Jason: Is concealed spellcasting possible with metamagic?


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

Is it possible to identify a spell via the Spellcraft skill as it is being cast, if it is being cast with the eschew materials, silent spell, AND still spell feats?

Spellcraft specifically says you have to be able to see the spell being cast, and under the above circumstances, there is no spellcasting to be seen. (What is spellcasting if not the components that trigger the spell?)

I've had people argue that it still works in the same way that you can still make an attack of opportunity against someone casting an eschewed, silent, stilled spell, but I disagree since that is a matter of the spellcaster putting his attention towards the spell rather than the fight on hand, rather than the attacker identifying that the spellcaster is casting a spell.

Surely those feats aren't just for use when you are captured. They can also be used to conceal spellcasting, right?

I'm looking for your personal view on the matter, official or otherwise.


Ravingdork wrote:

Is it possible to identify a spell via the Spellcraft skill as it is being cast, if it is being cast with the eschew materials, silent spell, AND still spell feats?

Spellcraft specifically says you have to be able to see the spell being cast, and under the above circumstances, there is no spellcasting to be seen. (What is spellcasting if not the components that trigger the spell?)

I've had people argue that it still works in the same way that you can still make an attack of opportunity against someone casting an eschewed, silent, stilled spell, but I disagree since that is a matter of the spellcaster putting his attention towards the spell rather than the fight on hand, rather than the attacker identifying that the spellcaster is casting a spell.

Surely those feats aren't just for use when you are captured. They can also be used to conceal spellcasting, right?

I'm looking for your personal view on the matter, official or otherwise.

Perhaps it would require a perception check modified in some way by their spell craft rank.

I mean arcane trickster only works becuase you can sneak attack with spells, if the target automatically got to check what spell was being cast from a hidden oppoent then he could never be unaware and thus never sneak attacked in the first place.

although being psycailly hidden via stealth ins't the same as still/silent etc I put it in the same boat that you need to first be aware someone is casting before you can have a hope to recognize the spell.

Perhaps the other way would be to treat it like a perception check
-5 if silent
-5 if still

since all these things would give you clue's about the type of spell being cast which is how I think spell craft works.

So modify the required DC by the concealing modifier on the spell
if they fail by say 10 or more they don't know a spell is being cast
if they fail by 5 or more they know a spell is being cast but they don't know by whom
etc

Or

Have them make a perception check to identify that someone is casting a spell and if they fail that they don't get to make a spellcraft check

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:

Is it possible to identify a spell via the Spellcraft skill as it is being cast, if it is being cast with the eschew materials, silent spell, AND still spell feats?

Spellcraft specifically says you have to be able to see the spell being cast, and under the above circumstances, there is no spellcasting to be seen. (What is spellcasting if not the components that trigger the spell?)

I've had people argue that it still works in the same way that you can still make an attack of opportunity against someone casting an eschewed, silent, stilled spell, but I disagree since that is a matter of the spellcaster putting his attention towards the spell rather than the fight on hand, rather than the attacker identifying that the spellcaster is casting a spell.

Surely those feats aren't just for use when you are captured. They can also be used to conceal spellcasting, right?

I'm looking for your personal view on the matter, official or otherwise.

Identifying a spell being cast is is not the main problem here. The short answer to your question is no because to "see a spell being cast" all you need do is observe its effects as it is being resolved. Just because all of the casting components have been nulled out does not mean the spell isn't being "cast" and if that were the case no spell would ever resolve.

Think about it this way, to cast a spell it takes a standard action. this is about 3 seconds of concentration. When you cast a spell you lower your defenses for that specific purpose of casting the spell to concentrate. Think of it like you are "Zoning out" for 3 seconds. Now lets say you take away all the components. So the enemy just saw you, a spellcaster, walk into melee range, and go blank faced and slack jawed for a moment. That guy is going to know SOMETHING is going on.

