successful attack from Haste is damage that YOU dealt. Every attack against your summons is an attack that your allies don't have to worry about. Every miss from a blur effect is damage the subject doesn't have to take because of YOU. Think like a boss. Think like a GOD! Think like the puppetmaster behind the curtain. The battlefield is your chess board, and the other characters (and anything you summon) are your knights, bishops, rooks, and pawns. You're the King. As long as you stand, everyone wins.

And being able to pick locks and find traps... that's just extra gravy!

I didn't read through all the posts, but have you considered the Trap Finder trait option? This would allow you to wholly fill the arcane caster gap as a FULL caster, and still be the trap finder.

You mentioned the Arcanist as a thought. This is a fantastic class. It's got most of the power and flexibility of the Wizard, and ALL the spontaneous casting advantage of the Sorcerer. The Occultist is a great archetype if you want to focus on Summons (and more targets for your enemies to beat up on means winning for your player meat shields). The School Savant gives you all the school benefits of the Wizard (ahem... teleportation sub-school of Conjuration is my school of choice here), at the cost of only a few Exploits. Starting at level 7, you will already have gained your first Arcanist Exploit, so that will gain you access to the Extra Arcanist Exploit feat option, allowing you to spend your level 5 and 7 feats shoring up your loss of Exploits from levels 1 and 3. There are a lot of awesome options for an Arcanist.

Whatever you do, if your intent is (at least partially) to be the arcane caster in your group (whether Arcanist or Eldritch Scoundrel, or whatever), do not focus on melting faces. Read the God Wizard guide. It's okay to melt faces occasionally, but if it's your mainstay, you're doing it wrong.

Also, don't worry about being a melee fighter. Your party has that in spades. Barbarian, Bloodrager, Ranger, and Warpriest are all strong melee types. Let them be the meat shields. You're the brains of the operation... build and play accordingly.

Just some of my thoughts.

If your GM is REALLY nice, you might be able to convince them to allow you to get a permanent Magic Fang, Greater and a magical tattoo with the sharding effect, freeing up your amulet slot.

Just spit-balling here.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
An Amulet of Mighty Fists with the sharding property should do what you want.

I like this. For effect, you could probably convince your GM to make the "sharded" unarmed strike appear as a sort of spectral fist. If they need convincing, see if you can add a limited glamer effect to the item to simulate this. I'd say it shouldn't cost more than an additional 1000 gp (I'd allow for free, but that's me), as the effect would be limited to a single visual effect.

Alternatively, you could do the same thing to get a Dhalsim-like stretchy limbs effect! It's purely visual, so it wouldn't provide reach. Or any other effect you can imagine would work. I would say there would have to be some sort of visual effect, but I think "sharding" your fist or foot by the description of the effect is a bit... weird and creepy.

Player: "I throw my fist at him!"

GM: "What!? Gross!"

I understand this. I understand the need for rules. I just feel they can sometimes be too constricting, and oftentimes are very limiting to creative play. One could argue that, as none of these spells say they don't function when the character is blinded, they should still function for the blinded character, allowing them to only detect what the spells explicitly offer. Supporting that argument, Detect Magic/Greater and Detect Undead make absolutely no reference to "sight" or "seeing" (other than referencing line of sight) in any part of the description of how they function. Arcane Sight/Greater does make reference to sight/seeing, so I could kind of understand disallowing this, though the description says it "allows you to see magical auras", an ability which the character would not otherwise possess, blind or not. Additionally, however, it goes on to state "you KNOW the location and power of all magical auras within your sight", which doesn't necessarily mean you have to be able to "see", they just have to be within sight (likely meaning "line of sight" and within the range of the spell). The fact it says you "know" these things is not the same as saying "you are able to SEE" these things. It's a fine line. True Seeing is the only one which I feel would be a non-starter. Everything in that spell is actually reliant upon being able to see with your mundane eyes.

I'm just saying, by thinking outside of the box a little, it's easy to find ways to utilize magic that might bend the rules, but are completely valid interpretations.

There is one other thing I think people need to take into special consideration: This stuff is MAGIC, people. It isn't inherently restricted by natural law, as we know it. A spell that grants a special form of "sight" might not be hindered by traditional visual sight, as we know it. What happens if a blind wizard casts Detect Magic/Arcane Sight/True Seeing (or any other spell of this nature)? If you limit yourself to traditional thinking, these spells automatically fail for the blind wizard. I disagree with this interpretation. While the wizard would still be blind in the traditional sense (unable to detect the traditional, mundane world with their eyes), I believe they would gain a mystical sense (targeting? Perhaps) which would allow them "see" anything with a magical aura. They'll probably still run into the wall when they makes a run for the door, but it would be a clever way for the blind wizard to use magic to detect any enemies benefiting from magical gear or effects. In a dungeon where the area is permeating with magic, the blind wizard may even be able to maneuver as if possessing traditional sight while one of the more advanced spells was in effect. Detect Undead would work similarly, specifically in regards to undead, as far as being able to identify the locations of such creatures for the purpose of targeting the foul abominations.

