Glitterdust


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Two question regarding the glitterdust spell.

1) It's obvious that an invisible creature affected by this spell can easily be pinpointed. Does the spell also complety negate the concealment granted by invisibility?

2) Does the spell continue to affect a creature after it has left its area of effect?

I believe the answer to both question is yes, but I wanted to hear what others are thinking.

Sczarni

Zaister wrote:

Two question regarding the glitterdust spell.

1) It's obvious that an invisible creature affected by this spell can easily be pinpointed. Does the spell also complety negate the concealment granted by invisibility?

2) Does the spell continue to affect a creature after it has left its area of effect?

I believe the answer to both question is yes, but I wanted to hear what others are thinking.

Yes.

No.

Glitterdust:
Description A cloud of golden particles covers everyone and everything in the area, causing creatures to become blinded and visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell. All within the area are covered by the dust, which cannot be removed and continues to sparkle until it fades. Each round at the end of their turn blinded creatures may attempt new saving throws to end the blindness effect.


ossian666 wrote:
No.

I think most people run it that when the spell is cast, there's a burst of glitter. Once that's happened, there's no more continual bursting or cloud or anything, it just bursts and anything within the area is now glitterdusted. After that happens, the duration is how long things stay glitterdusted, which includes being all sparkly and visibly outlined, as well as blind (as long as you don't make your save, which ends blindness, but not being outlined).

Even if you run it as a cloud of glitter, so that someone who moves into the area after the spell has been cast gets dusted, that still doesn't change that you stay outlined (and blind, pending a save) for the entire duration, even if you move out of the area.

You seem to disagree, and I'd like to know why.

Sczarni

Grick wrote:
ossian666 wrote:
No.

I think most people run it that when the spell is cast, there's a burst of glitter. Once that's happened, there's no more continual bursting or cloud or anything, it just bursts and anything within the area is now glitterdusted. After that happens, the duration is how long things stay glitterdusted, which includes being all sparkly and visibly outlined, as well as blind (as long as you don't make your save, which ends blindness, but not being outlined).

Even if you run it as a cloud of glitter, so that someone who moves into the area after the spell has been cast gets dusted, that still doesn't change that you stay outlined (and blind, pending a save) for the entire duration, even if you move out of the area.

You seem to disagree, and I'd like to know why.

The way I read the spell is that for the duration of the spell there is an area where anyone in there has those effects. If you move out of that area you are no longer effected by that spell. Because by your definition the spell duration may be 4 rounds and if I come into that area in turn 2 then I'm fine because I wasn't in the area at the time of the spell's casting.

To me what you are describing is Flair Burst in terms of how it works. Its an instantaneous BOOM and done and then the sparkles last however many rounds. I'm picturing more of a snow globe, and once you move outside the snow globe those sparkles will fade because they aren't in that bubble of magic. I draw that conclusion because in the description it says "until it fades" not "for the duration of the spell".

Granted I may be wrong but that is my interpretation and how I've always played it.


Zaister wrote:
1) It's obvious that an invisible creature affected by this spell can easily be pinpointed. Does the spell also complety negate the concealment granted by invisibility?

Jason Bulmahn (Lead Designer): "Glitterdust specifically mentions that it cancels invisibility, it says nothing of concealment. In this case, it cancels the specific effect (invisibility), which has the side effect of also canceling its result (concealment), but that is not a retroactive cancelation."

Jason Bulmahn (Lead Designer): "Let me be clear...
Glitterdust kills invisibility and all the rules that go with it.
Glitterdust has no effect on other forms of concealment.
Glitterdust also makes it very difficult to hide and might blind you."

Zaister wrote:
2) Does the spell continue to affect a creature after it has left its area of effect?

Glitterdust: Area creatures and objects within 10-ft.-radius spread

From the magic chapter, Area:

"A spread spell extends out like a burst but can turn corners. You select the point of origin, and the spell spreads out a given distance in all directions. Figure the area the spell effect fills by taking into account any turns the spell effect takes."

"Creatures: A spell with this kind of area affects creatures directly (like a targeted spell), but it affects all creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures you select. The area might be a spherical burst, a cone-shaped burst, or some other shape."

If it remained functioning in the area (continual cloud of glitter) it would be an emanation, not a spread:

"An emanation spell functions like a burst spell, except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin for the duration of the spell. Most emanations are cones or spheres."

Thus, the duration is how long the effects last, and moving out of the area doesn't change anything, because the area is not affected, only creatures and objects within the area when the spell was cast.

Sczarni

Grick wrote:
Zaister wrote:
1) It's obvious that an invisible creature affected by this spell can easily be pinpointed. Does the spell also complety negate the concealment granted by invisibility?

