Can you detected a spell being cast when there is nothing to see, nothing to hear, no components, and you aren't being targetted?


Rules Questions

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I've got a question I'm wondering if any Paizo employees can make a ruling on.

With regards to using illusions and charms, the question has come up

Can a person who can't see a spell being cast, can't hear the spell being cast, can't sense any material components, and isn't being targetted by the spell, nevertheless sense that the spell is being cast?

In other words, if a caster is standing next to a person and casts a still, silent spell with eschewed materials and that spell isn't targetting the person, can the person sense that the spell is being cast?


If they have Spellcraft, according to RAW, they can. They can't necessarily tell who cast it, but they can see the spell itself and recognize it as a spell effect.

Shadow Lodge

Yep.

That's why you can roll Spellcraft to identify an illusion spell when you see what it creates, if you make the save to recognize it as not real. As DM I usually roll these for the players, so that if they fail they don't get info they wouldn't have otherwise. ;)


Carpy DM wrote:
If they have Spellcraft, according to RAW, they can. They can't necessarily tell who cast it, but they can see the spell itself and recognize it as a spell effect.

Spellcraft states, "you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast", not "you must be able to clearly see the spell caster as the spell is being cast".

This raises the question, can a spell which has nothing to see (is stilled), nothing to hear (is silent), and no spell components (eschewed) be seen.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:
If they have Spellcraft, according to RAW, they can. They can't necessarily tell who cast it, but they can see the spell itself and recognize it as a spell effect.

Spellcraft states, "you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast", not "you must be able to clearly see the spell caster as the spell is being cast".

This raises the question, can a spell which has nothing to see (is stilled), nothing to hear (is silent), and no spell components (eschewed) be seen.

Actually, you're getting the caster confused with the spell there. There's nothing to see about the caster with a Still/Silent/Eschewed spell, but the spell itself still produces effects that can be perceived, and that is what Spellcraft requires you to see.

Liberty's Edge

To detect a spell you must have line of sight and have spellcraft. Those are the only two requirements to detect a spell being cast.

Weather or not they have still spell, silent spell, have concealment, etc does not matter.

I like to think of it like when a spell is cast some kind of magical wave goes out, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Quote:
In other words, if a caster is standing next to a person and casts a still, silent spell with eschewed materials and that spell isn't targetting the person, can the person sense that the spell is being cast?

More rules lawyering, Nothing in still or silent spell prevents AoA's. They would otherwise function just like a spell like ability as they do not require any of the above mentioned components like, and these too provoke attack like abilities.

Sorry man, you can't pump that spell up 2 spell slots to prevent the AoA. That's the RAW.


There's never been much clarity in this area of the rules. I personally think that the ruling which would make most sense and be the most fun would be to say that a silent, stilled spell cast in this fashion could not be detected simply by using spellcraft.

Ken

Shadow Lodge

LilithsThrall wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:
If they have Spellcraft, according to RAW, they can. They can't necessarily tell who cast it, but they can see the spell itself and recognize it as a spell effect.

Spellcraft states, "you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast", not "you must be able to clearly see the spell caster as the spell is being cast".

This raises the question, can a spell which has nothing to see (is stilled), nothing to hear (is silent), and no spell components (eschewed) be seen.

Emphasis mine. I take that as anything about the spell that can be seen - IE it's spell effect, the green ray of a Disintigrate or the cracking surface of the earth affected by Earthquake for example - triggers a Spellcraft check to find out what's up.

Now, if they are casting a spell that HAS no visible effect, such as certain buffs, that makes things trickier.


This brings up the question of how does one tell that someone is casting a spell when it does have components. I mean the "caster" could just be waving their hand around and throwing some random stuff.


Carpy DM wrote:


There's nothing to see about the caster with a Still/Silent/Eschewed spell,

I -think- you are separating the spell components from the spell and saying that the spell components are part of the caster, not the spell.

Is that what you are saying?


Orthos wrote:
Now, if they are casting a spell that HAS no visible effect, such as certain buffs, that makes things trickier.