Of course, that's just my interpretation. I like to think outside the box, and you pretty much have to suspend disbelief when you assume magic is a real thing for these characters.

Sorry for the late reply, Syrus.

The way you illustrate it is how I feel it should work. Move it into a target square and attempt a bull rush against the occupant. No save.

Alternatively, if a save were to apply, it should only be reflex. Move it into a target square and the occupant must attempt a reflex save or be shunted 5' and take some nonlethal damage. Save each round the sphere occupies the target's space.

Personally, I prefer the combat maneuver check. It makes it just that much more different than the flaming sphere.

Thanks for your input!

Casting Animate Thread...

Three years and nobody has answered anything about this spell. I was just looking over it myself tonight. I like the idea of variant versions of existing spells, such as this (as a variant to Flaming Sphere), which have different effects appropriate to a different element or what have you.

As the OP stated, Gusting Sphere states that it offers objects and a Fortitude save, and creatures get a Reflex save, both saves negate the spell, with a "see below" notation. Absolutely nowhere in the description of the spell is there any mention of saving throws. As well there should not be, as the primary effect of the spell is based around applying a combat maneuver to a target.

So, how to the saves come into play? Do they negate the damage? If so, why bother mentioning objects, as they are immune to non-lethal damage? Does it negate the Bull Rush? If so, this is super crappy for a level 2 spell. Roll a mediocre combat maneuver to see if the Bull Rush has any effect, then offer them a save against said combat maneuver? If we were comparing this to Flaming Sphere, it would be like forcing an attack roll with the sphere prior to offering the target a save.

What do these saves negate?

I find the _Ozy_/Diego discussion hilarious. Like eye-rolling hilarious. Everything I've read on these boards about effects referencing other effects using terminologies such as "similar to...", "as if using...", and like lingo, it is the overall consensus that the effect in question possesses all the advantages and limitation of the effect reference, with exceptions being anything explicitly expressed in the effect in question.

For example: The Shift supernatural ability from the teleportation sub-school of conjuration states the user teleports "as if using dimension door", with the explicit differences being the action required to activate, the range of the teleport, and that no passengers are allowed. Based on the dimension door reference, however, the community consensus is that shift has the same disorienting affect on the user, causing them to lose any actions remaining in the round after shift has been used.

So, here we have Arcane Sight. This is a spell which states its effects function "similar to Detect Magic", immediately calling out the exceptions (which are improvements). But that doesn't seem to be good enough here.

For the record, just because you can't or don't see something, that doesn't mean it's not within sight. You just don't see it. To be within sight, something has to not be behind TOTAL COVER. Like behind a wall! Invisibility is not cover, it's concealment. But more than that, it's a magical effect which is causing concealment. Magical effects have magical auras. I don't believe there is anything in the description of the invisibility spells which state that their magical aura is undetectable. If the target were to also have appropriate cover, then we would reference Detect Magic to determine if the cover were adequate enough to block Arcane Sight, which functions like detect magic, only better.

"This is a 3rd level spell, let's let it act like one."

Hmmm... True Seeing is a 5th to 7th level spell. Let's neuter it. :P

So, I decided I didn't want to be pissed off on my birthday weekend, so I ignored further responses from the rules lawyers for the remainder of the weekend.

wraithstrike: Thankfully, I don't play PFS. My GM is being a little weird about the True Seeing thing, though. Allow me to explain: This weekend we encountered a group of holy NPCs (clerics and paladins) who had been tasked to "keep trespassers from entering these lands, lest they bring back the dark one." After smoothing things over, we discover they had a caged "witch" whom they were planning to take back to a nearby city for an exorcism. First I use Detect Magic... no results. Then I use Detect Evil. Minuscule traces of evil detected. Then I cast True Seeing. I see a sinister, shadowy presence surrounding, penetrating, and enveloping the "witch" (just an old gypsy who became possessed). With True Seeing active, I turn to my comrades to advise them of what I was seeing. My GM did not permit me to see through the illusions and transmutations concealing the vampire in our midst (which is CLEARLY within the parameters of the spell). Nor did he allow me to see the demons (plural) possessing two of our party members in a very similar fashion. Our party cleric also used the same spells and took the same actions, and he was limited in what he saw the same as I.

It would seem I'm only permitted to see what is true (including any effects influencing the "soul") if I am explicitly looking for them. That's frustrating, because I'm not going to always know when to look through an illusion or transmutation, let alone when to expressly look into someone's soul.

