Deathwatch--No Ambushes, Pinpoint all Invisible for 2000gp?


Rules Questions


5 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

We may need an official ruling on Deathwatch. As it stands, there's a face slot item to gain the effects of Deathwatch at will for 2000 gp (also a variant tiefling with the same ability). The question is: how much benefit does Deathwatch give you?

The spell doesn't require concentration like detect magic to figure things out, so it seems you access the information instantaneously. The spell's wording is silent on whether it lets you know the presence and number of creatures in the area. If so, this could presumably make you immune to any ambush, even from invisible creatures or creatures with very high stealth. Furthermore, it seems that since there is no action for concentrating on the spell, there are no rules at all for spinning around the cone as you move, thus pinpointing invisible opponents to the square as they hit the edge of the cone.

I'd dearly like to be wrong about this--if I missed a prior PFS ruling, can anyone point me to it.

We have some people in-region with at-will deathwatch, and even the heaviest users agree that it needs some official clarification to specify what it can and cannot do. Is deathwatch truly tantamount to (or in fact superior to) Lifesense? If so, is it really only worth 2000 gp to get it for free?

Invisible or hiding creatures are pretty much a mainstay of PFS scenarios, so it will be good to know if we should all follow this rising trend and buy the lenses or if there's something I'm missing or a clarification that makes this too-good-to-be-true item a bit more down-to-earth.

Sovereign Court

From what I read of it it requires and action to use and lasts 10 min./level. If the player hasn't actually taken the time to cast and use the effect then they don't have it active. Its also a 30ft cone which means you only know the condition of those you are directing it at. I also see no reason it should be able to detect invisible creatures. It can only see through feign deaths effects.

So it doesn't appear to make the player omnipotent, immune to ambushes, or see invisible. Just lets them know how dead something they can see and direct the spell at is.


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Why do we need a special ruling to point out that a level 1 spell doesn't duplicate the effects of a level two or three spell (to wit, See Invisibility) and then some? It's obviously intended to be used only on creatures already perceived. The idea is, when I look at a creature, I know its condition. Anyone arguing that you can use this spell to reveal creatures they weren't aware of is trying to pull a fast one, and no GM should allow it.


I think he's talking about Deathwatch Eyes from Ultimate Equipment which gives the wearer deathwatch constant. I think the answer is found by asking the very same question already asked: would having deathwatch detect even invisible or otherwise concealed foes, thus providing an effect well above an appropriate power level for the cost of the item? Yes. So it doesn't do that.

Bah, I must be tired, letting ninja zombies get the better of me. :)


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Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Why do we need a special ruling to point out that a level 1 spell doesn't duplicate the effects of a level two or three spell (to wit, See Invisibility) and then some? It's obviously intended to be used only on creatures already perceived. The idea is, when I look at a creature, I know its condition. Anyone arguing that you can use this spell to reveal creatures they weren't aware of is trying to pull a fast one, and no GM should allow it.

So I'm with you, really I am, in that it is "obviously intended to be used only on creatures already perceived". That's clear. But we can't rule based on the intent in PFS (unless Mike sweeps in on it, of course).

I'm actually the only GM I'm aware of who is currently blocking the deathwatch users from doing what I described in my OP. I use the following rationale--"This is clearly the intent, and anyway if you try this tactic, you also are detecting every insect, amoeba, and other living creature at all times, so you won't notice one new lifeform" However, I feel that I am on very tenuous grounds in doing so (and again, the other GMs are allowing it, so all the deathwatch player needs to do to get this effect is to avoid my table).


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Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I'm actually the only GM in my region (that I've seen anyway) who is currently blocking the deathwatch users from doing what I described in my OP. I use the following rationale--"This is clearly the intent, and anyway if you try this tactic, you also are detecting every insect, amoeba, blade of grass at all times, so you won't notice one new lifeform" However, I feel that I am on very tenuous grounds in doing so (and again, the other GMs are allowing it, so all the deathwatch player needs to do to get this effect is to avoid my table).

Okay, that's utterly absurd.

But it's also not your problem. At your table, you say, "That's dumb, I'm running the way it's obviously meant to be run." If someone has a problem with that, tell them to take a hike. Unless and until your VC tries to get you to change your ruling, it's your table, and you don't have to let people run roughshod over the rules. And if your VC does try to tell you to let it happen, you might want to take that up with Mike; that level of micro-managing is frankly just unbecoming. (Disclaimer: I don't know who your VC is. This is just a general statement.)