Jason Bulmahn (Lead Designer): "Glitterdust specifically mentions that it cancels invisibility, it says nothing of concealment. In this case, it cancels the specific effect (invisibility), which has the side effect of also canceling its result (concealment), but that is not a retroactive cancelation."

Jason Bulmahn (Lead Designer): "Let me be clear...
Glitterdust kills invisibility and all the rules that go with it.
Glitterdust has no effect on other forms of concealment.
Glitterdust also makes it very difficult to hide and might blind you."

Zaister wrote:
2) Does the spell continue to affect a creature after it has left its area of effect?

Glitterdust: Area creatures and objects within 10-ft.-radius spread

From the magic chapter, Area:

"A spread spell extends out like a burst but can turn corners. You select the point of origin, and the spell spreads out a given distance in all directions. Figure the area the spell effect fills by taking into account any turns the spell effect takes."

"Creatures: A spell with this kind of area affects creatures directly (like a targeted spell), but it affects all creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures you select. The area might be a spherical burst, a cone-shaped burst, or some other shape."

If it remained functioning in the area (continual cloud of glitter) it would be an emanation, not a spread:

"An emanation spell functions like a burst spell, except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin for the duration of the spell. Most...

Ok so basically the first part I was right, but how the spell works I was confused.

Got it.


ossian666 wrote:
Ok so basically the first part I was right, but how the spell works I was confused.

Yes, and Maybe?

JB: "at the heart of the matter is the fact that glitterdust could use some clarification, it is a poorly worded spell"

It's never really been fully explained. I might have been intended to be a snow globe, but the wonky area rules borked it up.

Spread: burst that turns corners
Emanation: burst that radiates

What if you want it to radiate, AND turn corners?

At the moment, my post above is my best guess on how glitterdust works. There's some rules in there to help my case, but it's still just my interpretation.

Sczarni

Grick wrote:
ossian666 wrote:
Ok so basically the first part I was right, but how the spell works I was confused.

Yes, and Maybe?

JB: "at the heart of the matter is the fact that glitterdust could use some clarification, it is a poorly worded spell"

It's never really been fully explained. I might have been intended to be a snow globe, but the wonky area rules borked it up.

Spread: burst that turns corners
Emanation: burst that radiates

What if you want it to radiate, AND turn corners?

At the moment, my post above is my best guess on how glitterdust works. There's some rules in there to help my case, but it's still just my interpretation.

Part of my idea on how it works comes from playing DDO, which is pretty much Pathfinder meets 3.5...kinda.


I can't see why they would mention that the dust doesn't come off if you could get rid of it by the simple expediency of moving 10 feet.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I can't see why they would mention that the dust doesn't come off if you could get rid of it by the simple expediency of moving 10 feet.

+1

Seems to that if you pass through the area, you've got it on you until the spell ends.

Sczarni

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I can't see why they would mention that the dust doesn't come off if you could get rid of it by the simple expediency of moving 10 feet.

Because to me its stupid that its a BOOM then done for 10ft. Having it last 4 rounds as more of a snow globe makes it a viable battlefield control device. Know what I mean?


ossian666 wrote:
Because to me its stupid that its a BOOM then done for 10ft.

A 10-foot radius covers 12 squares. Pretty good for a 2nd level spell, even if it doesn't keep emanating for the duration. (And completely outstanding if it does)


Sure you can get glitterdust to "turn a corner"

the burst would have to be centered right in front of the direction you wanted to get, but you could do it....
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXX---B---XXXXX
XXXXXX 1 XXXXXXXX
XXXXXX 1 XXXXXXXX
XXXXXX XXXXXXXX
XXXXXX XXXXXXXX
XXXXXX XXXXXXXX
XXXXXX U XXXXXXXX

Anyone around the corner and within the spread would not be safe!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I would say that it does not negate the invisible condition because it doesn't say that precisely (compare to invisibility purge--which is a higher level spell, note). Ergo, an invisible creature remains invisible even under the effects of glitterdust, with all its benefits--with the exception that others can see generally where the invisible character is standing.

The way I see the spell working is this:

Glitterdust falls on an invisible creature. Glowing dust magically sticks to the invisible creature, so that others can see a vague shape of the invisible creature (hence the phrase "visibly outlining it"). However, the creature is still transparent--you can see a faintly glowing outlined shape of a creature, but you can't make out specific body parts, which makes them still difficult to fight (because you can't see chinks in their armor to hit, etc.)--hence, the invisible creature still gets concealment bonuses, etc.

Mechanically, my call would be is what the spell really does--and it's a shame it does not say this explicitly--is that it allows you to automatically pinpoint an invisible creature without having to make a Perception check.

