Glitterdust Effects


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

I've done a bit of poking about and haven't found anything conclusive. Glitterdust indicates that it covers those in the area of effect in glittering particles, visibly outlining invisible things...

What impact does that have upon miss chances granted by concealment such as Obscuring mist or other fog effects, or blur/displacement?

I ask because Faerie Fire specifically mentions having an impact upon concealment. Glitterdust is worded much more vague, despite having a similar style of effect to FF.

Should Glitterdust have an impact upon concealment due to visual impediments such as darkness, fog or displacement effects? Or is it truly inferior *in this respect to the first level Faerie Fire?

*I'm aware GD includes a blindness, broader AoE and no SR that FF does not provide.

Sovereign Court

IMHO, Glitterdust is the upgrade to FF, so would have it inherit all of FF's concealment breaking effects.


Winteraven wrote:

I've done a bit of poking about and haven't found anything conclusive. Glitterdust indicates that it covers those in the area of effect in glittering particles, visibly outlining invisible things...

What impact does that have upon miss chances granted by concealment such as Obscuring mist or other fog effects, or blur/displacement?

I ask because Faerie Fire specifically mentions having an impact upon concealment. Glitterdust is worded much more vague, despite having a similar style of effect to FF.

Should Glitterdust have an impact upon concealment due to visual impediments such as darkness, fog or displacement effects? Or is it truly inferior *in this respect to the first level Faerie Fire?

*I'm aware GD includes a blindness, broader AoE and no SR that FF does not provide.

All Glitterdust does is apply a -40 to stealth checks (coincidently an immobile invisible person has a +40 to stealth check).

You can still attempt to hide when affected by Glitterdust, it's just at a -40. So an immobile invisible person that is not attempting to hide that is affected by Glitterdust has a hide check of 0. Otherwise known as "Hey, there he is". But if they conditions existed for him to hide as well he would still be able to apply his stealth check bonus.

So a:

Invisibile
Immobile
Glitterdusted
Hide in Plain Site
Stealth of 20
Guy

Still has a +20 to his hide.

Edit - On a side note I'm not sure Faerie Fire would work on things concealed by fog either. Even at the 5' 20% miss chance range. Turning on the lights in a fog just makes things worse (if you want proof turn on your high beams in the fog, though it's best you try this when not moving).


Obscuring mist and other fogs interfere with light getting from you to my eyeballs, making it hard for me to see you. This doesn't change when you are covered with glittering dust - light from your glittery self still has to pass through the intervening fog.

If your outline is blurry or displaced in normal lighting/visibility, making it hard for me to figure out where you are, causing me to maybe miss with some of my attacks, then having a blurry/displaced glittery outline is still going to be just as hard for me to figure it out.

So, Glitterdust doesn't offer any benefit in any of these situations.

Liberty's Edge

That is my reading of it as well DM_Blake, much to my somewhat dismay as a utilizer of glitterdust as a player.

However, just posing the same question - if your outline is blurry or displaced in normal lighting/visibility thus causing me to maybe miss with some of my attacks, then having a blurry/displaced faerie_fired outline is... apparently going to be no problem at all to see and strike you?


Winteraven wrote:

That is my reading of it as well DM_Blake, much to my somewhat dismay as a utilizer of glitterdust as a player.

However, just posing the same question - if your outline is blurry or displaced in normal lighting/visibility thus causing me to maybe miss with some of my attacks, then having a blurry/displaced faerie_fired outline is... apparently going to be no problem at all to see and strike you?

Logically, I don't see any difference in how I picture these two spells working (yes, I imagine them with different CGI, but not really different logic mechanics).

However, the spell descriptions are quite different. One, Faerie Fire, explicitly states that it messes with blur and displacement. The other, Glitterdust, does not. Maybe the Faierie Fire is more of a dispelling or suppressing effect on blur and displacement. Somehow Faerie Fire cancels those effects, at least for the duration, but Glitterdust doesn't have that benefit.

Evidently, Glitterdust is weaker at revealing magically misplaced enemies, but stronger at blinding them and at affecting more of them. Maybe that's a fair trade-off?

