Radical Idea: Make Detect Magic a use of the Spellcraft skill


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Hey, the title already gives it away.

I would suggest to incorporate detect magic into the spellcraft skill.
SW SAGA does something similar with Use The Force, which I really liked.

I think the "Magical Senses" should be a natural gift all spellcasters should possess, and making it a spell is somewhat stupid.
Yeah cantrips can be used at will now, but still SC have to select Detect magic as one of them or it's going the: "Sorry, don't know if there's magic around, can't remember the spell right now."

SIDENOTE: In my games, I made the feat "Magical Aptitude" which is needed to train and use the Spellcraft skill. Naturally Spellcasting classes get it for free at first level.
(Just similar to the Force Sensitive feat from SW:SAGA)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Detect Magic is a sacred cow, leave it as a spell. Want to update it to use Spellcraft like Identify does, cool.


Besides you can cast Detect magic unlimted times a day now


Joey Virtue wrote:
Besides you can cast Detect magic unlimted times a day now

Have you actually read my post? - Just wondering.

But never the less, it remains stupid, sorry.
To require a spell to detect and see magic is just stupid.
If the cow is sick and handicaped, butcher it - sacred or not.


I don't hate the idea, but it does harken to the idea of change for the sake of change.

So while I agree with your ideas (and really like the idea of a 'magically aware' feat for spellcasting (lord how it bugs me when characters just up and decide to take a level of spellcasting "just for kicks")), I believe a change like that is outside the boundaries of the intent behind PFRPG.

Of course, much of PFRPG feels like change for change's sake to me, so I guess it's not that strong of an argument after all.


Would like to see Spellcraft operate as Detect Magic. Perhaps require a feat to do so at most. The only backwards compatibility issue would be the removal of a single spell and changing how a single skill works.

I dont see this as a change for the sake of change issue. It is very reasonable that a spellcaster would be inherently sensitive to magical energy and thus able to use Spellcraft as if it were Detect Magic. In fact, in the bulk of fantasy literature and a good many other game systems, this is the case.

I may just ask our DM to house rule that if it doesnt go into PFRPG.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


Yeah, that's why I usually rule that they need to take the feat first, to be able to multiclass into spellcasting classes.

I NEVER liked this before too. "Ok, I am a fighter/rogue, but being able to use some small magic is just SOO cool, so I just take a level in sorcerer now."

Yeah, right. Why? Does it just pop out or what? The same with wizards. They studies all their life to get to first level and when you're around you can just "instinctivly" become a wizard? That's just stupid...

... and a really good point where training time is needed!


Spellcraft is used in Detect Magic already to find out the school of the aura of magic being detected. That is all I really see the need for that skill in that spell.

Maybe a caster level check to overcome some horrible *thing* associated with the detection.

Maybe make a larger grade of auras that if you detect it, you must make a caster level check or get affected, like, you look at a dracolich and go sterile. Something like that.

Scarab Sages

All kinds of fantasy literature support the ability to sense magic without having to actually cast something to do it. I'm all for the idea. Green Ronin's True Sorcery does exactly that quite well.


daysoftheking wrote:
All kinds of fantasy literature support the ability to sense magic without having to actually cast something to do it. I'm all for the idea. Green Ronin's True Sorcery does exactly that quite well.

Well, I have read, at least, five DnD associated novels (not including ravenloft) and I distinctly remember, at least once, I believe, a wizard casting Detect Magic.

I cannot be sure though, I haven't read enough DnD novels to argue over the point.

Actually, here's this: in the Dungeon's and Dragons worlds (yes, all of them) there is a spell called Detect Magic which has been around since the mid-1970's. I have never seen fault with its practice, nor the inability to cast the spell at nearly any convenience. It lasts just so long as to be useful, and I have never, in 20 years of playing the game, had a party go astray because the mage lacked the intuition to cast it appropriately, if not far too often.

As stated by my earlier post, Spellcraft IS a part of Detect Magic, and I am sure that Paizo is not so hard-pressed to change what is not broken.

I was under the consideration that Pathfinder is to improve on 3.5, not make cosmetic changes just so they can say, "look at me,I'm different."

