Infinite Cantrips?


Rules Questions

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There seems to be a substantial number of people indicating that you can cast cantrips/orisons an infinite number of times a day, where exactly does it say this in the CRB (or any other book for that matter?)

The PRD says

Quote:
Cantrips: Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from a prohibited school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below).

Personally I took this to read that the spell itself is not expended (ie wiped from his mind for the day) but the wizard is still limited by his spells per day, so if a level 1 wizard prepares Detect Magic, Prestigiditation and Acid Splash he can cast each spell once or any of them up to 3 times but after that he's out of level 0 slots.

Is there something to dispute this somewhere?


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You would be correct if 0 lv spells were expended/wiped like a normal spell but since they are not you can cast them as many times as you want and you have quoted the text that says exactly that. A caster is only limited to his "spells per day" because once you cast a spell it is expended/wiped from your mind. So if the spell never gets expended/wiped you can cast it as many times as you want.


Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

core book, it's not under spells, but cantrips are prested as a class ability on its own.

Edit: just realized that you already quoted the right section, perhaps it's a language problem: expended means depleted, uses, so they are not "used up" when cast. Edit got ninjaed.


I see what you're saying, I just rather assumed that the spells per day limit wasn't just 'this is how many spells you can hold in your mind' but was also 'this is how many spells you have the magical energy to cast today' (Those interpretations are a little sloppy as if either was the case you would be able to sacrifice lower level spell slots to prepare and cast higher ones)

The section earlier on the page about spell casting states

Quote:
A wizard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Wizard

I took this to mean "The wizard can cast three level 0 spells per day at level one and that's it" which the Cantrips entry then qualified with "these spells are so minor you can cast them again but you're still limited to the number of spells per day that the table says"

I'm more than happy to be proved wrong on this matter (who wouldn't want infinite spells of whatever level) but RAW can be interpretted either way and I'm not sure which one is RAI.


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Besides, cantrips are so paltry it shouldn't break anyone's game to be able to cast them all day long.


you might be on to something. "cast" was probably taken directly from 3.5, it would be more accurate to say "prepare", however as specific overwrites general, the cantrips entry clearly states that they are not used up.

Also I believe there was a 3.5 thing that said written rules over tables, but I'm not sure where that comes from.

Just take it as is: you pick 3, and can cast those an unlimited number per day. It is meant that way, it's pretty (even if it's not 100%) clear that this is the case. Any way of reading if differently implies in my opinion, a wish for it to be differently, and not objectivity.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nope, 0-level spells can be cast at-will infinite amount of times per day. It's one of the bigger Pathfinder changes from 3.5


Quote:
Any way of reading if differently implies in my opinion, a wish for it to be differently, and not objectivity.

Or possibly a masochistic streak :p

But I shall bow to the general consensus and shut my trap about it happy in the knowledge that I can go round prestidigitating things all day


It gets very useful for casters who otherwise are out spells.

Also great when you get captured and all your belongings are taken. At least you have something. Acid Splash has allowed us top break out of more than one jail.


Also fun fact: You can prepare lower level spells in higher level spell slots. Cantrips/0-level spells aren't reusable simply because they're prepared in your 0-level spell slots.

If you want more you can put them in your 1st level spell slots and cast those all day as well.

They really should change that graph from 'spells per day' to 'spell slots available', though.


Personally I think the formula of 3+Stat Mod times a day per cantrip would make better sense than unlimited castings per day (so a 20 Wisdom cleric would be able of casting each orison 8 times a day). This also brings the mechanics into line with many of the granted powers of cleric domains, sorcerer bloodlines and wizard schools.


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Skullking wrote:
Personally I think the formula of 3+Stat Mod times a day per cantrip would make better sense than unlimited castings per day (so a 20 Wisdom cleric would be able of casting each orison 8 times a day). This also brings the mechanics into line with many of the granted powers of cleric domains, sorcerer bloodlines and wizard schools.

Why? That's a lot more that would need to be tracked, for no gain. If you only have four spells and they're gone when you cast them, they're easy to track. If you have one or two X/day powers where X is high, they're reasonable to track. But if you have 6 or 7 X/day powers, that's a lot of space dedicated to tracking very minor powers. And what benefit would there be to limiting them?


The PRD wrote:
Cantrips: Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from a prohibited school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below).

Banjax, note the highlighted section of the quotation above. The cantrip/orison section of each class says something similar.

Grand Lodge

Waltz wrote:

Also fun fact: You can prepare lower level spells in higher level spell slots. Cantrips/0-level spells aren't reusable simply because they're prepared in your 0-level spell slots.