Sovereign Court

DM_Blake wrote:

Obscuring mist and other fogs interfere with light getting from you to my eyeballs, making it hard for me to see you. This doesn't change when you are covered with glittering dust - light from your glittery self still has to pass through the intervening fog.

If your outline is blurry or displaced in normal lighting/visibility, making it hard for me to figure out where you are, causing me to maybe miss with some of my attacks, then having a blurry/displaced glittery outline is still going to be just as hard for me to figure it out.

So, Glitterdust doesn't offer any benefit in any of these situations.

I read Glitterdust's effect as being closer to Christmas lights then tin foil. Afterall, it's light bright enough to possibly blind the target. And while I totally get your point about not being able to see well in fog, even in dense fog you are likely to see someone in bright festive illumination from 10 feet away.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Hey there Folks,

The text for Glitterdust does not make any mention of concealment at all, meaning that is has no effect on such affects (regardless of what the spell effect itself might indicate as logical). Little logic inconsistencies like this are the price of doing business within an incredibly complex system attempting to mimic reality (to some extent).

Hope that clears things up

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there Folks,

The text for Glitterdust does not make any mention of concealment at all, meaning that is has no effect on such affects (regardless of what the spell effect itself might indicate as logical). Little logic inconsistencies like this are the price of doing business within an incredibly complex system attempting to mimic reality (to some extent).

Hope that clears things up

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

But...invisibility is concealment. Are you saying glitterdust does not foil invisibility?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Foils invisibility, doesn't foil anything else perhaps ?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 4 people marked this as a favorite.
meatrace wrote:


But...invisibility is concealment. Are you saying glitterdust does not foil invisibility?

Glitterdust specifically mentions that it cancels invisibility, it says nothing of concealment. In this case, it cancels the specific effect (invisibility), which has the side effect of also canceling its result (concealment), but that is not a retroactive cancelation. If you catch my drift...

(although, at the heart of the matter is the fact that glitterdust could use some clarification, it is a poorly worded spell)

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
meatrace wrote:


But...invisibility is concealment. Are you saying glitterdust does not foil invisibility?

Glitterdust specifically mentions that it cancels invisibility, it says nothing of concealment. In this case, it cancels the specific effect (invisibility), which has the side effect of also canceling its result (concealment), but that is not a retroactive cancelation. If you catch my drift...

(although, at the heart of the matter is the fact that glitterdust could use some clarification, it is a poorly worded spell)

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

It is, but the more I play I find that the stealth rules in general are the clunkiest in the game. Which is certainly no fault of yours, yet nonetheless falls upon your shoulders to remedy. Concealment and its variations are sort of in this category as well.


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magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

Somewhere a dev cries.


meatrace wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there Folks,

The text for Glitterdust does not make any mention of concealment at all, meaning that is has no effect on such affects (regardless of what the spell effect itself might indicate as logical). Little logic inconsistencies like this are the price of doing business within an incredibly complex system attempting to mimic reality (to some extent).

Hope that clears things up

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

But...invisibility is concealment. Are you saying glitterdust does not foil invisibility?

Well hang on. You're mixing up terms. Invisibility is an effect that makes you imperceptible to sight. Mechanically, this gives you total concealment (50% miss chance), and various bonuses & penalties to either the invisibile creature's Stealth skill, or observer's Perception skill. Invisibility grants concealment, it is not concealment itself.

Also speaking mechanically, Glitterdust does two things. It blinds, and it inflicts a -40 penalty to Stealth checks. As noted by Jason Bulmahn, RAW, it does not negate the concealment granted by Invisibility.

In other words, it makes it easier to SEE invisible targets but not hit them, beyond the fact that you don't have to guess a square and if they're blinded they don't get their DEX bonus to AC. Fluff-wise, you could chalk it up to all that glittery stuff being hard to look at, dazzling you and making it impossible to aim precisely.

Personally, I think the concealment should be negated, but that's not what the rule says.


ZappoHisbane wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there Folks,

The text for Glitterdust does not make any mention of concealment at all, meaning that is has no effect on such affects (regardless of what the spell effect itself might indicate as logical). Little logic inconsistencies like this are the price of doing business within an incredibly complex system attempting to mimic reality (to some extent).