At other tables, if other GMs want to run with such a totally absurd ruling, well, frankly, what's it to ya? If the GM is having fun, and the players are having fun, why do we need a ruling to tell them they're interpreting it wrong? If the GM isn't having fun, they can fix the ruling. If the players aren't having fun, they can stop using the item. Badabing badaboom, as the saying goes; in either case the problem is solved.


Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:

Okay, that's utterly absurd.

But it's also not your problem.

I don't understand. I thought we're trying to limit table variation, right? The thing that you call "utterly absurd" seems to be the Rules as Written without some strong GM extrapolation. Now I agree that it's blatantly overpowered for its price, but I don't see that we have a strong rules argument to prove that it's illegal.

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
At other tables, if other GMs want to run with such a totally absurd ruling, well, frankly, what's it to ya? If the GM isn't having fun, they can fix the ruling. If the players aren't having fun, they can stop using the item.

Ah, but what about the players who don't have deathwatch? It could be me, too, if I'm not GMing.

Grand Lodge

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Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Why do we need a special ruling to point out that a level 1 spell doesn't duplicate the effects of a level two or three spell (to wit, See Invisibility) and then some? It's obviously intended to be used only on creatures already perceived. The idea is, when I look at a creature, I know its condition. Anyone arguing that you can use this spell to reveal creatures they weren't aware of is trying to pull a fast one, and no GM should allow it.

This nails my response. It is intended to be used only on creatures already perceived.

You have to be able to see the creature to instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct).

It doesn't magically advise or let you see or know there is an invisible creature or a very stealthy creature in the area and what the health and condition of that creature is.


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Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I don't understand. I thought we're trying to limit table variation, right? The thing that you call "utterly absurd" seems to be the Rules as Written without some strong GM extrapolation. Now I agree that it's blatantly overpowered for its price, but I don't see that we have a strong rules argument to prove that it's illegal.

Okay, you're not wrong. I just don't love the idea of needing a ruling for a specific spell when really, that ruling just says "What? Don't be daft."

On the other hand, we got one. So that's good. I just wish we could hit people with a "Don't be daft" stick and be done with it. :P

Shadow Lodge

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While we're talking about Deathwatch I'd like to point out one thing

Michael Brock wrote:
or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct).

This means that a Stone Golem standing perfectly still such that it looks like a statue picks up exactly the same as normal statue for Deathwatch. I've heard of players abusing this to look for constructs, so just putting that clarification out there.


I would say that you must be able to otherwise Perceive the creature in order to assess it's deadness/livingness. I'm pretty sure that being able to Pinpoint a creature (without Line of Sight) should enable it to be 'pinged' by Deathwatch: you know there's a creature there, within the spell AoE. Even without Pinpointing, there's a lower DC to detect an Invisible creature's presence within a certain range, I'm not sure if that should count... Scent works similarly - perhaps if you take the Move Action to note general direction, that would work? ???

How does the cone work? This is one of the places where Paizo's claim (albeit not in the rules themself) that there is no facing in the game breaks down. It would beggar belief that for a 10min/level spell (or constant in case of the item) the cone must always face "North"/"South"/etc for that entire time. That would just be CRAZY facing rules, not NO facing rules.

I'm not sure exactly how to rule beyond that... but clearly the Cone can and should be able to be 'turned'. Balance-wise, perhaps at least a Move Action (as per Perception: 'Intentionally seeking stimulus') but that's not really suggested by RAW, so I would default to a Free Action...? In which case the only limitation would be having to 'choose' one 'sector' to watch 'off your turn' (when you can't take Free Actions).


Quandary wrote:
How does the cone work?

Example:

Player (with deathwatch): I go up the stairs, and look into the room. Anything here?
GM: Nothing obvious. Where are you looking? Perception check?
Player: You know, around. I do a sweep of the room. *rolls*
GM: *rolls stealth* You don't see anything.
Player: Ok, we go to the next door.
GM: Ok, a few steps into the room, an undead that was hanging from the ceiling lands next to you. *inititives*


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

As one of Rogue Eidolon's players I am very happy to finally see this issue resolved.

I myself use death watch and found the vagueness irritating. I took it so that my witch could know if something was undead or not. But issues would still crop up, like being able to see if something is alive in the fog surrounding us.

