Black Tentacles on a target in mid air?


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Does the B lack Tenticles Spell need to be anchored on the ground and thus can only reach someone up to 20' in the air?

The description says the Tenticles "Burrow up from the Floor" but I don't think it specifically says they cannot reach someone 100' in the air.

Has this been clarified somewhere or am I missing something simple?


it probably was never clarified and the GM will probably be encouraged to make a call.
My personal call would be to stare at the player, take a deep breath, and say in calm but first voice "no".


In a game i recently used the spell in (carrion crown #4 against some mi-gos.) we decided that since the radius was 20 ft. it should work like a fireball (regardless of detonation point it will only reach 30 ft. as that is it's set radius) and since it specifically says it burrows from the ground it can't be conjured say in mid air.

Could you argue if there was a cliff face or wall withing 20 ft. of the creature in question that you could summon them from the wall....sure, but that wold definitely be GM discretion.


In general I tend to agree that spell leads you to believe it must be anchored to some surface. That being said, that does limit the flexibility of the spell. being a 4th elvel spell it should be fairly powerful.

Bah, I hate common sense.


The "fluff" of the spell certainly seems to think it has to be cast on the ground.
However I wouldn't find it terribly game breaking to be cast int he air, generally speaking.. Once the creature was free it woudl either fall through or fly away -either way they aren't going to be caught in it twice (unlike someone who can't fly, who would have to then navigate the rest of the spell area horizontally).

While I could see a niche case of it being especially useful this way, by and large it'd be a waste of a spell cast.

-S


I'm sure you could use spell to turn a point in the air into valid ground. Unsure if you could do it quickly so as to make it a viable attack before the target moved though.


I tossed it on a flying sorc last week in our session. I have limited means to shut down a caster and Tenticles was my best soluton at the time.

Because it was flying, that prompted the whole "do they have to be on the ground" debate.

As a 4th level spell I still do not think it needs to be anchored to the ground but I can see the argument either way.


I guess it depends on your GMs take on a floor. Send up a flying carpet + tentacles on the carpet, for example.


Scrogz wrote:

Does the B lack Tenticles Spell need to be anchored on the ground and thus can only reach someone up to 20' in the air?

The description says the Tenticles "Burrow up from the Floor" but I don't think it specifically says they cannot reach someone 100' in the air.

Has this been clarified somewhere or am I missing something simple?

That the floor has to be in the area to be affected, to produce the tentacles.


Scrogz wrote:

I tossed it on a flying sorc last week in our session. I have limited means to shut down a caster and Tenticles was my best soluton at the time.

Because it was flying, that prompted the whole "do they have to be on the ground" debate.

As a 4th level spell I still do not think it needs to be anchored to the ground but I can see the argument either way.

It could be a 6th or a 9th level spell and it would still have to be anchored to the ground because it's a conjuration.

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.


I've had to GM this situation and this is how I resolved it: The tentacles sprout from any surface within the radius at the time the spell is cast. So, if the flying sorc was next to a wall, you could hit the wall with it and the tentacles would reach out and grab him.

Of course, this also semibackfired for me as they created the 'Tentacle Wagon' by casting it so only the front half was caught in the radius before pushing it through the double doors and down the hallway at the castle guards...


"It could be a 6th or a 9th level spell and it would still have to be anchored to the ground because it's a conjuration."

Not sure what that has to do with anything. I don't need floors or a wall to Summon Monsters or cast other conjuration spells.

It's not like it's a wall or anything.


Hmm...I wonder if you could cast it on a floating disk and move it around the battlefield?


Scrogz wrote:
Quote:

"It could be a 6th or a 9th level spell and it would still have to be anchored to the ground because it's a conjuration."

Not sure what that has to do with anything. I don't need floors or a wall to Summon Monsters or cast other conjuration spells.

Umm... in the context of his meaning, yes you do.

You cannot cast a conjuration spell in mid air. You cannot summon a monster unless you can place it on a safe surface (the floor for example).
No dropping rhinos on people.
The question is whether the tentacles count as a 'creature' or 'object'.
Given its making attacks, I'd tend to rule that yes, it counts in this context, in which case the rule as mentioned applies, and no summoning tentacles in mid-air.

I imagine part of this is a range issue too. The tentacles reach 5' up... but what if there's no floor, could they reach 5' down too? Suddenly no one would ever cast them on the floor, but 5' above the floor.

If you force there to be a surface, this issue doesn't come up.... at least not til someone casts a Pit spell underneath them.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Quote:
This spell causes a field of rubbery black tentacles to appear, burrowing up from the floor and reaching for any creature in the area.

