Seeking vs. mirror image


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What happens if you shoot a seeking arrow at a target that is under the influence of a mirror image spell?

rules for seeking arrow wrote:
The weapon veers toward its target, negating any miss chances that would otherwise apply, such as from concealment. The wielder still has to aim the weapon at the right square. Arrows mistakenly shot into an empty space, for example, do not veer and hit invisible enemies, even if they are nearby.
rules for mirror image wrote:
Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. If it is a figment, the figment is destroyed.

The roll to see if you hit a figment is not a percentage miss chance like concealment, but it's still a roll to see if an otherwise good roll is actually a miss. And you are shooting into the target's actual square. So would you rule that a weapon with the seeking quality counteracts the spell and seeks out the actual target?


I would rule that the Seeking Arrow would indeed strike true. Just my opinion.


By the RAW, seeking has no effect vs mirror image. Mirror image is not a miss chance, you hit exactly what you were aiming for.

As for the RAI...

On one hand, if you shoot a seeking arrow at an illusion of a man, you hit the illusion because you were aiming at the illusion. You hit exactly what your were aiming for.

On the other hand, mirror image is very similar to displacement, so I could see seeking negating mirror image in a similar manner.

I am inclined to stick with the letter of the RAW on this one.


Michael Gentry wrote:

What happens if you shoot a seeking arrow at a target that is under the influence of a mirror image spell?

So would you rule that a weapon with the seeking quality counteracts the spell and seeks out the actual target?

If you had two creatures in the same square that (say via illusion) looked alike, would seeking allow you to hit the one that you wanted even if you weren't sure which one that was?

That's how I see mirror image. Take your answer from there, one way or the other.

For example I could see firing at the square of a single invisible target not having a miss chance with seeking. However if there were two invisible targets in that square I'm no longer sure.

What if the scenario were as follows: you are fighting 4 pixies that are all invisible. You wish to fire at a specific pixie (say one casting a spell), but you pick the wrong square. There happen to be 2 pixies in that square, however, just not your intended target. How does seeking apply here? At all? Does it negate the 50-50 miss chance but you still roll randomly between the 2 non-intended targets? What if you just intended to hit 'a pixie' is that reasonable?

These are the kinds of questions that should fall together with mirror image. Whichever way you go, be consistent.

-James

Dark Archive

To create a Seeking Arrow, you need "True Seeing" to craft it.

A little clause in "True Seeing" says you see through all illusions. I would rule that Seeking arrows hit the true target 100% of the time.


Whoa whoa, slow down people.

Seekin is already the best ranged weapon ability there is, let's not add anything to it. At the very least, for the sake of BBEG's everywhere, let's consider the fact that seeking helps you hit a target. If you can see through the illusion then seeking would definetely let you strike true, but if you aim for one of the images, not realizing it was an illusion, then you would hit that image and that image alone.

If I had to choose between making seeking better or mirror image more useful I'd go with the figment any day.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, I'm generally in agreement with Hexcaliber on this. Seeking only works based on what you are targeting, which means one of the mirror images in most cases. Besides, between rapid shot and fighter base progression, archers are already pretty much the fastest way to dispense with Mirror Images (a monk flurry-ing with shuriken works pretty well too), I don't think we need to buff them any more.


Close your eyes, ignore the images, and you only take the miss chance from blind, which seeking does ignore.

Dark Archive

Laughing Goblin wrote:
Yeah, I'm generally in agreement with Hexcaliber on this. Seeking only works based on what you are targeting, which means one of the mirror images in most cases. Besides, between rapid shot and fighter base progression, archers are already pretty much the fastest way to dispense with Mirror Images (a monk flurry-ing with shuriken works pretty well too), I don't think we need to buff them any more.

Well, this goes off of the 'Detect Magic doesn't beat Invisibility' argument (that is still up in the air).

True Seeing (Seeking Requirement) is a CL 9 requirement, Seeking's base requirement in the first place is CL 12 requirement.

Mirror Image is is a CL 3 Requirement. You're saying that a Level 5/CL9/CL12 Ability doesn't beat out a Level 2/CL3 Ability?


Caineach wrote:
Close your eyes, ignore the images, and you only take the miss chance from blind, which seeking does ignore.

Yes, the worst loophole ever allowed in this game. An entire profession (illusionist) almost completely wiped off the face of the rulebook by simply closing our eyes.

While the RAW seems to allow this, it's total rules-lawyer cheese and I believe that any DM with any inkling towards game balance would houserule this right out of existence.

