Are wizards immune to their own spells?


Rules Questions


Hi all! I DM a weekly PFRPG and this past week, an issue came up that our group wasn't too sure about. The wizard in the party casted a fireball spell to ignite a group of enemies. The party got the monsters cornered up on a ledge and the wizard flew up and used his fireball. To make sure he got every enemey in his area of effect, he actually was in the radius of his own fireball blast. He asked if he was immune to it, as it was his spell? I honestly blanked out on the answer. I ruled on the fly that though he created the fire/fireball, once it was cast, it ignited like a normal blast. He didn't have any magical fire protection, but MR 20, so I treated him like his fellow enemies and had him roll his saving throw against his own DC. He made the save. After the 20 resistance and only taking half damage, he hardly was damaged. He was cool with it and admitted he cast the spell too quickly and didn't realize he had put himself in harms way. I know that you can voluntarily lower or bypass your magical resistance, and can refuse a saving throw for a spell. But just out of curiosity, is a wizard (or any other spell caster for that matter), immune to their own magic?


DENNIS A PASCALE wrote:
Hi all! I DM a weekly PFRPG and this past week, an issue came up that our group wasn't too sure about. The wizard in the party casted a fireball spell to ignite a group of enemies. The party got the monsters cornered up on a ledge and the wizard flew up and used his fireball. To make sure he got every enemey in his area of effect, he actually was in the radius of his own fireball blast. He asked if he was immune to it, as it was his spell? I honestly blanked out on the answer. I ruled on the fly that though he created the fire/fireball, once it was cast, it ignited like a normal blast. He didn't have any magical fire protection, but MR 20, so I treated him like his fellow enemies and had him roll his saving throw against his own DC. He made the save. After the 20 resistance and only taking half damage, he hardly was damaged. He was cool with it and admitted he cast the spell too quickly and didn't realize he had put himself in harms way. I know that you can voluntarily lower or bypass your magical resistance, and can refuse a saving throw for a spell. But just out of curiosity, is a wizard (or any other spell caster for that matter), immune to their own magic?

I think you ruled correctly. Unless the spell description specifically excludes the caster from the area of effect, he gets nailed along with everyone else.

Pooh

The Exchange

Great question I have often wondered that myself :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This is where the caster with evasion dropping ground zero spells comes from. :)


Nope. Its all creatures and objects in the area of effect, there's no exception for the caster or his friends, so if you drop a fireball on yourself you're going to get burned.

Pretty smart to cast resistance to elements beforehand though.


Mr. Fishy rules that a caster is immune to a mind effecting spell he cast [Fear, sleep, deep slumber, that kind on stuff] but ground zero on a spell is a bad place to be other wise.

Unless your mage has been transported to the first layer of Hell and is about to be swarmed by a pack of werewolves...Mr. Fishy died but he took those furries with him. Mr. Fishy's DM was a jerk of the highest order and his games were difficult, is an understatment.

Shadow Lodge

dennis wrote:
He didn't have any magical fire protection, but MR 20, so I treated him like his fellow enemies and had him roll his saving throw against his own DC. He made the save. After the 20 resistance and only taking half damage, he hardly was damaged.

Maybe I'm reading this funny, but just the way I'm reading this, it sounds to me like you subtracted the 20 from the damage? Is that what you did, or am I just reading this funny? Because you know he had to roll a caster lvl check vs. his SR (again I'm assuming you meant spell resistance unless magic resistance is something completely different in your game...) and if he makes it it fully affects him, otherwise it doesn't. Just curious as its written oddly...


You keep mentioning "MR" and "magical resistance" but I assume you mean "SR" and "spell resistance", right?

In which case this value is not subtracted from any damage. Some spells ignore SR (if so, it says so in their description). Fireball is not such a spell, so you roll a Caster Level check against the SR 20 (1d20 + the wizard's level). If he gets a 20 or higher, the fireball affects him fully (he now rolls a normal REF save for half damage). If he gets less than 20, it doesn't affect him at all.