For reference, these are the rules I'm referring to:

PRD wrote:
It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check. Even once a character has pinpointed the square that contains an invisible creature, the creature still benefits from total concealment (50% miss chance). There are a number of modifiers that can be applied to this DC if the invisible creature is moving or engaged in a noisy activity.

Hence--you can pinpoint, but target is still concealed.

Just IMO.


Glitterdust is a debuff.

Poof! 10'r of sparkly dust, like this stuff. It completely coats everything, like everything in the radius was completely painted over with gold paint from some kid's Disney Princess paint set. Whoever's in the radius might get it in their eyes (Will save or blind), and invisible things are just as fully coated (and thus 100% visible).

Sczarni

DeathQuaker wrote:

I would say that it does not negate the invisible condition because it doesn't say that precisely (compare to invisibility purge--which is a higher level spell, note). Ergo, an invisible creature remains invisible even under the effects of glitterdust, with all its benefits--with the exception that others can see generally where the invisible character is standing.

The way I see the spell working is this:

Glitterdust falls on an invisible creature. Glowing dust magically sticks to the invisible creature, so that others can see a vague shape of the invisible creature (hence the phrase "visibly outlining it"). However, the creature is still transparent--you can see a faintly glowing outlined shape of a creature, but you can't make out specific body parts, which makes them still difficult to fight (because you can't see chinks in their armor to hit, etc.)--hence, the invisible creature still gets concealment bonuses, etc.

Mechanically, my call would be is what the spell really does--and it's a shame it does not say this explicitly--is that it allows you to automatically pinpoint an invisible creature without having to make a Perception check.

For reference, these are the rules I'm referring to:

PRD wrote:
It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check. Even once a character has pinpointed the square that contains an invisible creature, the creature still benefits from total concealment (50% miss chance). There are a number of modifiers that can be applied to this DC if the invisible creature is moving or engaged in a noisy activity.

Hence--you can pinpoint, but target is still concealed.

Just IMO.

But this spell is allowing you to visually pinpoint the invisible creature. Who cares about armor...armor doesn't reduce damage in this game. All you need to do is hit the dang thing.

Concealment:
Concealment Miss Chance: Concealment gives the subject of a successful attack a 20% chance that the attacker missed because of the concealment. Make the attack normally—if the attacker hits, the defender must make a miss chance d% roll to avoid being struck. Multiple concealment conditions do not stack.

Concealment and Stealth Checks: You can use concealment to make a Stealth check. Without concealment, you usually need cover to make a Stealth check.

Total Concealment: If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight, he is considered to have total concealment from you. You can't attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment).

You can't execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you know what square or squares the opponent occupies.

Ignoring Concealment: Concealment isn't always effective. An area of dim lighting or darkness doesn't provide any concealment against an opponent with darkvision. Characters with low-light vision can see clearly for a greater distance than other characters with the same light source. Although invisibility provides total concealment, sighted opponents may still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible character. An invisible character gains a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if moving, or a +40 bonus on Stealth checks when not moving (even though opponents can't see you, they might be able to figure out where you are from other visual or auditory clues).

The way I see it if invisibility is granting concealment and invisibility is now gone (because you can visually perceive them) then inso facto you aren't granted concealment.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:

I would say that it does not negate the invisible condition because it doesn't say that precisely (compare to invisibility purge--which is a higher level spell, note). Ergo, an invisible creature remains invisible even under the effects of glitterdust, with all its benefits--with the exception that others can see generally where the invisible character is standing.

Just IMO.

I disagree and am inclined to agree with Mr Bulman, but I just want to point out that invisibility purge is on a different spell list and therefore is not a straightforward comparison in the case of spell level. Just take Faerie Fire for instance, which negates all concealment including invisibility in a 5ft burst but is a 1st level druid spell. Different kinds of abilities come in high and low on different spell lists.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

ossian666 wrote:


But this spell is allowing you to visually pinpoint the invisible creature. Who cares about armor...armor doesn't reduce damage in this game. All you need to do is hit the dang thing.

Ossian, I was just trying to make a fluff description for why the 50% miss chance still applies--because you really can't see the details of what's there. The more relevant mechanical argument for how I feel the spell should work follows after that paragraph and should be quite clear, but if it is not please let me know how I can further clarify. I apologize if I used a poor example, but that was so very not not the point of what I was saying.

Kolokotroni, we'll have to agree to disagree. While you're right that different spell lists have some level variation, I cannot imagine a spell that both blinds AND completely negates invisibility could ever fairly be a 2nd level spell on any spell list.