Having deathwatch only work on things you can perceive really clears this up.


Michael Brock wrote:
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Why do we need a special ruling to point out that a level 1 spell doesn't duplicate the effects of a level two or three spell (to wit, See Invisibility) and then some? It's obviously intended to be used only on creatures already perceived. The idea is, when I look at a creature, I know its condition. Anyone arguing that you can use this spell to reveal creatures they weren't aware of is trying to pull a fast one, and no GM should allow it.

This nails my response. It is intended to be used only on creatures already perceived.

You have to be able to see the creature to instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct).

It doesn't magically advise or let you see or know there is an invisible creature or a very stealthy creature in the area and what the health and condition of that creature is.

Mike, once again you are the man. Thank you so much!


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CRobledo wrote:
Quandary wrote:
How does the cone work?
Example:

That really just doesn't answer my question.

The general RAW for cone effects doesn't say anything about re-orienting the cone, it just says you designate the direction once. If you can't change that direction over the course of the spell/effect/permanent duration, then 'choosing' a NE orientation for example, would mean that when you are in the NE corner of a room the cone is utterly useless (except for vs. creatures inside the walls, IF you can somehow already Perceive them).
I understand that if you can't Perceive a creature, for Stealth or whatever reason, Deathwatch isn't going to reveal information about them. But Deathwatch's effects are not only limited by Perception, but by a Cone AoE. That's what I'm asking about. It just doesn't seem like the rules for Cone AoE's (and other directional AoEs) plays well with non-Instantaneous effects.


On the forum switch--I agree that any continuing discussion after Mike's ruling belongs here in the rules forum, and moreover I really appreciate that this was moved only after Mike made that ruling. Thanks to all involved!

Scarab Sages

So ... a friend of mine just pointed out this thread to me, because it had become an issue in our game several months ago. It's good to see a rules clarification on this. I really would like to point out to those saying that anyone reading the spell in a way that would allow a detect-like effect - there are plenty of us that were simply confused by the spell and didn't understand it. And even though we may have argued vehemently, that doesn' mean that we're "trying to pull something".
Way to be presumptive.

One quick note, however:

Skerek wrote:

While we're talking about Deathwatch I'd like to point out one thing

Michael Brock wrote:
or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct).
This means that a Stone Golem standing perfectly still such that it looks like a statue picks up exactly the same as normal statue for Deathwatch. I've heard of players abusing this to look for constructs, so just putting that clarification out there.

It doesn't mean anything of the kind. An inanimate object is not - even by the most loose definition - a "creature". The spell does not discern "things". The caster can distinguish a creature that is neither living nor dead from a typical statue because the spell doesn't provide information for things that are not creatures.

Thanks, Mike, for providing an answer to a question that has been around since 3rd Edition D&D, at least! We, as players, appreciate the answer. Now, my Living Monolith has definative, specific rules on how to use his Tombsight ability. ... at LAST!


W. Kristoph Nolen wrote:
]It doesn't mean anything of the kind. An inanimate object is not - even by the most loose definition - a "creature". The spell does not discern "things". The caster can distinguish a creature that is neither living nor dead from a typical statue because the spell doesn't provide information for things that are not creatures.

Not quite. As per Mike above, the spell does not give you a run-down of all creatures in the area and what their status is if you aren't already aware of their presence as a creature. Rather, it gives you the status of anything that you are aware of being a creature. You can no more auto-identify hidden constructs by Mike's clarification (by saying "I Deathwatch every statue I ever see in case there's a creature") than you can identify invisible or hidden opponents (by saying "I Deathwatch every vacant square in case there's a hidden enemy"). In all cases, you need to make the requisite skill check (probably Perception in both cases) to find the enemy--Deathwatch never does that for you, it just lets you know how alive it is once you do (which is a substantial boon in its own right when the difference between say a gargoyle and a golem is a boatload of immunities).


Michael Brock wrote:


This nails my response. It is intended to be used only on creatures already perceived.

You have to be able to see the creature to instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct).

It doesn't magically advise or let you see or know there is an invisible creature or a very stealthy creature in the area and what the health and condition of that creature is.

I'm sorry to have to semi rez this, and ask a maybe dumb question but....who exactly are who?