For me, a seeking arrow needs to have a target. The attacker gives it a target. If you target the wizard, you have to pick one of his images (you could guess right and pick the actual wizard, or wrong and pick an illusory image, as described in the Mirror Image spell). If you pick right, your arrow seeks and hits him. If not, your arrow seeks the image and dispels that one image.

If you close your eyes, you are not targeting the wizard; instead you are targeting the space you think he is in. If you target the correct space (wouldn't a clever illusionist ready a move action against opponents closing their eyes?), your seeking arrow will seek that space, but that doesn't mean it hits the wizard. The space is big, the wizard is not a gelatinous cube, so he doesn't fill the whole space - only part of it. Therefore, his 50% miss chance still applies, since he is not the target of your seeking arrow.

Heck, that might even be RAW rather than interpretation, since we're clearly (by RAW) targeting a space rather than a wizard, and since the untargeted wizard has concealment but the targeted space does not have concealment... Well, maybe not, but it's close. And far less cheesy.


Imper1um wrote:
Laughing Goblin wrote:
Yeah, I'm generally in agreement with Hexcaliber on this. Seeking only works based on what you are targeting, which means one of the mirror images in most cases. Besides, between rapid shot and fighter base progression, archers are already pretty much the fastest way to dispense with Mirror Images (a monk flurry-ing with shuriken works pretty well too), I don't think we need to buff them any more.

Well, this goes off of the 'Detect Magic doesn't beat Invisibility' argument (that is still up in the air).

True Seeing (Seeking Requirement) is a CL 9 requirement, Seeking's base requirement in the first place is CL 12 requirement.

Mirror Image is is a CL 3 Requirement. You're saying that a Level 5/CL9/CL12 Ability doesn't beat out a Level 2/CL3 Ability?

Just remember that the spell you use to create magic items does not mean the magic item gains all the benefits of the spell.

If that were the case, then flaming swords would do at least 6d6 fire damage to everyone in a 20' burst, since they are made with Fireball at a minimum CL of 6.

And god forbid any ordinary blacksmith actually creates a flaming sword, or a seeking arrow, using nothing but his ranks in Craft(weapon). Since he uses no spell at all, how would a seeking arrow even work if we ruled that it is based on True Sight?

No, the spell being used is just fluff, with the only actual game mechanic that it has any relevance toward being that you must add +5 to the DC to make the item if you don't cast the spell during the crafting process. No other game mechanics are affected by the fluffy spell choice.

Cloak of Elvenkind would turn you invisible. Gloves of Arrow Snaring would give you +4 AC, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Close your eyes, ignore the images, and you only take the miss chance from blind, which seeking does ignore.

Yes, the worst loophole ever allowed in this game. An entire profession (illusionist) almost completely wiped off the face of the rulebook by simply closing our eyes.

While the RAW seems to allow this, it's total rules-lawyer cheese and I believe that any DM with any inkling towards game balance would houserule this right out of existence.

For me, a seeking arrow needs to have a target. The attacker gives it a target. If you target the wizard, you have to pick one of his images (you could guess right and pick the actual wizard, or wrong and pick an illusory image, as described in the Mirror Image spell). If you pick right, your arrow seeks and hits him. If not, your arrow seeks the image and dispels that one image.

If you close your eyes, you are not targeting the wizard; instead you are targeting the space you think he is in. If you target the correct space (wouldn't a clever illusionist ready a move action against opponents closing their eyes?), your seeking arrow will seek that space, but that doesn't mean it hits the wizard. The space is big, the wizard is not a gelatinous cube, so he doesn't fill the whole space - only part of it. Therefore, his 50% miss chance still applies, since he is not the target of your seeking arrow.

Heck, that might even be RAW rather than interpretation, since we're clearly (by RAW) targeting a space rather than a wizard, and since the untargeted wizard has concealment but the targeted space does not have concealment... Well, maybe not, but it's close. And far less cheesy.

Now this is interesting.

Let's say the wizard is not using mirror image. Let's say instead the room is in total darkness, giving the wizard total concealment (50% miss chance), assuming you know what square he's in.

Let's say you have the scent ability, and you know what square the wizard is in. You shoot a seeking arrow into that square. Do you roll the miss chance then?

What about if you close your eyes first? (Remember, it's already pitch dark.) Do you roll the miss chance then?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here's what I think I would do, based on some of the responses here:

Just shooting into a mirror image spell: I think Hexcalibur is right, a seeking arrow would not beat the spell. Mirror image doesn't make it harder to hit the target, it makes it impossible to tell which target you should be aiming at.

