# Witches and activating their flight hex... probably a stupid question

### Rules Questions

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Cavall wrote:

The hex isn't always active. The swim portion is.

To me, that makes no sense. The bonus from swim is PART of the hex. If the hex isn't active, no bonus. Where does it say a hex can only be 'partially' active? Where does it say you can get the bonus from an inactive hex?

To me, the way to read it that makes sense is that the Flight hex is ALWAYS active, which means those benefits are always active. And, like the alchemist flight ability, you can choose to utilize the flight portion as you like without using a standard action to actrivate the hex that must already be active.

I realize that I'm repeating myself here, and am unlikely to convince those who think differently, but I'm a bit curious as to where the rules say you can get a bonus from an inactive, or partially active hex.

The Effect of the hex is quoted above. How can you get the Effect from a hex that isn't active?

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_Ozy_, you activate the fly portion of the hex as a standard action, the levitate portion of the hex as a standard action, the feather fall portion of the hex as an immediate action, and you have the +4 racial bonus to Swim as a constant passive for having the Flight hex.

Exactly. This isn't hard to work out. Unless intentionally trying to make it difficult, it's pretty clear.

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i think the issue is that the Flight Hex (su) is one single hex that gives a bunch of benefits.

If it was Flight Hex (Su) provides the following unique abilities:

• Swim (Ex)
• Feather Fall (Sp)
• Levitate (Sp)
• Fly (Su)

then i would agree - you need to take actions to activate all the sub-abilities.

but the only thing that is marked as (Su) is the hex itself - and if you are benefiting from the swim part of the hex all the time (because you took 4 seconds when you woke up to activate the Fly Hex (Su) ability) then there are no other things that are defined as needing activation.

• Cavall wrote:
Exactly. This isn't hard to work out. Unless intentionally trying to make it difficult, it's pretty clear.

I'd say all of this debate makes it pretty clear that it is not pretty clear.

Perhaps.

_Ozy_, you activate the fly portion of the hex as a standard action, the levitate portion of the hex as a standard action, the feather fall portion of the hex as an immediate action, and you have the +4 racial bonus to Swim as a constant passive for having the Flight hex.

There is absolutely no support in the rules for this interpretation. There is only one Flight Hex, you either activate it to gain access to its abilities, or you do not.

If you have access to the +4 swim bonus by 'having' the flight hex, why do you not have access to the flight ability simply by 'having' the flight hex, similar to the Alchemist ability?

Oddman80 wrote:

i think the issue is that the Flight Hex (su) is one single hex that gives a bunch of benefits.

If it was Flight Hex (Su) provides the following unique abilities:

• Swim (Ex)
• Feather Fall (Sp)
• Levitate (Sp)
• Fly (Su)

then i would agree - you need to take actions to activate all the sub-abilities.

but the only thing that is marked as (Su) is the hex itself - and if you are benefiting from the swim part of the hex all the time (because you took 4 seconds when you woke up to activate the Fly Hex (Su) ability) then there are no other things that are defined as needing activation.

• Except for levitate, which gives the ability to 'cast' the spell. Casting is still a standard action.

Witch doesn't say "activating a hex" It says "Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity." So every time you want to use it for something new, it's a new standard action. It just so happens that one of those uses has no limit to the duration.

It's very clearly a standard action to activate flight. If you want to force someone to take a standard action to get the swim bonus, then go ahead and do that. But what action it is to use flight (which then lasts 1 to your level minutes in 1 minute increments) is not unclear. The class states what action it is.

EDIT and off-topic, if you really want your mind blown, realize that if you use the misfortune (or fortune, or any 1 round duration hex) you can't cackle on round 2 to extend it, because the hex ends right before the start of your next turn. You have to cackle on the same round that you start the hex in order to extend the duration into round 2. Why do I bring this up? Because misreadings of these witch abilities are what lead to the Witch becoming unbalanced as a class. Yes, Sleep Hex on its own is unbalanced and none of this really affects that. But not enforcing the proper action economy on cackle, flight, prehensile hair, etc. also leads to the class being overpowered.

Alright, let's do a Refresher:

Flight* (Su)

The witch grows lighter as she gains power, eventually gaining the ability to fly.
Effect: At 1st level, the witch can use feather fall at will and gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day. At 5th level, she can fly, as per the spell, for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments. This hex only affects the witch.

OR

Flight (Su) (Advanced Player's Guide pg. 66): The witch grows lighter as she gains power, eventually gaining the ability to fly. At 1st level, the witch can use feather fall at will and gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day. At 5th level, she can fly, as per the spell, for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments. This hex only affects the witch.

(I don't have a rule-book on me so I can't pull a quote from the book).

Let's break this down by sentence:

Quote:
At 1st level, the witch can use feather fall at will and gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks.

So without any other text we assume this works like the spell.

Casting Time 1 immediate action

So the default here is that the Feather Fall part of the hex is an immediate action.

Quote:
At 1st level, the witch can use feather fall at will and gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks.

If we cut out all the irrelevant text this says: "At 1st level, the witch <snip> gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks."

The way I read that is that it's always on, no activation required.

Moving on ...

Quote:
At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day.

Once again, since this is referencing casting a spell we default to the spell's casting time:

LEVITATE wrote:
Casting Time 1 standard action

So the Levitate portion takes a standard action.

And Finally ...

Quote:
At 5th level, she can fly, as per the spell, for a number of minutes per day equal to her level.

