Chain of Perdition clarification


Rules Questions


13 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

I like the look of the Chain of Perdition spell but I was wondering some specifics on how it actually functions. Do I have to use my Standard action for the turn to cause the Chain to use combat maneuvers or does it do one each turn on its own until the duration runs out? I know I have to use my Move Action to move it but it's not entirely clear from the text if the Chain does it's maneuvers on it's own or not.

Thanks for the help.


Just bumping this up in hopes of getting a response.


Very good question...


Here's the text from the spell to help any potential answerers:

Chain of Perdition
School evocation [force]; Level cleric 3, sorcerer/wizard 3

CASTING
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (chain link)

EFFECT
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect 10-ft. chain
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

DESCRIPTION
A floating chain of force with hooks at each end appears within an unoccupied space of your choosing within range. This chain is a Medium object that has a 10-foot reach. Physical attacks cannot hit or harm the chain of perdition, but dispel magic, disintegrate, a sphere of annihilation, or a rod of cancellation affects it normally. The chain’s AC against touch attacks is 10 + your Charisma modifier (sorcerer), Intelligence modifier (wizard), or Wisdom modifier (cleric).

The chain can perform the dirty trick (blind or entangle), drag, reposition, and trip combat maneuvers, using your caster level in place of your Combat Maneuver Bonus, and your Charisma modifier (sorcerer), Intelligence modifier (wizard), or Wisdom modifier (cleric) in place of your Strength or Dexterity modifier. The chain does not provoke attacks of opportunity for making combat maneuvers. It suffers no penalty or miss chance due to darkness, invisibility, or other forms of concealment.

As a move action, you can move the chain up to 30 feet. If the chain goes beyond the spell’s range or out of your sight, it returns to you.

If a creature that the chain attacks has spell resistance, you must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against that spell resistance the first time the chain performs a successful maneuver against that creature. If the chain is successfully resisted, the spell is dispelled. If not, the weapon has its normal full effect on that creature for the duration of the spell.


Sadly the spell offers no guidance at all as to how often it gets to attack and act. Safe assumption would be at least once a round, IMO.


I think it's supposed to work like Spiritual Weapon, but it's missing the important "It strikes the opponent you designate, starting with one attack in the round the spell is cast and continuing each round thereafter on your turn" wording.


I'll probably go with the Spiritual Weapon comparison until someone says different. This spell does borrow a lot from the wording of that one so it makes sense. I think I can talk my DM into letting me make one Maneuver a turn while still keeping my Standard action. That makes this a pretty cool spell in my book.


since the spell specifically calls out that it takes a move action for the caster to move the chain, but doesn't say anything about it taking actions on the casters part for the chain to attack, I would assume that the chain attacks on its own, once per round.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, I am curious about this as well--in my last session my cleric cast both Spiritual Weapon and Chain of Perdition and had them attacking different targets. It didn't come up as the battle was well in hand, but I'd like to know if the CoP is an auto-attacker like SW, leaving me free to buff/heal/etc as normal.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This one was mine. It might take me till later today, but I'll get my notes and see if I can help. I also want to consider my response rather than create confusion.

This will be only my RAI opinion of course, the actual Editors trump anything I say.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

5 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 8 people marked this as a favorite.

Actually, the basis of this spell is grasping hand, and since that is based upon interposing hand you're going to see a lot of the same language used from that spell as well.

So, it is an auto-attacker, like grasping hand; but what the spell doesn't say (and perhaps it should) is that designating a new target is a move action. The language concerning moving it within the 30-ft. range was added in editorial review.

The intent is the chain does one of the listed combat maneuvers once per round.

Does that help?

FYI: this was ultimately inspired by Marvel's Ghost Rider, and a little bit of The Christmas Carol (i.e. Jacob Marley). As a force construct, it's a way to drag around ghosts, shadows, spectres and the like. Of course, it has more applications than just that, but that's where the name comes from.

Shadow Lodge

Jim Groves wrote:
Does that help?

Yes, it does! Thanks, Jim.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Sammy T wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
Does that help?
Yes, it does! Thanks, Jim.

Ironically one more person nominated for a FAQ after I tried to clarify it.... ::spreads hands:: Whatchya gonna do or say?

I am glad it help you Sammy, have fun!


Jim: I was wondering about the dirty trick element. Just making sure Im running this correctly.
In dirty trick it states that a dirty trick can be removed with a move equivalent action.

Thus:
Round 1a spell is cast, the caster succeeds the SR check and then succeeds the CMB+5 (dirty trick blind) check. The target is now blind for 2 rounds.
Round 1b the target uses a move equiv. action to remove the blindness (as per dirty trick) and thus is no longer blind. Following that the target performs a standard action.

Round 2a spell attacks again and succeeds CMB+10. Target is now blind for 3 rounds.
Round 2b the target again uses a move equiv. action to remove the blindness. Following that the target performs a standard action.

Summary: this is a great spell to reduce mobility or to reduce actions to a standard action but does not actually maintain the blindness or entangled conditions.

Dirty Trick blind is as per above?
Dirty Trick Entangle is also as per above (substitute entangle condition for blindness)?
Drag and Reposition are alright for moving a target to where you want them to be.
Trip is a golden option of course.