If you want more you can put them in your 1st level spell slots and cast those all day as well.

They really should change that graph from 'spells per day' to 'spell slots available', though.

I would check up on that (no can do myself at work ATM). You must prepare a 0 level spell in a 0 level slot to have unlimited use. When you put a spell in a first level slot (even a 0 level spell) it is erased from memory when cast. Only your 0 level slots (not spells) are not erased from memeory when cast.

EDIT: Quick check on the FAQ and it is not there. LOTS of debate on the boards though. Ask your GM how (s)he runs it.

Liberty's Edge

HawaiianWarrior wrote:
Besides, cantrips are so paltry it shouldn't break anyone's game to be able to cast them all day long.

Well, all but Detect Magic.

I moved Detect Magic back to a first level spell for my campaign.


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Well technically not an infinite number of times a day, you would be restricted to 14400 as there are only 14400 rounds in a 24 hour day.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Can we get an official ruling/faq entry/ errata on this? Infinite casting of anything seems rediculous. By one threads Calculations a lvl 4 caster could create minimum 11,520 gallons of water a day. A half dozen threads are stating the Spells Per Day table does not limit the number of times a cantrip can be cast in a day, only how many you can have prepared.
Cantrip a may seem minor but as an example; As a new GM running Skull & Shackles there are several instances where the AP calls for the crew to go inland for fresh water. (Bonewrack isle, into the frying pan. ) why bother when your cleric can purify a days water for the whole crew in 5 minutes? I can create my own reasons, and house rule for my campaign, but it still points to a lack of clarity in the rules.


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Holy necro batman! You really did some digging for this one.

It's infinite casting without a doubt. I don't see any ambiguity with it. You can clean the whole island with prestidigitation if you want to waste the time.


I don't really see why there'd need to be a ruling, faq entry, or errata. It's been infinite since the start of PFRPG, and it's been intended for that. They changed the language from the 3rd edition so that it was infinite.

As for why bother mentioning that? In case they don't have someone who can cast Create Water (or Purify Food and Drink)

Plus, most people feel that the main cantrip that causes issues with infinite casting is detect magic.


Sneaky McSneak wrote:
As a new GM running Skull & Shackles there are several instances where the AP calls for the crew to go inland for fresh water. (Bonewrack isle, into the frying pan. ) why bother when your cleric can purify a days water for the whole crew in 5 minutes?

This is actually addressed in the adventure text itself, so it's not really as big a problem as you seem to think.

I agree with the "No FAQ Required" chorus.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Sneaky McSneak wrote:
As a new GM running Skull & Shackles there are several instances where the AP calls for the crew to go inland for fresh water. (Bonewrack isle, into the frying pan. ) why bother when your cleric can purify a days water for the whole crew in 5 minutes?

This is actually addressed in the adventure text itself, so it's not really as big a problem as you seem to think.

I agree with the "No FAQ Required" chorus.

"Plugg refuses to consume any magically created food or water, fearing it might be poisoned." So in Skull & Shackles, you're searching for water no matter how much you could make. ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Super thread necro. "Infinite create water" craziness often neglects that the water disappears in 24 hours if not consumed, so you can't really use it to stockpile water or to water crops. I also imagine it has that terrible flat distilled water taste...ugh.

As for that specific bit from Skull&Shackles:

Spoiler:

Plugg wants an excuse to kill the party...there's no way he'd allow a lowly crew member to become indispensable by being the crew's only source of water. That would take power away from him and give it to the PCs. Plugg is the pirate equivalent of that crappy middle manager who would rather make sure everyone know who is boss than be an effective leader. His personal power is more important than good solutions to problems - and, ultimately, more important than his own survival, as it turns out.

I also find player tend to neglect the sheer tedium of some schemes. Casting a cantrip is an act that requires at least basic training and understanding in your field. So you've got a nominal professional, and that person is going to do an elementary task for their field, over and over all day long? It's like giving an engineer a basic algebra problem and telling them to solve it 10 times a minute, showing all steps. Generally without getting paid for his time? After 10 minutes of that most people would be ready to chew through a wall, let alone doing it every day for 8 hours for years at a time.


Drench is the cantrip to use if you need to water crops. You can soak things all day and the water doesn't vanish. ;)


Sneaky McSneak wrote:

Can we get an official ruling/faq entry/ errata on this? Infinite casting of anything seems rediculous. By one threads Calculations a lvl 4 caster could create minimum 11,520 gallons of water a day. A half dozen threads are stating the Spells Per Day table does not limit the number of times a cantrip can be cast in a day, only how many you can have prepared.