Actually, the way the Spellcraft rules are written, in particular the reference to Perception modifiers applying to the Spellcraft roll, suggests that there aren't any spells with no visible effects. Or, at the least, none with no perceptible effects.


Orthos wrote:

Emphasis mine. I take that as anything about the spell that can be seen - IE it's spell effect, the green ray of a Disintigrate or the cracking surface of the earth affected by Earthquake for example - triggers a Spellcraft check to find out what's up.

Now, if they are casting a spell that HAS no visible effect, such as certain buffs, that makes things trickier.

So, an illusion (for example, silent image) can be detected as such by a simple Spellcraft roll?

I mean, the holographic image, as it were, certainly falls under the category of "anything about the spell that can be seen".

Liberty's Edge

LilithsThrall wrote:


So, an illusion (for example, silent image) can be detected as such by a simple Spellcraft roll?
I mean, the holographic image, as it were, certainly falls under the category of "anything about the spell that can be seen".

Yes, if the creature detects you CASTING the spell it can make the roll to detect what you are casting if it has the requisite ranks in spellcraft. If it fails it, it fails to recognize what spell it is.

There is also the fact that most illusion spells are cast offensively and only give saves when interacted with. Things like silent image however, you would have to be pretty dumb to cast right in front of someone.

I think you have "the spell being cast" mistaken with "the end result of the spell" mistaken.


Orthos wrote:

Yep.

That's why you can roll Spellcraft to identify an illusion spell when you see what it creates, if you make the save to recognize it as not real. As DM I usually roll these for the players, so that if they fail they don't get info they wouldn't have otherwise. ;)

Spellcraft identifies the spell, not whether or not it is being cast.

This argument is basically a disagreement as to whether or not a silenced, stilled spell can be readied against.

I think they can because an SLA is mechanically the same thing, and psionics were essentially the same thing, and they could be readied against.*

*This argument is supported by the 3.5 FAQ, and the wording for these feats has not changed.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:


There's nothing to see about the caster with a Still/Silent/Eschewed spell,

I -think- you are separating the spell components from the spell and saying that the spell components are part of the caster, not the spell.

Is that what you are saying?

Kinda. I'm saying that seeing someone chanting, waving their hands and fiddling with some bat poo lets you say, "Hey, that guy's casting a spell!", while Spellcraft lets you see a blast of cold energy come around the corner and know whether it was a polar ray or just a scorching ray cast by a air-elemental-bloodline sorcerer. Taking away the components (material, verbal, and/or somatic) keeps you from identifying the spell-casting action, but doesn't keep you from recognizing the spell itself.

Liberty's Edge

Carpy DM wrote:
Taking away the components (material, verbal, and/or somatic) keeps you from identifying the spell-casting action, but doesn't keep you from recognizing the spell itself.

This is still untrue, SLA's and the like still provoke AoA's and therefore do NOT prevent detection of the spell. These feats are designed so they may be used in specific situations like when you are being held down, or in a silence zone. When you are around a corner about to ambush a group of enemies and don't want to make noise.

Defining it as you did removes AoA's and that is mechanically incorrect and has precedent AGAINST it.

Long story short, Still and Silent spell do NOTHING past what the feat description says they do.


Carpy DM wrote:
Spellcraft lets you see a blast of cold energy come around the corner

And you also seem to be saying that an illusion cast in combat will be instantly recognizable to anyone who makes their spellcraft roll - whether or not they make their save - because they will see something like a ray coming across the corner to create the image and be able to make their spellcraft roll against that ray.


WWWW wrote:
This brings up the question of how does one tell that someone is casting a spell when it does have components. I mean the "caster" could just be waving their hand around and throwing some random stuff.

This is why I said the game assumes you know when a spell is being cast. If it didn't then similar arguments against readying to stop psionics or SLA's would apply. I also think that if these two feats combined to be an exception to the rule against readying an attack it would have been mentioned.

On to a related topic:
I think the DM has to fluff this up to make it make sense to him or her. Maybe the caster's eyes roll into the back of their heads or the act of using magic causes one's hair to stand on end, and so on.
RAW as it stands it only states that you have to ready the action.

