Targeting rules with spells


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I recently heard this interpretation of targeting multiple creatures with spells that have "one creature/ level" as targets, and was wondering if this was legitimate:

"Example:

Cure Light Wounds, Mass; Caster Level 9
Target: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
...cure 1d8 points of damage +1 point per caster level (maximum +25) in each selected creature.

In the above, each instance of 'creature' is actually a separate targeting of the spell, you do not have to select that many unique creatures as targets. For example, that 9th level character could target three creatures each three times, healing each one for 3d8+25 damage (1d8+9 times three, maximum +25)."

Is it intended by the wording of the spell to allow the same creature to be targeted more than once? Can this also occur for attack spells? (slow is a bad example because it's effects don't stack, but could it cause multiple saves if I targeted one creature more than once?)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
msra wrote:

I recently heard this interpretation of targeting multiple creatures with spells that have "one creature/ level" as targets, and was wondering if this was legitimate:

"Example:

Cure Light Wounds, Mass; Caster Level 9
Target: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
...cure 1d8 points of damage +1 point per caster level (maximum +25) in each selected creature.

In the above, each instance of 'creature' is actually a separate targeting of the spell, you do not have to select that many unique creatures as targets. For example, that 9th level character could target three creatures each three times, healing each one for 3d8+25 damage (1d8+9 times three, maximum +25)."

Is it intended by the wording of the spell to allow the same creature to be targeted more than once? Can this also occur for attack spells? (slow is a bad example because it's effects don't stack, but could it cause multiple saves if I targeted one creature more than once?)

Whoa. I had never considered that possibility before. I doubt very much that, that was the intent.

Grand Lodge

You "specifically choose" targets (p. 214). Once chosen, a creature is a target of the spell and is affected once. If the spell creates multiple damaging sub-effects, as for magic missile or scorching ray, the spell may tell you whether you can apply more than one to a given target.

If you choose to affect fewer targets than you are allowed by your caster level, the excess numbers are wasted.


Starglim wrote:

You "specifically choose" targets (p. 214). Once chosen, a creature is a target of the spell and is affected once. If the spell creates multiple damaging sub-effects, as for magic missile or scorching ray, the spell may tell you whether you can apply more than one to a given target.

If you choose to affect fewer targets than you are allowed by your caster level, the excess numbers are wasted.

That seems to make sense from an intention point of view, but is it explicitly stated anywhere?

Grand Lodge

SunsetPsychosis wrote:
Starglim wrote:

You "specifically choose" targets (p. 214). Once chosen, a creature is a target of the spell and is affected once. If the spell creates multiple damaging sub-effects, as for magic missile or scorching ray, the spell may tell you whether you can apply more than one to a given target.

If you choose to affect fewer targets than you are allowed by your caster level, the excess numbers are wasted.

That seems to make sense from an intention point of view, but is it explicitly stated anywhere?

edit: Yes it is:

The Spell's Result
Quote:
Once you know which creatures (or objects or areas) are affected, and whether those creatures have made successful saving throws (if any were allowed), you can apply whatever results a spell entails.

The spell description explicitly states what happens to each target of the spell. If msra's source wants to apply some different effect, he or she needs a rule to support that change.

To go through it step by step:

  • Caster chooses creature A as a target of the spell.
  • A is now a target of the spell.
  • Caster chooses creature A (again) as a target of the spell.
  • A is now a target of the spell.
  • GM applies the effects of the spell to each target.
  • A is affected as listed in the spell description.

In msra's example, the spell "cure[s] 1d8 points of damage +1 point per caster level (maximum +25) in each selected creature". A, being a selected creature, heals 1d8+CL points of damage.

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