I actually would allow the closing eyes trick -- I think that's a pretty cool stunt. Very Luke Skywalker with the blast visor down. HOWEVER, I would ask the player to make a Perception check to determine which square the target is in first.


Michael Gentry wrote:

Here's what I think I would do, based on some of the responses here:

Just shooting into a mirror image spell: I think Hexcalibur is right, a seeking arrow would not beat the spell. Mirror image doesn't make it harder to hit the target, it makes it impossible to tell which target you should be aiming at.

I actually would allow the closing eyes trick -- I think that's a pretty cool stunt. Very Luke Skywalker with the blast visor down. HOWEVER, I would ask the player to make a Perception check to determine which square the target is in first.

Unfortunately, there are a couple things wrong with this analysis.

1. Any ordinary pig farmer could do this to defeat Mirror Image. Pig farmers don't have the Force, they aren't Luke Skywalker, and they shouldn't be able to undermine a 2nd level spell quite so easily.

2. The player could easily say "I see the wizard standing there with all his images swirling around him, so I know what square he is in. Then I close my eyes and target that space." Because those images are not swarming all over the battlefield (they are all, in fact, right there in the same square as the wizard), the character would not need a perception check to know which square to shoot at - he already saw the wizard standing in that square.


DM_Blake wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

Here's what I think I would do, based on some of the responses here:

Just shooting into a mirror image spell: I think Hexcalibur is right, a seeking arrow would not beat the spell. Mirror image doesn't make it harder to hit the target, it makes it impossible to tell which target you should be aiming at.

I actually would allow the closing eyes trick -- I think that's a pretty cool stunt. Very Luke Skywalker with the blast visor down. HOWEVER, I would ask the player to make a Perception check to determine which square the target is in first.

Unfortunately, there are a couple things wrong with this analysis.

1. Any ordinary pig farmer could do this to defeat Mirror Image. Pig farmers don't have the Force, they aren't Luke Skywalker, and they shouldn't be able to undermine a 2nd level spell quite so easily.

2. The player could easily say "I see the wizard standing there with all his images swirling around him, so I know what square he is in. Then I close my eyes and target that space." Because those images are not swarming all over the battlefield (they are all, in fact, right there in the same square as the wizard), the character would not need a perception check to know which square to shoot at - he already saw the wizard standing in that square.

First, Ordinary pig farmers generally don't have +1 bows of seeking, an 8000+ gold value item.

Second, closing your eyes to make you a lot easier to attack.


Charender wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

Here's what I think I would do, based on some of the responses here:

Just shooting into a mirror image spell: I think Hexcalibur is right, a seeking arrow would not beat the spell. Mirror image doesn't make it harder to hit the target, it makes it impossible to tell which target you should be aiming at.

I actually would allow the closing eyes trick -- I think that's a pretty cool stunt. Very Luke Skywalker with the blast visor down. HOWEVER, I would ask the player to make a Perception check to determine which square the target is in first.

Unfortunately, there are a couple things wrong with this analysis.

1. Any ordinary pig farmer could do this to defeat Mirror Image. Pig farmers don't have the Force, they aren't Luke Skywalker, and they shouldn't be able to undermine a 2nd level spell quite so easily.

2. The player could easily say "I see the wizard standing there with all his images swirling around him, so I know what square he is in. Then I close my eyes and target that space." Because those images are not swarming all over the battlefield (they are all, in fact, right there in the same square as the wizard), the character would not need a perception check to know which square to shoot at - he already saw the wizard standing in that square.

First, Ordinary pig farmers generally don't have +1 bows of seeking, an 8000+ gold value item.

Second, closing your eyes to make you a lot easier to attack.

You don't need a bow of seeking (or even an arrow of seeking) to use this trick. An ordinary pig farmer could own a normal bow, crossbow, or sling. He might throw a rusty dagger or a potato or a dirt clod. Whatever his attack, he has a better chance to hit the actual wizard if he closes his eyes and deals with the 50% miss chance than if he opens his eyes and deals with all those illusory images.

At least if we allow such a thing.

As for being easier to kill, maybe, but opening and closing eyes sounds like free actions to me, so why not:
1. spot the square
2. close eyes
3. make attack
4. open eyes

I mean, if we're going to open the can of cheese, why not spread it nice and thick?