Cantrip a may seem minor but as an example; As a new GM running Skull & Shackles there are several instances where the AP calls for the crew to go inland for fresh water. (Bonewrack isle, into the frying pan. ) why bother when your cleric can purify a days water for the whole crew in 5 minutes? I can create my own reasons, and house rule for my campaign, but it still points to a lack of clarity in the rules.

I'm running S&S now, about 2/3 of the way into book two. If you do part 1 of book 1 correctly, you won't have to worry about that issue.

Skull and Shackles Spoiler:
By that time, the PCs should be so ready to revolt that they've already killed Plugg and Scourge and should have made enough allies to make it a rather easy fight. The frightening officers are Hardigan and the sorcerer. As soon as the PCs aren't near them, they should give into their hatred of Plugg and Scourge. Glancing over the GM's thread for that AP, that seems to be the way it goes. In my group, they turned on them the very first night they were able to. The grindylows capturing a couple good allies will encourage the PCs to go looking for them.


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As a side note, the best cantrip for to spam for civilized purposes: Summon Instrument.
I've been thinking of a modernized Pathfinder city with electricity powered by legions of low-level bards summoning guitars and burning them for fuel.
And the best part is that it's entirely pollutant free, since all of the remnants of the guitars disappear within minutes.


thanks all for the replies. I guess it just bothered me and my concept of magic. Time to let it go I guess :) As to the necro, I'm running my first campaign and it is an older one. I've spent the last 3 days looking at all the threads, errata releases and faqs. I didn't see a single post from a developer in any of them confirming that interpretation. And there were a lot of threads on this, albeit old / dead threads.
As it is, they will be driven into the river to escape a massive storm, and go up river to get a new mast to replace the 2 that were destroyed by the storm. Ships stores only had one spare main mast. Then come back out to find the Dominator blocking their access. No "water shortage" necessary. Unless I contrive to render the Druid PC, the Sorceror PC AND the cleric NPC all unconscious for a week.
Thanks again all!


No worries about the necro. I just like to mention it so people aren't replying to a post made years ago. ;)


MeanMutton, they waited till Bonewrack and I forced the issue when they came back with the water just as in the module. But after the Grindys. Ended up being way too easy, the Sorceror used the black tentacles scroll recovered from the G'lows on the officers in the fo'c's'le (scourge included) and they Ganged up on Plugg. On RFF now.


Ryric, Purify food/ drink and ocean water. All. Day. Long. And that won't disappear. It will go stale again eventually but dump it and purify more. There's a lot of ocean.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

And that's fine once the PCs have their own ship, but as noted the NPC captains don't allow it.

The Concordance

Sneaky McSneak wrote:
Ryric, Purify food/ drink and ocean water. All. Day. Long. And that won't disappear. It will go stale again eventually but dump it and purify more. There's a lot of ocean.

I wouldn't rule that you could purify the salt from the water.

Purified seawater just means clean saltwater.


Blub Blub wrote:
Sneaky McSneak wrote:
Ryric, Purify food/ drink and ocean water. All. Day. Long. And that won't disappear. It will go stale again eventually but dump it and purify more. There's a lot of ocean.

I wouldn't rule that you could purify the salt from the water.

Purified seawater just means clean saltwater.

No, it means "water that is suitable for drinking" (i.e. fresh).

From the SRD: This spell makes spoiled, rotten, diseased, poisonous, or otherwise contaminated food and water pure and suitable for eating and drinking.


now, if you enhance the sea water...


darth_borehd wrote:

It gets very useful for casters who otherwise are out spells.

Also great when you get captured and all your belongings are taken. At least you have something. Acid Splash has allowed us top break out of more than one jail.

you can't use acid splash to get out of jail. As it does to less of dmg to get through IRON bars and so on. it does 1d3 dmg as far as i know. it cannot crit vs items. so if the Item Hardpoints extend your dmg, you cannot destroy them..


Yea, to affect iron, you need to do at least 18 points of damage. And even then, that's going to be taking away a whole 1 point of hp from the item per casting.

Iron's hardness is 8, I believe, and since energy damage is halved (including acid in PF) before applying it to hardness, you'll need to overcome the 8 AFTER the halving, hence 18.

