Spell description clarification: Can a cleric casting water walk go up a waterfall?


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Sovereign Court

Question: Can a cleric casting water walk go up a waterfall?

Before I get into the arguments for/against, here is the Pathfinder SRD spell definition for Water Walk:

The transmuted creatures can tread on any liquid as if it were firm ground. Mud, oil, snow, quicksand, running water, ice, and even lava can be traversed easily, since the subjects' feet hover an inch or two above the surface. Creatures crossing molten lava still take damage from the heat because they are near it. The subjects can walk, run, charge, or otherwise move across the surface as if it were normal ground.

If the spell is cast underwater (or while the subjects are partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in), the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it.

Player argument 1: The spell says "tread on any liquid as if it were firm ground, and walk/run/charge across the surface as normal ground," so I should be able to walk right up it.

GM argument 1: You can't defy gravity!

Plaryer argument 2: Oh yes I can! I float a couple inches above the water...I'm already defying gravity! The fact that if I were underwater and I'd get sent to the surface at 60 feet per round defies gravity too. Why else do you sink when you go into water? Gravity!

GM argument 2: Whatever, but you when you get to the waterfall it's "normal ground" you'd have to make climb checks to make it to the top and defy gravity any more than the two inches.Plus it would be a sheer, slippery surface.

Player argument 3: Why? It clearly says "running water" in the spell description. I should be able to walk right up. Besides, it wouldn't be slippery to me because I'm floating above it.

GM argument 3: Well, then maybe if you had slippers of spider climb you could do it, but until then I rule that you have to make climb checks.

Player argument 4: Whatever, I'll just walk under the waterfall itself and become partially or wholly submerged to be launched toward the surface at 60 feet per round. How high is the waterfall?

GM argument 4: It doesn't matter how high it is, the surface is not where the water is coming from, the surface is the side away from the cliff. Climb checks please.

Player argument 5: There'd be nothing to grab onto to make climb checks, I'm floating two inches from the "surface." Read the spell description again, it says I'm bourne toward the surface until I can "stand on it." By your reasoning, it would put me back trying to walk up the sheer surface, but not be able to "stand on it." So once partially submerged under the waterfall I'd get launched to the top.

GM argument 5: Ha! You'd have better luck polymorphing yourself into a salmon and try to swim up it.

Player argument 6: Fine, just think of this. The spell water walk was inspired by the story of Jesus walking on the water. You're telling me, that Jesus couldn't walk right up the waterfall? I fall back to my primary stance that it clearly says "running water."

GM argument 6: You're not "God of the water!"

Player argument 7: No, but my god granted me the power to walk on it for an hour! Besides, I can't polymorph, I'm a cleric.

GM argument 7: Whatever, post your question on the Paizo FAQ so I can school you later. You're at the top of the waterfall.

I looked all over for a resolution on this, but couldn't find a thing. I'm not going to reveal whether I was the player or the GM in this instance for fairness of the discussion.

Let the argument begin!

Doc Brown

Liberty's Edge

Can he walk up the waterfall? No more than he could walk up a sheer cliff or a wall.

Can he stand under the waterfall and float upward at 60 ft/ round until he's at the top? Sure thing. What makes the dm think the surface of the water is "the side away from the cliff"?

Shadow Lodge

I would say yes, they can both walk up the waterfall and would also rise by standing under it the right way. It says while the subject is "partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in", so a foot in the water is partially submerged, they start to be pushed up.

They are not walking up the waterfall (like with Spiderclimb), per se, but rather riding is like an escelator.

Shadow Lodge

I'd also probably give the player a little extra for both doing something cool, and for be inventive with the spell and using it beyond what it is intended for.

Dark Archive

1) Surface does not mean top.

2) Nothing is mentioned about granting the special ability to levitate, fly, or change the direction of gravity. Cool, your soles are repelled by water, you still can't fly.

3) They're boots of water walking, not water climbing or teleport via water.

This, coupled with the effort put into special cases in the description, none of which ever bother with vertical movement (borne toward the surface, which is not synonymous with up) seems to make their intended use obvious.

Grand Lodge

This is the PFS area. Should it be here?

During a PFS game as GM I would make a decision after argument 2 and move any further discussion after the scenario. As GM you have to balance rules, time, other players at the table. This means you have to make a decision that either the player dislikes but has to accept or a decision that you as GM dislike but you give the player the benefit of doubt.

Long discussions are not helping and both GM and player should accept it.

I already see different opinions posted - and this is with people having time to form their opinion. So it seems futile to try to resolve this with both GM and player in agreement in the heat of the moment. One of the two has to give way.