This goes back to the big arguement of what provokes attacks of opportunity. So let me put it in no uncertain terms. The only thing that ever provokes an attack of opportunity is the letting down of ones guard, not the action associated with it. To stand up from prone requires you letting your guard down, this provokes. Casting a spell requires letting our guard down, this provokes. Sheathing a weapon? Same thing.

It is also worth noting that the enemy get the AoO regardless of weather or not he successfully identified the spell being cast with spellcraft so your whole example kinda falls apart there anyway.

But I do think some official word on this would be beneficial regardless so just that we may settle the issue once and for all. This comes up about 1-2 times a week and I am frankly a little bit surprised it hasn't been addressed yet, even if the answer is within the rules.


please note that identifying the spell does per the rules have the same penalties that a perception check would have... of course not identifying the spell isn't the same as not noticing the spell or who it came from.


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

Identifying a spell effect AFTER it has been cast isn't in the realm of Spellcraft, but Knowledge: arcana.

Spellcraft only allows you to identify it as it is being cast, before it shows any kind of manifestation (since it is not yet cast).


I think you are talking about casting in melee while concealing the fact that you are casting, and not casting from concealment, right? Two different animals.

I like Phasic's situational modifiers, but for Spellcraft checks, rather than Perception and I think Themetricsystem has the right of it.

.

Just to add another opinion to the mix:

It seems as if an eschewed, still, silent spell would be almost EXACTLY the same as a spell like ability, in appearance at least.

SLA's DO provoke AoO's, per RAW, even though they involve little more than mental effort on the caster's part.


Ezh Darkstrider wrote:

I think you are talking about casting in melee while concealing the fact that you are casting, and not casting from concealment, right? Two different animals.

It's not so much about casting in melee as it would matter in social situations. Can the mage charm the goblin without the other goblins noticing? That sort of stuff.

The problem I see with the spellcraft check argument is that it's sort of a circular argument. "You always notice spells being cast, because spellcraft says you can identify spells you notice being cast". It doesn't seem to hold up to me.


stringburka wrote:
The problem I see with the spellcraft check argument is that it's sort of a circular argument. "You always notice spells being cast, because spellcraft says you can identify spells you notice being cast". It doesn't seem to hold up to me.

That's not circular, for the record. That's called "actually has a rule in the rulebook that supports it". Circular would be, "You notice spells being cast because spells are noticeable".


Zurai wrote:
stringburka wrote:
The problem I see with the spellcraft check argument is that it's sort of a circular argument. "You always notice spells being cast, because spellcraft says you can identify spells you notice being cast". It doesn't seem to hold up to me.
That's not circular, for the record. That's called "actually has a rule in the rulebook that supports it". Circular would be, "You notice spells being cast because spells are noticeable".

Yes, it's circular, because of you don't notice the spell you can't identify it. If the spellcraft rule was "you can identify all spells cast from someone in your line of sight", it wouldn't be, but now, identifying relies on you seeing the spell which means you can't really use that to argue that all spells are seen, unless you can provide a rule supporting that all spells cast can be identified.

If spells can be cast concealed, spellcraft would still work RAW - it's just that concealed spells can't be seen, and as such can't be identified.


stringburka wrote:
Yes, it's circular, because of you don't notice the spell you can't identify it.

If that's the case, then it's impossible to identify a spell before it has been cast, and thus impossible to counterspell.


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Zurai wrote:
stringburka wrote:
Yes, it's circular, because of you don't notice the spell you can't identify it.
If that's the case, then it's impossible to identify a spell before it has been cast, and thus impossible to counterspell.

Not if the components start before the effect. The way I've personally always seen it, and this is just an example - not something either supported or denounced by the rules, is this:

Spoiler:
when you cast a spell, you stand there, talking and waving your arms, and after you've done this for the casting time the spell goes off. Some spells are clearly noticeable (like fireball) while others aren't (like shield, which specifically says it's invisible). Identifying would take place when the caster is waving his arms and talking, and that's where counterspelling occurs. If a spell lacks components for whatever reason, the spellcaster is just standing there, concentrating - this is enough of a lack of focus on the combat to cause an AoO, but there's no visual signs he's casting a spell, and as such it can't be noticed and since it can't be noticed it can't be identified.