Hope that clears things up

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

But...invisibility is concealment. Are you saying glitterdust does not foil invisibility?

Well hang on. You're mixing up terms. Invisibility is an effect that makes you imperceptible to sight. Mechanically, this gives you total concealment (50% miss chance), and various bonuses & penalties to either the invisibile creature's Stealth skill, or observer's Perception skill. Invisibility grants concealment, it is not concealment itself.

Also speaking mechanically, Glitterdust does two things. It blinds, and it inflicts a -40 penalty to Stealth checks. As noted by Jason Bulmahn, RAW, it does not negate the concealment granted by Invisibility.

In other words, it makes it easier to SEE invisible targets but not hit them, beyond the fact that you don't have to guess a square and if they're blinded they don't get their DEX bonus to AC. Fluff-wise, you could chalk it up to all that glittery stuff being hard to look at, dazzling you and making it impossible to aim precisely.

Personally, I think the concealment should be negated, but that's not what the rule says.

What? No, that's not what JB said. He specifically said that glitterdust cancels invisibility AND the concealment that goes with it. Glitterdust just doesn't have any affect on other forms of concealment.


magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

Edit:

We had that problem the last sesion.
Bone devil with quickened invisibility.
He turned invisible I cast glitterdust, the next round he turn invisible again.

Invisibility
If the recipient is a creature carrying gear, that vanishes, too. [...]
Items dropped or put down by an invisible creature become visible;
items picked up disappear if tucked into the clothing or pouches worn
by the creature.

So if you turn invisible again the glittering effect ends?

On the other hand the text on invisibility later says:
"Light, however, never becomes invisible, although a source of light can become so (thus, the effect is that of a light with no visible source). "

Does the glittering effect equal light?


Zark wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

On the other hand the text on invisibility later says:

"Light, however, never becomes invisible, although a source of light can become so (thus, the effect is that of a light with no visible source). "

Does the glittering effect equal light?

"A cloud of golden particles covers everyone and everything in the area, causing creatures to become blinded and visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell. All within the area are covered by the dust, which cannot be removed and continues to sparkle until it fades. Each round at the end of their turn blinded creatures may attempt new saving throws to end the blindness effect.

Any creature covered by the dust takes a -40 penalty on Stealth checks."

Glitter dust continues to act until it expires.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

10 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 23 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, looks like I got too cute with the logic behind my explanation. Let me be clear...

Glitterdust kills invisibility and all the rules that go with it.
Glitterdust has no effect on other forms of concealment.
Glitterdust also makes it very difficult to hide and might blind you.

That is all... (as it is currently worded).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Zark wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

On the other hand the text on invisibility later says:

"Light, however, never becomes invisible, although a source of light can become so (thus, the effect is that of a light with no visible source). "

Does the glittering effect equal light?

"A cloud of golden particles covers everyone and everything in the area, causing creatures to become blinded and visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell. All within the area are covered by the dust, which cannot be removed and continues to sparkle until it fades. Each round at the end of their turn blinded creatures may attempt new saving throws to end the blindness effect.

Any creature covered by the dust takes a -40 penalty on Stealth checks."

Glitter dust continues to act until it expires.

So no new Invisibility, gotcha. :)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

Nothing. Invisibility can't conceal sources of light.

Is the dust not described as glowing?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

Noting. Invisibility can't conceal sources of light.

Is the dust not described as glowing?

If the dust is glowing but you(and the dust itself) is invisible, I wouldn't see that as being any different than you being invisible with an invisible light source. You can see where the light is coming from, but the person is still invisible, so I'd say you could target the square but would have miss chance.

The question is whether the dust(being a creation spell) goes invisible with you or whether there is still an outline of you there that can be targeted easily.


Tarlane wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

Noting. Invisibility can't conceal sources of light.

Is the dust not described as glowing?

If the dust is glowing but you(and the dust itself) is invisible, I wouldn't see that as being any different than you being invisible with an invisible light source. You can see where the light is coming from, but the person is still invisible, so I'd say you could target the square but would have miss chance.

The question is whether the dust(being a creation spell) goes invisible with you or whether there is still an outline of you there that can be targeted easily.