This is not the same as auto detecting a hiding person, before that argument comes up, because the game assumes you have to find the hiding person. There is no check to know if someone is casting a spell. There is only a check to know what spell is being cast.


Provoking an AoO doesn't happen because you recognize the casting of a spell - it happens because you spot an opening in the defenses of your opponent. Spellcasting still requires concentration, which still means you might drop your guard, whether it has visible components or not.

The question isn't AoOs, it's readied actions. It's whether you can say, "I hit him if he starts casting," if you can't tell he's casting. And though game balance would suggest allowing it is a good idea, I have to admit I don't understand how you'd tell.


Carpy DM wrote:

Provoking an AoO doesn't happen because you recognize the casting of a spell - it happens because you spot an opening in the defenses of your opponent. Spellcasting still requires concentration, which still means you might drop your guard, whether it has visible components or not.

The question isn't AoOs, it's readied actions. It's whether you can say, "I hit him if he starts casting," if you can't tell he's casting. And though game balance would suggest allowing it is a good idea, I have to admit I don't understand how you'd tell.

I really don't think game balance requires such detection to occur, I believe the opposite. Because, if you could detect it, to detect an illusion, all you'd have to do is detect that an illusion spell was cast. That'd render illusion spells mostly useless against anyone with Spellcraft.


Themetricsystem wrote:
This is still untrue, SLA's and the like still provoke AoA's and therefore do NOT prevent detection of the spell.

As Carpe DM said. AoO are not provoked by casting a spell. They don't detect the casting of a spell. What they detect is the dropping of the guard which typically occurs with casting a spell (though see "Casting Defensively").


LilithsThrall wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:
Spellcraft lets you see a blast of cold energy come around the corner
And you also seem to be saying that an illusion cast in combat will be instantly recognizable to anyone who makes their spellcraft roll - whether or not they make their save - because they will see something like a ray coming across the corner to create the image and be able to make their spellcraft roll against that ray.

I am saying that, and I rule that way in my games. Casting illusions in front of people that you want to be believed is rarely a good idea. This only really applies to figments and glamers, and then only to ones that are perceived at the time of casting; moreover, just because you recognize that it's an illusory wall doesn't mean you can see through it without making your save, so the caster on the other side still has total concealment. (shrug)


Carpy DM wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:
Spellcraft lets you see a blast of cold energy come around the corner
And you also seem to be saying that an illusion cast in combat will be instantly recognizable to anyone who makes their spellcraft roll - whether or not they make their save - because they will see something like a ray coming across the corner to create the image and be able to make their spellcraft roll against that ray.
I am saying that, and I rule that way in my games. Casting illusions in front of people that you want to be believed is rarely a good idea. This only really applies to figments and glamers, and then only to ones that are perceived at the time of casting; moreover, just because you recognize that it's an illusory wall doesn't mean you can see through it without making your save, so the caster on the other side still has total concealment. (shrug)

Casting illusions in front of people is standard practice. Silent Image, for example, only has a duration of Concentration. To cast a spell into an area and then wait for the target to move into position(and, remember, you have to maintain concentration the whole time you are trying to lure the target into position) makes the spell very unweildy.

The Exchange

Wouldn't Detect Magic work?


Carpy DM wrote:
just because you recognize that it's an illusory wall doesn't mean you can see through it without making your save, so the caster on the other side still has total concealment. (shrug)

I don't believe that you see through it regardless.

-James


I know this is off topic but how is the person going to be fooled, assuming they have spellcraft, if they just watched you cast the spell? That is like being caught with your hand in the cookie jar, and then trying to deny it.


james maissen wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:
just because you recognize that it's an illusory wall doesn't mean you can see through it without making your save, so the caster on the other side still has total concealment. (shrug)

I don't believe that you see through it regardless.

-James

I think that seeing through it allows you to disregard it. It is also possible to fluff it as you believing your spellcraft check was incorrect, that way the spell is not beat by a skill. I guess I just answered my own question then.


snobi wrote:
Wouldn't Detect Magic work?