This all makes sense to me, and it works within RAW. Nothing I do conflicts RAW, yet we play with concealed spells as a possibility.


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

Stringburka's got it.


stringburka wrote:
Zurai wrote:
stringburka wrote:
Yes, it's circular, because of you don't notice the spell you can't identify it.
If that's the case, then it's impossible to identify a spell before it has been cast, and thus impossible to counterspell.

Not if the components start before the effect. The way I've personally always seen it, and this is just an example - not something either supported or denounced by the rules, is this:

** spoiler omitted **
This all makes sense to me, and it works within RAW. Nothing I do conflicts RAW, yet we play with concealed spells as a possibility.

But it does contradict what you were saying. You said you have to see the spell to identify it. The spell is, by definition, not there until it has been cast. Once a spell has been cast, it is too late to counterspell it.

In other words, yes, you can identify a spell while it is being cast, before you can actually see the spell. Thus, seeing the spell is not relevant to identifying the spell. You're noticing the spellcasting, not the spell itself. Furthermore, there are no penalties given for spells missing VSMF components, thus there are (in default, non-house-ruled games) no penalties for identifying spells missing VSMF components. There are enough Core spells that don't even have both of VS that such a rule would be present if it existed (ie, it's not a corner case, it's a relatively common occurrence).


Zurai wrote:
The spell is, by definition, not there until it has been cast. Once a spell has been cast, it is too late to counterspell it.

This may be your argument for disallowing dispel magic, as that seems to be what you're arguing there, but it sure isn't mine. To identify a spell, you have to see it clearly as it is being cast. I don't see how my stance that components come before effect disagrees with that, I think it supports it splendidly.

Quote:
In other words, yes, you can identify a spell while it is being cast, before you can actually see the spell. Thus, seeing the spell is not relevant to identifying the spell. You're noticing the spellcasting, not the spell itself.

I think in this circumstance, the "spell" is considered to exist from the moment the casting starts, and not when the effects come. According to the spellcraft text, it's the spell you identify, not the spellcasting.

Quote:
Furthermore, there are no penalties given for spells missing VSMF components, thus there are (in default, non-house-ruled games) no penalties for identifying spells missing VSMF components. There are enough Core spells that don't even have both of VS that such a rule would be present if it existed (ie, it's not a corner case, it's a relatively common occurrence).

Maybe there isn't a penalty because there is no penalty. Either you notice a spell and can try to identify it, or you don't notice it. What we're discussing is if all spells are noticable or not.

---------------

To summarize the RAW issue:
- Something isn't concealed if it is clearly seen.
- Spells can be identified if they are clearly seen.

Neither of these prove the other. What we want a ruling on is:
Can all spells be clearly seen, apart from their components?
There is no clear rule on this. You saw my example above, and you must understand that there's nothing there contradicting RAW at all. Of course you could say that all spells are noticeable - there's nothing in the RAW preventing that either.

There's simply no rule talking about whether all spells have apparent visual effects.


stringburka wrote:

To identify a spell, you have to see it clearly as it is being cast.

...

I think in this circumstance, the "spell" is considered to exist from the moment the casting starts, and not when the effects come. According to the spellcraft text, it's the spell you identify, not the spellcasting.

OK. So, the spell being cast has no VSM. You're still staring right at the spellcaster as he's casting the spell, and it's the spell being identified, not the spellcasting. Thus, you still satisfy the condition for Spellcraft; you're still seeing the spell as it's being cast.


Zurai wrote:
stringburka wrote:

To identify a spell, you have to see it clearly as it is being cast.

...

I think in this circumstance, the "spell" is considered to exist from the moment the casting starts, and not when the effects come. According to the spellcraft text, it's the spell you identify, not the spellcasting.