Why do people think you can just ignore the fairly explicit phrase "burrowing up from the floor and reaching any creature in the area"?

This is also reinforced in the Magic chapter:

Quote:

Conjuration

Each conjuration spell belongs to one of five subschools. Conjurations transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane (calling); create objects or effects on the spot (creation); heal (healing); bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning); or transport creatures or objects over great distances (teleportation). Creatures you conjure usually—but not always—obey your commands.

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

The creature or object must appear within the spell's range, but it does not have to remain within the range.

There are a lot of vague/ wishy washy spell effects in the game, this isn't one of them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, what happens if the floor is removed/moved while the spell is in effect?

How much of a "floor" does it need to be?

Can it be cast upon a sheet of paper, or kite?

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, what happens if the floor is removed/moved while the spell is in effect?

How much of a "floor" does it need to be?

Can it be cast upon a sheet of paper, or kite?

Most people don't ask this sort of question because... well duh?

But if you must ask, use the dictionary definition.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ah, the "you're stupid" response.

Helpful!

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Ah, the "you're stupid" response.

Helpful!

When someone asks what the definition of a common word we use in every day life is... it's a stupid question.

Other questions about the spell which are equally clever:
What is Black?
What are Tentacles?
When they say Rubbery what do they mean?

Words mean things, use the dictionary rather than ask silly questions if you don't want pointed replies.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Webster's Dictionary wrote:


floor [flawr, flohr]
noun
1.
that part of a room, hallway, or the like, that forms its lower enclosing surface and upon which one walks.
2.
a continuous, supporting surface extending horizontally throughout a building, having a number of rooms, apartments, or the like, and constituting one level or stage in the structure; story.
3.
a level, supporting surface in any structure: the elevator floor.
4.
one of two or more layers of material composing a floor: rough floor; finish floor.
5.
a platform or prepared level area for a particular use: a threshing floor.

Well, that's out of the way.

Care to answer my other questions?

Grand Lodge

One of my players recently cast it on the ceiling to catch a NPC that was flying near the top. I ruled that burrowing up from the floor could be the same as burrowing down from the ceiling and we went with it.

IMO Black Tentacles needs some nice solid floor/ceiling/wall from which to to its thang.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Does it need to be a stable surface?

Do the tentacles have weight?

What happens if the floor is removed/moved?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, reading the Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, you can cast this spell on the surface of the water.


It does technically say "floor" in its description.

I would be fine, as a GM, with allowing it to come from the walls, ceiling, water, or even to have the tentacles erupt from a fixed point in mid-air, and spread out a fixed distance in all directions from there, but that's just me.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Does it need to be a stable surface?

Do the tentacles have weight?

What happens if the floor is removed/moved?

1. Yes

2. Yes
3. The spell ends

Why these answers? I am GM and i am the rule if there is no RAW.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Eridan wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Does it need to be a stable surface?

Do the tentacles have weight?

What happens if the floor is removed/moved?

1. Yes

2. Yes
3. The spell ends

Why these answers? I am GM and i am the rule if there is no RAW.

What about the Skull and Shackles note that it can be cast upon the surface of the water?

The Exchange

The area is a 20' radius spread.

PRD wrote:

The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst spells are specifically described as cone-shaped. A burst's area defines how far from the point of origin the spell's effect extends.

...
A spread spell extends out like a burst but can turn corners...

Coupled with the requirement that you conjure on a solid surface, that gives us an answer of "yes, you can tentacle something flying as long as it is within 20' of the floor" (and you conjure directly below it).

As for blackbloodtroll's question(s):

blackbloodtroll wrote:
What about the Skull and Shackles note that it can be cast upon the surface of the water?
Quote:
The effects of most spells on ships can be determined normally. However, certain spells have different effects in naval combat. The effects of these spells are detailed on the following page. GMs can use these examples as guidelines for determining how other spells not listed here affect ships. For the most part, these effects only apply during ship-to-ship combat, not during normal combat aboard a ship, though some affects (such as starting fires), could still apply, at the GM’s discretion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, Black Tentacles on the surface of lava, fine?


I seem to remember that in 3.0 Black Tentacles actually summoned a rolled number of tentacles that would be randomly placed on the battle mat in a 20' radius area. Each tentacle was size Large and had a set amount of HPs. They could be attacked individually. So they were actual physical things that you summoned.

The spell was actually a bit time consuming to use, and that was probably why it was simplified in 3.5. But using that as a basis, then yes, it needs to be on a stable surface that can support the weight of multiple Large size creatures.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, Black Tentacles on the surface of lava, fine?

Sure, if you find yourself in naval combat on lava, then go for it.

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