Work for what?

Detecting an illusion?
Yes, but Detect Magic isn't typically passive.

The Exchange

LilithsThrall wrote:


Work for what?

If I'm facing you and all I do is Detect Magic each round, I will notice an aura when you cast your spell.

Liberty's Edge

LilithsThrall wrote:


I really don't think game balance requires such detection to occur, I believe the opposite. Because, if you could detect it, to detect an illusion, all you'd have to do is detect that an illusion spell was cast. That'd render illusion spells mostly useless against anyone with Spellcraft.

This is true, but looking through the bestiary... maybe 1/8 monsters have ranks in spellcraft so this is a nonissue


LilithsThrall wrote:
Casting illusions in front of people is standard practice. Silent Image, for example, only has a duration of Concentration. To cast a spell into an area and then wait for the target to move into position(and, remember, you have to maintain concentration the whole time you are trying to lure the target into position) makes the spell very unweildy.

As you might imagine, using silent image in front of people is not "standard practice" in my games, and I honestly am perfectly fine with that. I consider it a utility spell, one used to set something else up, and therefore rarely done in plain sight. I am, however, confused - do casters in your games only cast Still, Silent illusions? Because otherwise, I'm having trouble seeing how the "Spellcraft = strong resistance to illusions" ruling is even vaguely controversial.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I cast an illusion spell that has a figment to it. I make it appear as if a large creature came out of nowhere and appeared in the middle of my targets.

I cast an illusion spell and make it appear as if a wall of fire appears between me and my enemies.

If I don't have silent/still/etc, then everyone knows I cast a spell. Unless they succeed at a spellcraft check however, they have no idea whether it was a summon monster, or a wall of fire, or an illusion.

As to the original questions... If you have a readied action and say 'I stab him if he casts a spell', and he casts a silent stilled eschewed spell, then it's a bluff check. If the caster succeeds, then the person waiting doesn't know he cast the spell. Even if he detects the spell using spellcraft, he doesn't think it came from the person he's guarding. It could have come from one of his compatriots, or someone in a bush somewhere.

The spellcraft check is for the spell, not the caster.

EDIT: I'd give the caster a huge bonus for his metamagic feats on his bluff check, likely +5 per feat to be stealthy. It should be HARD to notice someone casting a still/silent/eschewed spell. It takes 3 feats to do that. It would be like an archer taking pointn blank shot, rapid shot and far shot and then being told 'Oh, sorry, they saw you fire the arrows from way far away and side stepped from where they were due to the distance'. If you spend 3 feats on casting without being noticeable, you need to get benefit of that.


Themetricsystem wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


I really don't think game balance requires such detection to occur, I believe the opposite. Because, if you could detect it, to detect an illusion, all you'd have to do is detect that an illusion spell was cast. That'd render illusion spells mostly useless against anyone with Spellcraft.

This is true, but looking through the bestiary... maybe 1/8 monsters have ranks in spellcraft so this is a nonissue

In the games I'm typically in, 98% of encounters are against humans or the like. So, it's very much an issue.


Carpy DM wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Casting illusions in front of people is standard practice. Silent Image, for example, only has a duration of Concentration. To cast a spell into an area and then wait for the target to move into position(and, remember, you have to maintain concentration the whole time you are trying to lure the target into position) makes the spell very unweildy.
As you might imagine, using silent image in front of people is not "standard practice" in my games, and I honestly am perfectly fine with that. I consider it a utility spell, one used to set something else up, and therefore rarely done in plain sight. I am, however, confused - do casters in your games only cast Still, Silent illusions? Because otherwise, I'm having trouble seeing how the "Spellcraft = strong resistance to illusions" ruling is even vaguely controversial.

"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

But, given the way you run illusions, I'm betting your PCs rarely if ever use figments.


LilithsThrall wrote:


"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

You were claiming that being able to spellcraft an illusion being cast removed the usefulness of the illusion spells.