My answer:

No

Sovereign Court

Okay, Squeatus. Your argument that the surface does not mean top/up can still be disputed. The character was partially submerged in running water. Just because you say top does not mean up, doesn't make it true. It's not an argument, but an opinion. What is the definition of the surface of running water anyway? All parts away from the core of a cylinder of water? The inside or outside of the waterfall? Or the topmost part of the cylinder or waterfall away from the earth/planet?

I guess another argument could be ask the deity that granted the ability, and when the player asks the deity (GM) answers...yes or no.

Dark Archive

docbrown wrote:
Just because you say top does not mean up, doesn't make it true. It's not an argument, but an opinion.

What makes it true is that...it's true.

The fact that you will understand me when I say "the surface of the ceiling" or "the surface of the ball" probably illustrates better than a lengthy redefinition of "surface."

Surface is not top, or up.

As for waterfalls, it's falling water, not running water. So I guess there's another case where escalating up a waterfall isn't mentioned even in the RAW.

Grand Lodge

Moved to Rules forum.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

As a GM in this situation I would have ruled that the player could not walk up the waterfall.

The way I explain how this spell works to my players is to get them to imagine that the river is actually not a liquid but is solid for purposes of walking over it. This means that if the river is flowing smoothly then they can walk, run or charge across it but if there are any waves (or eddies as found where a waterfall hits the bottom) then this would impede charging and running just like normal ground would that had such rises and falls on it. Therefore trying to walk up a vertical surface just isn't going to work, the same way as the player can't walk up the walls of a room (unless they have magics that allow them to, of course).

As to walking into the waterfall, I wouldn't let the player enter the water of the fall as it would be repelling him just like it would if he were fully or partially underwater. This also means that if the player drops something into the water he cannot retrieve it whilst under the effects this spell has the water would repel him.

Hopefully, what I've written provokes discussion rather than argument as I prefer discussions to arguments :)

Shadow Lodge

I'm with Doc on this one. Squeatus' arguement is not right, and requires to much added material to work that way.

If I said I teleport to the surface of the ceiling, do I mean the underside surface of a ceiling? No I mean on top of it, pretty obviously. The spell does specifically say "If the spell is cast underwater (or while the subjects are partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in), the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it.
"

So according to Squeatus' argument, the spell would infact not work at all.

Shadow Lodge

Belerlas wrote:
The way I explain how this spell works to my players is to get them to imagine that the river is actually not a liquid but is solid for purposes of walking over it.

And yet, if cast underwater, it is obviously not a solid (or treated as a solid), less the spell be instantly fatal. As a simplification for ease of understanding this is fine, but this is distinctly not how the spell actually works. It does not repel you, it is not a ward, and it doesn't say anything about actually limiting your ability to travel through water or other liquids. You can't for example, reach down and throuw a handful of water and have it smash someones face like a rock.

Belerlas wrote:
Hopefully, what I've written provokes discussion rather than argument as I prefer discussions to arguments.

I'm willing to discuss, and I too, hope that it doesn't sound like I'm trying to argue (with anyone).

Sovereign Court

So, Belerlas wouldn't let him penetrate the water at all. So if he fell from the top of the waterfall he would splat and take damage when he hit the pool at the bottom like it was solid ground? I was envisioning that he'd be more like buoy or bobber. The second part of this fabulous encounter was with a water elemental sucking the water walking player down into a vortex, which he'd just keep getting shot back to the top at 60 feet per round. If Belerlas was ruling in that instance, the water elemental wouldn't be able to use that special attack...in fact all of his slam attacks wouldn't hit either because the player couldn't be submerged in water and forced away to two inches. The water elemental wouldn't be able to touch him.


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I think it would be more fun to answer the question in terms of how magic works in your game setting.

The player's opinion is based on the argument that "magic changes the world" - that is, it works as an absolute breaking of physics. On that argument, if the player could safely stand exactly at the base of the waterfall, he'd shoot up to the top, and maybe have to make an Acrobatics or Dex check to not stumble on the uneven surface when he reached the top, where the water is breaking. His argument for walking horizontally up wouldn't work very well, since the "pushed out of submersion" effect does not specifically redefine the definition of "up". If you can't walk up a wall, you can't walk up a fall.

The more interesting idea would be that "magic changes the target" - that is, magic only breaks physics locally. Using that logic, Water Walking actually changes just the caster's body, so that it has a new relationship to water. A player standing at the base of the waterfall would be pushed first to the surface of the pool, then to the surface of the fall. And he'd have to make a climb check.