Diego: I don't know where the soul is. I suppose that depends on your system of beliefs. Some believe it is inside of you. Others believe it surrounds you, like an aura or energy. Others may combine the two, or have a different perspective on it. I'm kind of the camp of folks who think it exists both inside you, and surrounds you. It penetrates you and binds you... like The Force. ;) But who's to say. I'm not really a religious or spiritual person any more (in real life), and I tend to think most religious and spiritual beliefs are nothing more than antiquated pseudosciences that the unenlightened still cling to, to the point of denying provable fact to their contrary, which hold us back (scientifically and intellectually) from our true potential as a species. (Greed is the other thing holding us back.) So, going off the assertion that souls exist in a fantasy role-playing game, where they exist is a topic for speculation.

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
The Pathfinder novel Death's Heretic does use a magic item that sounds like a Gem of Seeing to spot a soul trapped in a magic ring, but the novels don't really follow the rules when they get in the way of plot.

And thank you for siting an official Paizo example which supports my assertions. While it may not be official game rules, it is a Paizo Pathfinder product, and sets a precedent for such interpretations.

Holy Subtle Ambiguities, Batman! If I had noticed those two tiny words within the defined parameters of the spell beforehand, I probably would have never posed the question, or would have at least opened with using them as the foundation for my inquiry.

As they say, "the Devil is in the details", and these details are ACTUALLY open to undefined interpretation. Mwahahahahaha!

I am willing to admit that, BY ITSELF, True Seeing MAY not be able to pick up on some "things" that are "changed" if they are imperceptible to the naked eye (such as a soul). But... in conjunction with other spell affects (Detect Magic, Detect Alignment, Detect Convoluted Rules Lawyering, etc), True Seeing should allow the perception of "things" which would otherwise be undetectable with those spells alone. The demon-possessed character may not yet detect as evil via the spell Detect Evil, but True Seeing may reveal the evil soul residing within when used in conjunction with Detect Evil. Used with Detect Magic or Arcane Sight, it could flag an otherwise unnoticeable effect, such as a curse (it's a noun, so it's a "thing"), which has altered or "changed" a subject's true state of being.

While I would accept this as a caveat to detecting things otherwise imperceptible, I think a spell at the power level of True Seeing should always allow the recipient to see that "something" about the target of a curse, possession, or otherwise imperceptible "change" is "not right", "altered", "untrue", or........ "CHANGED".

I know everyone wants me to be wrong so that they can be right, but until you can tell me how Paizo and Pathfinder have defined the terms "changed" (as opposed to "polymorphed" and "transmuted") and "things" (as opposed to "creatures" and "objects") as they relate to this iteration of the d20 system, it is not possible to prove me wrong.

This is why I've repeatedly asked if there is anything "official" that precludes the detection of effects such as possessions and curses via True Seeing. And with these ambiguous words mixed into the officially defined parameters of the spell, I'm not wrong unless Paizo says so.


Or... Maybe everyone wants me to be wrong because they tried something similar, their GMs disallowed it, and they didn't notice the ambiguous terms gently nestled amongst the defined parameters?

I just realized there were two key words I missed on True Seeing that ARE open to interpretation! Here is the line, verbatim:

"The subject sees through normal and magical darkness, notices secret doors hidden by magic, sees the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, sees invisible creatures or objects normally, sees through illusions, and sees the true form of polymorphed, CHANGED, or transmuted THINGS."

Emphasis mine. "Changed", by process of elimination, is neither "polymorphed" nor "transmuted". And "things" is an amorphous term, not restricted to objects or creatures, so a "thing" could be anything definable, such as a soul.

Go ahead. Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me how wrong I am, how I am wrong, and in how many ways. *throws down gauntlet*

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Have you considered Truesight Goggle they're quite reasonably priced for what they do and they'll save you a spell known.

I have considered this item, but my character doesn't have the nearly 200,000 gold for the investment. But yes, I seriously considered liquidating some of my gear to make it happen.

The other problem, however, is I'm kind of anice undead slaying sniper (Sanctified Slayer with Final Rest inquisition), and my greater sniper goggles use the same slot.

Three spells isn't too bad. My party is 7 characters deep, so this would be more than I could cover in that scenario.

I don't think True Seeing is entirely worthless. I just feel the situations where it is actually better than other options are few and far enough between that it behooves a wizard or arcanist to have it in their spell book (or on a couple of scrolls), but a spontaneous caster with a limited number of spells known is likely to feel this is too circumstantial to warrant a permanent place in their limited selection. If seeing the truth through the magic was less restrictive, by RAW, it would be easier to justify. I always attempt to get as much mileage as possible from my utility spells to justify including them in my inquisitor's permanent memory.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The benefit of True Seeing is that it always works. Wasting a Dispel Magic on the enemy's Displacement sucks when you fail the CL check. True Seeing lets you or your ally see through all magical darkness, blur, displacement, illusions, without fail. In fact, when my crew realized we had forgot to have someone with daylight available, my oracle spammed True Seeing on the party to get them into the fight. Analyze Dweomer gives you an idea, True Seeing gives you a fact.