OK. So, the spell being cast has no VSM. You're still staring right at the spellcaster as he's casting the spell, and it's the spell being identified, not the spellcasting. Thus, you still satisfy the condition for Spellcraft; you're still seeing the spell as it's being cast.

No, you're not seeing it as it isn't visual. If you stare at me, you can't see my thoughts, and you can't see an invisible creature (unless you have blindsight).


stringburka wrote:
Zurai wrote:
stringburka wrote:

To identify a spell, you have to see it clearly as it is being cast.

...

I think in this circumstance, the "spell" is considered to exist from the moment the casting starts, and not when the effects come. According to the spellcraft text, it's the spell you identify, not the spellcasting.

OK. So, the spell being cast has no VSM. You're still staring right at the spellcaster as he's casting the spell, and it's the spell being identified, not the spellcasting. Thus, you still satisfy the condition for Spellcraft; you're still seeing the spell as it's being cast.
No, you're not seeing it as it isn't visual. If you stare at me, you can't see my thoughts, and you can't see an invisible creature (unless you have blindsight).

But you just said it's the spell that matters, not the spellcasting. That's why I specifically quoted that section.

Which is it? Are you identifying the spellcasting (the components) or the spell?


Zurai wrote:


But you just said it's the spell that matters, not the spellcasting. That's why I specifically quoted that section.

Which is it? Are you identifying the spellcasting (the components) or the spell?

The components are a part of the spell. You are identifying the spell through watching the components, as the spell is being cast.

Look, do you actually have any rule support of "all spells are noticable"?


Ravingdork wrote:

Is it possible to identify a spell via the Spellcraft skill as it is being cast, if it is being cast with the eschew materials, silent spell, AND still spell feats?

Yes, without penalty.

There were feats & other rules in 3.5 for disguised spellcasting and it was independent of these metamagics.

Also there is no modifier on identifying spells based upon casting time, number of components, whether they are arcane/divine, whether or not you can cast the spell, you can speak the same language as the caster, etc.

When a caster goes to cast a spell, they have to concentrate on it. If they are hit with a readied action at that point the check so demonstrates. Now they might concentrate enough to cast defensively and not let their guard down.. but they are concentrating. This is observable (as one can ready actions for when an enemy casts). Thus one observes the spell being cast, even if it doesn't follow the same steps that normally occur in regards to components (which could happen with some divine versions of otherwise arcane spells, etc).

-James

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

21 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 33 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey there Everybody,

The rules here are certainly not clear, because they generally assume that the act of casting a spell has some noticeable element. Notice I did not say component, because I think the rules are silent on parts of spellcasting that are codified components versus those that occur without any sort of codification, such as the wiggle of a finger, change in breathing and other flavor bits that happen when a spellcaster makes the magic happen, as it were.

Back to the topic at hand, since the rules are silent here, I think it is well within the GMs purview to impose a penalty to the Spellcraft check to identify a spell without components (V, S, M). Since there is no real increase for spells with just one, I would guess that this penalty is not very large, perhaps only as much as -4.

This is, of course, up to your GM to adjudicate.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Edit: I should also note that I also agree with James, that a strict reading of the rules says you can make the check, without penalty, regardless of the spell's components.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

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This relates to one of my favorite bits of rules goofiness: by the book, casting a still/silent spell or using a spell-like ability while paralyzes provokes. But just being paralyzed doesn't.

Because, you know, you let your guard down :)


Russ Taylor wrote:

This relates to one of my favorite bits of rules goofiness: by the book, casting a still/silent spell or using a spell-like ability while paralyzes provokes. But just being paralyzed doesn't.

Because, you know, you let your guard down :)

Heh. You're right. That's pretty funny.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Zurai wrote:
Russ Taylor wrote:

This relates to one of my favorite bits of rules goofiness: by the book, casting a still/silent spell or using a spell-like ability while paralyzes provokes. But just being paralyzed doesn't.

Because, you know, you let your guard down :)

Heh. You're right. That's pretty funny.