Changing the function of Detect Magic to be autonomous would be like having the rogue automatically know if a room is trapped. Which, like many dungeons I have partaken of usually is like this: "You see a room. On the far end of the room is a metal plate. Poised above the plate is a flaming ball of magma covered in vorpal swords."

Well, if the rogue autonomously has the ability to detect traps, there is not problem. He's all over that. But otherwise he may have to dispense with the intuition to come up with the idea to look for them.

So, chances are, if you are in the Temple of Horrors and see a grimacing devil head on the wall and DON'T cast Detect Magic, you probably don't need to, because you already know its there.

Regardless, if by the time you get to the Temple of Horrors you should have enough 0 level spell to throw around that wasting the two seconds of speech required to say you are casting it that it would not matter.

I am not trying to start a fight, just to put an end to this discussion.


Putting detect magic into spellcraft is nothing other then using it as a cantrip right now.

The ONLY difference is that spellcaster wouldn't need to use one of their cantrip slot to be able to use it.
That's all!

It was never the point to let spellcasters AUTOMATICLY sense if magic is around, only the need of actually CASTING A SPELL to detect the precense of magic should be "deleted". Time and actions required should naturally remain the same!

And as you said, Detect magic does effectivly nothing else as allowing a spellcraft check for a special use.
That's just unnecessary, my POV. Sacred cow or not.


chaoticprime wrote:
I was under the consideration that Pathfinder is to improve on 3.5, not make cosmetic changes just so they can say, "look at me,I'm different."

Funny that seemed to be the guiding principle of many changes in 3.5, come up w/a bunch of changes so it will look more like something worth your $90 to rebuy the 3 core books. That said I'm nto a fan of change for the sake of change, just look at how awful it has turned out for most of the new World of Darkness books from White Wolf. Altho Changeling is excellent, I was pleasantly shocked.


DracoDruid wrote:

Putting detect magic into spellcraft is nothing other then using it as a cantrip right now.

The ONLY difference is that spellcaster wouldn't need to use one of their cantrip slot to be able to use it.
That's all!

It was never the point to let spellcasters AUTOMATICLY sense if magic is around, only the need of actually CASTING A SPELL to detect the precense of magic should be "deleted". Time and actions required should naturally remain the same!

And as you said, Detect magic does effectivly nothing else as allowing a spellcraft check for a special use.
That's just unnecessary, my POV. Sacred cow or not.

It's not Sacred Cow at all. I should not even have mentioned the legacy of the spell. My point is, Cantrips are not a major concern. Why change it, its a waste of printed ink.

You are arguing that you are concerned that you have to deplete one of your cantrip slots. You get infinite cantrips in Pathfinder. That's like being frugal about spending a penny.


chaoticprime wrote:
You are arguing that you are concerned that you have to deplete one of your cantrip slots. You get infinite cantrips in Pathfinder. That's like being frugal about spending a penny.

That is not entirely accurate. You dont get infinite cantrips. You get a set number of cantrips that you can "socket" for use as at will abilities. But that number is finite, just the uses of them are not. If you dont have that 0-level select then it becomes "didnt socket that spell, too bad." which is not acceptable to me for such an integral aspect of being a caster.

I agree with Draco's concept of including Detect Magic into the description of Spellcraft. It would not take any more text space, since this would simply mean relocation of existing text (from spells to skills) not actual addition of new text. And as i said before, it makes reasonable sense that spellcasters or those trained in the use of spellcraft would be inherently sensitive to detecting magic and not require an actual spell, even one as minor as a 0-level.

-Weylin Stormcrowe

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
chaoticprime wrote:

Changing the function of Detect Magic to be autonomous would be like having the rogue automatically know if a room is trapped. Which, like many dungeons I have partaken of usually is like this: "You see a room. On the far end of the room is a metal plate. Poised above the plate is a flaming ball of magma covered in vorpal swords."

Well, if the rogue autonomously has the ability to detect traps, there is not problem. He's all over that. But otherwise he may have to dispense with the intuition to come up with the idea to look for them.

Well traps are not detected automatically but there is some precedence. Two racial abilities spring to mind.

The d20 3.5 SRD wrote:

Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.

&
An elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.

So why not make detection of magic passive. Basic Yes or no info without initiating the search, more detailed information with study and use of the Spellcraft skill.