Like I said, it's just how I'd read the spell anyway, so it's not going to affect anyone... unless you happen to be in a game I run. :)


If you can't see details, that's 20% concealment, a la Blur, or dim lighting.
50% concealment means you know what square, but that's about it.

That alone should make you go "hmmm"


Follow up I was wondering about -

Gliddered thing becomes invisible again while the glitter is still on them. Still outlined, and still blinded?

Normal particles would become invisible, like if you dump flour on the invisible man, if he then gets invisibility cast on him, the flour's made invisible.

I can see it working either way. The language "visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell" could mean it's magic that trumps any invisibilty magic cast before or after, and the language "continues to sparkle until it fades" could imply a self luminous effect where light can never be made invisible. On the other hand all that could be also be describing just a reflective glitter you can't wash off.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think Grick's explanation further up is closest to the truth. However, I'm not sure it's a good thing that a second-level spell like glitterdust can completely eliminate a fourth-level spell such as greater invisibility and even prevent that spell from being cast again on the affected creature. That seems to me a bit much for second level.


See Invisibility is second level.
Faerie Fire is first level.
Invisibility Purge is third level.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Zaister wrote:

Two question regarding the glitterdust spell.

1) It's obvious that an invisible creature affected by this spell can easily be pinpointed. Does the spell also complety negate the concealment granted by invisibility?

2) Does the spell continue to affect a creature after it has left its area of effect?

I believe the answer to both question is yes, but I wanted to hear what others are thinking.

1. Since the creatures are outlined and take a -40 penalty to stealth checks, I would say that it works like farie fire, but only on invisible targets, so it negates concealment.

2. The dust does not creature an area, it affects creatures or object in the area, outlining invisible creatures, and possibly blinding things.


Malignor wrote:

See Invisibility is second level.

Faerie Fire is first level.
Invisibility Purge is third level.

Yes. Invisibility Purge is a terrible spell. We're all aware. It should be second level.

Sczarni

moon glum wrote:
Zaister wrote:

Two question regarding the glitterdust spell.

1) It's obvious that an invisible creature affected by this spell can easily be pinpointed. Does the spell also complety negate the concealment granted by invisibility?

2) Does the spell continue to affect a creature after it has left its area of effect?

I believe the answer to both question is yes, but I wanted to hear what others are thinking.

1. Since the creatures are outlined and take a -40 penalty to stealth checks, I would say that it works like farie fire, but only on invisible targets, so it negates concealment.

2. The dust does not creature an area, it affects creatures or object in the area, outlining invisible creatures, and possibly blinding things.

Thats the thing...you ONLY have concealment because you are invisible. And the spell specifically says it cancels invisibility, so inso facto no concealment. Say what you will but if A then B equals C standards makes any sense (and logically it should) then the concealment is negated with the elimination of invisibility.


Our group has always run glitterdust as a burst that covers anyone who happens to be in the area of effect at the time of casting. The cloud doesn't last but a person remains glittered for the x rounds.

I'm also fine with glitterdust countering invisibility and even greater invisibility. In my experience, arcane casters activate see invisibility before using glitterdust. So basically, you're utilizing four spell levels to counter two spell levels (or four versus four to counter greater invisibility).

Even if you're just relying on glitterdust, there are often mitigating circumstances that prevent this from being a perfect counter to a foe using greater invisibility. You have to somehow pinpoint your foe in order to target your spell. If the foe is in melee with a party member, you risk blinding your mate. If the foe's moving and/or at range, it might take multiple castings of the spell before you hit the target.


It's a momentary burst of particles. To allow it to be a persisting blinding invisibility-breaking terrain effect would be overpowered, given that it also negates various invisibility spells, some of which are rather high level.

There's also no reason that casting invisibility a second time wouldn't render the glitter invisible.


That is why when you are invisible the ghost sound goes into an area far from where you actually are!


Quote:
There's also no reason that casting invisibility a second time wouldn't render the glitter invisible

The dust is "visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell" so you can be invisible all you want, you're still visibly outlined.

The dust also seems to emit enough light to blind people. You can make a torch invisible, but you still see the light. Its like carrying one of those motion capture suits with LED's on all the little balls: they can't see you but they can see your outline walking around like a light bright.


The glitter would be rendered invisible with the second casting. Maybe the rules don't approach that corner case, but I otherwise see difficulty in how invisible glitter on an invisible creature can visibly outline it.

In the same vein, an invisible creature can strap invisible torches all over its body -- while the ambient glow is enough to pinpoint the square, attackers still suffer a 50% miss chance.

I'm still not sure that the dust actually emits light. Then the spell can also be used in areas of darkness to prevent miss chances, and it's already a really versatile acid test-failing spell.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Glitterdust All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.