Yes, True Seeing guarantees that the recipient, and the recipient alone, can bypass a limited number of effects 100% of the time. How many level 5 or 6 spells are you going to cast to make that work for the whole party? What level do you have to be to consider "spamming" a level 5 or 6 spell??? I don't feel that getting around a few effects for combat purposes should be the focus of this spell. It's a utility spell. I feel what it does allow you to see as "true" should be more broadly encompassing. I don't want a trump-all spell. I want it to work as advertised in the first line of the spell. Even if that means it only last 1 ROUND per level. True Seeing gives you SOME facts, and that's the problem.

I think I would need to know more about your scenario to understand why someone would want to spam a high-level spell to get into a fight, where daylight would have sufficed had it been available. It was dark? You could spam True Seeing, but nobody had Light or an everburning torch? I'm guessing not, and it must have been a desperate scenario, but I can't see this being a regular thing. I'm imagining the party learned to have a lower level utility spell available at all times for those poor saps who cant see in the dark.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Belefauntes wrote:
Pit Fiend is a frog. Are situations like this a common occurrence or very, very, EXTREMELY rare ones?

At the levels where true seeing is a practical thing, shapeshifted baddies are relatively common -- and, as was pointed out above, detect magic is way too slow to be using in combat as a bad guy detector. ("Is there magic in that room?" "Yes, there is!" "How many magic things?" "Several, and one is now eating your face!")

And from what I've read, Phantasmal Killer isn't trumped by True Seeing because it is a mind-affecting spell, not a visual illusion.

You're wrong again. There's even a FAQ about It.

It sure WOULD be nice to have a single divination spell that sees the truth of everything viewed,

There is. It's called true seeing. Unfortunately, a frog possessed by a demon is truly a frog, and a person blinded by a curse spell is truly blind.

No, Dispel Magic is not a guarantee. But if it works, it does work for everyone, which I feel makes it better.
So use it instead. No one is forcing you to memorize a spell you don't understand.

1. If a spell caster is using Detect Magic as a bad guy detector, they deserve to have their face ripped off. A slightly better option would be a permanent Arcane Sight. But if your adventurers aren't expecting everything to try to rip off their faces, they will learn to do so soon enough.

2. I hadn't read the FAQ on that, just ran across the debate on these here forums. I'll concede the point. That's good though! I want True Seeing to have more utility! That is why I posted here in the first place!

3. Even with the addition of the Phantasmal Killer caveat, True Seeing does not see all magically altered truth. If a lich uses Magic Jar to take residence in the party Wizard (the obvious choice because they will have everything necessary spell casting), how is the party wizard not now actually the lich? Is the person defined by their physical form, or the consciousness occupying the meat puppet? If a spell creates a persistent effect (such as blindness) that is not actually permanent, how is that different than a persistent effect that changes their physical form? The magic is causing something that is untrue to be temporarily true. Is the transmuted character any more able to shake off the baleful polymorph than the cursed blind guy? Is the effect any less real for them? No. These are both situations where the truth is altered for a limited duration, and both are reversible. I would concede that it would be more difficult to detect a subtle change, such as blindness being caused by an persistent effect versus person is a dog. Nevertheless, the fact of whether or not an effect is a transmutation doesn't make the effect any less "real" to the individual being affected. And that reality is false, as it is magically induced and temporary.

4. I use Dispel Magic plenty. I JUST gained access to 5th level inquisitor spells, and was really hopeful that True Seeing would have a lot more usefulness than it appears to have. I'm very disappointed with the apparent limitations of the spell. Were it more useful, I would still use Dispel Magic, but I would consider True Seeing to be a powerful tool in my toolbox. Not so much, now, it would seem.

I don't understand how people think this spell is so great with all the restrictions they seem to want to pile onto it. If it only trumps illusions and transmutations, that's very limited. I can imagine a great many other scenarios where being able to see the truth through the magic would not involve illusions and transmutations. I get to pick TWO level 5 spells. I don't want to waste half of that on a utility spell that has such restricted "utility". I WANT True Seeing to actually be useful. By these limitations, I can imagine a plethora of methods a GM could use to get around True Seeing, simply by saying "Yeah, but wasn't an illusion or transmutation effect, so neener-neener-neener."

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Belefauntes wrote:
The only scenarios I can imagine where True Seeing is FAR superior to the Detect Magic/Arcane Sight plus Dispel Magic/Greater scenario?
Yes, yes, we've already established, more or less from the first post, that you lack imagination.

I'll let this slide, even though it is direct libel on my personal character, since I implied something similar in the form of a question earlier. Nevertheless, I asked it as a question, not as a statement or direct insult. I assure you, I have a lot of imagination. Apparently players aren't allowed to use that tool, though. It seems to be restricted to GMs who wish to slaughter their parties.

