Scrying on a Location or Object


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I've been digging through the Divination school and I can't find any spells that let you:
1) Remotely view a location know to you, for example, looking to see if anyone is anyone in your preferred teleport location before you teleport into it. Or more mundane spying on a cross roads waiting for an army to come marching through.

There are lesser spells like clairvoyance that lets you see what is on the other side of the door, but nothing with the range of Scry.

2) Remotely view an object, locate object is great for finding something lost, but you may want to know the context of the surrounding area before you go bounding after it.

Am I crazy or do these spells just not exist? not even at a high level?

Do they exist in third party stuff?

Shadow Lodge

Galnörag wrote:

I've been digging through the Divination school and I can't find any spells that let you:

1) Remotely view a location know to you, for example, looking to see if anyone is anyone in your preferred teleport location before you teleport into it. Or more mundane spying on a cross roads waiting for an army to come marching through.

There are lesser spells like clairvoyance that lets you see what is on the other side of the door, but nothing with the range of Scry.

2) Remotely view an object, locate object is great for finding something lost, but you may want to know the context of the surrounding area before you go bounding after it.

Am I crazy or do these spells just not exist? not even at a high level?

Do they exist in third party stuff?

Hey was looking for the same thing only thing I've found even close so far is discern location, although it doesn't let you remotely view it.

Shadow Lodge

I think you can use the spell scry to view objects at least otherwise why have the spell obscure object


This seems obvious when referencing Obscure Object, but is there an errata or official clarification somewhere stating this?


Necro-ing this thread. Does anyone know what the DC to scry a location would be? Maybe just 10 + standard given mods for scry?


Or I guess it's the location's will save vs your spell DC.


After further reading, I found that nonmagical objects that are not being held do not get Will saves, so one should be able to automatically scry an object or location if they have a suitable connection.


I'm not sure, but I recall recently reading the spell Scrying and being unhappy that you can't scry a location.

I could easily be wrong however.


The spell itself says "creature," but the description of Divination and the spell Obscure Object state that objects and locations are fair game.


Is this the final conclusion then, that it does work?

What is the save for magical items?

I suppose I can just make up a number.


Obscure Object works to hide an object from the spell Locate Object.

Scrying only works on creatures. Locate Object works on objects.

Obscure object will hide an object from being observed if it is on a creature observed with Scrying, or just directly hide it from a Locate Objects spells.

I don't believe there is a spell that allows you to observe an area that functions like scrying.


and yet, the spell obscure object says

Quote:
This spell hides an object from location by divination (scrying) effects, such as the scrying spell or a crystal ball. Such an attempt automatically fails (if the divination is targeted on the object) or fails to perceive the object (if the divination is targeted on a nearby location, object, or person).

What does the boldfaced text mean?


Globetrotter wrote:

and yet, the spell obscure object says

Quote:
This spell hides an object from location by divination (scrying) effects, such as the scrying spell or a crystal ball. Such an attempt automatically fails (if the divination is targeted on the object) or fails to perceive the object (if the divination is targeted on a nearby location, object, or person).
What does the boldfaced text mean?

Read the whole spell.

Such an attempt automatically fails (if the divination is targeted on the object) ---> This means Locate Object
Or fails to perceive the object (if the divination is targeted on a nearby location, object, or person) --> This part would apply to Scrying on a creature, or using Locate Object on another nearby object (not warded by Obscure Object) or other possible divination spells

Just because you use Obscure Object on it and it protects against the object being found while Scrying doesn't mean that Scrying can target objects. Scrying's target clearly specifies creatures only.


Well, I'll be damned.

So, if an object is lost, you can only find it with locate object... Sad news for my little friend.


Globetrotter wrote:

Well, I'll be damned.

So, if an object is lost, you can only find it with locate object... Sad news for my little friend.

The good news is that if he has access to Scrying he probably should have access to Locate Object, it's a lower level spell. And unless someone has purposefully hidden wih magic the object it should be relatively easy to find with Locate Object.

Also, Locate Object isn't the only spell that can find objects. It's just that the spell Scrying specifically cannot.

The spell Discern Location (though an 8th level spell) would also work just fine to find an object. Scrying (the spell) just has specific restrictions.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Obscure object also protects the object in case someone someday writes a Scry Object spell or someone researches one in a home game.

But right now it means that if you scry the owner you don't see the object. For extra fun cast obscure object on your clothes. Or the floor of the room you're in.

