Rules Question - Heighten


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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Please FAQ this.

Heighten is a fairly unused feat. You pay a feat tax to make a spell that usually still somewhat less powerful than other spells of comparable level.

Nonetheless, there are some mechanical questions:
It is my belief that RAW/RAI the DC for the spell slot is merely the DC of the spell slot used to power the spell. 6th level spell slot - DC 16 + mods.

Second interpetation: that the spell adds some kind of differential.

Dazing magic missile = 4th level spell. DC to save is as a first level spell. By this interpretation, even if you use a 4th level spell to power it, save DC is still 1rst. If you use a 5th level spell to power DC is now +1.. etc.

Ruling please!


Heighten spell increases the save DC of the spell based on the higher level slot it uses.

Exemplar gratis, you prepare a first level spell in a fifth level slot and the save DC becomes 15 + mods instead of 11 + mods.

I don't understand your second interpretation at all, and I'm not quite sure how you carried that away from the feat text.

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cp wrote:

Please FAQ this.

Heighten is a fairly unused feat. You pay a feat tax to make a spell that usually still somewhat less powerful than other spells of comparable level.

Nonetheless, there are some mechanical questions:
It is my belief that RAW/RAI the DC for the spell slot is merely the DC of the spell slot used to power the spell. 6th level spell slot - DC 16 + mods.

Second interpetation: that the spell adds some kind of differential.

Dazing magic missile = 4th level spell. DC to save is as a first level spell. By this interpretation, even if you use a 4th level spell to power it, save DC is still 1rst. If you use a 5th level spell to power DC is now +1.. etc.

Ruling please!

Okay, I think I understand your two interpretations. Your first interpretation is wrong, if I understand it correctly. If I use a 4th level slot to just cast a 2nd level spell my DC is 12+mods. If I use a 4th level slot to cast an Empowered 2nd level spell my DC is still 12+mods. The DC is based on the level of the spell, not the level used to cast it. Most metamagic does not affect the actual spell level.

Your second interpretation is correct, again if I understand you. What Heighten Spell does is change the actual level of the spell being cast, so now a Heightened 2nd level spell in a 5th level slot has DC 15+mod, and also ignores a globe of invulnerability. To use your example, a heightened dazing magic missile cast using a 5th level slot would have save DC 12+mods and count as a 2nd level spell in every way. Skill checks to identify the spell would get tougher and so would concentration checks to cast it.

The feat has a niche use. I see it as most useful for spontaneous casters that want to diversify their spells known while keeping the lower level spells with relavent save DCs.


Ooooh I see what he's saying!

I believe Ryric is right. Sorry if I added to the confusion.

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All my
examples were presuming using heighten.

Agree that other metamagic feats do not increase the level of the spell being cast.

I get considerable table variation on how this is played; to the extent I just ask the ref each time, how he's going to rule and then roll with it.

Personally I don't see how one can rule definitively with the wording as gobbled up as it is.

Finally, while clarifying it would be useful to explain how magical lineage interacts. 3.5 allowed feats/features to be applied in any order. Presumably still word for pathfinder.


I really don't see how there can be any confusion, except with Magical Lineage.

"All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level."

Instead of saying "Sleep is a 1st level spell and therefore requires a 1st level slot and has DC of 11 + mod", you say "Heightened Sleep is a 9th level spell and therefore requires a 9th level slot and has a DC of 19 + mod". It doesn't change anything else. It's no more effective, nor does it target higher HD, nor does the range or anything else change.

The Exchange

Bobson wrote:

I really don't see how there can be any confusion, except with Magical Lineage.

"All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level."

Instead of saying "Sleep is a 1st level spell and therefore requires a 1st level slot and has DC of 11 + mod", you say "Heightened Sleep is a 9th level spell and therefore requires a 9th level slot and has a DC of 19 + mod". It doesn't change anything else. It's no more effective, nor does it target higher HD, nor does the range or anything else change.

If I remember arightly, threnodic allows mental effects affect undead.

I remember it being a +3.

So, to my mind a Threnodic Sleep would therefore be 4th level spell that saved as a first level spell.

If you then heightened the spell and cast it as a 6th level spell, my contention is that the DC for the save is 16+mod.

Others rule that it is 13+mod (First level spell with 2 levels of heighten).

Personally, I think the second interpretation is silly - doing the math at the table, and creating varying conditions depending on what metamagic effects are applied and how (rod vs feat) is counter to the streamlining paizo has done in other areas.


Bobson wrote:

I really don't see how there can be any confusion, except with Magical Lineage.

"All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level."

Instead of saying "Sleep is a 1st level spell and therefore requires a 1st level slot and has DC of 11 + mod", you say "Heightened Sleep is a 9th level spell and therefore requires a 9th level slot and has a DC of 19 + mod". It doesn't change anything else. It's no more effective, nor does it target higher HD, nor does the range or anything else change.

There is actually another effect of Heighten Spell that I can think of (perhaps there are more): Light and Darkness spells state that they dispel and counter each other, but only if the opposing spell is of a lower level. Thus, if you have a heightened light spell (normally 0 level) in a 3rd level spell slot, it would dispel and counter a darkness spell, because it is now considered a 3rd level spell.


cp wrote:
Bobson wrote:

I really don't see how there can be any confusion, except with Magical Lineage.

"All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level."

Instead of saying "Sleep is a 1st level spell and therefore requires a 1st level slot and has DC of 11 + mod", you say "Heightened Sleep is a 9th level spell and therefore requires a 9th level slot and has a DC of 19 + mod". It doesn't change anything else. It's no more effective, nor does it target higher HD, nor does the range or anything else change.

If I remember arightly, threnodic allows mental effects affect undead.

I remember it being a +3.

So, to my mind a Threnodic Sleep would therefore be 4th level spell that saved as a first level spell.

If you then heightened the spell and cast it as a 6th level spell, my contention is that the DC for the save is 16+mod.

Others rule that it is 13+mod (First level spell with 2 levels of heighten).

Personally, I think the second interpretation is silly - doing the math at the table, and creating varying conditions depending on what metamagic effects are applied and how (rod vs feat) is counter to the streamlining paizo has done in other areas.

The second interpretation is correct, nonetheless :-) Personally I do not have the need to have this clarified. Heighten spell is the only feat that actually changes the spell level. The order you apply it together with other metamagic feats does not matter, but it is easier to apply it first.


cp wrote:

If you then heightened the spell and cast it as a 6th level spell, my contention is that the DC for the save is 16+mod.

Your other example is the correct one, but I can totally see Heighten Spell being rewritten as a meta-Metamagic feat which would do this:

My revised version wrote:


Heighten Spell
Prereq: Any metamagic feat

Effect: When you add a metamagic feat to a spell, that spell now counts as a spell of the same level as the slot used to cast it. All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level. This does not change the level increase from applying a metamagic feat to a spell.


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I know it as:

If you heighten a spell by +X spell levels, the save DC and effective spell level increases by +X.

Therefore if you Empower (+2) and Heighten by +2, the spell takes 4 slots higher, effective spell level is +2 and save DC is +2.

-------

To paraphrase the mechanics:

You can increase the effective level of a spell, and thus all the mechanics surrounding spell level (including save DC, if applicable). The spell slot required, to prepare or cast the spell, is increased by however many effective levels you add to the spell.

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