Still Spell vs grappling?


Rules Questions


Does Still Spell allow you to cast with a reduced or with no Concentration check if you are grappled? It seems that it SHOULD, but I don't see that it DOES.

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Kain Darkwind wrote:
Does Still Spell allow you to cast with a reduced or with no Concentration check if you are grappled? It seems that it SHOULD, but I don't see that it DOES.

Still Spell only makes it possible to cast spells in a grapple (and even then you must be able to have any components at hand... unless you also have Eschew Materials). You must still succeed at the Concentration check as normal. Without Still Spell, it is impossible to cast a spell with somatic components in a grapple. No check allowed.


Fatespinner wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Does Still Spell allow you to cast with a reduced or with no Concentration check if you are grappled? It seems that it SHOULD, but I don't see that it DOES.
Still Spell only makes it possible to cast spells in a grapple (and even then you must be able to have any components at hand... unless you also have Eschew Materials). You must still succeed at the Concentration check as normal. Without Still Spell, it is impossible to cast a spell with somatic components in a grapple. No check allowed.

it's pretty clear from raw that it only takes one hand to cast a spell. The text does seem to indicate that although you can cast you need the components in hand.

Sovereign Court

Fatespinner wrote:
Without Still Spell, it is impossible to cast a spell with somatic components in a grapple. No check allowed.
Perhaps you are thinking of 3.5's version of Grapple. Grapple under the Pathfinder's rule set is considerably less restrictive. As listed in the Grappled condition"
SRD wrote:
In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell.

And while I do not believe the RAW directly state that Still Spell would negate the Concentration check listed above, I would strongly believe that it should, and would certainly rule it that way in my game.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Still Spell is really only useful for situations where you do not have one hand to devote to spellcasting, such as when you are pinned. You can attempt to cast a spell when grappled, and you must make a concentration check to cast it (whether or not the spell has a Somatic component). Still spell is also handy for casters who intend to wield weapons or shields quite frequently.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

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Laughing Goblin wrote:
Perhaps you are thinking of 3.5's version of Grapple. Grapple under the Pathfinder's rule set is considerably less restrictive. As listed in the Grappled condition"
SRD wrote:
In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell.
And while I do not believe the RAW directly state that Still Spell would negate the Concentration check listed above, I would strongly believe that it should, and would certainly rule it that way in my game.

Then the rules are contradicting themselves. From the "Magic" section:

PFSRD wrote:
Grappling or Pinned: The only spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand. Even so, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 + the grappler's CMB + the level of the spell you're casting) or lose the spell.

It says the ONLY spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those WITHOUT somatic components. This is from this page.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Still Spell is really only useful for situations where you do not have one hand to devote to spellcasting, such as when you are pinned. You can attempt to cast a spell when grappled, and you must make a concentration check to cast it (whether or not the spell has a Somatic component). Still spell is also handy for casters who intend to wield weapons or shields quite frequently.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

If this is true, Jason, you might want to look into updating the section of the PFSRD I indicated above to clarify.


Thank you, everyone, for clarifying the rules on the matter. Just to make sure I have it right.

Grappled - Still Spell offers no benefit. A Concentration check DC 10 + CMB + Spell level is required to cast.

Pinned - Still Spell allows one to cast, with a Concentration check DC 10 + CMB + Spell level required. (edited DC, thank you Fatespinner)

Is the intention to make sure that a caster is unable to cast while grappled?

Consider. A 2nd level wizard trying to cast his 1st level spells while grappled by a CR 2 choker. DC 19.

A 9th level wizard trying to cast his 5th level spells while grappled by a CR 9 T-Rex. DC 47.

A 20th level wizard trying to cast his 9th level spells while grappled by a CR 20 pit fiend. DC 57.

The 20th level wizard probably has a +30 bonus on Concentration checks. If he gets grappled by a T-Rex, he's unlikely to be able to cast even cantrips.

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Kain Darkwind wrote:

Thank you, everyone, for clarifying the rules on the matter. Just to make sure I have it right.

Grappled - Still Spell offers no benefit. A Concentration check DC 20 + CMB + Spell level is required to cast.

Pinned - Still Spell allows one to cast, with a Concentration check DC 20 + CMB + Spell level required.

The DC is 10 + CMB + spell level, not 20.

A T-Rex has a CMB of +28, so 10 + 28 + spell level. A 5th level spell would be DC 43. Yes, very difficult, probably nearly impossible. As it should be. The T-Rex isn't grappling you with it's stumpy forearms. It's EATING YOU. Casting isn't gonna happen there.


Fatespinner wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

Thank you, everyone, for clarifying the rules on the matter. Just to make sure I have it right.

Grappled - Still Spell offers no benefit. A Concentration check DC 20 + CMB + Spell level is required to cast.

Pinned - Still Spell allows one to cast, with a Concentration check DC 20 + CMB + Spell level required.

The DC is 10 + CMB + spell level, not 20.

Which doesn't change the fact that the DC are still impossibly high. If grappled even a wizard with still spell is completely screwed. Do we really need CR 9 monsters killing 20th level archmages?


Fatespinner wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

Thank you, everyone, for clarifying the rules on the matter. Just to make sure I have it right.

Grappled - Still Spell offers no benefit. A Concentration check DC 20 + CMB + Spell level is required to cast.

Pinned - Still Spell allows one to cast, with a Concentration check DC 20 + CMB + Spell level required.

The DC is 10 + CMB + spell level, not 20.

A T-Rex has a CMB of +28, so 10 + 28 + spell level. A 5th level spell would be DC 43. Yes, very difficult, probably nearly impossible. As it should be. The T-Rex isn't grappling you with it's stumpy forearms. It's EATING YOU. Casting isn't gonna happen there.