Unless True Seeing has far more utility than the rigid text examples, it's just not economical to waste a high level spell upon.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
So don't waste the slot. No one's forcing you to. If you want to burn a 6th level slot on analyze dweomer instead, that's even more circumstantial. You could memorize guards and wards. Or, alternatively, you could go for "economy" and memorize summon monster VI if you think that's a better choice.

You are absolutely correct in that no one is forcing me to use or learn True Seeing. Analyze Dweomer is no more circumstantial than Detect Magic or Arcane Sight, which have far more utility than True Seeing, and Analyze Dweomer tells you every detail about a magical effect instantly. Details like "this is too powerful for me to bother trying to dispel" as just one simple example. Guards and Wards is a great spell that does a lot of things if you are playing the right campaign. I get that this example was intended to illustrate circumstantially useful spells, but I do believe it's far more powerful than True Seeing. Summon Monster VI is a great spell, too. As a wizard, more targets for the bad guys to waste their actions upon = party is winning. My character is an inquisitor, so those aren't options for him.

My point is that, no matter how useful you may or may not think True Seeing might be, it seems to be far more limited than it should be, when compared to alternatives and like-level spells. That is, if you restrict your train of thought to nothing beyond the examples given in the spell description.

Pit Fiend is a frog. Are situations like this a common occurrence or very, very, EXTREMELY rare ones?

True Seeing isn't without it's EXTREMELY RARE uses, but they are just that. Apparently, it won't show me that the frog is simply possessed by a Pit Fiend, or Magic Jarred, or anything else that isn't explicitly an illusion or transmutation. Maybe the frog just has some kind of contingency summon cast on it, and attempting to cast Dispel Magic is the trigger (triggering before the Dispel is actually finished)! Now Dispel Magic does the same thing, but True Seeing was useless. I can think like an evil GM, too.

And from what I've read, Phantasmal Killer isn't trumped by True Seeing because it is a mind-affecting spell, not a visual illusion. It's in the mind's eye. Personally, I think that's lame, but I could understand that argument. I may not think it's right, but I'm pretty sure I read that that was the consensus.

It sure WOULD be nice to have a single divination spell that sees the truth of everything viewed, but True Seeing, apparently, is not it. Maybe it should be called Limited, Mostly, or Kinda True Seeing. Is there a more powerful version of this spell? I sure didn't see a "Greater" or even "Mythic" version anywhere.

No, Dispel Magic is not a guarantee. But if it works, it does work for everyone, which I feel makes it better.

The only scenarios I can imagine where True Seeing is FAR superior to the Detect Magic/Arcane Sight plus Dispel Magic/Greater scenario? Multiple staggered illusion and transmutation effects. Likelihood of this scenario happening often enough to worry about True Seeing? Minuscule. So much so, that I can't see the point of True Seeing. True Seeing needs to have a wider range of utility, again in my humble opinion, to be considered far superior to lower level options. Greater Dispel Magic (level 6, like True Seeing) can defeat multiple effects in a 20' radius for everyone in the party, making it still a better option than True Seeing.

The other factor here is economy. Any spellcaster worth their salt is going for the most bang for their buck. By the time you get 5th or 6th level spells, it's much easier to throw away some lower level spells, but those high level slots are too valuable to be selfish with. Unless True Seeing has far more utility than the rigid text examples, it's just not economical to waste a high level spell upon. If it lasted an hour per level? Okay, that would be a lot better. Ten minutes per level? Better, but now it's a maybe option. One minute per level? That's a couple of encounters if you're rushing the dungeon and have good reason to expect illusions and transmutations. The utility to economy just isn't good enough if you limit it to the few examples given in the spell text. This is (supposed to be) a POWERFUL divination. But it isn't. It's garbage if it can be trumped by lesser spells. And it can be. I'm not even all that well versed in all that is Pathfinder, and I can easily blow True Seeing away with lower level spells. And just core spells! I'm sure there are spells from other sources that would make the job even easier.

By the responses I've seen, there are very few scenarios where True Seeing is a markedly superior option to using lesser spells in conjunction with skills. Most of the time, it seems it's just a little faster and more efficient. In my humble opinion, not a good enough reason to blow a 5th or 6th level spell slot (or one of your limited number of known spells, if you're a spontaneous caster).