I mean I see Campaign coordinater but I'm not sure what that means as far as an 'offical ruling' goes.


Irongega wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:


This nails my response. It is intended to be used only on creatures already perceived.

You have to be able to see the creature to instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct).

It doesn't magically advise or let you see or know there is an invisible creature or a very stealthy creature in the area and what the health and condition of that creature is.

I'm sorry to have to semi rez this, and ask a maybe dumb question but....who exactly are who?

I mean I see Campaign coordinater but I'm not sure what that means as far as an 'offical ruling' goes.

Click someone's name on the forum to see their profile. In his case it says, "It is a privilege to have been chosen by Paizo to oversee Pathfinder Society."


Sorry to revive an old thread, but I found this in Pathfinder Adventure Path #43.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/unique-monsters/cr-4/gurtis-vortch

It's a monster that's supposed to use a continuous Deathwatch ability in order to see, since it's head is missing and it's effectively permanently blind.


I gotta agree with soggy, these " don't be daft" responses are not only unbecoming but also illogical. RAW deathwatch allows you to see invisible and stealthed creatures, it is completely daft instead to assume what deathwatch lets you just see if the creature is a little bloody. You can't really just go ahead and interpret a ruling like that.... saying why a lv 1 spell would supplant a lv2 is to imply that all spells are just as useful and powerful as others which is simply a laughable concept

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Don't be daft.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Skoll wrote:

...these " don't be daft" responses are ... illogical. ...it is completely daft instead to assume...

...which is simply a laughable concept

So you bumped a two-month-old thread just to point at the "don't be daft" posts and reply with "don't be daft"?


Soggy8 wrote:

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I found this in Pathfinder Adventure Path #43.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/unique-monsters/cr-4/gurtis-vortch

It's a monster that's supposed to use a continuous Deathwatch ability in order to see, since it's head is missing and it's effectively permanently blind.

Also states anyone who comes within 30 feet of him, he is aware of them. Also states in the battle stats that he can pinpoint even though hes blind and deaf from being beheaded players because of his ability.


Redneckdevil wrote:
Soggy8 wrote:

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I found this in Pathfinder Adventure Path #43.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/unique-monsters/cr-4/gurtis-vortch

It's a monster that's supposed to use a continuous Deathwatch ability in order to see, since it's head is missing and it's effectively permanently blind.

Also states anyone who comes within 30 feet of him, he is aware of them. Also states in the battle stats that he can pinpoint even though hes blind and deaf from being beheaded players because of his ability.

I get the official ruling. Its more akin to seeing someone with normal eyes like "mmm that person looks roughed up, I wonder if they okay" to bam, deathwatch ur eyes become like the eyes of an experienced train surgeon " that person is slowly dying, that person is mortally wounded, and those wounds are fake hes perfectly healthy.

But the guy in carrion crown, yeah it stating that it is a detect ability to where a headless person can instantly know about players when they come in 30 ft of him and that hes able to pinpoint targets because of deathwatch even though hes blind and deaf.
Im guessing that was an oversight maybe?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pathfinder Society FAQ wrote:

How much benefit does deathwatch give you?

Deathwatch only analyzes creatures you're aware of. You have to be able to see the creature to instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct). It doesn't magically advise or let you see or know there is an invisible creature or a very stealthy creature in the area and what the health and condition of that creature is.

Weird. Why it is in the PFS FAQ and not in the CRB FAQ?

It don't seem something specific of PFS but a general ruling.


Someone above mentioned facing. The games rules for cones already covers that. The wearer of the eyes probky has to declair where the cone is every round.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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The developer of that Carrion Crown adventure (#43, The Haunting of Harrowstone) almost certainly used deathwatch as a shortcut way to (1) make the creature workable despite its blindness, (2) rely on an existing game mechanic that everyone is familiar with, and (3) not spend 8 lines of text reinventing the wheel by explaining a new ability that's 90% like deathwatch.

Jonathan Tweet said in regard to rules design, "things should be the same, or different." In other words, it's better for the players (and GM) if the game standardizes how things work, instead of having a bunch of slightly-different variants that are hard to remember. For example, all of the PF feats for Improved [Combat Maneuvers] work the same way, in that they give you the exact same three things:
• no AOO when you perform the maneuver
• a +2 bonus to perform the maneuver
• a +2 bonus to resist the maneuver
That's consistent, and easy to remember. Everyone can just memorize one set of rules for "how the combat maneuver feats work," and they're done. If Imp Bull Rush was no-AOO/+3/+1, Imp Disarm was AOO/+5/+2, Imp Grapple was no-AOO/+1/+3, and Imp Trip was AOO/+2/+5, that would be incredibly hard to remember and people would mix them up all the time.