Actually, that brings up an interesting question. If you obscure something that blocks line of sight, does the scryer see through it? Or is there just a formless blob that still blocks vision? Does the scryer get to know that an obscured object is even there?


I would imagine it works a bit like invisibility. So if you cast it on your clothes your body would be hidden except for the parts sticking out or not hidden. In this case, it could be quite obvious that an obscured object was there.


Galnörag wrote:

I've been digging through the Divination school and I can't find any spells that let you:

1) Remotely view a location know to you, for example, looking to see if anyone is anyone in your preferred teleport location before you teleport into it. Or more mundane spying on a cross roads waiting for an army to come marching through.

There are lesser spells like clairvoyance that lets you see what is on the other side of the door, but nothing with the range of Scry.

2) Remotely view an object, locate object is great for finding something lost, but you may want to know the context of the surrounding area before you go bounding after it.

Am I crazy or do these spells just not exist? not even at a high level?

Do they exist in third party stuff?

So I’ve been reading this thread and reading spellls and items etc.

Mostly because I’m a PC trying to protect himself from a scrying.

Anyways what I did find, as it relative to the entirety of the discussion, is that the spell everyone is thinking of, but is misleading due to its name, is discern location.

Discern location allows you to Scry people through objects they posses. Or more accurately allows you to scry locations using the item they posses as a focal point.

Which means if they are a bearer of said item the location is that’s being scried upon is always where ever said person is.

So to answer a commentators question “why does it specify in obscur object that it can prevent being scried upon?” Well now you know.

Another interesting tidbit, RAW, lead doesn't even prevent scrying from detect location. Even though lore wise in d&d, it was the traditional method to stop scrying period, even that of objects.


Arkainmon wrote:
Discern location allows you to Scry people through objects they posses. Or more accurately allows you to scry locations using the item they posses as a focal point.

Discern location doesn't scry at all. It just reports the exact location of an object or creature. You don't see the object nor its surroundings. You might be able to use that information to come up with a likely target creature for the scrying spell, but that's a separate thing entirely, and such a scrying would be subject to all of the usual limitations (e.g., saving throw, spell resistance, blocked by lead, potentially blocked by nondetection).


Arkainmon wrote:
Mostly because I’m a PC trying to protect himself from a scrying.

Your best option especially prior to very high levels would be a combo of Nondetection and Detect Scrying (3rd and 4th level arcane spells respectively).

-Nondetection lasts 1 hour/level so Extend could be quite useful to add. Anyone trying to Scry you must succeed on a caster level check of DC=15+level of the Nondetection caster.

-Detect Scrying lasts 24 hours and detects any scrying sensor within a 40 rad centered on the caster. The area emanates from you and moves with you. If the scrier is within the 40ft radius you automatically know their location (such as someone scrying from just outside your room at the Inn). If the attempt originates beyond the 40ft radius then it allows an opposed caster level check which if you win you get a visual image of the scrier plus an accurate direction and distance to the scryer (care to say hello with a Dimension Door?)

Other stuff, utility will vary with situation and level:
-Mundane disguise. Sure the scryer has a visual on you but does he know what he is looking at. Or which of the folks in the image is you.
-various magical disguise spells starting with Disguise Self and on up through to Veil.
-False Vision 5th level 1 hour/level make them see what you want them to see. No save, no SR
-Mage's Private Sanctum. Blocks all attempts to divine into the area as well as most mundane methods of snooping (looking thru a window for example). I've used a combo of Secure Shelter and Private Sanctum for a quick hidey hole in the middle of no where for my Loremaster.
-Screen and Mind Blank are at the top of self protection vs scrying and divination attempts.


The problem with Locate Object is that it has a range of only hundreds of feet.

Scrying works over thousands of miles, sometimes even on distant plains. I was wanting to know if there is a way to scry on locations. I was in a campaign once where the BBEG was raising armies of demon-possessed humans all over the countryside, and it would have been nice if we could magically figure out where his mustering areas were so we could disrupt his troop development: spying on a demon lord (?) is deeply problematic, but spying on the general area shouldn't be so bad.

Clairvoyance is better: hundreds of feet + line of sight, but not quite what I want.

It looks like a crystal ball lets you do it.


Depends on how one interprets the sentence containing "as with the spell scrying", I suppose. Which limitations of scrying are inherited by the crystal ball?


There is Commune with Birds. Track Ship. Insect Scouts looks interesting. Spherescry looks like it has potential.