Which 1d3 comes close to, but not quite. Plus, all that spellcasting is gonna get some attention your way.


how are you able to ever overcome an 8 with max 3(=1,5?) points of dmg? so the dmg that overcomes the hardness does dmg to the item. I don't get your calculation, but that might be a problem of language (as i am no native speaker)

My Players wanted to open chest and other things with hired low level mages and acis splash :) nu, uh


Chiming in for Create Water, it can be used to water crops. The water disappears after 24 hours, but the nourishment from consuming it is not negated.


i can just imagine like 30 clerics just churning out water for an aqueduct.


yes, otherwise that water you drank would only drive away your thirst for a shoooooort time and lead to a sudden death :)

but creating water seems to be a nice spell for every farmer


Sneaky McSneak, if you would like official Paizo print stating this:

Conversion Guide p8 wrote:
Note that wizards can cast an unlimited number of 0-level spells per day. The number on Table 3–16 indicates the number that can be prepared each day.

There is some variation of this in every other class in the Conversion Guide that has 0-level spells.


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Entryhazard wrote:
Chiming in for Create Water, it can be used to water crops. The water disappears after 24 hours, but the nourishment from consuming it is not negated.

That's.... a lot of water.

As a general rule of thumb, crops need about an inch of water per week. If you've got a one-acre plot, an acre-inch is 27,160 gallons. That's 3880 gallons per day. Assuming a first-level caster, that's 1940 castings of the create water spell, just over three hours of solid casting. A third level caster can cut it down to just over an hour, but that's still not something you want to rely on.

If you're looking at the historical demographics, a 120 acre "hide" was usually farmed by about four families, about 30 acres was a typical family farm, of which 20 acres was actually under the plow at any given time (due to the need to let land lie fallow).

So your third level cleric could just keep a single family's crops watered, with about four hours left over every day for things like sleeping and eating. He'd envy the kind of life modern medical residents get....

The TL;DR version? "No, it can't be used to water crops." This more generally applies to almost any large group, especially a settlement, that is under some sort of general drought. You can't make enough water to shift the needle on the problem; that's like trying to pay off your mortgage by looking in pay telephones for spare dimes.

Grand Lodge

Cheapy wrote:

Yea, to affect iron, you need to do at least 18 points of damage. And even then, that's going to be taking away a whole 1 point of hp from the item per casting.

Iron's hardness is 8, I believe, and since energy damage is halved (including acid in PF) before applying it to hardness, you'll need to overcome the 8 AFTER the halving, hence 18.

Which 1d3 comes close to, but not quite. Plus, all that spellcasting is gonna get some attention your way.

Depends, though, on whether your GM considers iron to be weak against acid. In that case, it removes both the half damage clause, and the item's hardness. In which case, Acid Splash could be used, as long as the caster has both hands and mouth free, as a "get out of jail free" card.

PRD wrote:

Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects.

Vulnerability to Certain Attacks: Certain attacks are especially successful against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and may ignore the object's hardness.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
Chiming in for Create Water, it can be used to water crops. The water disappears after 24 hours, but the nourishment from consuming it is not negated.

That's.... a lot of water.

As a general rule of thumb, crops need about an inch of water per week. If you've got a one-acre plot, an acre-inch is 27,160 gallons. That's 3880 gallons per day. Assuming a first-level caster, that's 1940 castings of the create water spell, just over three hours of solid casting. A third level caster can cut it down to just over an hour, but that's still not something you want to rely on.

If you're looking at the historical demographics, a 120 acre "hide" was usually farmed by about four families, about 30 acres was a typical family farm, of which 20 acres was actually under the plow at any given time (due to the need to let land lie fallow).

So your third level cleric could just keep a single family's crops watered, with about four hours left over every day for things like sleeping and eating. He'd envy the kind of life modern medical residents get....

The TL;DR version? "No, it can't be used to water crops." This more generally applies to almost any large group, especially a settlement, that is under some sort of general drought. You can't make enough water to shift the needle on the problem; that's like trying to pay off your mortgage by looking in pay telephones for spare dimes.

Also, any water not absorbed by the plants in the 24 hour window instantly disappears, leaving the ground bone dry. I'm not sure exactly how having your soil entirely stripped of moisture every 24 hours and then replaced by water poured on top would affect crops, but I imagine there are quite a few that wouldn't do well in such conditions.


Sneaky McSneak wrote:

Can we get an official ruling/faq entry/ errata on this? Infinite casting of anything seems rediculous. By one threads Calculations a lvl 4 caster could create minimum 11,520 gallons of water a day. A half dozen threads are stating the Spells Per Day table does not limit the number of times a cantrip can be cast in a day, only how many you can have prepared.

Cantrip a may seem minor but as an example; As a new GM running Skull & Shackles there are several instances where the AP calls for the crew to go inland for fresh water. (Bonewrack isle, into the frying pan. ) why bother when your cleric can purify a days water for the whole crew in 5 minutes? I can create my own reasons, and house rule for my campaign, but it still points to a lack of clarity in the rules.