Same thing with the deathwatch monster. The developer could have created a custom ability that let it notice and pinpoint living, undead, and dying creatures within range, perhaps with a couple of tweaks to allow it to "see" creatures this way instead of merely identifying creatures it was already observing, and that rules text would borrow heavily from the deathwatch spell description. OR the developer could do what he did and give the creature deathwatch in its Senses line, and manually adjust its stats and penalties to reflect the effect that deathwatch has on the creature's blindness. It's a special encounter with a unique creature, and sometimes we bend the rules to make an interesting encounter.

Honestly, I don't think deathwatch lets you pinpoint anything. But I think having a headless undead monster compensate for its blindness by using deathwatch is a cool thing and makes for a creepy encounter, and that trumps 100% adherence to the rules. GMs are allowed to bend the rules if it makes the game enjoyable and isn't done to punish the players.

And that means you shouldn't use unique, customized monsters in a particular adventure to justify how standard spells and abilities are supposed to work for PCs. Sometimes they're tweaked to make an interesting encounter. And sometimes there can be errors. I'd put the "sees with deathwatch monster" in the former category.

The Exchange

I've been giving the spell too much power myself, I think. A few adventures back, a powerful demon who wanted to buy a couple rounds of regeneration and SLA-buffing transformed himself into a Fine scorpion. See invisibility didn't pick him up, but deathwatch did. When in fact it looks like Perception would have been the only way to notice that the demon didn't "disappear" at all.


Yeah I ranb that encounter this week. Was fun. When he steped out the door way and was turning both ways as if gauging which person to atk, I gotvreally funny looks about a headless skeleton being able to "see" them.

I responded it had blindsight which smoothed it over. Lol

Thanks for the response sean :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mike Lindner wrote:

I think he's talking about Deathwatch Eyes from Ultimate Equipment which gives the wearer deathwatch constant. I think the answer is found by asking the very same question already asked: would having deathwatch detect even invisible or otherwise concealed foes, thus providing an effect well above an appropriate power level for the cost of the item? Yes. So it doesn't do that.

Bah, I must be tired, letting ninja zombies get the better of me. :)

Deathwatch doesn't duplicate the effect of life sight / blind sight. or the similar 11th level life oracle revelation.


Again the whole power lv for cost of item is ridiculous argument. Not all spells or items are balanced, most specifically not around each other. Again deathwatch is a supernatural ability or a spell....why the flying f**** would it work just by going yup he has blood on his clothes and it looks to be his? Clearly it functions by reading the life force in individuals which would be perceived as an aura, guess what this aura would appear even if you are invisible. It's like arguing pcs can't see an invisible monster underwater...he displaces water and creates air bubbles.
Seriously. .. making deathwatch stupid and particularly useless (again most parties tend to kill things in combat or use heal checks after)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Skoll wrote:

Again the whole power lv for cost of item is ridiculous argument. Not all spells or items are balanced, most specifically not around each other. Again deathwatch is a supernatural ability or a spell....why the flying f**** would it work just by going yup he has blood on his clothes and it looks to be his? Clearly it functions by reading the life force in individuals which would be perceived as an aura, guess what this aura would appear even if you are invisible. It's like arguing pcs can't see an invisible monster underwater...he displaces water and creates air bubbles.

Seriously. .. making deathwatch stupid and particularly useless (again most parties tend to kill things in combat or use heal checks after)

Invisible creatures underwater are invisible for the exact same reason you (mistakenly) think Deathwatch can see invisible targets.

Know why?

MAGIC.

The invisibility spell doesn't adjust the speed of light traveling through a creature in order to make it travel at the same speed as air (incidentally, the speed of light through a transparent medium is why glass, water, and air are all transparent but a glass jar is visible in air and while submerged). It just makes the guy un-see-able. Via magic. It doesn't matter if he's underwater, in air, or has paint thrown onto his invisible body - he's invisible, and the illusion magic makes it so.