This would simplify falling and attacks. He takes falling damage, and he can be attacked by creatures made of water. He'd be immune to the vortex, but maybe he'd take MORE damage from bashes and slams.

If the spell affects his gear, then he could throw a rope and hook to the top. If the GM wanted to be a jerk, the player might also be randomly be pushed to the rear side of the fall.

The way to make the ruling fair would be to decide the GM's world is one way or the other. The next time the powergamer in question is reading his spellbook for exploits, he can take that into consideration.

Personally, I like the second version better. I like a game world where a person using water breathing actually has to spend a combat round spitting up water when he gets to dry land.


Walking up the waterfall, no. Using the waterfall as an elevator, yes. Just my 2cp

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
docbrown wrote:

Question: Can a cleric casting water walk go up a waterfall?

Think of it this way. You have legs that work pretty well walking on ground just as water walk allows you to walk on water.

Every try climbing an avalanche?

Liberty's Edge

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My ruling would be no.

And if he pressed on, my explanation would be: imagine you're suddenly full of hot air. You will float above the water, and if you're submerged you will be pushed up until you get to the surface.
Now, a waterfall is pushing you down, and the water at the bottom of it is falling at (45.49*H) feet/second, where H is the height of the waterfall. 60 feet per round is 10 feet per second. Unfortunately, the waterfall is pushing you down way faster than you can move up.

Shadow Lodge

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LazarX wrote:
docbrown wrote:

Question: Can a cleric casting water walk go up a waterfall?

Think of it this way. You have legs that work pretty well walking on ground just as water walk allows you to walk on water.

Every try climbing an avalanche?

Think of it this way. The spell does actually lift you up, both above the surface and to the surface if below it. So it's more like hovering above the water, or being pushed upwards until you hover above it. The fact that the water (or avalanche) is in motion doesn't matter, your not touching it.

Zahariel wrote:

My ruling would be no.

And if he pressed on, my explanation would be: imagine you're suddenly full of hot air.

So Fly and Airwalk don't work in your game either, do they?

People seem to be trying to explain why they don't want it to work based off of their own opinions, but not what the spell actually does.

Scarab Sages

So ... I'm going to yet another opinion, here. But, what I ask is that people try to imagine this not from a debate about specific words or phrases. Trying to debate about words when the words are unclear to those debating is like trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

Let's imagine this from the concept that the spell makes it as easy to traverse the water as it would be to traverse normal ground. So, let's take water completely out of the equation, and replace it with normal ground of the same shape and size. If a player at a random table told me that he could use some magical item (with which I was unfamiliar) that allowed him to move normally without touching (or being an inch or two above) the ground, there wouldn't even be this question. If I tried to insist that when pressing his hand toward a secret panel he was borne above the surface of the wall to glide upward and would get stuck because the spell makes him stay an inch or two above that surface, I am certain that "jerk" would be the nicest of the things that I would be called.

I opened my PDF and searched for every instance of the word "surface". I couldn't find a single example in the intended meaning was specifically "top", as opposed to something like "nearest outside border". Spheres, walls ... no where. But, there are plenty of examples of it where the meaning is much more clear. But, never is the meaning of "surface" equated with "top". There's even a case where the face of a cliff is referred to as it's surface. ... a "vertical surface", at that. (Soften Earth and Stone for those interested.) There's even a case in Freezing Sphere where it refers to the surface of a body of water at which the spell is targeted. And if a player tried to suggest to me that if he was in a waterfall, or even if it were a salmon trying to swim up one, that he wouldn't be affected by it because the "surface" of the waterfall was the top, I think the other players would laugh him off of the table. And even Spider Climb clearly indicates that the surface of a ceiling is the side facing down, not the "top". There *is* no such thing as the "top of a ceiling". It's an internal structure. The surface of it is on the inside, facing down. If there's an outside or top to a ceiling, it's called a roof.

Oh, and lastly, just because a spell's effects don't include parameters within the spell description aren't possible doesn't mean that the spell doesn't work at all. Just because a person isn't physically capable of standing on it doesn't mean that the spell fails. Could a wizard who'd had his feet and legs destroyed in a Sphere of Annihilation still use the spell? (I'm not going for rules debates about losing body parts, or about the Sphere, it's just rhetoric.)

I know this post may engender comments of "Holy Wall of Text, Batman", and I apologize for that. But, I'm just trying to get people to look at it as something that they can parse by chopping the words and phrases into unrecognizable bits. One can make a phrase say just about anything, if it's debated enough. Saying "RAW" will get one no where in a conversation like this ... because - as written - they are, at the very least, not written with perfect clarity. Saying, "the intent of the description" will get one to the crux of the matter.


