Specific questions about the "Wall of Thorns" spell


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Liberty's Edge

Just to be clear, these are the questions about the Wall of Thorns spell (PF Core Rulebook page 367) that I would like to be answered:

1. What can a creature do (i.e. which actions can it take) while inside the wall?

2. Does the WoT provide a concealment/cover modifier to those inside? Does it block the line-of-effect of spells?

3A. If a creature is blocked inside the wall, can it still attack with melee weapons opponents which happen to be on squares within its reach? Can it attack target outside the wall with ranged weapons or spells?
Can it attack other targets inside the wall with ranged weapons or spells?

3B. Viceversa, can creatures from outside make melee attacks to the creatures inside the wall (and within reach)?
Can creatures from outside target the creatures inside with ranged attacks and spells?

3C. Can gas-based effects (e.g. an incendiary cloud or a cloudkill) and breath weapons affect the creatures inside the wall of thorns?

Thank you.


As I read it, Wall of thorns does not block line of sight or effect, so:

1)Any action except move, then the Str check applies. I think this includes spellcasting, attacking the wall, etc.

2)No, no and no.

3A)Yes
3B)Yes
3C)Yes

The spell is called Wall of thorns, not summon hedge.
Try visualizing it as a barbed wire fence. It makes more sense to me.

edit: If you really want it to have leaves and such you could use the rules for heavy undergrowth where the spell description is silent.


nidho wrote:


2)No, no and no.

I'd rule that a wall of thorns give those inside cover, just like fog does or other natural objects hindering movement/view of the combatants.


nidho wrote:
As I read it, Wall of thorns does not block line of sight or effect, so:

I would just like to point out that, by your logic, because it doesn't say in the spell that it can provide cover it doesn't then Wall of Iron and Wall of Stone also would not provide cover. I could see this spell granting cover. 10' think brush is pretty hard to see through.


Funkytrip wrote:
nidho wrote:


2)No, no and no.
I'd rule that a wall of thorns give those inside cover, just like fog does or other natural objects hindering movement/view of the combatants.

Sure, if you mean concealment, fog does not provide cover. ;)

But you have a point, note that I editted my post mentioning the environment rules for heavy undergrowth, which provides 30% concealment besides other modifiers. I just consider it an optional effect, DM's call.

Dragorine wrote:
nidho wrote:
As I read it, Wall of thorns does not block line of sight or effect, so:
I would just like to point out that, by your logic, because it doesn't say in the spell that it can provide cover it doesn't then Wall of Iron and Wall of Stone also would not provide cover. I could see this spell granting cover. 10' think brush is pretty hard to see through.

It doesn't say cover explicitly, I agree, but both walls you mentioned have this sentence in their description:

"The wall cannot be conjured so that it occupies the same space as a creature or another object."

That implies that the two walls are solid enough to block line of effect and thus provide cover. Unlike wall of thorns.


nidho wrote:

It doesn't say cover explicitly, I agree, but both walls you mentioned have this sentence in their description:

"The wall cannot be conjured so that it occupies the same space as a creature or another object."

That implies that the two walls are solid enough to block line of effect and thus provide cover. Unlike wall of thorns.

No, it doesn't. Create water also cannot be conjured so that it occupies the same space as a creature or other object (via the default Conjuration rules).


Zurai wrote:
nidho wrote:

It doesn't say cover explicitly, I agree, but both walls you mentioned have this sentence in their description:

"The wall cannot be conjured so that it occupies the same space as a creature or another object."

That implies that the two walls are solid enough to block line of effect and thus provide cover. Unlike wall of thorns.

No, it doesn't. Create water also cannot be conjured so that it occupies the same space as a creature or other object (via the default Conjuration rules).

This.

"A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it."

Inside is not the same as in the same space. Other conjuration(creation) spells create objects or effects in other creature's spaces.
Web for example.

But what has it to do with solid objects providing cover? I mean solid as having no gaps or breaks; continuous.

Liberty's Edge

bump.


I am not sure a 10' high wall counts as undergrowth heavy or otherwize. also the wall of stone and iron are a lot thinner than the wall of thorns. The WoT being 10' thick you would have to put it on your target or it wouldn't make since. I personaly picture large, thick vines with thorns the size of a mans finger sticking out clossly nit togeather so that the slightest movment causes the thorns to rip you apart...25 damage is a lot of damage from a thorn...not something a rose bush would do to you.