You should rather consider the dust as thousand of light sources. So the target of the spell is outlined with tiny points of light with such accuracy that you can make normal attacks on her.

Casting another invisibility spell doesn't help because invisibility doesn't hide light. The tiny lights outlines the target event if she casts dozens of invisibility spells.

Jason didn't write that the spell cancel or dispel invisibility, it just renders it useless because of the impossibility to hide the light that reveals your shape and because you get -40 on stealth checks. However, if you are invisible and immobile, you still gets a +40 bonus on stealth and you can try to hide with your base stealth. Of course, if you move, invisibility gives "only" +20, so the glitterdust is really a major hindrance to anyone trying to move while the spell effect is active.


A related question that has come up in my game; what if the target is incorporeal? My player have encountered a Poltergeist that is so far easily avoiding any physical attacks, and the cleric is nearly out of Channels. Would the magic dust of the spell cling to an incorporeal creature, thus revealing it, or pass through, having no effect?


While we're at it...

I understand that Glitterdust, probably because of its, umm, glittering, causes a -40 penalty to hiding (which has been rolled up into Stealth).
However, I somehow fail to see the merit in it causing the same -40 penalty for moving silently (which it does in PF, since this now is governed by the Stealth skill, as well).

The Exchange

Zagyg wrote:
Tarlane wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, what happens if an invisible target of Glitterdust casts another Invisibility?

Noting. Invisibility can't conceal sources of light.

Is the dust not described as glowing?

If the dust is glowing but you(and the dust itself) is invisible, I wouldn't see that as being any different than you being invisible with an invisible light source. You can see where the light is coming from, but the person is still invisible, so I'd say you could target the square but would have miss chance.

The question is whether the dust(being a creation spell) goes invisible with you or whether there is still an outline of you there that can be targeted easily.

You should rather consider the dust as thousand of light sources. So the target of the spell is outlined with tiny points of light with such accuracy that you can make normal attacks on her.

Casting another invisibility spell doesn't help because invisibility doesn't hide light. The tiny lights outlines the target event if she casts dozens of invisibility spells.

Jason didn't write that the spell cancel or dispel invisibility, it just renders it useless because of the impossibility to hide the light that reveals your shape and because you get -40 on stealth checks. However, if you are invisible and immobile, you still gets a +40 bonus on stealth and you can try to hide with your base stealth. Of course, if you move, invisibility gives "only" +20, so the glitterdust is really a major hindrance to anyone trying to move while the spell effect is active.

bolding mine.

If the source of light is invisible, you can't see it. If there are thousands of invisible light sources... you can't see them. What have I missed here? you then conclude the paragraph with "The tiny lights outlines the target event if she casts dozens of invisibility spells." if those tiny lights are invisible - they can not be seen. So they invisibly outline the target. If you could see invisible objects, you could see the tiny lights (and the creature they outline), if you can't see the tiny lights because they are invisible, then you can't see the shape they outline. Right?


Necromancy.

nosig wrote:
If the source of light is invisible, you can't see it.

Invisibility: "An invisible burning torch still gives off light, as does an invisible object with a light or similar spell cast upon it."

If a light-emitting particle is invisible, you can't see the actual particle, but you do see the light being emitted from where the particle is.

The Exchange

Grick wrote:

Necromancy.

nosig wrote:
If the source of light is invisible, you can't see it.

Invisibility: "An invisible burning torch still gives off light, as does an invisible object with a light or similar spell cast upon it."

If a light-emitting particle is invisible, you can't see the actual particle, but you do see the light being emitted from where the particle is.

I would say that the light is visible, but the light source is not. Kind of like the light I can see when a lamp shade is over the light bulb. Or when the source is around a corner. I can see the light. and with some work I might be able to say the direction it is coming from. But I could not tell you the number or shape of the light bulbs - or even thier exact location (two bulbs in different locations would easily confuse me).

Glitterdust would glitter and sparkle in light. In the dark you could not see it, much like the glitter it is named after. If you sprinkle someone with glitter - you can not see them in a dark room. But give it some light to reflect and it glitters and sparkles... much like (I think) glitterdust would.

Even if Glitterdust shed light on it's own, it would not be visible until it fell on another object. Light is not visible - only reflected light. IMHO.