I running skull and shackeles AP and in book 5. I do not remember and time that you had be put ashore to look for fresh water. Can you sight what Book and Page #?


ryric wrote:
Also, any water not absorbed by the plants in the 24 hour window instantly disappears, leaving the ground bone dry. I'm not sure exactly how having your soil entirely stripped of moisture every 24 hours and then replaced by water poured on top would affect crops, but I imagine there are quite a few that wouldn't do well in such conditions.

Make the clerics rotate every 4 hours :P


Bottom line you guys need to remember this I.F.M.

IT FREAKING MAGIC.

It dose not need to make sense to us in our world because we do not have it. So stop trying to rationalize it. Except it and move on.


Tom S 820 wrote:

Bottom line you guy need to remember this I.F.M.

IT FREAKING MAGIC.

It dose not need to make sense to us in our world because we do not have it. So stop trying to rationalize it. Except it and move on.

But magic has rules


ryric wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
Chiming in for Create Water, it can be used to water crops. The water disappears after 24 hours, but the nourishment from consuming it is not negated.

That's.... a lot of water.

As a general rule of thumb, crops need about an inch of water per week. If you've got a one-acre plot, an acre-inch is 27,160 gallons. That's 3880 gallons per day. Assuming a first-level caster, that's 1940 castings of the create water spell, just over three hours of solid casting. A third level caster can cut it down to just over an hour, but that's still not something you want to rely on.

If you're looking at the historical demographics, a 120 acre "hide" was usually farmed by about four families, about 30 acres was a typical family farm, of which 20 acres was actually under the plow at any given time (due to the need to let land lie fallow).

So your third level cleric could just keep a single family's crops watered, with about four hours left over every day for things like sleeping and eating. He'd envy the kind of life modern medical residents get....

The TL;DR version? "No, it can't be used to water crops." This more generally applies to almost any large group, especially a settlement, that is under some sort of general drought. You can't make enough water to shift the needle on the problem; that's like trying to pay off your mortgage by looking in pay telephones for spare dimes.

Also, any water not absorbed by the plants in the 24 hour window instantly disappears, leaving the ground bone dry. I'm not sure exactly how having your soil entirely stripped of moisture every 24 hours and then replaced by water poured on top would affect crops, but I imagine there are quite a few that wouldn't do well in such conditions.

Only if the ground was already bond dry. Nothing in the spell indicates that water mixed with created water disappears.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some of you folks might remember a comic book character by the name of Star-Lord. His signature weapon was the Element Gun, a device that could draw on any of the 4 elements, which he'd usually use to bash around his foes.

In a sequel comic, a man finds Star Lord's sentient ship, over a decade since the title hero has disappeared and takes upon his mantle. As the plot develops he needs to break into a super secure fortress.

So he decides that his strategy would be to drop something on it... Something like a comet. Not having any handy nearby he decides to create his own. Using the Element Gun in space he draws tremendous amounts of Earth and Water to create his own big rock embedded snowball, he keeps drawing the matter even after Ship warns him that the original Star Lord never drew so much at a time. Ignoring her he continues until he gets his comet and uses it to smash through the fortress as planned, succeeding in his short term goal.

Some time later, they answer a distress call on a planetary region that for some reason is undergoing major tectonic upheaval and other sorts of strange natural disasters. When he lands, the novitate Star Lord learns that this is where the Element Gun draws it's elements from, via the use of superscience matter transporters placed in various areas, and that his overuse of the weapon has caused the disasters here.

Moral of the story?: The classic trope is that misuse of magic comes back to bite you in the end. Now the mechanists in our community will immediately jump in and say that nothing in the rules provides for any such consequence. This is where you the world creator has to step in. The use of a create water orison isn't exactly rocket science. Surely it would have occurred countless times that such magics could be used to irrigate deserts, water crops, and such. The fact that despite that it's not in common practice must imply that there is a reason for not doing so. Any world with magic, will have people who misuse it... and then wind up calling down consequences.


This is a pretty hot topic and has been since 3rd edition (in my experience). Personally, though the wording is a bit fuzzy - because let's be honest, if the wording of the RAW wasn't so muffed up, this would be a very, very short discussion - I allow all of the casters who had Cantrips/Orisons to use them pretty well infinitely. First off, the 0 level spells aren't exactly game breaking, and second it gives those that have had to cast all of their spells in a given day and don't have the chance to rest something to contribute. True, a lot of divine casters are basically meat-shields with less calories when they run out of magic, but Wizards and Sorcerers are boned when they deplete their spells. At least with some creative playing, the Cantrips can still be useful.

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