Another glaring example of why Rule Zero is there, because developers are human. :)

Liberty's Edge

Thank you again Jason, your word helps bring some quiet to an issue that has gone on far too long as a pointless debate.

Also, on a slightly off topic note: How are the FAQ suggestions piling up? I could imaging it would be quite a daunting task, certainly not something I would want to have to sift through after a week strait at Gen-Con.


Thanks for clearing this up Jason. Still, how about people without spellcraft training? Will they know you are casting a spell at all?

Liberty's Edge

stringburka wrote:
Thanks for clearing this up Jason. Still, how about people without spellcraft training? Will they know you are casting a spell at all?

Of course they will know a spell is being cast but they have no way of identifying what it is until after the "casting" phase has resolved. If they have ranks in knowledge (Arcana) they could then use that to understand what spell was just cast, but that seems unlikely that someone would have ranks in that and not spellcraft.


Themetricsystem wrote:
stringburka wrote:
Thanks for clearing this up Jason. Still, how about people without spellcraft training? Will they know you are casting a spell at all?
Of course they will know a spell is being cast but they have no way of identifying what it is until after the "casting" phase has resolved. If they have ranks in knowledge (Arcana) they could then use that to understand what spell was just cast, but that seems unlikely that someone would have ranks in that and not spellcraft.

How is that an "of course"? Jason merely stated that there were some noticable effect, like a change in breathing. Does someone not skilled in magic know that that change of breathing means "hey, he's casting a spell now!"? What intelligence would be required? I assume a dog wouldn't understand it, but how about an ettin? An orc?

Liberty's Edge

stringburka wrote:


How is that an "of course"? Jason merely stated that there were some noticable effect, like a change in breathing. Does someone not skilled in magic know that that change of breathing means "hey, he's casting a spell now!"? What intelligence would be required? I assume a dog wouldn't understand it, but how about an ettin? An orc?

They know that they are going to cast a spell in the same way that you and I would recognize what it looks like when someone is reaching for a gun, even if we don't see the gun yet we know those movements. You don't have to know how to use a gun to recognize it.

This is a fantasy setting, everybody knows somebody that does magic. It is all around them and permeates the religion, culture, and war of the universe they live in.

Also mechanically speaking, someone still gets an AoO from the casting of the spell regardless of them being able to "notice."


Russ Taylor wrote:

This relates to one of my favorite bits of rules goofiness: by the book, casting a still/silent spell or using a spell-like ability while paralyzes provokes. But just being paralyzed doesn't.

Because, you know, you let your guard down :)

This is a general problem with being helpless not provoking an AOO. It seems a kindness to those in that situation, but doesn't really have anything to do with the issue (beyond being amusing).

Might as well say using a SLA provokes because your concentration isn't on the combat, but being unconscious doesn't.

-James


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

Jason's facebook page makes it clear how he would rule it in his games:

Jason Bulmahn, Game Designer commented on your wall post::

"The rules are silent on this issue, meaning that it is really up to your GM. I would, personally, rule that each missing component adds +4 to the DC to identify the spell. There are, after all some tell tale markers, even if all of the components are removed. If they are all removed, I might rule it impossible to ID before the effect occurs, but it depends on the circumstances."

This is enough for me to continue doing it as I have in my games.


I am fairly sure Spellcraft can identify spell-like abilities. Which answers the question posed in the thread OP.

Or at least, they trigger AoO


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cartigan wrote:

I am fairly sure Spellcraft can identify spell-like abilities. Which answers the question posed in the thread OP.

Or at least, they trigger AoO

I would like to see where the rules support that.

Spell-like abilities =/= spells or spellcasting.


Ravingdork wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

I am fairly sure Spellcraft can identify spell-like abilities. Which answers the question posed in the thread OP.

Or at least, they trigger AoO

I would like to see where the rules support that.

Spell-like abilities =/= spells or spellcasting.