LazarX wrote:


Think of it this way. You have legs that work pretty well walking on ground just as water walk allows you to walk on water.

Every try climbing an avalanche?

This. The water is FALLING! Even if you stand on top of a piece of it, it is a falling piece. I would consider the water to be much like an escalator that is moving down at 30-60 mph.

Dark Archive

Beckett wrote:
I'm with Doc on this one. Squeatus' arguement is not right, and requires to much added material to work that way.

Or absolutely none at all. Water walking, not climbing. You don't need to add what it doesn't do to figure out what it doesn't do. Just like I don't cast "Fireball that isn't an iceball or a slimeball or a ball of wax or...."

Beckett wrote:
If I said I teleport to the surface of the ceiling, do I mean the underside surface of a ceiling? No I mean on top of it, pretty obviously.

What if there is no top of the ceiling? Do things without a top not have a surface?

Beckett wrote:

The spell does specifically say "If the spell is cast underwater (or while the subjects are partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in), the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it.

"

In most other situations regarding movement not wholly under your control you're moved to the closest legal space. Why wouldn't you be moved 60ft/rd toward the surface at the base of the waterfall?

Beckett wrote:
So according to Squeatus' argument, the spell would infact not work at all.

No, that's a terrible conclusion.

The only one more terrible than that would be arguing that the direction your head is pointing while "submerged" in water determines your travel path. Prepare to have everyone cast water walk, bellyflop into the water and double their movement speed every time you put a lake or river on a map.

Does your interpretation allow for flying in hurricanes, by chance?

Scarab Sages

No where is the intent of the spell that water can't touch or affect the person. They can get wet, they can be touched by an elemental, water doesn't hurt them like it's rocks, and they can be pulled into water (they just rise again very rapidly).
Taken to extremes, this concept could be said to allow someone to walk *up* into the rain. And that's obviously preposterous. All this spell does is push one rapidly out of a fluid, make it so that whatever part of one's body is close to contact is kept about an inch or two two away from it.

And if, at my table, a player tried to walk back into a waterfall and rise up, I would rule that the "surface" - barring any other unnecessary wrangling of rules - was the surface through which they were entering. If they entered through the top, I would say that they were buoyed that direction. If they entered at a side on the base, they'd go out in a similar direction.

Shadow Lodge

Squeatus wrote:

Or absolutely none at all. Water walking, not climbing. You don't need to add what it doesn't do to figure out what it doesn't do. Just like I don't cast "Fireball that isn't an iceball or a slimeball or a ball of wax or...."

Um, right. What exactly was the point of the bolded portion of this responce? I'm saying that you are claiming surface doesn't actually mean surface, and that you are saying the spell sdoesn't actually lift you up. I'm not saying that you are saying it makes you into a flaming slimeball.

Beckett wrote:
If I said I teleport to the surface of the ceiling, do I mean the underside surface of a ceiling? No I mean on top of it, pretty obviously.
Squeatus wrote:
What if there is no top of the ceiling?

If there is no top of the ceiling, then there is no ceiling. What is your point here?

Squeatus wrote:
Do things without a top not have a surface?

I'm going to say no. If it doesn't have a top, that makes it 1D or less, right?

Anyway, absolutely nothig to do with the spell that I can see. In the spell, however, it does say that if you are submerged (Sub = beneath or under, by the way), you are carried up (borne) to the surface until you are able to stand on it.

Beckett wrote:

The spell does specifically say "If the spell is cast underwater (or while the subjects are partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in), the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it.

"

In most other situations regarding movement not wholly under your control you're moved to the closest legal space. Why wouldn't you be moved 60ft/rd toward the surface at the base of the waterfall?

Beckett wrote:
So according to Squeatus' argument, the spell would infact not work at all.
Squeatus wrote:

No, that's a terrible conclusion.

The only one more terrible than that would be arguing that the direction your head is pointing while "submerged" in water determines your travel path. Prepare to have everyone cast water walk, bellyflop into the water and double their movement speed every time you put a lake or river on a map.

The argument doesn't work because, if you are going with your idea that the spell reples you to the nearest open space, on a surface of the water, one or more portions of the spell can not work.

Squeatus wrote:
Does your interpretation allow for flying in hurricanes, by chance?

No, but yours seems to.


Nope.

I think it is pretty clear by RAI. This is a player trying to pull something.