- Gauss


this might be slightly off topic, but i was curious about the chain's combat maneuvers versus incorporeal enemies.

incorporeal are said to be immune to combat maneuvers that "move" the character, but this seems to be tied to the fact that the weapons are material.

can the chain of perdition as a force weapon attempt combat maneuvers against incorporeal characters?

thanks!


I'm going to bump this since I still feel there is unclarity.

The spell description states that is a move action to move the chain around, but not what the action cost is to change the type of combat maneuver.

Say it attacks monster X with a trip attack and next round monster X is still in range. Can I now choose the dirty trick action or does it take a move action for my character to do so?


The OP has "No response required." This is primarily because of the last section's language, referring to the chain performing the subjects.

Chain of Perdition wrote:
If a creature that the chain attacks has spell resistance, you must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against that spell resistance the first time the chain performs a successful maneuver against that creature. If the chain is successfully resisted, the spell is dispelled. If not, the weapon has its normal full effect on that creature for the duration of the spell.

In multiple instances, it cites the Chain being able to make these combat maneuvers, and requires no further action from the Caster to function. I believe this is what constitutes "No response required," since it's fairly clear from this interpretation that the Chain performs one of those maneuvers it can make per round.

This also means that if you were going to cheese things with Improved/Greater Maneuver feats, they would not apply as the character with the feats is not performing the action, but the Chain itself is.

Liberty's Edge

Can the chain make AOOs? You'd think so since that's the biggest reason a 10' reach matters, but the spell's intent is not clear.

Scarab Sages

Gark the Goblin wrote:
Can the chain make AOOs? You'd think so since that's the biggest reason a 10' reach matters, but the spell's intent is not clear.

No. It is a hindering spell that only affects one opponent until the caster spends a move action to change targets. The chain does not move of its own accord like a spiritual hammer would. The 10' reach just gives it a larger area it can guard before a target can move out of its range.

Interposing Hand is a 5th level spell, and Chain of Perdition is 3rd level spell. The interposing hand targets one opponent and does not get Attacks of Opportunity. It does not chase the opponent if they withdraw, but otherwise acts each round to physically prevent the target from reaching you. The 7th level spell Grasping Hand also only moves only when directed to move, and says "The hand holds but does not harm creatures that it grapples."

As a lower-level version in this spell tree, Chain of Perdition should function in a similar manner, just weaker. In this case, it will hinder an opponent with a successful a CMB roll rather than produce a greater effect.

Chain of Perdition is stationary unless the caster moves out of range or out of sight of the chain, at which point it automatically returns to the caster. The chain targets one opponent (which you can change within 30 feet as a move action) and then acts each round with a CMB roll to attempt to hamper that opponent. The fact that the chain is a medium item with a 10' reach simply allows you to guard a larger area with it before spending a move-action to relocate it. For example, a hampered opponent cannot escape the Chain of Perdition's reach by taking just a 5' step.

Also, as a medium object that must be summoned into an unoccupied space, I would assume that it occupies that space as a medium object would. Thus, even stationary, it can be used to hinder movement through that space.


Hello,

I am considering this spell in my current game, but it sounds so vague.

Here are the points I am confused about:

This chain is a Medium object that has a 10-foot reach.
Does this mean that the chain can get an AoO once per round?

using your caster level in place of your Combat Maneuver Bonus, and your Charisma modifier (sorcerer), Intelligence modifier (wizard), or Wisdom modifier (cleric) in place of your Strength or Dexterity modifier.

If a bard is buffing me with inspire courage, this being a weapon spell, do I add the competence bonus to CMB? What about If i have cast Heroism on myself?

Let me know what the boards think. Or if Jim is around, I'd love to hear his take on this.

Thanks.

P.S: I haven't found anything to the contrary of this, but is there something preventing me from using chain of perdition to drag an ennemy into an existing Geyser spell I've cast earlier? That just sounds like a fun pinball effect!!


I have noticed no one has issue with the wording of the following: The chain can perform the dirty trick (blind or entangle), drag, reposition, and trip combat maneuvers, using your caster level in place of your Combat Maneuver Bonus, and your Charisma modifier (sorcerer), Intelligence modifier (wizard), or Wisdom modifier (cleric) in place of your Strength or Dexterity modifier.

The CMB uses BAB & Str/Dex(depending on feats) and other modifiers so why would you need to replace str/dex if your caster lvl replaces CMB and there for BAB and Str/dex? This seems badly written. To me it only makes sense if they actually meant the CL replaces BAB and Cha ect replaces your str/dex when calculating CMB!


I am wondering about the official necro count for this thread, is 3, 4 or 5 the RAW answer?


Java Man wrote:
I am wondering about the official necro count for this thread, is 3, 4 or 5 the RAW answer?

Because centralising the info requests on this thread is perhaps a good idea, since that might be how we get answers on a spell that has the potential to be cool, but is too vague in its description to amount to anything.


Mechanically it seems clear that the attack CMB value should be (Caster Level +(casting ability modifier)). Other corrections/clairifications are in Jim's posts. It is up to your home GM to clear up this text as I wouldn't wait for a FAQ or errata.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Chain of Perdition clarification All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.