I may have gotten that confused with SLAs triggering AoO like spellcasting. Which itself logically links to knowing a spell is being cast, which then ties to identifying it with spellcraft.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
stringburka wrote:
Thanks for clearing this up Jason. Still, how about people without spellcraft training? Will they know you are casting a spell at all?

It's very situational. If you're in melee combat, you don't have to know... it's the drop in defenses or the shift that gives you the clue that he's doing something other than trying to feebly stab you with his dagger.

On other occasions, I am minded to remind everyone of the prime tool of the stage magician... misdirection. If you can keep someone's attention off your activities, then there would be no roll involved whatsoever.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:


I would like to see where the rules support that.

Spell-like abilities =/= spells or spellcasting.

Glossary.

Quote:


Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): Spell-like abilities, as the name implies, are magical abilities that are very much like spells. Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). Spell-like abilities can be dispelled and counterspelled as normal.

The table spells out what provokes. As for spellcraft, you have to be able to ID it to counterspell it.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there Everybody,

The rules here are certainly not clear, because they generally assume that the act of casting a spell has some noticeable element. Notice I did not say component, because I think the rules are silent on parts of spellcasting that are codified components versus those that occur without any sort of codification, such as the wiggle of a finger, change in breathing and other flavor bits that happen when a spellcaster makes the magic happen, as it were.

Back to the topic at hand, since the rules are silent here, I think it is well within the GMs purview to impose a penalty to the Spellcraft check to identify a spell without components (V, S, M). Since there is no real increase for spells with just one, I would guess that this penalty is not very large, perhaps only as much as -4.

This is, of course, up to your GM to adjudicate.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Edit: I should also note that I also agree with James, that a strict reading of the rules says you can make the check, without penalty, regardless of the spell's components.

Jason,

Could I suggest that the penalties for perception that applies to identifying a spell (as per the spellcraft skill) could include the unfavorable or terrible condition modifiers (from the perception skill) for precisely this purpose?

After all it's pretty hard to hear the incantation if it's not being said, and hard to tell from the somatic components if they aren't being performed.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I agree that using the feats should make it more difficult to detect a spell is being cast. I do think it should be up to the GM how much of a penalty applies in particular situations.

Here's my take on the Attack of Opportunity part of the question. Fighting, while resolved in discrete initiative counts of a round, is supposed to represent a continual back and forth of blows. This in part goes back to the "I can whack something with a stick a dozen times in six seconds" sorts of questions. While you are threatened by an opponent, it is assumed that they are testing your defenses throughout the round. For every real hit that is attempted (IE, attack roll made) there are probably several other quick taps toward your defenses that test out weak spots. So when you cast a spell, even if you aren't showing any signs of spell casting, you are either A) concentrating in order to both defend your self (dodging, holding shield, parrying, etc) and cast the spell or B) leaving yourself wide open in order to just cast the spell. The opponent doesn't care why you stopped reacting to his probing, he just knows you left yourself open and strikes you.


What I got back from Jason on facebook:

Facebook wrote:


Abe Spalding What about using the perception penalties for identifying a spell as the spellcraft skill suggests doing? There are the "unfavorable" and "terrible" condition modifiers there... seems to be exactly the situation at hand too.
Jason Bulmahn, Game Designer Those would certainly work as well.


deinol wrote:

I agree that using the feats should make it more difficult to detect a spell is being cast. I do think it should be up to the GM how much of a penalty applies in particular situations.

Here's my take on the Attack of Opportunity part of the question. Fighting, while resolved in discrete initiative counts of a round, is supposed to represent a continual back and forth of blows. This in part goes back to the "I can whack something with a stick a dozen times in six seconds" sorts of questions. While you are threatened by an opponent, it is assumed that they are testing your defenses throughout the round. For every real hit that is attempted (IE, attack roll made) there are probably several other quick taps toward your defenses that test out weak spots. So when you cast a spell, even if you aren't showing any signs of spell casting, you are either A) concentrating in order to both defend your self (dodging, holding shield, parrying, etc) and cast the spell or B) leaving yourself wide open in order to just cast the spell. The opponent doesn't care why you stopped reacting to his probing, he just knows you left yourself open and strikes you.