Liberty's Edge

James?


I actually found wall of thorns not to be that handy... especially against Drow Vampire Clerics who have a flat footed ac higher then 25 and then can turn into mist and move through it anyways ;)

Liberty's Edge

Lael Treventhius wrote:
I actually found wall of thorns not to be that handy... especially against Drow Vampire Clerics who have a flat footed ac higher then 25 and then can turn into mist and move through it anyways ;)

In that case a wall composed of garlic bulbs rather than thorns would have probably been more effective! :P

Liberty's Edge

Mr. Buhlman?


Lael Treventhius wrote:
I actually found wall of thorns not to be that handy... especially against Drow Vampire Clerics who have a flat footed ac higher then 25 and then can turn into mist and move through it anyways ;)

It has been a killer against most spellcasters that could not afford to be in full plate (i.e. didn't have a particularly high Flat-Footed AC).

It has proven to be THE spell against weaker creatures, even in packs of 20 or more.

Also @ Tancred, I'd had 1A If a creature can take an action (other than attempting to free itself with a Strength check), will it take damage as if it moved even if it remains in the same square?

Liberty's Edge

Laurefindel wrote:
Also @ Tancred, I'd had 1A If a creature can take an action (other than attempting to free itself with a Strength check), will it take damage as if it moved even if it remains in the same square?

Good point Laurefindel, I had tacitly assumed that you only take damage damage if you do the Strength check, but reading more carefully I see that that does not need to be the only case.

Unfortunately I cannot re-edit my first post to add this questions, though!


Tancred of Hauteville wrote:

Good point Laurefindel, I had tacitly assumed that you only take damage damage if you do the Strength check, but reading more carefully I see that that does not need to be the only case.

Well, it's arguable.

If it is NOT the case, then the word 'motionless' as intended to mean 'stay in the same square' is rather ill-chosen.

If it IS the case however, then the spell becomes the mage-killer spell by excellence. Wizards do not have great AC in round 1 of a fight, and if spellcasting causes damage (and potentially losing the spell from receiving damage), many wizards will be screwed. And if enemies are harassing them via Freedom of Movement in melee, things can turn ugly very fast...


RAW = Best 5th level spell ever. A caster needs to dispel this immediately. Strength check DC 25 to move 5'? Ridiculous. Why does this spell use a completely different damage mechanic than anything else in the whole game? I think some emergency errata might be called for.


Laurefindel wrote:

Well, it's arguable.

If it is NOT the case, then the word 'motionless' as intended to mean 'stay in the same square' is rather ill-chosen.

If it IS the case however, then the spell becomes the mage-killer spell by excellence. Wizards do not have great AC in round 1 of a fight, and if spellcasting causes damage (and potentially losing the spell from receiving damage), many wizards will be screwed. And if enemies are harassing them via Freedom of Movement in melee, things can turn ugly very fast...

Two words that every mage should know: Dimension Door.

But for this spell to NOT break line of effect is entirely 'broken'.


Robert Young wrote:

Two words that every mage should know: Dimension Door.

Well, that's if the wizard can cast it. He most likely received about 8-10 points of damage when the Wall was conjured and another 8-10 while casting the spell. He has to succeed his concentration check.

Also, the spell may arguably block the wizard's line of sight, especially if the DM allows to 'stack' two wall of thorns 10x10 one over the other. Stating direction can be erratic and requires some meta-gaming from the player who knows where the Wall of Thorn ends and which space is free.

So yes, Dimension door is a must-have in any wizard's arsenal, but its not a sure way out of a Wall of Thorn.

I'm not arguing that the spell is broken. But its one of the spell that makes me wince.

Liberty's Edge

Hexcaliber wrote:
RAW = Best 5th level spell ever. A caster needs to dispel this immediately. Strength check DC 25 to move 5'? Ridiculous. Why does this spell use a completely different damage mechanic than anything else in the whole game? I think some emergency errata might be called for.

I am also a bit concerned, that is why I opened the other thread on WoT and this one to more specifically address certain effects that are not clear from RAW.

But no luck up to now. (Getting a reply from JJ or SKR looks like a matter of luck to me, seeing that they do reply to queries occasionally).