Well if a caster out in the open casts an unmodified silent image spell, then certainly it can be identified via spellcraft.

Thus combining this with your claim, would lead him to that logical question.

-James


james maissen wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

You were claiming that being able to spellcraft an illusion being cast removed the usefulness of the illusion spells.

Well if a caster out in the open casts an unmodified silent image spell, then certainly it can be identified via spellcraft.

Thus combining this with your claim, would lead him to that logical question.

-James

I still don't get the point you're trying to make?


Ah, the eternal issue on the usefulness of illusions...

There are some things that can be gleaned from 3.5. First, there is the feat and skill trick that lets you make a bluff check to disguise the kind of spell you are casting. This is not specifically Illusionist, but does indicate to me that there is no easy way to bypass the spellcraft ID.

Second, spellcraft ID's have no action. In PF, though, modifiers for perception also apply to the DC. And 15+spell level is a pretty steep DC for most non-casters.

I would point out some potential modifiers that should be applied to combat spellcraft: Distance, Distracted, INVISIBLE, and Favorable/Unfavorable/Terrible conditions.

Any opponent in meele should be counted as distracted. Low-Light would likely be unfavorable, while metamagic'd spells would be Terrible. But an invisible caster is virtually impossible, and Invisibility is a illusion spell, and many good uses of Silent Image and the like are non-attack, so will not break invisibility.

Personally, I would be generous and apply a +5 to the check for Silent Spell, and another for Still Spell. Eschew materials does not really apply, IMO. 25+spell level shuts down all but the focused casters. But really, try to cast while invisible. Automatic 35+spell level. I would allow a +5 from Silent Spell, bringing the total maximum to 40+spell level. Only end-game opponents could possibly try that one.

But, again, this has no particular bearing on Illusion Spells. Illusions suffer for that +4 to save if you think it's an illusion. Personally, I think the will save should come first, unless the spellcraft check is to counterspell. That way, you see a spell effect in progress, you make a will save, and success or failure, you then get to make a spellcraft check to ID the spell. If sucessfully ID'd as an illusion, you get to make a save next round at +4. If there was no save, they get to make the check, but still only get a +4 to that save, otherwise the spell effect remains.

Liberty's Edge

LilithsThrall wrote:

In the games I'm typically in, 98% of encounters are against humans or the like. So, it's very much an issue.

Ok, I can see this but what kind of enemies are you facing? Swarms of low level fighters? Some clerics?

My best advice would be to not cast figments or glammers in front of spellcasters able to recognize that it is an illusion spell. If you must use nondetection to eliminate any aura associated with the spell so they cannot what you are casting via detect spells or mundane ways.


LilithsThrall wrote:
james maissen wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

You were claiming that being able to spellcraft an illusion being cast removed the usefulness of the illusion spells.

Well if a caster out in the open casts an unmodified silent image spell, then certainly it can be identified via spellcraft.

Thus combining this with your claim, would lead him to that logical question.

-James

I still don't get the point you're trying to make?

Okay, let me try again. If a caster, visible to his opponent(s), casts silent image with all the usual VSM components, there is no question that his opponents would be able to use Spellcraft to identify that silent image was just cast, correct? Given that this is the case, it would seem that, under most circumstances, opponents would be able to identify an illusion without recourse to their Will save as long as they had Spellcraft. So I'm not sure how my particular "ruling" is all that unusual.

If a caster in your games casts an illusion in front of someone with ranks in Spellcraft, assuming they do so in such a way that there is no question that Spellcraft could be used to recognize the spell for what it was, how would you handle it?


LilithsThrall wrote:
james maissen wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

You were claiming that being able to spellcraft an illusion being cast removed the usefulness of the illusion spells.

Well if a caster out in the open casts an unmodified silent image spell, then certainly it can be identified via spellcraft.

Thus combining this with your claim, would lead him to that logical question.

-James

I still don't get the point you're trying to make?

I think he is saying there is no way, well almost no way, the spell(illusion) should work if it is spell crafted.