The issue on another debate was not the AoO. Everyone agreed that dropping your guard makes it happen. The issue was for a readied attack, and allowing it to work since you have to know a spell is being cast.

The examples of psionics and SLA's which are mechanically the same things supports a readied action against SLA's.


Ravingdork wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

I am fairly sure Spellcraft can identify spell-like abilities. Which answers the question posed in the thread OP.

Or at least, they trigger AoO

I would like to see where the rules support that.

Spell-like abilities =/= spells or spellcasting.

In both situations and psionics there is nothing to indicate the spell/power is being used, but the book(3.5 core, EXP, and pathfinder) still allows allows readied actions against them. All of them are purely mental abilities.

How is someone supposed to tell the difference between an SLA, and a silenced stilled spell? I don't know, but the games does support being able to ready actions against them. Somehow(up to DM to fluff this) they know so your character can't ready an action against a psionic power, and benefit from you using an SLA or a spell.
The logical, but not necessarily balanced answer is to force the fighter to take ranks in spellcraft or psicraft, but they are already skill-starved, and they also have to get to the caster in question. Giving casters another advantage, and melee types more issues to worry about is not balanced at all.

Grand Lodge

Okay as far as AoO goes, ID the spell makes not one whit of difference. You don't have to spellcraft the spell to know they dropped their guard and you can whack them for free. NONE of the feats allows you to cast defensively for free so none of the feats negates AoO. So no you can't cast a still, silent, echew material to avoid needing to cast defensively...by RAW. Do what the hell you want as a GM, but that is RAW. As for spellcrafting the spell...well that is a bit more of a grey area, and really I hate the well we left it grey for GM's to adjucate. But because SLA, which are spells that have no components can be spellcrafted at no penalties and can even be counterspelled, I would say those feats do not help mask casting. Not only that, but the way the feats work is that the feats do what is explictly written and nothing more. Quicken spell lets you cast as a swift and can't be interupted. It doesn't prevent the other caster from making a spellcraft to see what you just cast. Still spell just makes it so you don't have to wiggle your hands, it doesn't do anything else.


Cold Napalm wrote:
But because SLA, which are spells that have no components can be spellcrafted at no penalties and can even be counterspelled,

There is a line that says they can be counterspelled, but another line in another part of the book says they can't. It has been sent to the errata police, and hopefully it gets fixed in the next printing of the book.

Hopefully the next printing with all the frills(corrections) is out by November. I really need a physical book as opposed to just a pdf.


Why all the talk about readied actions and AoO? Not the question. Maybe spellcasters can see faint lines of magic that are colored by the school being cast, get brighter or dimmer as the spell level increases or decreases. Maybe ice spells look like a line of snowflakes. Maybe those faint lines of power spell "I am going to throw these magic missiles at the guy looking at me over there." in russian.
Maybe taking the Spellcraft skill allows someone to know what all that looks like. Is it really too much to ask that spell casters know what MAGIC looks like when it's being used? Cause they're magic? In short, I think that it would make spells harder to identify, but not impossible for SPELLCASTERS to identify. Cause they're magic! But if you're talking to me, and you cast a still, silent, eschewed spell, my first reaction to your slack jawed, focusless gaze is "Bless you," Cause I'm polite, and I don't know about you, but that's my sneezing face. And I believe sneezes should provoke AoO, magical or not.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Okay as far as AoO goes, ID the spell makes not one whit of difference. You don't have to spellcraft the spell to know they dropped their guard and you can whack them for free. NONE of the feats allows you to cast defensively for free so none of the feats negates AoO.

Quicken spell.

(I know we are talking about still spell and silent spell specifically but quicken does allow you to avoid the AoO and "cast defensively" for free -- basically)


Abraham spalding wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Okay as far as AoO goes, ID the spell makes not one whit of difference. You don't have to spellcraft the spell to know they dropped their guard and you can whack them for free. NONE of the feats allows you to cast defensively for free so none of the feats negates AoO.