Scarab Sages

Beckett wrote:
Squeatus wrote:
Or absolutely none at all. Water walking, not climbing. You don't need to add what it doesn't do to figure out what it doesn't do. Just like I don't cast "Fireball that isn't an iceball, slimeball, or a ball of wax."[edited quote to attempt clarity]
Um, right. What exactly was the point of the bolded portion of this responce?

The point is that it doesn't have to specify what it doesn't do, because it is implied in the name of the spell. It's "Water Walking", not "Water Climbing" (or "Water Levitating", for that matter). It doesn't give you the power to climb a surface magically. That would be Spider Climbing. It allows you to walk on a fluid surface magically. If one can't normally walk on a cliff, this spell doesn't allow you to do it.

Beckett wrote:
If there is no top of the ceiling, then there is no ceiling. What is your point here? ... If it doesn't have a top, that makes it 1D or less, right?/

That is strictly nonsensical. First, that would make it 2d, as one is only eliminating one dimension. Further, the word is describing a surface that is conceptual in nature, not a geometric shape. A ceiling is the inward side of a form that is above the space of a room, and facing down. There is no "top" to a ceiling. Like in a cave. Ceiling describes its inner surface, not the outside of the mountain in which is exists.

Beckett wrote:
... you are carried up (borne)...

Patently false, again. Borne does not mean, necessarily, up. A kite can be borne eastward by the winds, for example. It means "carried", not "carried up".

Beckett wrote:
The argument doesn't work because, if you are going with your idea that the spell reples you to the nearest open space, on a surface of the water, one or more portions of the spell can not work.

So, it doesn't work, because it cannot work? That seems to be faulty logic. By Squeatus' description, it would work just fine. The target of the spell is in an open space. They continue to be in an open space for the duration of the spell. The spell is made to keep them in an open space.

Squeatus wrote:
"Becket wrote:
Does your interpretation allow for flying in hurricanes, by chance?
No, but yours seems to.

No it doesn't. His doesn't at all. Not even remotely.

Jason Stormblade wrote:
I think it is pretty clear by RAI. This is a player trying to pull something.

Agreed entirely. That's the point I was making upthread. Thank you for saying it so bluntly. This is a case where a player is trying to bend the rule until it breaks. The clear answer is to simply rule with Rules As Intended.

Shadow Lodge

I am also, not saying that they could literally climb, (similar to a Spider Climb spell). I am saying that by stepping into the waterfall, they would be raised, because that is what the spell says it does. Other interpritations either add to or ignor factors of the spell.

If the surface being talked about is not in fact the surface of the liquid (the top or upper portion), not only would the spell clarify that is simply pushes you to the nearest open space, but it also only leave that one possibility. If you move to a side "surface", you will never reach a point where you would be able to walk on that surface, (unless you mean like Spider Climb, which both of us are saying it does not work like). If you move "downwards" to the surface of the ground that meets the liquide at the bottum, then you are not being borne to a surface you would then float above, ever. This would also turn this spell into a pretty amazing prolonged SoD, as you could never be able to get to a surface unless you happen to be underwater already before the spell.

The spell, as written and as intended as far as I can see, clearly indicates you move in a commonly accepted, upwards direction, while in any way within water (or liquid). It does not act as if water where solid.

What I am saying, is that the spell would allow you to raise up inside of a waterfall, to the top of the waterfall, because that is what the spell does.

Sovereign Court

Okay another point. It says "running water." Water doesn't run unless it is falling. The speed of the fall is the only difference between a waterfall and a river flowing to the ocean. 60 ft/round up would equate to 10 ft/s. Way less than the force/speed of the falling waterfall I think, so by that argument you'd just be pushed under the water at the bottom of the falls. If however the spell ignores all that, then you rise at 60 ft/round until you're at the top.

Walking up a heavy rainfall would be too cool and then water walk would work just like air walk in the rain.

Good discussions...keep 'em comin'


docbrown wrote:
It says "running water." Water doesn't run unless it is falling. The speed of the fall is the only difference between a waterfall and a river flowing to the ocean,

Running water is any water flowing such as a stream or river. There is no speed requirement for it to be running, simply that it must be moving (not moving like a lake, but moving someplace).

http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild/running%20water


docbrown wrote:

Okay another point. It says "running water." Water doesn't run unless it is falling. The speed of the fall is the only difference between a waterfall and a river flowing to the ocean. 60 ft/round up would equate to 10 ft/s. Way less than the force/speed of the falling waterfall I think, so by that argument you'd just be pushed under the water at the bottom of the falls. If however the spell ignores all that, then you rise at 60 ft/round until you're at the top.