When I think of Glitterdust or Fairy Fire, I think of something like this:
picture from a game

I know this is not realistic but then how can you tell what looking straight at an invisible lightsource would be like?
I'd say it's looking at a transparent lightbulb, I tend to see a miniature sun that does not provoke blue spots in my vision instantly...
as glitterdust obviously does not blind people after the inital casting the light is not strong enough once cast, but still strong enough to frame in a "solar-eclipse" style?

The Exchange

Kyoni wrote:

When I think of Glitterdust or Fairy Fire, I think of something like this:

picture from a game

I know this is not realistic but then how can you tell what looking straight at an invisible lightsource would be like?
I'd say it's looking at a transparent lightbulb, I tend to see a miniature sun that does not provoke blue spots in my vision instantly...
as glitterdust obviously does not blind people after the inital casting the light is not strong enough once cast, but still strong enough to frame in a "solar-eclipse" style?

I still say that glitterdust does not shed light. If it is cast on an invisible creature in a dark cavern, a human can not see the creature (or the objects also in the area), because the room is dark. Otherwise - how bright is the illumination it casts? would a creature "lighted by glitterdust" be in dim illumination? or normal? or what? if it is in dim, then does it have a 20% miss chance? If it goes all the way to normal (two steps) would darkness reduce the normal light it sheds to dim (one step)- and then give it a 20% miss chance?

.
IMHO - To state that glitterdust creates light is giving the spell something (a feature) it does not have. It is reading into the discription of the spell something that it does not say. Things "sparkle" and "glitter" by reflecting light. Gem stones are said to "sparkle". Gold "glitters". They do not shed light. If either has invisibility cast on them, they become invisible. But... this is just the way I read the rules. Perhaps your judge reads them differently. YMMV.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I guess I always interpreted "continues to sparkle until it fades" from the spell description to imply that it does shed light - how else would it "fade"?

Also, being entirely ineffectual in the dark seems like a big enough deal that they'd have mentioned that in the text if that were the intent. Failing to mention dependency on the surrounding light levels seems like too big of a thing to assume.

My interpretation, then, is that the glitter glows enough that you can always tell where the creature is, but not enough to raise the light level in the area.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Jiggy wrote:

I guess I always interpreted "continues to sparkle until it fades" from the spell description to imply that it does shed light - how else would it "fade"?

Also, being entirely ineffectual in the dark seems like a big enough deal that they'd have mentioned that in the text if that were the intent. Failing to mention dependency on the surrounding light levels seems like too big of a thing to assume.

My interpretation, then, is that the glitter glows enough that you can always tell where the creature is, but not enough to raise the light level in the area.

Jiggy, I give a lot of weight to what you say. Your opinion is very good, and in the past has proven better than mine. BUT... I'm not so sure on this point.

.
I'll go back and review the spells. and re-think my beliefs.

Consider.
"continues to sparkle until it fades".... I have an Illusion of a treasure in this box. It sparkles and glitters as only gold and gemstones can. As the magic ends, it "continues to sparkle until it fades" away. Does that mean it can be seen in a dark room?

Summoned monsters "fade" from view when they are slain or the spell ends. Most of them can not be seen in a darkened room. Even as they "fade" out....

Things do not generate light in order to sparkle. In fact, most light creating things are said to twinkle more than sparkle. Glitter sparkles, stars twinkle. Magicly created glitter (which glitterdust is)? I am not so sure. I feel that it will twinkle and glitter, reflecting other light sources, even as the magic fades away....

Thank you for considering another view. I go now to review the spells and give it a second thought.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Alright, looks like I got too cute with the logic behind my explanation. Let me be clear...

Glitterdust kills invisibility and all the rules that go with it.
Glitterdust has no effect on other forms of concealment.
Glitterdust also makes it very difficult to hide and might blind you.

That is all... (as it is currently worded).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

To kill all the doubts:

do the glitters emit light or do they reflet it?

Should a new invisibility make the glitters "disappear" like any other equipment part?


it simply visibly outlines invisible targets for the duration of the spell, if you cast a new invisibility you will continue to be outlined for the duration of glitter dust. all this talk about light is irrelevant.

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