Quicken spell.

(I know we are talking about still spell and silent spell specifically but quicken does allow you to avoid the AoO and "cast defensively" for free -- basically)

I don't think RD is asking how to avoid attacks of opportunity. You can do that all ready. Cast defensively. Think of it this way. There's a creature across the bar that you would really like to sleep with. But you're fugly! Can you eschew, silent, and still a charm spell to convince her? And before things go there, no, I don't support date rape, magic or otherwise.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

This is somewhat of a tangent, but I've always thought that illusions should have a hefty penalty to identify using spellcraft. It makes too many of them simply too easy to deal with if you know what spell was cast.

"oh, that's not a summoned monster at all, just a major image, you can ignore it"

or

"no, he's around here invisibly, because he cast mislead - that's not really him there anymore"


Ironicdisaster wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Okay as far as AoO goes, ID the spell makes not one whit of difference. You don't have to spellcraft the spell to know they dropped their guard and you can whack them for free. NONE of the feats allows you to cast defensively for free so none of the feats negates AoO.

Quicken spell.

(I know we are talking about still spell and silent spell specifically but quicken does allow you to avoid the AoO and "cast defensively" for free -- basically)

I don't think RD is asking how to avoid attacks of opportunity. You can do that all ready. Cast defensively. Think of it this way. There's a creature across the bar that you would really like to sleep with. But you're fugly! Can you eschew, silent, and still a charm spell to convince her? And before things go there, no, I don't support date rape, magic or otherwise.

Oh I realize, I don't catch CN on something like this often though so I like to grab it when I do -- keeps him on his toes! :D


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
JoelF847 wrote:

This is somewhat of a tangent, but I've always thought that illusions should have a hefty penalty to identify using spellcraft. It makes too many of them simply too easy to deal with if you know what spell was cast.

"oh, that's not a summoned monster at all, just a major image, you can ignore it"

or

"no, he's around here invisibly, because he cast mislead - that's not really him there anymore"

This is one of the big reasons why I think eschew materials, silent spell, and still spell should keep a spell from being so readily identified.

If a GM were to rule that it would become much harder to identify (+4 to +10 to the check DC for each missing component) than I would most likely be totally fine with that.

If I were GMing, though, there would be pretty much no chance of identifying a spell with no components whatsoever. After all, it looks just like every other eschewed, silent, stilled spell being cast! (And I'd argue it doesn't even look like something IS being cast.)

Grand Lodge

Abraham spalding wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Okay as far as AoO goes, ID the spell makes not one whit of difference. You don't have to spellcraft the spell to know they dropped their guard and you can whack them for free. NONE of the feats allows you to cast defensively for free so none of the feats negates AoO.

Quicken spell.

(I know we are talking about still spell and silent spell specifically but quicken does allow you to avoid the AoO and "cast defensively" for free -- basically)

razzle frazzle...I should have said those feats instead of the feats...arg. Good catch ;) .

Grand Lodge

Ironicdisaster wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Okay as far as AoO goes, ID the spell makes not one whit of difference. You don't have to spellcraft the spell to know they dropped their guard and you can whack them for free. NONE of the feats allows you to cast defensively for free so none of the feats negates AoO.

Quicken spell.

(I know we are talking about still spell and silent spell specifically but quicken does allow you to avoid the AoO and "cast defensively" for free -- basically)

I don't think RD is asking how to avoid attacks of opportunity. You can do that all ready. Cast defensively. Think of it this way. There's a creature across the bar that you would really like to sleep with. But you're fugly! Can you eschew, silent, and still a charm spell to convince her? And before things go there, no, I don't support date rape, magic or otherwise.

If you read the very first post, RD does indeed think a silent, stilled, eschewed spells should not draw an AoO. Which is obviously against RAW...as drawing that AoO has nothing to do with IDing the spell casting but has to do with the caster not casting defensively (or quickened).

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