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I think seeking will hit the actual wizard. Since a seeking round will hit an invisible opponent you cannot see as long as your shot is at the correct square it is in, you don't have to actually SEE the target for your arrow to know what to hit. You just need to know what you WANT to hit and target the correct 5 foot area it is in. The Seeking does the rest. You don't even have to know for sure your target is in that square. He just has to be, luck and seeking does it for you.

If seeking defeats a 2nd level illusion (Invisibility) then it should also overcome a 2nd level illision (Mirror Image).

Seeking only requires you to target the correct SQUARE that your intended target is in and then it "negates any miss chances that would otherwise apply...".

Mirror Image provides an spell effect that makes your chances to be missed increased. It does not do it in a game mechanic way that concealment does but it is still an increase in your chances to be missed. While concealment is mentioned in the item ability, it is referanced as ONE common example of what "negating any miss chances that would otherwise apply.." could be, not the sole one.


DM_Blake wrote:

You don't need a bow of seeking (or even an arrow of seeking) to use this trick. An ordinary pig farmer could own a normal bow, crossbow, or sling. He might throw a rusty dagger or a potato or a dirt clod. Whatever his attack, he has a better chance to hit the actual wizard if he closes his eyes and deals with the 50% miss chance than if he opens his eyes and deals with all those illusory images.

At least if we allow such a thing.

As for being easier to kill, maybe, but opening and closing eyes sounds like free actions to me, so why not:
1. spot the square
2. close eyes
3. make attack
4. open eyes

I mean, if we're going to open the can of cheese, why not spread it nice and thick?

Blinking your eyes =/= closing your eyes.

The penalties for cleave and lunge apply for the entire round after you make the attack. The penalty for closing your eyes to make an attack would also persist after you make the attack.


DM Blake, it is very clear in the spell discription that the attacker must be able to see you to be fooled.

The DM is perfectly able to use this tactic. My GM was the first one to use it in play since his monsters had blindfight and would rather hit than not be flat footed by range, though we had all known about it for a little while so it was no suprize.

Seeking arrows prevent miss chance from concealment. The miss chance form being blind is concealment. If you can succeed the perception check to target a square, you can fire the arrow blindly and ignore the miss chance. You still take all the penalties for being blind though.

Mirror image is not a miss chance, so it is not prevented by seeking.


DM_Blake wrote:


1. Any ordinary pig farmer could do this to defeat Mirror Image. Pig farmers don't have the Force, they aren't Luke Skywalker, and they shouldn't be able to undermine a 2nd level spell quite so easily.

All that is the problem here is ruling on when one closes his/her eyes and for how long.

This normally comes into play when facing critters with gaze attacks. At the start of one's turn they can decide 'closed', 'averted' or 'open' and it remains until the start of their next action.

It seems to handle things fine there and don't see as an issue here.

Being blind certainly should defeat Mirror Image as it was designed to do so. You just need to make sure that the consequences of being blind balance that out, which if it lasts for a round imho would do so.

-James

Dark Archive

Caineach wrote:

DM Blake, it is very clear in the spell discription that the attacker must be able to see you to be fooled.

The DM is perfectly able to use this tactic. My GM was the first one to use it in play since his monsters had blindfight and would rather hit than not be flat footed by range, though we had all known about it for a little while so it was no suprize.

Seeking arrows prevent miss chance from concealment. The miss chance form being blind is concealment. If you can succeed the perception check to target a square, you can fire the arrow blindly and ignore the miss chance. You still take all the penalties for being blind though.

Mirror image is not a miss chance, so it is not prevented by seeking.

Technically, it is miss chance, because you have a chance to miss the target and hit an image instead. Think of Mirror Image as 1-(1/x) concealment, where X = images + 1. With four images, you have 80% Concealment (20% Hit Chance).

It's one of those things you have to rule in your game separately. To be honest, even if I was killing myself (because a player had a Seeking bow), it wouldn't be too big of a deal. How many players are proficient in bows? When could you get access to a Seeking Weapon? +1 Seeking is 4,000gp minimum, and that's not even if you're giving a bow a strength maximum. It shouldn't be a big deal. You have PCs that were clever enough to get a Seeking bow to deal full damage to Invisible/Mirror Image'd player. That's 15-25% of the party that doesn't worry about I/MI.

Seriously, everyone is just overthinking this (I think even me). Rule it as you like. This isn't in stone, and no one really can absolutely rule it 100% because I can't find that one clause in Seeking that says 'This negates Mirror Image', and I can't find the one clause in Mirror Image that says 'Seeking will not bypass this spell.'