Or maybe you meant that he had Fire Resistance or Energy Resistance (fire), in which case you did it exactly right by subracting the energy resistance value from the damage taken.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

ve the Caster a +2 to his reflex save when he did it in my game, she 'knew' it was coming, after all.


Sorry for the confusion. DM_Blake is right. I meant one thing and wrote another. Yes, the wizard had SR or "spell resistance" 20. He made the check (rolled higher than 20) and was affected fully. However he did make his normal REF save and took only half damage. Thanks for all the responses. It now makes much more sense.


DENNIS A PASCALE wrote:
Sorry for the confusion. DM_Blake is right. I meant one thing and wrote another. Yes, the wizard had SR or "spell resistance" 20. He made the check (rolled higher than 20) and was affected fully. However he did make his normal REF save and took only half damage. Thanks for all the responses. It now makes much more sense.

Hmm. I wonder, in this type of case are you allowed to intentionally fail your caster level check to overcome spell resistance?

Or, put it another way. Let's say you're lobbing a fireball into a group of enemies, along with one of your allies. Your ally has SR, and you know the enemies don't. Could you intentionally 'miss' the caster level check?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think it would be reasonable to allow it. Strict DMs might make you take a penalty on the rolls against all other targets for intentionally weakening your spell, but I think SR is a PC trap as it is anyway.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I think it would be reasonable to allow it. Strict DMs might make you take a penalty on the rolls against all other targets for intentionally weakening your spell, but I think SR is a PC trap as it is anyway.

On that point, are you supposed to roll your caster level check once per spell, or once per creature? In the fireball example, if three creatures with spell resistance are in the area of effect, do you roll once, achieve a 20, and therefore fail versus the one creature with SR 22? Or roll three times?

The answer could easily affect how I would rule in this case. I have no issue with letting the caster deliberately weaken his spell to avoid being too good for his own good, but if you're only rolling the caster level check once, then the weakening applies to everyone hit by the spell. If you're rolling per creature, perhaps not.


ZappoHisbane wrote:

Hmm. I wonder, in this type of case are you allowed to intentionally fail your caster level check to overcome spell resistance?

Or, put it another way. Let's say you're lobbing a fireball into a group of enemies, along with one of your allies. Your ally has SR, and you know the enemies don't. Could you intentionally 'miss' the caster level check?

Beware that. It's not really that hard to get a little SR. Once a caster has that little bit of SR, he could easily just fireball his own feet over and over, deliberately failing his caster level check, frying everything near him. In essence, giving the caster immunity to his own AE all the time.

Be sure that's what you want before you start houseruling it.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

He doesn't get spell resistance vs. his own spells at all. Page 565 of the Core Rulebook: "A creature’s spell resistance never interferes with its own spells, items, or abilities".


ZappoHisbane wrote:
DENNIS A PASCALE wrote:
Sorry for the confusion. DM_Blake is right. I meant one thing and wrote another. Yes, the wizard had SR or "spell resistance" 20. He made the check (rolled higher than 20) and was affected fully. However he did make his normal REF save and took only half damage. Thanks for all the responses. It now makes much more sense.

Hmm. I wonder, in this type of case are you allowed to intentionally fail your caster level check to overcome spell resistance?

Or, put it another way. Let's say you're lobbing a fireball into a group of enemies, along with one of your allies. Your ally has SR, and you know the enemies don't. Could you intentionally 'miss' the caster level check?

A creature with spell resistance can avoid the effects of spells and spell-like abilities that directly affect it. To determine if a spell or spell-like ability works against a creature with spell resistance, the caster must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level). If the result equals or exceeds the creature's spell resistance, the spell works normally, although the creature is still allowed a saving throw.

It says the caster must, and doesn't give an option of intentionally failing. So in order to prevent uber cheese i'd go with it being exactly what it says: you HAVE to make the roll.

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