Walking up a heavy rainfall would be too cool and then water walk would work just like air walk in the rain.

Good discussions...keep 'em comin'

I wouldn't do that without a ring of feather fall it's a long way down

Sovereign Court

I believe the plate mail wearing cleric had boots of striding and springing as well as a ring of feather fall. Would that have changed anyone's mind?


I don't remember what the jump limitation is on the boots, but if it was greater than the waterfall yes. If not no.

Liberty's Edge

Not in mine.

Like I said above, I go with the "full of hot air" comparison. Fill a ball with hot air, and release it underwater, it rises to the surface and stays there. Drop it under a waterfall, and the sheer force of the falling water pushes it down and to a side, and it floats there, unable to climb up.

Scarab Sages

Beckett wrote:

, they would be raised, because that is what the spell says it does

... the surface of the liquid (the top or upper portion) ...

The spell, as written and as intended as far as I can see, clearly indicates you move in a commonly accepted, upwards direction, while in any way within water (or liquid). It does not act as if water where solid.

The problem with these statements is that you are justifying them from your point of view after you've established your opinion. The spell does not, in fact, say the target is raised. It says that it is borne toward the surface. Further, the spell does state that it acts as if the ground were solid, thus, it is treated like normal ground. That's in the spell description.

The surface that you are referring to at the top of the waterfall is the surface of the river, not the surface of the waterfall. The surface at the bottom is likewise the surface of the river (or stream, or what have you). Sine you are specifying the surface of the waterfall itself, it is the vertical surface that aligns with the cliff face it is falling over. Therefore, the surface is one that is not in what purport to be a commonly accepted upward direction.
Lastly, this stems from the fact that you are thinking of it in similar terms to what you said about a ceiling. That it has a top. This surface is one tht is in an unconventional direction, and the spell description has to we understood in such a way as to allow for casting it in such a way.

Shadow Lodge

If that where the case (surface of the waterfall is not surface of the river, up), than the spell would not work at all in the waterfall. I think it just opens too much up, and I think the only way to get to the conclusion you have is by adding things not in the spell's description.

Submerged indicated below, and when paired with borne, indicates up to the surface, not pushed to a surface.

The point of the ceiling was that it should go without saying. If I have a spell Teleport to Ceiling: This spell teleports you to the nearest ceiling. Are you going to assume that you teleport to a fairly safe ceiling or that you are going to teleport just below the ceiling and fall afterwards?

I'm going to agree to disagree at this point though. I think it's both RAW and RAI that Water Walk allows you to go up a waterfall.


so now my question is what if you cast slow on the waterfall and then cast water walk on your self?


Short answer for me - can a Cleric who doesn't cast waterwalk run up a landslide?

Scarab Sages

Beckett wrote:

If that where the case (surface of the waterfall is not surface of the river, up), than the spell would not work at all in the waterfall.[/qoute]

That doesn't even seem to follow logic. It's a liquid and it has a surface. If you were inside, it would push you to where you could treat it as normal terrain, and it can persist for the duration of the spell. Seems as though it would work perfectly well to me. There's nothing to indicate that the spell wouldn't work on a body of water (or lava or acid) that was placed in an unconventional way.

Quote:
Submerged indicated below, and when paired with borne, indicates up to the surface, not pushed to a surface.

sub-merge: join below? Yep. That's what it means. You join the water, below it's surface. Which means, in this case, you're standing inside the waterfall. Spell still works just fine on that count.

Quote:
The point of the ceiling was that it should go without saying. If I have a spell Teleport to Ceiling: This spell teleports you to the nearest ceiling. Are you going to assume that you teleport to a fairly safe ceiling or that you are going to teleport just below the ceiling and fall afterwards?

That's why it's kind of ludicrous to make it in comparison, now, wasn't it? can you teleport to a ceiling, and then fall to the ground? Why. yes. Yes, you can. If you were trying to retrieve something that was at or near the ceiling, and it was *that* important, you could teleport, grab it real quick ... and then b subject to gravity. But, your comparison isn't an apt one: The spell we're discussing isn't "Float to Apex of Water". If there were a spell called "Teleport to Ceiling", I might have agreed with you, but, in this case the name of the spell doesn't indicate what you seem to think that it does. As I just mentioned upthread, this is "Water Walking", not "Teleport to Apex of Water".

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I'm going to agree to disagree at this point though. I think it's both RAW and RAI that Water Walk allows you to go up a waterfall.

Scarab Sages

mageem87 wrote:
so now my question is what if you cast slow on the waterfall and then cast water walk on your self?
Wiggz wrote:
Short answer for me - can a Cleric who doesn't cast waterwalk run up a landslide?