Liberty's Edge

Laurefindel wrote:
So yes, Dimension door is a must-have in any wizard's arsenal, but its not a sure way out of a Wall of Thorn.

And what if you're a rogue without a dimension door scroll or non-maximized UMD?

Or a bard who did not choose that spell?
Or a weak (weak = Strength 19 or less in this context) Monk or Fighter-type specialized in archery?
Or even a monster from the Bestiary? :)


Hexcaliber wrote:
Why does this spell use a completely different damage mechanic than anything else in the whole game?

Unless I'm wrong, the spell re-creates the Razor-Vines from AD&D 2ED. It had very similar, if not identical, mechanics.

Liberty's Edge

Laurefindel wrote:
Unless I'm wrong, the spell re-creates the Razor-Vines from AD&D 2ED. It had very similar, if not identical, mechanics.

So it goes back to AD&D? Interesting.


Laurefindel wrote:

Well, that's if the wizard can cast it. He most likely received about 8-10 points of damage when the Wall was conjured and another 8-10 while casting the spell. He has to succeed his concentration check.

Also, the spell may arguably block the wizard's line of sight, especially if the DM allows to 'stack' two wall of thorns 10x10 one over the other. Stating direction can be erratic and requires some meta-gaming from the player who knows where the Wall of Thorn ends and which space is free.

So yes, Dimension door is a must-have in any wizard's arsenal, but its not a sure way out of a Wall of Thorn.

I'm not arguing that the spell is broken. But its one of the spell that makes me wince.

Dimension Door is Verbal component only, are you suggesting that you take damage from Wall of Thorns continuously, or even if you talk?

Additionally, you do not have to see your destination, only visualize it.


As an aside:
Monte Cook included Wall of Thorns in Arcana Unearthed. In that version of the spell, you could move 1 foot for each point of success of the Str check (Str check - 19 = feet of movement, even 1 ft allowed), damage was taken for actions requiring movement (including making attacks), creatures within are considered to have half cover, and creatures can see through the wall.


Tancred of Hauteville wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Unless I'm wrong, the spell re-creates the Razor-Vines from AD&D 2ED. It had very similar, if not identical, mechanics.
So it goes back to AD&D? Interesting.

It's a 1st edition spell, and included most of the gronky mechanics the current version sports.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

A wizard casting dim door would not take any damage, dim door is verbal only, so he can remain motionless and cast the spell.

Any bodily movement will cause the damage, so spells with semantic components will cause the caster to take damage.

As for freedom of movement, yes they PC will be able to move through the vines they will still have to take damage the spell states:

PRD-Wall of Thorns wrote:
Creatures with the ability to pass through overgrown areas unhindered can pass through a wall of thorns at normal speed without taking damage.
PRD-Freedom of Movement wrote:
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web.
PRD-Woodland Stride wrote:
Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a druid may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect her.

WoT specifically states that someone will the ability described in woodland stride can move through it without taking damage. It is that line that overrides the part in woodland stride that states it does not work against magically treated areas.

While freedom of movement will allow a creature to move through the wall of throns it does not negate the damage.


Robert Young wrote:


Dimension Door is Verbal component only, (snip)

ah, yes. Of course!

my bad...

There would still be the potential failure from the damage caused during the apparition of the wall, but the damage shouldn't high enough to cause a serious problem.


Laurefindel wrote:

ah, yes. Of course!

my bad...

There would still be the potential failure from the damage caused during the apparition of the wall, but the damage shouldn't high enough to cause a serious problem.

How so? The Wall causes its initial damage on the Druid's turn. There's no damage taken (or save to be made) from being in the Wall on the Mage's turn as long as the Mage is 'motionless'. Where's the potential failure?


Otherwise check the top, it might be easier to escape through the top, climb, levitate, fly.... rather than through, any PCs have burrow?


Robert Young wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

ah, yes. Of course!

my bad...

There would still be the potential failure from the damage caused during the apparition of the wall, but the damage shouldn't high enough to cause a serious problem.

How so? The Wall causes its initial damage on the Druid's turn. There's no damage taken (or save to be made) from being in the Wall on the Mage's turn as long as the Mage is 'motionless'. Where's the potential failure?

hummmmm...

hummmm.

hum!