I'll submit, I let myself get a little worked up, and for that I apologize. That doesn't change how I feel on the subject, however. I'd much rather use Detect Magic (cantrip/orison) to see that an illusion or transmutation is magical, spend a couple of rounds figuring out what it is, then cast Dispel Magic (Level 3 versus Level 5 or 6) to make the effect go away and allow all of my companions to see the reality. See Invisibility is level 2 (3 if you're a bard), and Glitterdust (level 2) counters that for everyone. Blur? Dispel Magic. Displacement? Dispel Magic. Transmutation? Dispel Magic. Illusion? Dispel Magic. A cantrip (Detect Magic), a level 2 spell (See Invisibility), and a level 3 spell (Dispel Magic) and trump just about anything that True Seeing can see reveal, and for the ENTIRE PARTY (not just the recipient). If you don't want to waste your time identifying the effect using Detect Magic, just cast Dispel Magic on the unidentified effect! It's not that difficult to get a permanent Detect Magic. At worst, you spend 12.5 gold on a scroll of Detect Magic, 3,825 gold to buy a scroll of Permanency, and use Use Magic Device to put it on yourself. Not a spellcaster? No problem! Drink a potion of Read Magic. You might spend a little more if you fail the first time. See Invisibility permanently? Increase the above by 137.5 gold for that. Raise the first price by 367.5 gold to get permanent Arcane Sight instead of Detect Magic! Permanent Detect Magic or Arcane Sight and See Invisibility will defeat many of the situations where True Seeing is useful. If you can cast Dispel Magic, that defeats the rest.

Dispel Magic for the win!

Can you see why I feel True Seeing should do more than simply what is expressed the rigid text examples? By the time you are level 12 or 13, you should have the funds available to get a couple of permanent enchantments. It's all the more easy if you're an Arcanist, Sorcerer, or Wizard, as all these spells are on your class list, thus requiring no UMD check. Alchemist, Inquisitor, Magus, or Witch? Arcane Sight is on your list, so you only need to worry about the Permanency scrolls. Magus? Gotta roll UMD for that See Invisibility, too (I find that odd, as they are a gish class, and this spell would make fighting easier for them). Point being, with appropriate cash resources, you easily eliminate many scenarios where True Seeing is mildly superior, and if you can cast Dispel Magic (or UMD a wand of Dispel Magic), you can eliminate EVERY OTHER SCENARIO for you AND your comrades.

As much a fan as I am of the d20 system, ever since the system focused more on the law of the letter (since 3.0), it becomes ever more difficult to actually be... CREATIVE. "Well, the spell doesn't say you can do it, so you can't do it" is the prevalent modus operandi nowadays.

Are you suggesting that a person possessed by a demon is not BOTH the demon AND the person at the same time simply because it's not an illusion or transmutation effect? Balderdash! I submit that IF an entity is occupying a vessel (that is, another entity's body), the vessel is nothing more than a ruse that obfuscates the reality of the occupying entity. In other words, my friend is my friend, but she is also the demon. The demon just looks like my friend. The fact that it is neither an illusion nor a transmutation does not change this FACT, nor does it change the FACT that this is being done through magical (not mundane) means.

The lycanthrope example... that's a fair call. It makes sense. I can easily accept that as a valid interpretation of the rules.

The gimpy leg curse example... I don't accept. The only reason that leg is gimpy is because it is altered by magic. While not an illusion or transmutation effect, the FACT is it is gimpy because persistent magic (not an instantaneous effect that leaves a lasting limp forever) which can be removed is causing the leg to be gimpy. Stating that True Seeing wouldn't reveal the fully functional leg is a much harder pill for me to swallow.

It really gets my ire going when the law of the letter is the only interpretation people are willing to accept. "It's not an illusion or transmutation, so it doesn't count. Neener-neener-neener!" Really? If I find an abjuration, evocation, necromancy, enchantment, divination, universal or (gods forbid) PSYCHIC spell which temporarily alters reality, True Seeing simply fails to see the truth because they are not officially illusions or transmutations? How limited. In usefulness, logical, and creativity, this is a limited way of approaching anything which might be prone to interpretation. Honestly, how many rules (feats, spells, etc) in Pathfinder are simply broken or useless because of poor design and the law of the letter (RAW), but in descriptive text should be awesome!? I've lost count. I sure hope my GM is less restrictive in his interpretation.

There is absolutely ZERO point to descriptive text or creative titles if the prevalent approach is to only use the rigid law of the letter, and nothing beyond. Does anyone here actually role-play, or do they just roll-play? I don't know why I ask questions here anymore. Everyone is a rules lawyer robot. This spell should be called "See Through Illusions, Transmutations, and Natural Darkness", but that still might be to flavorful! At least it seems to describe what everyone believes it can do.

ARGH!!! I feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall!

You all win. True Seeing does nothing beyond see through illusions and transmutations. I should remove it from my list of knows spells, because it is going to do absolutely NOTHING for me that I couldn't already do with adequate skill ranks combined with lesser spells. It's a pointless spell.

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:

Detect Magic is garbage in combat. It also doesn't let you see through illusions or transmutations to see what's actually there. Three rounds with Detect Magic tells you that woman is under the effects of some transmutation, maybe a buff like Owl's Wisdom. True Seeing tells you instantly it's a Succubus.

Analyze Dweomer can't tell you it's a Succubus, just that's it's under an Alter Self effect. Nor could it tell you that an enemy is hiding in ambush behind an illusionary wall rather than an empty hallway. Nothing but True Seeing can do that. It's a good spell.