His logic and mine, assuming I am interpreting things correctly:
Illusions work because people beleive them to be real.<--This is key
If my spellcraft says you are casting an illusion spell, and something appears then why should I have to make a save to disbelieve if I just saw you cast an illusion spell right before _______ appeared. I already know ______ is not really there. There is nothing RAW that supports this,so by RAW you might have an argument that the person should still have to make a save, but I would not require one. The few times I have used an illusion spell it was for purposes of misdirection*, not actually a combat spell.

*Send the guard down the left hallway while you go right

I think there is a feat in a splatbook that allows you to use bluff in a ways that makes it oppose a spellcraft check to make them think you cast a different spell, but barring that I don't think the illusion would work.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group makes use of the skill trick concealed spellcasting or something like that from complete scoundrel. Because even a stilled and silent spells are still observable by raw.

My beguiler back in the day made very good use of that skill trick. That and group fakeout.


Themetricsystem wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:

In the games I'm typically in, 98% of encounters are against humans or the like. So, it's very much an issue.

Ok, I can see this but what kind of enemies are you facing? Swarms of low level fighters? Some clerics?

My best advice would be to not cast figments or glammers in front of spellcasters able to recognize that it is an illusion spell. If you must use nondetection to eliminate any aura associated with the spell so they cannot what you are casting via detect spells or mundane ways.

I'm not concerned with Detect Magic. I thought I already said that. I'm concerned about whether a person can tell that an illusion (still and silenced) is being cast.

Can we get off of Detect Magic? It's a non issue.


wraithstrike wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
james maissen wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

You were claiming that being able to spellcraft an illusion being cast removed the usefulness of the illusion spells.

Well if a caster out in the open casts an unmodified silent image spell, then certainly it can be identified via spellcraft.

Thus combining this with your claim, would lead him to that logical question.

-James

I still don't get the point you're trying to make?

I think he is saying there is no way, well almost no way, the spell(illusion) should work if it is spell crafted.

His logic and mine, assuming I am interpreting things correctly:
Illusions work because people beleive them to be real.<--This is key
If my spellcraft says you are casting an illusion spell, and something appears then why should I have to make a save to disbelieve if I just saw you cast an illusion spell right before _______ appeared. I already know ______ is not really there. There is nothing RAW that supports this,so by RAW you might have an argument that the person should still have to make a save, but I would not require one. The few times I have used an illusion spell it was for purposes of misdirection*, not actually a combat spell.

*Send the guard down the left hallway while you go right

I think there is a feat in a splatbook that allows you to use bluff in a ways that makes it oppose a spellcraft check to make them think you cast a different spell, but barring that I don't think the illusion would work.

We agree that, by your interpretation, illusions are largely useless. The example you gave is a good example of why. The guard following you knows you cast a spell (which made you look like you went down the wrong hall, because, by your argument, even a still, silenced spell can be seen being cast).

Liberty's Edge

Just a random observation:

I watch David Copperfield on TV. I know FOR A FACT that David is using smoke and mirrors (sometimes literally) to make me believe that I see what I see. Nonetheless, when I see what David's showing me, my brain doesn't go "That's fake". Instead, it goes "Holy crap, that dude just cut himself in half!!!1!!one!" I then have to remind myself that it's just smoke and mirrors - nobody can really do that. Even if I maintain my guard against suspending my disbelief, I still do it, because that's how the brain is wired. We learn to trust our eyes more than our knowledge. For this reason, I would have no problem enforcing a Will save on a Wizard who just made a spellcraft check and knows that that guy over there just cast Silent Image.


One point that is getting confused.

Identifying a spell by observing its effects is a function of Knowledge(Arcana)

Identifying a spell by observing the spellcasting is a function of Spellcraft.

So if see a green ray flying at me, I dodge it, and the wall behind me dissappears, it is a Knowledge(arcana) check to recognize a disintegrate spell.

If I see a guy in robes muttering something about "pyro" while pulling out a pinch of something that looks like bat droppings, it is a spellcraft check to recognize the common components of a fireball spell.