That's right, I've got everything messed-up today!


Freddy Honeycutt wrote:
Otherwise check the top, it might be easier to escape through the top, climb, levitate, fly.... rather than through, any PCs have burrow?

Sure, but WoT is shapeable, and can be placed in the same square as a target, so most casters will choose to target and/or enclose the enemy from the getgo.


Laurefindel wrote:

hummmmm...

hummmm.

hum!

That's right, I've got everything messed-up today!

Ahh, one of those days. You are forgiven!


Right but the caster has to shape the spell. My question was the shortest distance out is what? Might be different for different PCs.

I think burrow gets you out right away, Check the Mole prestige class from Dragon magazine (very easy to qualify for). Also useful for all other walls!!!

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

And wall of thorns is 5th-level, which puts it above, say, fireball and lightning bolt, so I don't see it as terribly broken.

For that matter, flesh to stone which permanently turns you to stone is 6th-level.

Rope trick, on the other hand, is only 2nd-level. Diminish plants and gaseous form are 3rd-level, dimension door and stoneskin are 4th-level, and teleport is 5th-level.

Personally, I don't see any huge problem with this spell other than the rather odd "10 minutes gets you 1 foot deep" mechanic.

It takes me ten minutes to hack one foot through thorns that I can walk through if I'm strong enough? This should have been redone to have hit points and hardness - a kobold with a dagger and a storm giant with a colossal scythe each have the same effect on a wall of thorns, according to the RAW. Obviously this cannot be the case.

(I have a similar issue with black tentacles ... tentacles that cannot be damaged? Ought to be a way to hide behind it and be immune to all damage :)


Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

Right but the caster has to shape the spell. My question was the shortest distance out is what? Might be different for different PCs.

I think burrow gets you out right away, Check the Mole prestige class from Dragon magazine (very easy to qualify for). Also useful for all other walls!!!

Most likely you'll need to penetrate at least 10 feet to move clear.

I think you're right, burrow's gotta be the best (and least expected) avenue of escape. Unfortunately, the likelihood of having the burrow ability seems remote at best.

Liberty's Edge

gbonehead wrote:
For that matter, flesh to stone which permanently turns you to stone is 6th-level.

Sure, but flesh to stone has both save and spell resistance. It is a classic save-or-die.

Wall of Thorn has none of the two. It is more like die-or-die. Which one is more powerful?

PS: flesh to stone has also the additional limitation that "only creatures made of flesh are affected by this spell."


don't like burrow?

can have it by about 4th level it is worth it and lots of new uses found all the time....

Remote chance? no way I have had about 4 different PCs with burrow...

Meld into stone might be a dodge out as well....


Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

don't like burrow?

can have it by about 4th level it is worth it and lots of new uses found all the time....

Remote chance? no way I have had about 4 different PCs with burrow...

Meld into stone might be a dodge out as well....

I do like burrow. And you've piqued my curiosity, tell me more.

Liberty's Edge

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

don't like burrow?

can have it by about 4th level it is worth it and lots of new uses found all the time....

Remote chance? no way I have had about 4 different PCs with burrow...

So all characters should have burrow just to be able to escape a single 5th level spell?

In the same line, playing characters should also be skeletal undead in order to neutralize flesh to stone.

Remote chance? No way, I had about 4 different lich PCs in the course of my D&D/PF career!


Tancred of Hauteville wrote:

So all characters should have burrow just to be able to escape a single 5th level spell?

In the same line, playing characters should also be skeletal undead in order to neutralize flesh to stone.

Remote chance? No way, I had about 4 different lich PCs in the course of my D&D/PF career!

That's a bit harsh. Burrow has uses beyond Wall of Thorns. Consider the fact that it's normally a mode of movement that's often beyond the line of effect for most spells and modes of attack. I'll agree it's remote, but still a little harsh.


The only thing you can imagine using burrow for is to escape from a wall of thorns?

Stop playing.
No seriously stop playing!

I'll look it up for you later on.

Liberty's Edge

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

The only thing you can imagine using burrow for is to escape from a wall of thorns?

Of course not. I was obviously being ironic. Should I put an "irony" tag from now on?

By the way, escaping flesh to stone is also not the only reason to play a lich. That's pretty surprising, but that's true.