Detect Magic will still tell you something has a magical aura without any real effort (unless it's invisible... and you don't have See Invisibility active). Will it see through an illusion or transmutation? No. Will it tell you they have a magical aura? Yes. True Seeing has a slight edge here, but not a big one, in my opinion.

Analyze Dweomer (Detect Magic on crack) will tell you, the instant you look at them, that they are under a caster level 12 Alter Self effect with an indefinite duration. Does that raise any flags!? It will also tell you that the wall is an illusion, and all the details of that illusion, as soon as you come within range (my bad... analyze dweomer has a range limit, not line of sight). True Seeing has a slight edge with range and the ability to see through it, but that's only a small edge if you can tell it's an illusion in the first place.

True Seeing shouldn't just be a "good" spell. For it's level, it should be a great one! If the succubus is in disguise (Change Self -> Alter Self), it's trying to deceive the party. Let the party face talk to the succubus while the guy with Detect Magic active analyzes the magical aura. Not as good as True Seeing through it, but after a few rounds (18 seconds of talking), the Detect Magic guy knows there is a deception. If that same guy is an Inquisitor (and in my case, he is), he can then Detect Alignment (say, EVIL) at will. The succubus will definitely detect as evil. Now we know there is a deception and it is evil. Most parties don't need a whole lot more to decide to roll initiative. It's not as good as True Seeing, but I don't feel True Seeing is a whole lot better. Saves you a few rounds of conversation, in this situation. Or of analyzing the illusory wall and then attempting a Dispel Magic (one of my known spells). True Seeing should be more than just a little better than other (considerably lower level) methods. And it should do considerably more.

I could argue that Detect Magic would let me know that the disguised Vampire has a magical aura, but that is a given at level 13. We're dripping with magical gear! True Seeing is much better in this situation, yes. I could also argue that Detect Magic would reveal a magical aura on the demon-possessed character, but the same caveat applies. Magical gear. Why would I bother looking further into that, unless I see the character do something inherently evil and against their nature? True Seeing should help here, bypassing those caveats.

For True Seeing to be significantly superior (as it should be) to the likes of Detect Magic, See Invisibility, and Low-Light/Darkvision, it has to be TRUE Seeing. It has to see what is true, with absolute accuracy (barring mundane deceptions, which are also true as they are actually REAL), 100% of the time. This is a powerful divination effect which reveals "all things as they actually are" (within 120'). A character possessed by a demon actually IS both the character AND the demon. A character cursed to have a gimpy leg actually has a perfectly good leg, but is magically altered to be gimpy. Compulsions are more complicated, but a combination of Detect Magic and True Seeing should reveal that the character is under some magical influence without too much investigation. Obviously, Analyze Dweomer is the ultimate trump card with these situations, as it tells you EXACTLY what's going on (as far as magical effects), but True Seeing should at least let you know that "something" is going on, magically, that is altering the norm.

Diego Rossi wrote:

The possessed creature is:

- under blur or displacement effects? No
- invisible? No
- the possessing demon is invisible? ... depend on what he used, but if it is a form of magic jar the reply is No.
- an illusion? No
- polymorphed, changed, or transmuted? No
- in the Ethereal Plane? Again, it depend on how the possession was achieved, but if it is magic jar, No.

I don't know what effect or spell was used, if any, to cause the demon possession. What I do know (metagaming knowledge) is that both the demon AND the host occupy the host body simultaneously. The demon talks to the host (in her head). The demon influences her actions. Occasionally, the demon takes control of the host body, putting the host soul/mind/whatever in the backseat, but still there. Both individuals are occupying the host body at the same time. Our games do use a lot of GM FIAT when it comes to the rule of cool. If the GM wants a good story effect and nothing in the official materials does it exactly the way they want it to work, that's when GM FIAT comes into play. It's quite possible there is no official Pathfinder spell or supernatural power in play here, that it is instead something completely made up by the GM. In these situations, we must think outside the box (system RAW), and delve more into the RAI and creative uses of how things could or might work.

This is the entire reason for my questions here. I'm a creative thinker. I base a lot of my interpretations of gaming materials on the RAI and descriptive texts, preferring to not let the rules get in my way unless they specifically call out against something. This is why I was looking for some official ruling. If there is an official ruling that states True Seeing will not reveal when someone is being possessed, or when they are being magically or supernaturally influenced against their nature. What exactly can True Seeing "see"? What can it not "see"? I would concede that if a character were influenced by a compulsion, such as Dominate Person, and was instructed to "act normal", the GM should hand-wave that True Seeing doesn't reveal the compulsion. If I wanted to be more "rulesy", I'd suggest a Bluff vs Sense Motive, but only if the subject of True Seeing were specifically analyzing the individual under the compulsion. A cursory glance which included the compelled individual in the field of view would not reveal the compulsion because of the mundane deception being used to disguise it.