In my personal opinion, the motion of the water is a non-issue. The spell description calls out "running water" as being able to be treated as normal terrain. I'm not going to question the speed or direction at which it is moving. If there were a raging torrent of floodwater coursing through a canyon, water-walking would still work fine without the motion of any given 5' square being a given factor. Now, in the next round, that same 5' square may move up or down (and there might be a Balance check associated), but, the actual directional fluid motion can be thrown out, in my book. Almost like if someone were casting "Move Earth" while you were standing on it.


I would argue that waterwalk would not function in a waterfall regardless.

Waterwalk allows travel across the surface of liquids, but a waterfall is often no longer continuous liquid, it is heavily interspersed with atmosphere as it is falling.

The "walking" or bottle rocket to the surface effect would only work as long as you are on top of water, which in a waterfall is unlikely to be so as it mixes and falls. Even if you could manage to stand on it continuously, the falling descent would offset any directional gain. 10 feet per second towards the surface versus gravity & acceleration towards the foot of the falls.

Between this and the sideways surface of the water, I see no reason whatsoever a character could attempt this. I call shenanigans.

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so now my question is what if you cast slow on the waterfall and then cast water walk on your self?

Wouldn't work. Slow only works on creatures, not terrain. Timestop maybe.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
docbrown wrote:
I believe the plate mail wearing cleric had boots of striding and springing as well as a ring of feather fall. Would that have changed anyone's mind?

The aforementioned climbing an avalanche model comes to mind. In other words, no.

Running water is not the same thing as falling water.

Shadow Lodge

When talking about partially submerged I think this means if you were in water up to your knees. You would float to the surface like a beach ball partially under water.

Submerged means you have to be under water, not water falling on you. I guess with the players logic if it was raining he could take the rain water elevator to the clouds in the sky.


I'm calling shenanigans as well.

a person under normal means cannot put his feet against a wall and simple walk up it. nor can he merrily hop up a landslide.

If the player casts the spell, hops onto the river walks up to the waterfall, he can't put his feet into the waterfall as it's not going to let his feet pass through it- it's treated like a solid surface. this would be the same as a normal person putting there foot against the wall but you can't push through it, you can feel the pressure but you can't simple turn off gravity except by other means and walk up it. a player could levitate and push off a waterfall to propel himself back.

If the player casts water walk while within the water fall he would attempt to rise to the top of the waterfall. BUT, like others have mentioned the rate of ascension is not going to be enough to overcome the rate of the falling water. That's even if a caster could make a concentration check to cast water walk while getting pelted with a water fall in the first place...

If you look at the actual description of the spell it's referring to "running water" as the current. you can move freely over it as in- the current doesn't take you with it because your hovering 2 inches above the water. NOT that you can simple traverse an type or situation of moving water regardless of gravity. NOWHERE does it say that this spell cancels, ignores, or effects gravity in any way.

for those debating what the "surface" is it's referring to the surface of a LIQUID, not necessarily the term surface. I'm pretty sure what the surface of a lake or the ocean is. it's not an air pocket some 2 miles away under the sea. The surface of a waterfall however? well that would be left to the GM in his campaign. It could be any part exposed to air, or as i would rule the end opposite of gravity-the top of the waterfall.

"the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it."

well 60 feet per round is not shooting off like a rocket as i've seen mentioned. it's the speed of a brisk walk. This seems to imply to me that the spell caster simply becomes buoyant and rises to the surface. where does a buoyant object released go once released underwater, that's probably the same surface the spell is referring too...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm done with this thread.

OP, you get your GM to cheese it your way, more power to you. It won't happen in a table I judge, and that's that for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My 2 coppers: no to the walkup or elevator. Yes to standing on the surface of the pool at the bottom.


I don't see any textual support for the idea that the character can simply walk up the waterfall. I do see textual support for the idea that when stepping into the waterfall the magic carries them to the top.

While there is no text saying what counts as in the water, I'd define it as enough water to mostly or fully immerse the person if there was no magic involved.

Silver Crusade

Quick and dirty:If you want to walk up a waterfall you can do so, but only if you can walk up a wall - like a ninja. Unlesse thats the case I might allow the character to walk up the waterfall, but one he stops his movement he will fall.


How big of a water fall? i mean if we are talking big lots of water then yeah your submerged. As for my games i would depend i guess I'm not against personally unless your clearly trying to get a ruling here so that you can try some later cheese like rain storm flying.