Sure, if you have a sphere of annihilation hanging about in the vicinity of the location you want to scry. If you're going to set up the target location, though, it's probably safer and simpler to use Irriseni mirror sight.


Irriseni Mirror Sight looks better than Spherescry, although I don't see where it says you need an actual Sphere of Annihilation to use it. There's the Symbol of Scrying, of course

I was just looking At Arcane Eye and found it a lot cooler than I remember it from 1st Edition. It lets you place the 'Eye anywhere within line of sight, and it gives you line of Sight

Riversight also looks like a very powerful way for a party to build strategic maps of regions, kind of like Commune with Birds.


The d20pfsrd.com writeup leaves it off, unfortunately. From AoN:

Spherescry wrote:
Target sphere of annihilation

This makes the description about spheres having consumed parts of the caster's body make more sense. Unfortunately, it also means that the spell is of extremely limited use. I'd call it a waste of publishing space, but it was printed in Classic Treasures Revisited in the section about spheres of annihilation, so at least it was on theme when it was printed.

Edit: Arcane eye is awesome and we use it a lot, but it still falls prey to the number one weakness of scrying spells--the absurdly low Perception score needed to detect it.


blahpers wrote:

The d20pfsrd.com writeup leaves it off, unfortunately. From AoN:

Spherescry wrote:
Target sphere of annihilation

Well, that's dumb! That's using a level 3 Spell to use a minor artifact?

blahpers wrote:
This makes the description about spheres having consumed parts of the caster's body make more sense.

Nothing makes that make more sense.

blahpers wrote:
Edit: Arcane eye is awesome and we use it a lot, but it still falls prey to the number one weakness of scrying spells--the absurdly low Perception score needed to detect it.

Yeah, but the Spot Check bonus of a Location is pretty bad. The Hills don't usually have eyes. I'm being a little facetious: spying on powerful Monsters and NPCs is always dangerous. The advantage of Arcane Eye is that you can be circumspect about your analysis and expose yourself to effects much less.

Meanwhile, I think we are finding out that strategic Divination Spells to get the lay of the land are few, and we have limited choice.

So, you are probably making a good choice using Arcane Eye.


blahpers wrote:
Edit: Arcane eye is awesome and we use it a lot, but it still falls prey to the number one weakness of scrying spells--the absurdly low Perception score needed to detect it.

It is if you assume it is unmodified (cut and paste quoting part of my response in another thread):

Quote:

Going to extend the question/answer a bit to any sensor and not just the sensor created by the Scry or even Greater Scry spells in particular.

Note that the DC for the perception check can/could be just the baseline. Range modifiers could be applied. It's not clear to me if the 20 in the 20+spell level is for being invisible or if mods for motion or lack thereof could be applied as well. The sensor can be either in motion or not --> such as with Arcane Eye which can be in either state when a Perception check is made. Other visibility conditions could also apply (Darkness, Fog, weather etc.). Strictly speaking what they notice/perceive is the invisible sensor. They do no know who or what is being viewed (or the target of) by the sensor. That would be dependent on if a save is allowed and if it was made among other things. Some of those other things would be other spells or effects such as See Invisibility, True Seeing, Invisibility Purge, Detect Scrying, Glitterdust, Nondetection, Mind Blank, etc.. The DM might decide you could tell which direction the sensor was viewing ("the eye you have noticed appears to be staring at you and your companions from across the common room of the tavern") so if it is staring in the characters direction then follows you as you get up and exit the area then I'd say you should have a clue what it is observing. On the other hand nothing says the sensor is spying on the characters it could be spying on the bartender or the King's Councillor who is across the room in a private booth etc..

If the base DC is O then you add 20 for being invisible then you get the DC=24 for Arcane Eye. Then the DM could modify things further with a -20 on the perception check if the Eye is currently invisible and motionless and another -3 for being 35 ft away in the corner of the room, then another -16 for size of the sensor and ... you get the idea. Really depends on how the group decides to handle things and probably a bit dependent of how detailed they wish to get (and obviously there's a huge difference between a DC of 24 and my 'recalculated' DC=47+size+(other stuff)). There's no reason to not apply more modifiers especially for something like Arcane Eye which the caster has control over and can decide to keep distance from those its spying on, observe for a dark corner of the room etc, if so desired.


Check out Enter Image. Here you use something with your image to scry on an area. Similar to Irrisen Mirror Sight, it depends on having a suitable object in the area you want to scry.

/cevah

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