Thank you for the clarification, I've edited.

You are missing the +4 grapple modifier for T-Rex, making the DC 47.

A 20th level wizard with 30 Int grappled in a CR 9 creature's mouth, has no viable spell related actions. They can cast cantrips with a Concentration roll of 17, or 3rd level spells with a roll of 20.

That seems off to me. Other characters still get options when the T-Rex eats them, even if it swallows.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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There is an incongruence btw the magic chapter and the grappled condition (and a few other spots). This will be cleared up, but the grappled condition wins out here.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

There is an incongruence btw the magic chapter and the grappled condition (and a few other spots). This will be cleared up, but the grappled condition wins out here.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I appreciate the clarification. Do you have any feelings on the level 20 wizard being unable to cast anything over a 3rd level spell even with a natural 20 on a concentration check when attacked by a CR 9 monster?

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Kain Darkwind wrote:

Thank you for the clarification, I've edited.

You are missing the +4 grapple modifier for T-Rex, making the DC 47.

A 20th level wizard with 30 Int grappled in a CR 9 creature's mouth, has no viable spell related actions. They can cast cantrips with a Concentration roll of 17, or 3rd level spells with a roll of 20.

That seems off to me. Other characters still get options when the T-Rex eats them, even if it swallows.

The grapple modifier wouldn't be added in, since the T-Rex isn't MAKING a check in this case. It's base CMB (which is used to determine the DC of the check) is the only factor. The grapple bonus only applies when it is making a check.


Kain Darkwind wrote:
A 20th level wizard with 30 Int grappled in a CR 9 creature's mouth, has no viable spell related actions.

Yes. The spell-related actions should have stopped the wizard from getting there in the first place.

Contingency Freedom of Movement, anyone?


AvalonXQ wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
A 20th level wizard with 30 Int grappled in a CR 9 creature's mouth, has no viable spell related actions.

Yes. The spell-related actions should have stopped the wizard from getting there in the first place.

Contingency Freedom of Movement, anyone?

Of course! Because freedom of movement is on the wizard spell list, and there isn't any other threat the wizard might want to protect himself against with his one contingency except grapples.

Seriously, don't be a jackass. I can think of at least half a dozen situations in which you could end up grappled without a chance to react before hand, and setting that up to be instant death for a wizard is a little absurd.


Fatespinner wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

Thank you for the clarification, I've edited.

You are missing the +4 grapple modifier for T-Rex, making the DC 47.

A 20th level wizard with 30 Int grappled in a CR 9 creature's mouth, has no viable spell related actions. They can cast cantrips with a Concentration roll of 17, or 3rd level spells with a roll of 20.

That seems off to me. Other characters still get options when the T-Rex eats them, even if it swallows.

The grapple modifier wouldn't be added in, since the T-Rex isn't MAKING a check in this case. It's base CMB (which is used to determine the DC of the check) is the only factor. The grapple bonus only applies when it is making a check.

I disagree with your interpretation (It says CMB +32 for grapple, this is clearly grapple related rules), but even still, the DC is impossibly high. DC 43 (for cantrips) is utterly impossible for a 9th level wizard to make. It is unlikely that a 20th level wizard will make it as well. This is for a CR 9 monster.

Avalon, the existence of other options in the game has no bearing on whether or not the Concentration DC is effectively impossible. I am merely ensuring that the intention of such a formula was to ensure that grappled casters could not cast.


AvalonXQ wrote:


Yes. The spell-related actions should have stopped the wizard from getting there in the first place.
Contingency Freedom of Movement, anyone?

It's not a wizard spell and limited wish is too high to be contingencied.

That said for a 20th level wizard at least one of the ring slots is free action.

Long before that any wizard that likes living is going to spend around 2560gp or so on a staff with Ddoor even at 5 charges a use for such emergencies. You can activate a staff without provoking or needing a concentration check.

Personally I tended to go with gaseous form for contingency as dim locked areas were all the rage when I was playing a wizard. Having a silent still spell would be useful then, even though it would be pricy at +2 bump and 2 feat cost.

-James


The caster would be much better off using the grapple rules to get a hand free to cast without the concentration check -- however that's in the grapple section and the hold damn situation on this one is ugly.

The rules in three different places all disagree on what happens based on what is and is not happening.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just wanted to bump this thread so people can FAQ Jason's post above for the FAQ. It's been a year now, let's give him a gentle reminder, shall we?


Agreed. Double bump.


Not to add fire to the oil bowl but ...

What if he also uses a silent to that still spell?
no talking and no gestures required ...

What about that concentrationcheck now?
still neccessary?

if yes, are you serious?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Being grappled has no effect on your ability to talk so why would silent spell even matter? Either way, you still need to produce material components (which is one of the main reasons behind the concentration check IMO).

Lantern Lodge

You still provoke an attack of apportunity even if you cast a spell with still spell and silent spell so you still need to be focus during the casting.

It's the same here.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Lots of vigorous motion can force Concentration checks too. Therefore, even if you don't need to make gestures or incantations, you still need to try and maintain concentration while being ruthlessly thrashed about.


then why would any wizard NOT take the Su Teleport Power???
if it negates one of the biggest weaknesses a full caster has?


neodemus wrote:

then why would any wizard NOT take the Su Teleport Power???

if it negates one of the biggest weaknesses a full caster has?

Teleport sub school is widely considered one of the best options because it gives a way out of grapples from level 1. Foresight similarly for being able to act in the surprise round. At mid to high level the Ring of Freedom of Movement is pretty much a mandatory purchase for any spellcaster not wanting to end up as a snack.

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