"can tread on any liquid as if it were firm ground."
This sentence I think covers it. You can walk on firm ground that is horizontal, or in the case of the "running water" being falling just a matter as to what degree, it would be what the character could normally traverse, up to possibly a 60* slant. If the person can't walk up a wall or cliff, they can't walk up the waterfall.

"The subjects can walk, run, charge, or otherwise move across the surface as if it were normal ground."
"Whatever, I'll just walk under the waterfall itself and become partially or wholly submerged to be launched toward the surface at 60 feet per round. How high is the waterfall?"

Unless the character drops the spell, he couldn't walk under the waterfall, because you can't move into normal ground barring digging.

Now, having said that, I also think that this is a fantasy world, and GMs should reward players who think outside the box. If he was under the waterfall, and THEN cast the spell, I would give the character a chance to "ride" the waterfall up to the top. Assign a DC and have them roll to be able to float like an air bubble up to the top of the waterfall.


i really don't even see the big argument from the players side, this is how it would resolve in my game in about 1-2 minutes.

player x "can i walk up the waterfall with water walk, or cast it in the waterfall and rise to the top." me the GM," no you can't walk up the water fall unless you can over come gravity as well. As for rising up through the water fall... i'm going to advise against it. The pelting torrent of water falling on you would make it extremely difficult to cast a spell and the DC of your concentration check is going to not be worth the risk. And, even if you did manage to pull it off, your character easily surmises that the speed of the falling water is going to greatly exceed the lift of water walk and be wasted. there's easier solutions to reach the top." player X, "yeah your probably right i just thought it would be funny lol"

players discuss some possible solutions and come up with-

1) they have enough rope between them all to tied together and reach down from the top. They can send the most skilled climber up the cliff while everyone else covers his climb with bows in case of the normal GM surprise.. once at the top the player can tie it off and throw the rope down. Each player can easily make the climb even with no ranks by stowing there armor and using any magical aid. probably the quickest for 1st level PC's. the smartest thing for low level PC's would just be to spend the time to navigate along the cliff until the found a way to just circumvent the waterfall and cliff...

2)if at least 6th level a small earth elemental could earth glide to the top of a 200 ft cliff with a rope, tie it off or bury it enough in rock, and throw it down. a summoner could do it sooner. at that level the party should have fly and spider climb however.

3)according to doc brown the cleric had boots of striding and springing and a ring of feather falling. now im just going on a guess here but i don't see to many players acquiring those items the first chance they get or picking them up as soon as they can afford it. i'm going to take a guess the players were around 7th level ish. The point im going to get to doesn't rely on a level but more how the player should have better used his 23k WPL. i get that number because boots and a ring are accessories totaling 7700. meaning an avg cleric pc who can wear heavy armor is normaly going to spend wealth on a magic weapon and armor asap. so i est 1/3 of 23k going to weapon,armor, and other extra situational goodies accordingly. so even if the PC wasn't 7th level i'm assuming the PC cleric is not going to use all his wealth on accessories when he's a heavy armed cleric. maybe doc brown gives out 100% random treasure or higher/lower wpl but its safe to assume the PC should have at least 23k total wealth at this point- weather he's 4th,7th,or 9th level is irreverent.

well the party im GMing is 7-8th level. i would say there experienced players and play smart, which most people will claim to be as well. EVERY campaign i have ever ran the party has set aside a party fund for items the party will need such as healing,situational items, or convenience items. while the % cut towards the party fund varies from campaign to campaign i would say GOOD players do this more often than not,am i right? now i dont know about everyone else but my players ALWAYS attempt to acquire or purchase as soon as possible a scroll of resurrect,potions of restoration, potions of healing, and a BAG OF HOLDING for all those coins. often they use the party fund but if the party can't agree one player steps up and buys them out of his fund. once they have those items they strive for there own handy haversacks, upgrade potions to a wand of healing,pick up a folding boat if avail, and snag a portable hole as soon as they can. i bet it's pretty common practice in a few campaigns. my players recently came to a 500 foot cliff with a tower on top, at 7th level at least on player should be able to circumvent a simple obstacle if not all of them at this point. they whipped out there portable hole, the wizard turned invisible and cast fly, all the other pcs climbed inside and the remainder PC flew to the top with the potable hole. It took them 1 minute to come up with this plan.

There is so many ways to over come a cliff at that level the OP's player shouldn't have even thrown a tantrum...

Shadow Lodge

So, its perfectly fine to be completely trapped under 60ft (feet worth of water pressure (and even more is allowed for), but a little fallng water from a waterfall ruins the spell?

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