Once again this references the spell, so we default to that:

FLY SPELL wrote:

Casting Time 1 standard action

Duration 1 min./level

This has a casting time of 1 standard action, so it costs a standard action to activate.

Lastly, the duration of the hex differs slightly from the spell.

Quote:
These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments.

This part could be interpreted two ways.

1. It costs a standard action to activate, but once activated can be maintained as a free action as every minute passes (similar to a bard's performance rounds).
OR
2. It costs a standard action to activate, and must be re-activated every minute (costing another standard action).

Personally I can see either interpretation, this is something you should discuss with your GM if you think you'll be flying for minutes at a time and don't want to use your standard action every 10 rounds. My preferred interpretation is the first one: - Standard to activate, free to continue.

IN SUMMARY:

1. Feather Fall: Immediate Action activation

2. Swim Speed: Always on (suppressed by anti-magic fields/etc)

3. Levitate: Standard Action activation

4a. Flight: Standard Action activation

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alright, so if the witch must "cast levitate or fly as the spell" then they provoke attacks of opportunity, have to make concentration checks in storms, provide components, etc.

If you say no, then I have to ask where do you draw the line between supernatural ability and casting a spell ability? Surely, we can at least agree that, that isn't clear.

Ravingdork - i am generally on your side here (though it appears we are in the minority), but it doesn't help to throw easily refutable things out there...

Specific overrides General, and as far as General Rules go:

from the Special Abilities section

Quote:

Supernatural Abilities (Su)

Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like. Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance and do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). A supernatural ability’s effect cannot be dispelled and is not subject to counterspells. See Table: Special Ability Types for a summary of the types of special abilities.

from the Magic section

Quote:

Supernatural Abilities (Su)

These can’t be disrupted in combat and generally don’t provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren’t subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don’t function in antimagic areas.

And nothing about the Witch's Hex feature or the Flight Hex indicate anything that would override these.

"Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity."

Ferious Thune wrote:
"Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity."

However, since it says that you are actually casting it is otherwise noted.

The word cast does not appear in the flight hex. It says “as per the spell.” The spell doesn’t provoke in and of itself, so nothing in the spell says otherwise. Something in the spell does specifiy a standard action, which the hex ability also specifies. Nothing in either the flight hex or the spell says free action.

Spell trigger items “cast” a spell without provoking (though not actually casting for most purposes), because they say they don’t provoke. That someone using some other ability (like actual casting) would provoke with the same spell doesn’t matter. It’s the same situation here. Hex says it doesn’t provoke. Unless something directly says otherwise, it doesn’t provoke.

If you look at Oddman80's post, you'll see that there are 2 quotes about Supernatural Abilities that both say that they don't provoke AoO's. The section on Witch Hexes also says that they don't provoke unless otherwise specified.

We therefore have 3 seperate rules sources that say they don't provoke, and nothing to contradict this.

The reason we look at the spells at all is that there is some question of activation time. The +4 to swim could be a standard action, but since it has no duration the distinction is meaningless. Feather fall only functions with an immediate action, and since the spell it's based on has that casting time we go with that. Both the Levitate and Fly spells are standard actions, which matches the default for hexes. Since they match there doesn't seem to be much reason to go looking for more rules.

Ferious Thune wrote:
The word cast does not appear in the flight hex.
Quote:
At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day.

Does casting levitate by using the flight hex provoke or not?

The wording for flying using the flight hex is nearly identical to the wording in the Alchemist EX wings ability.

To me, this means what 'grants' the ability to fly is supernatural in one case, but extraordinary in the other, but the use of the ability should be the same in both.

Quote:
: The alchemist gains bat-like, bird-like, or insect-like functional wings, allowing him to fly as the fly spell for a number of minutes per day equal to his caster level.

Being supernaturally light, versus having extraordinary 'wings'. Yet the ability to fly uses the same verbiage.

So, both use an action to activate, neither? Or one does and one doesn't besides being nearly identical in description?

_Ozy_ wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
The word cast does not appear in the flight hex.
Quote:
At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day.
Does casting levitate by using the flight hex provoke or not?

I was going to point this out as well until I realised it doesn't matter. Nothing about the word "cast" means that it provokes. If you read Furious thune's post he goes on to talk about spell-trigger items. Here's a quote from Wands:

WANDS wrote:
Activation: Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.

So we have an example of "casting" that doesn't provoke. Once again, there are 3 seperate rules cited saying that Supernatural Abilities don't provoke. I'm sure this isn't the only Supernatural ability that works "As The Spell", so why would it be the only one that provokes? This part of the rule was Never in question.

_Ozy_ wrote:
The wording for flying using the flight hex is nearly identical to the wording in the Alchemist EX wings ability.

You're comparing a Supernatural Ability from one class to an Extraordinary Ability from another class. One class specifically says: "Standard Action unless specified", while the other does not. There's no reason to think that these two abilities would work the same way at all.

This doesn't seem to be going anywhere, Let's try something new:

This is the rules forum. Where does it say in the rules that this would NOT be a Standard Action to activate? Specifically the Flight Hex.

It’s a standard action to activate. But it doesn’t actually have a duration. So, activate it in the morning and then consume minutes of flight through the day. No activation necessary.

Ah, I missed cast on levitate. The flight part doesn't call it casting. But as MrCharisma pointed out, it doesn't matter.

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