I also propose the use of a feat (arcane sense or something) that all arcane casters have to have. Make it a bonus feat to characters who take an arcane class at first level and make others spend a feat if they want to take any arcane casting levels. In this I am with DracoDruid and we have had this in our house rules for years.


Why do you want to bone illusions?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Radiun wrote:
Why do you want to bone illusions?

Wow how did I miss that. As most sources I have found confirm that detect magic does not see invisible creatures. We have always used the rule that since detect magic can be thwarted by a fairly common spell (magic aura) and since illusion spells are designed to deceive that illusions do not register. I have, however, no official sources to back that.

Contributor

I like this idea a lot, but in the end I prefer to leave it a spell to maintain backward compatibility and just because it can be cast into wands and stuff that other non-casters can use with UMD (or is that going away?).

Contributor

Weylin Stormcrowe 798 wrote:
chaoticprime wrote:
You are arguing that you are concerned that you have to deplete one of your cantrip slots. You get infinite cantrips in Pathfinder. That's like being frugal about spending a penny.

That is not entirely accurate. You dont get infinite cantrips. You get a set number of cantrips that you can "socket" for use as at will abilities. But that number is finite, just the uses of them are not. If you dont have that 0-level select then it becomes "didnt socket that spell, too bad." which is not acceptable to me for such an integral aspect of being a caster.

I agree with Draco's concept of including Detect Magic into the description of Spellcraft. It would not take any more text space, since this would simply mean relocation of existing text (from spells to skills) not actual addition of new text. And as i said before, it makes reasonable sense that spellcasters or those trained in the use of spellcraft would be inherently sensitive to detecting magic and not require an actual spell, even one as minor as a 0-level.

-Weylin Stormcrowe

There's no reason that Detect Magic has to go away for this type of thing to happen. I would actually give the Wizard (and only the Wizard) a class ability at 1st level called Arcane Sense (Su) that allows a Wizard to get a free Perception check like an Elf for secret doors, to sense that there is magic within a certain number of feet, like maybe 10 ft. To know exactly what the source is, it's strength, how many different auras there are, and what it's school is, he would then have to use the Detect Magic spell.

To compensate the Sorcerer, maybe you could give them an ability that allows them to sense other sorcerers or creatures with spellcasting ability "in their blood".
But for the Wizard, you might see this played out in-game like this:

GM notices that the Wizard has come within 10 ft. of a wand hidden in a dungeon room and makes a secret check. [perhaps a DC of 20]
GM announces: "Felstaff you have started to sense a magical aura nearby."
Felstaff's Player: "Really? OK. I begin to walk around the room some more noting when I feel it and when I don't."
GM goes through the motions until the player has the general idea of where it might be coming from, but the PCs have failed to find the hidden item.
Felstaff's Player: "Stand back everyone. I'm going to cast a spell that will help me locate the hidden magic and ascertain it's power and perhaps even its function. Abra caddabra!"
GM tells the PC where it is and then they begin to make Spellcraft rolls to determine power and school(s) of magic.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts the poster started getting my thinking up. There's probably some flaws in the idea, but it sounds kind of cool to me. ;)


I'm really not sure what the problem is here. I think that Detect Magic does have some usefulness and shouldn't be removed. While it is true that some items should be seen as magical, a wizard shouldn't just look at any item and automatically know that it is magical.

The fact is that some items are obviously magical - wands, potions, and scrolls (when read by a caster). Other items, such as weapons can have a glow to them or other obvious effect that would let the person know inherently that they are magical. Other items, such as a ring or even a weapon or armor could look just like a masterwork item and would only be known to be magical with Detect Magic.

The wizard equivalent to elf-dar is a possible solution that is an in between. Unfortunately, it really doesn't have any effect for many adventuring parties. I can almost guarantee that the typical wizard will either perceive or not perceive a magical item amongst some treasure, be usure whether he got all of them, and then just cast Detect Magic anyway. So why not just skip the middle man and just leave in Detect Magic.


I am STILL not saying to let casters automaticly detect magic around!
I am just saying that it's bad fluff that Detect Magic is a spell.
That's all.