This is important. Spellcraft is the only way to identify a spell before it is cast.

Liberty's Edge

Alrighty then, granted.

But personally I don't see how this is... that much of an issue. With even the slightest bit of preparation you can prevent them from seeing you cast the spell. Things like darkness (mundane or not) line of sight, and other distractions can easily prevent them from seeing you.

As a spell-caster you shouldn't be a front liner in the first place.


Carpy DM wrote:
If a caster, visible to his opponent(s), casts silent image with all the usual VSM components, there is no question that his opponents would be able to use Spellcraft to identify that silent image was just cast, correct?

We've been discussing still, silent spell castings. Why are you bringing up casting illusions with all the usual VSM components?


LilithsThrall wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
james maissen wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


"do casters in your games only cast still, silent iillusions.."

I can't figure out your point.

You were claiming that being able to spellcraft an illusion being cast removed the usefulness of the illusion spells.

Well if a caster out in the open casts an unmodified silent image spell, then certainly it can be identified via spellcraft.

Thus combining this with your claim, would lead him to that logical question.

-James

I still don't get the point you're trying to make?

I think he is saying there is no way, well almost no way, the spell(illusion) should work if it is spell crafted.

His logic and mine, assuming I am interpreting things correctly:
Illusions work because people beleive them to be real.<--This is key
If my spellcraft says you are casting an illusion spell, and something appears then why should I have to make a save to disbelieve if I just saw you cast an illusion spell right before _______ appeared. I already know ______ is not really there. There is nothing RAW that supports this,so by RAW you might have an argument that the person should still have to make a save, but I would not require one. The few times I have used an illusion spell it was for purposes of misdirection*, not actually a combat spell.

*Send the guard down the left hallway while you go right

I think there is a feat in a splatbook that allows you to use bluff in a ways that makes it oppose a spellcraft check to make them think you cast a different spell, but barring that I don't think the illusion would work.

We agree that, by your interpretation, illusions are largely useless. The example you gave is a good example of why. The guard following you knows you cast a spell (which made you look like you went down the wrong hall, because, by your argument, even a still, silenced spell can be seen being cast).

Oops I did not know it was a silenced stilled illusion being cast. I think that according to the spellcraft skill even if you can only see the affect of a spell it can be spellcrafted. In this case a save would be allowed since that ______ might actually be real. Now if you cast a spell with no visible affect that is silenced and stilled(charm person as an example) then it can't be spellcrafted, IIRC.

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Charender wrote:

One point that is getting confused.

Identifying a spell by observing its effects is a function of Knowledge(Arcana)

Identifying a spell by observing the spellcasting is a function of Spellcraft.

So if see a green ray flying at me, I dodge it, and the wall behind me dissappears, it is a Knowledge(arcana) check to recognize a disintegrate spell.

If I see a guy in robes muttering something about "pyro" while pulling out a pinch of something that looks like bat droppings, it is a spellcraft check to recognize the common components of a fireball spell.

This is important. Spellcraft is the only way to identify a spell before it is cast.

I'd add, going back to 3.x that this was part of the justification psionics couldn't be counterspelled. The displays were part of the power 'going off' not the manifesting/casting. You could tell the psion was manifesting a power, but not what the power was until it hit.

Wizard vs Sorcerer "Look out guys, fireball coming on line!" *sorcerer finishes casting*

Anyone vs Psion "Look out guys, he's manifesting a something!" *power goes off, with all displays*

Anyone vs SLA "Look out guys he's doing a something" *SLA goes off*


Themetricsystem wrote:

Alrighty then, granted.

But personally I don't see how this is... that much of an issue. With even the slightest bit of preparation you can prevent them from seeing you cast the spell. Things like darkness (mundane or not) line of sight, and other distractions can easily prevent them from seeing you.

As a spell-caster you shouldn't be a front liner in the first place.

You don't have to be in the front line to be seen. You might want to list these ways of not being seen, that still keep a caster effective. Vision normally goes both ways, and a lot of things that block line of sight also block line of effect. Spells without lines of effect don't normally work.

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