A demon possession is more complicated than the compulsion example. In the compulsion example, the source of the compulsion is not occupying the compelled individual. A demon possession involves a demon actually occupying the individual.

As far as Magic Jar... why do you assert that True Seeing would not reveal this? True Seeing reveals things to be as they actually are. With Magic Jar, the caster is occupying a meat suit. The meat suit is NOT the host anymore, it is now the caster of Magic Jar. It just LOOKS like the host (and possesses its physical qualities). I believe that True Seeing SHOULD reveal the meat suit to actually be the individual who is occupying the meat suit. Explain why you believe the contrary. My explanation is that the meat suit is no longer the host, it now IS the caster of Magic Jar. That's the reality.

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Do you think a smiling person who is actually sad registers as sad via True Seeing? Because that's the absurd result you'er heading towards. You see things as they really are, as in some magical effect is distorting your sight. (Uh, plus regular darkness.) That's it. And that's plenty!

For the record... No, that's not plenty. That's barely better than a combination of Detect Magic (without actually revealing magical auras or allowing identification of magical effects), See Invisibility, and Low-Light Vision (just to see through the mundane darkness). My character has 120' Darkvision. He has persistent Detect Magic. He has a magic item that confers persistent See Invisibility. So, by your assertion, True Seeing is all but worthless to him. I'd be better off letting the wizard use Analyze Dweomer, and be done with it.

No. That's garbage. A same level spell can instantly give every statistic on every magical item and effect within line of sight with 100% accuracy as a FREE action, but True Seeing can't reveal that "something" is magically or supernaturally influencing a target? Why would anyone ever cast True Seeing when they could replicate it (in some way better, in some ways a little worse) with a few lower level spells? True Seeing has to be better, and not just by a little bit.

I realize the concept could get really absurd. I wouldn't go that far, but was stating I could see an argument for such things.

The real question came down to MAGICAL AND SUPERNATURAL effects which influence the reality of the target, not mundane effects. Donning make-up, a fake mustache and a wig to create a mundane disguise (Disguise skill), adopting a fake limp and impersonating a regional accent (Bluff skill), or concealing a dagger up your sleeve (Sleight of Hand skill), as far as I can tell, would not be affected/detected by True Seeing as they are mundane effects which don't really alter reality. By extension, your example of the sad person pretending to be happy (Bluff skill, again) would not be affected/detected by the spell.

However, a monster/NPC/PC acting against their nature due to the influence of a magical compulsion effect might be a grey area. The spell allows the recipient to see things as they actually are. That's a powerful statement for a single-purpose spell that is (traditionally) acquired at level 12 or higher. Two-thirds of your magical career to get to that level of magic. It should be fairly powerful. On the same power level, and in a similar vein, is the Analyze Dweomer spell, which allows the caster to know EVERY DETAIL about any and all magical items and effects withing line of sight (no range limit, perse) as a FREE ACTION, for a minimum of 12 rounds. I'm not asking if True Seeing actually identifies the effect that's causing the perception of reality to be altered. Rather, will True Seeing allow the recipient to see, at the very least, that a magical effect is altering the target's reality?

I think demon possession is an interesting subject for this spell, as the subject being viewed is actually two beings. One is the host, which everyone sees. The other is a demon, disguised as the host. I'll try a simpler example. The Merge with Familiar spell allows the caster to caster to merge their familiar into their own body. Would True Seeing reveal this, showing both the caster and familiar when merged? If so, and I believe it would, this sets a precedent for the demon possession example. Granted, this is a transmutation effect which physically alters the two combined subjects of the spell, but it's not much different than demon possession, which also physically alters the host (at the very least, by increasing ability scores, granting poison and electrical resistance, and bestowing damage reduction, during the possession).

I don't expect True Seeing to have any influence over mundane effects. An enemy with a +30 stealth bonus because they're super freaky sneaky isn't going to be any easier to spot with True Seeing (provided they aren't also using Invisibility). It isn't going to see through the ruses of the most gifted charlatan in the realms. Or reveal the most talented master of disguise. Or detect a guy standing behind a tree. The things to which I'm referring are specifically effects which MAGICALLY OR SUPERNATURALLY alter the behavior or nature of a target to something other than its normal state. If another spell of the exact same level can completely identify every single magical item and effect within line of sight with 100% accuracy, down to the number of charges remaining, the caster level of the item or effect in question, etc, etc... then surely True Seeing can let the recipient know, at the very least, that "something is magically or supernaturally influencing Bob" who is demon-possessed or cursed or under a compulsion. "Something" is a pretty vague word, but could be enough to give cause for further investigation. For the record, if Bob is being influenced by blackmail from the local Thieves' Guild, True Seeing would not reveal that... it's a mundane effect.

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