Quote:


Stop playing.
No seriously stop playing!

While I appreciate your concern and useful suggestions, I fear I'll have to decline here.

Quote:
I'll look it up for you later on.

Oh. Am I supposed to be scared or something?

Liberty's Edge

Robert Young wrote:
That's a bit harsh. Burrow has uses beyond Wall of Thorns. Consider the fact that it's normally a mode of movement that's often beyond the line of effect for most spells and modes of attack. I'll agree it's remote, but still a little harsh.

I admit I probably forgot to add a couple emoticons, so it came out a bit harsh, but the "I had about 4 PCs" things was too much fun to ignore. :)

And yes, burrowing movement is useful but very remote. It does not really address the problem (as shown by the lich vs flesh to stone joke).


I got the irony and gave a little of my own....

The look up comment was for someone else who wanted to know more about Burrow for the PC.

The Mole Prestige class comes out of dragon #310
(was during the time of update from 3.0 to 3.5 (so there are some changes you will need to make for PF)...

Is easy to qualify for
BAB +3
Appraise 2
Hide 3
profession (miner) 1
search 3
Special miner 1 year or underground 5 years

It is listed as a d6
Attack progress +0, +1, +2, +3, +3
fort progression +2, +3, +3, +4, +4
ref progression +0, +0, +1, +1, +1
will progression +0, +0, +1, +1, +1

Special abilities progression
level 1, Burrow (EX) (5ft) dirt only, SA +1d6
level 2, meld into stone(SP0 1/day @12th cleric, stone sight (SU) 1 inch of stone per mole level
Level 3, Burrow (10 ft), SA +2d6
level 4, Stone shape (Sp) 1/DAY @10th cleric, meld into stone 3/DAY
Level 5, Improved burrow (SU) 20 ft through dirt, 10 ft through stone

There are actually 5 rogue prestige classes in Dragon #310, I recommend it highly!!!!


Tancred of Hauteville wrote:
Of course not. I was obviously being ironic. Should I put an "irony" tag from now on?

You were being sarcastic, not ironic.

G&*!&#n you Alanis Morisette. G!~%~@n you.


Freddy Honeycutt wrote:

I got the irony and gave a little of my own....

The look up comment was for someone else who wanted to know more about Burrow for the PC.

The Mole Prestige class comes out of dragon #310
(was during the time of update from 3.0 to 3.5 (so there are some changes you will need to make for PF)...

Is easy to qualify for
BAB +3
Appraise 2
Hide 3
profession (miner) 1
search 3
Special miner 1 year or underground 5 years

It is listed as a d6
Attack progress +0, +1, +2, +3, +3
fort progression +2, +3, +3, +4, +4
ref progression +0, +0, +1, +1, +1
will progression +0, +0, +1, +1, +1

Special abilities progression
level 1, Burrow (EX) (5ft) dirt only, SA +1d6
level 2, meld into stone(SP0 1/day @12th cleric, stone sight (SU) 1 inch of stone per mole level
Level 3, Burrow (10 ft), SA +2d6
level 4, Stone shape (Sp) 1/DAY @10th cleric, meld into stone 3/DAY
Level 5, Improved burrow (SU) 20 ft through dirt, 10 ft through stone

There are actually 5 rogue prestige classes in Dragon #310, I recommend it highly!!!!

I think I've got that issue.

I was looking at Burrow in the Bestiary and via Beast Shape. Most Burrow speeds in the Bestiary are at a 20ft speed. Using Beast Shape III & IV you can get a 30ft & 60ft Burrow speed via spell (Ankheg for III, didn't look for IV). Interesting.


This is burrow (EX) at about 4th level no spells to cast no wildshape needed!

I wish there were more of the "limited" prestige classes early entry + only 5 levels....

Liberty's Edge

Rake wrote:
Tancred of Hauteville wrote:
Of course not. I was obviously being ironic. Should I put an "irony" tag from now on?

You were being sarcastic, not ironic.

G*!!%+n you Alanis Morisette. G!@!!+n you.

Alas, it's all my fault, Rake, not Alanis Morisette's.

I am not a native English speaker and I often stumble like I did above.

Anyway, thank you for correcting me with a fair dose of irony... or was that sarcasm? ;)

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