You can rule it however you like, and as a player you should go with however the GM says it is. As a GM, you should rule it one way or the other and remain constant.


Imper1um wrote:
Technically, it is miss chance, because you have a chance to miss the target and hit an image instead.

Though by that same measure AC is a miss chance since you have a chance to miss the target.


Mirror Image is not a miss chance -- you hit -- just the wrong thing.

Dark Archive

WWWW wrote:
Imper1um wrote:
Technically, it is miss chance, because you have a chance to miss the target and hit an image instead.
Though by that same measure AC is a miss chance since you have a chance to miss the target.

Now you're just being fickle and attempting to debunk my logic. AC is not miss chance, it's deflection chance.

What do I mean? With Miss Chance, it's a chance to just plain not be able to hit them because you couldn't figure out where to stab. AC is the opposite. You know where to stab, you just have to:

1. Get through their ability to step out of the way.
2. Get through their armor, by hitting a scoring blow.
3. Get past their shield that they use to deflect your blow.

That's the core difference between Miss and Deflection (AC).


Imper1um wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Imper1um wrote:
Technically, it is miss chance, because you have a chance to miss the target and hit an image instead.
Though by that same measure AC is a miss chance since you have a chance to miss the target.

Now you're just being fickle and attempting to debunk my logic. AC is not miss chance, it's deflection chance.

What do I mean? With Miss Chance, it's a chance to just plain not be able to hit them because you couldn't figure out where to stab. AC is the opposite. You know where to stab, you just have to:

1. Get through their ability to step out of the way.
2. Get through their armor, by hitting a scoring blow.
3. Get past their shield that they use to deflect your blow.

That's the core difference between Miss and Deflection (AC).

Er I think that it is you that are being fickle just to debunk my logic. First you say it is a miss chance because it is a chance to miss. Then you draw a distinction between the types of missing just to be correct. I can just as well say that in the case of mirror image you absolutely hit what you were aiming at. It is just that sometimes you were aiming at something that was different from what you thought it was and so you did not miss you just chose to attack something different then the caster. Thus mirror image is not a miss chance any more then choosing which of two identical creatures to attack is.

I mean the miss chance from wind wall is not because you can not figure out what to hit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:

Unfortunately, there are a couple things wrong with this analysis.

1. Any ordinary pig farmer could do this to defeat Mirror Image. Pig farmers don't have the Force, they aren't Luke Skywalker, and they shouldn't be able to undermine a 2nd level spell quite so easily.

Number one, it's not an analysis. It's me explaining how I plan to rule it when I'm running my game, in case anyone is interested.

Second, a pig farmer has a Perception bonus, even if it's zero (or less). Anyone with a Perception bonus can make a Perception check to detect a nearby invisible creature. In the very unlikely event that a pig farmer succeeds at the check (which would likely be DC 25+ at the very least, and that's assuming the invisible target is making lots of noise), then that pig farmer has earned the right to chuck a rock at the square at whatever godawful attack bonus he happens to have, plus a 50% miss chance, for whatever it's worth.

You started out this thread shouting about RAW. Well, guess what, those are the RAW. If you're suddenly going to abandon the RAW because it doesn't fit your thematic ideas about pig farmers, then perhaps you shouldn't get so indignant about how others like to rule about arrows of seeking.

Quote:


2. The player could easily say "I see the wizard standing there with all his images swirling around him, so I know what square he is in. Then I close my eyes and target that space." Because those images are not swarming all over the battlefield (they are all, in fact, right there in the same square as the wizard), the character would not need a perception check to know which square to shoot at - he already saw the wizard standing in that square.

Yes, a player could easily say that. If I were GMing, I would disallow it. Shifting battlefield, heat of the moment, etc., etc. Make your Perception check, son.

I'm not sure what your gripe is at this point, to be honest. You think just closing your eyes to defeat a mirror image spell is too easy -- I happen to agree. That's why I would make it harder, by requiring a relatively difficult Perception check first.

Scarab Sages

For the closing the eyes trick--

I just make it a 50% chance to hit. If the player hits, then I determine if it was a mirror image or the bbeg. :D

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I love how it's munchkin cheese to defeat a visual illusion by doing the logical thing of closing your eyes. Just look at the medusa (not literally). Her gaze attack is much more potent than mirror image, yet it's solved just as easily with the power of eyelids, and all it does is make her have total concealment rather than inflict blindness of all things.

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