Take the text AS IS, from Detect Magic and put it under the Spellcraft check as a new use.
Done.

That way, casters don't have to use one of their cantrip slots for detect magic (which everybody would do for sure).


Steve Greer wrote:

There's no reason that Detect Magic has to go away for this type of thing to happen. I would actually give the Wizard (and only the Wizard) a class ability at 1st level called Arcane Sense (Su) that allows a Wizard to get a free Perception check like an Elf for secret doors, to sense that there is magic within a certain number of feet, like maybe 10 ft. To know exactly what the source is, it's strength, how many different auras there are, and what it's school is, he would then have to use the Detect Magic spell.

To compensate the Sorcerer, maybe you could give them an ability that allows them to sense other sorcerers or creatures with spellcasting ability "in their blood".
But for the Wizard, you might see this played out in-game like this:

GM notices that the Wizard has come within 10 ft. of a wand hidden in a dungeon room and makes a secret check. [perhaps a DC of 20]
[i]GM announces: "Felstaff...

I see no practical reason why such an ability would be limited only to wizards. Full-blown caster (Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids, and Clerics) possibly but not just wizards. Personally, i would grant it to any caster as soon as they rached a level where they could cast except a rogue who acquired his spells through the rogue talent Minor Magic and Major Magic.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


I REALLY like this idea. I have sorta been doing this in my home brew game but not really putting numbers or huge thought to it. i have used it more as a sense and just told players when then sense something magical but these boards have given me new ideas as well as great food for thought.

I play the ability to further the RP value of things, telling them they sense a hot magic item when they are near a wand of burning hands and or passing near where some magical event has recently or maybe long ago happened and the echo is still there. For me it's less about the mechanic and more RP but these ideas for the mechanic are great.

Thanks


I like this idea alot but how about doing it similar to the artificer knowledge bonus from eberron. A caster can make a special magical knowledge check with a bonus equal to spellcasting class levels + int modifier to to determine if an object is magical. DC 15 determines the object is magical but does not reveal the specific powers of the item.
To know what it can do futher study is required detect magic and identify.


This also opens up possible new feats:

Subtle Magic: applying a penalty to any attempt to sense the presence of spells the character casts.

Subtle Enchantment: applying a penalty to any attempt to sense the presence of magical items the character creates.

so on and so forth.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


DracoDruid wrote:

I am STILL not saying to let casters automaticly detect magic around!

I am just saying that it's bad fluff that Detect Magic is a spell.
That's all.

Take the text AS IS, from Detect Magic and put it under the Spellcraft check as a new use.
Done.

That way, casters don't have to use one of their cantrip slots for detect magic (which everybody would do for sure).

I think your idea has merit. I don't actually like spontaneous sensing either; I think it should be an effort requiring concentration. It does give the person with Spellcraft a "free" cantrip essentially, but that is fairly minor and, in my opinion, the cantrips add flavor to the casters so one more isn't too bad.

But, what do you do though about the non-caster who takes ranks in Spellcraft? I'm not sure if I want any character to gain the ability to sense magic with a skill check. I would agree that you either need to create a feat such as Magical Ability or Sensitivity for a noncaster to use the skill as we are discussing, and then give it for free to the wizard, sorcerer, and maybe a cleric with the magic domain.

Sovereign Court

Steve Greer wrote:

I would actually give the Wizard a class ability at 1st level called Arcane Sense (Su) that allows a Wizard to get a free Perception check like an Elf for secret doors, to sense that there is magic within a certain number of feet, like maybe 10 ft. To know exactly what the source is, it's strength, how many different auras there are, and what it's school is, he would then have to use the Detect Magic spell.

GM notices that the Wizard has come within 10 ft. of a wand hidden in a dungeon room and makes a secret check. [perhaps a DC of 20]
[i]GM announces: "Felstaff...

I'm cappadocius, and I approve this revision; excepting any arcane caster gets it.


I still fail to see why only arcane casters are being considered for it. Divine casters wield as much magic, study it just as much and are exposed to it just as often. The spell is after on their 0-level spell list as well and the spell itself makes no distinction betwen arcane and divine magic that it detects. It even fails to allow one to tell divine from arcane effects by the spell description.

-Weylin Stormcrowe

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