If invisibility can conceal flesh, armor, dirt on one's skin, sweat, and bleeding wounds, it can conceal the imperceptible aura of "life force" that deathwatch detects.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Morphling wrote:

Invisible creatures underwater are invisible for the exact same reason you (mistakenly) think Deathwatch can see invisible targets.

Know why?

MAGIC.

The invisibility spell doesn't adjust the speed of light traveling through a creature in order to make it travel at the same speed as air (incidentally, the speed of light through a transparent medium is why glass, water, and air are all transparent but a glass jar is visible in air and while submerged). It just makes the guy un-see-able. Via magic. It doesn't matter if he's underwater, in air, or has paint thrown onto his invisible body - he's invisible, and the illusion magic makes it so.

If invisibility can conceal flesh, armor, dirt on one's skin, sweat, and bleeding wounds, it can conceal the imperceptible aura of "life force" that deathwatch detects.

Core Rulebook, Environment chapter, Aquatic Terrain wrote:
An invisible creature displaces water and leaves a visible, body-shaped “bubble” where the water was displaced. The creature still has concealment (20% miss chance), but not total concealment (50% miss chance).
Pathfinder Player Companion: Dungeoneer's Handbook wrote:
Smog Pellet: The smoke from a smog pellet is oily, and creatures that are hit by a smog pellet or pass through the smoke are covered in thick residue. This residue makes invisible creatures visible for 1d4 rounds.


I have no problem with the players staring at a row of statues with Deathwatch and spotting which ones are the constructs.

The statues aren't hiding, they are standing in plain sight and are therefore able to be examined.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i took this ruling to mean that detect spells as well, like detect magic, examine what you can see ( for reading auras ). they still detect that something is in the area on the first round, but things you can't see, you can't examine like with spellcraft to determine aura and strength ( like things behind a door. the detect may pass through the door and tell you there's magic there, but you can't see it, so you can't tell where they are, or how strong they are. ) which also negates using detect magic as a radar for invisibility.


Never used that item but sounds cool. Tho i belive that it works as color vision - you cant tell how green or red creature is unless you look at it. So you cant tell alive creature is unless you focus you "life vision" on it.

Anyway, ppl should not be proud about breaking the rules and limiing players.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Seraphimpunk wrote:
i took this ruling to mean that detect spells as well, like detect magic, examine what you can see ( for reading auras ). they still detect that something is in the area on the first round, but things you can't see, you can't examine like with spellcraft to determine aura and strength ( like things behind a door. the detect may pass through the door and tell you there's magic there, but you can't see it, so you can't tell where they are, or how strong they are. ) which also negates using detect magic as a radar for invisibility.

Detect magic says "If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each." Thus, you don't get to ID them if they're behind a door. On the other hand, the spell also says that on the third round you know the location of each aura, and contains no such caveat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

So deathwatch eyes don't let you see through invisibility, but does it still negate any type of illusion of a living or undead creature? I could see it bypassing silent image or minor image, as they are either visual only or visual and minor auditory. Are major image, persistent image, programmed image, and permanent image, which include visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal components, also negated?

I'm very curious, because I'm running two RotRL campaigns right now and a PC in each group has acquired this item (for completely different reasons, one is a life oracle healer and the other doesn't want to get ambushed) and I expect them to be encountering illusions in the near future.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
CrazyGnomes wrote:

So deathwatch eyes don't let you see through invisibility, but does it still negate any type of illusion of a living or undead creature? I could see it bypassing silent image or minor image, as they are either visual only or visual and minor auditory. Are major image, persistent image, programmed image, and permanent image, which include visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal components, also negated?

I'm very curious, because I'm running two RotRL campaigns right now and a PC in each group has acquired this item (for completely different reasons, one is a life oracle healer and the other doesn't want to get ambushed) and I expect them to be encountering illusions in the near future.

For the same reason as not negating Invisibility, I would be inclined to not let it negate other illusion spells. If the caster created an illusion of a living creature I would have the googles see a living creature. I may be in the minority here, but Illusion is already a difficult school to adjudicate, and a lot of people tend towards unintentionally nerfing it. I would let a 2k item invalidate it.


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Deathwatch has this in it's description:
"You instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct). " (my bolding).

I would let an illusion of a human be treated as a creature in this case and display as neither alive nor dead by deathwatch. Since deathwatch would alarm someone who's dressed up a medium-sized golem as a human that it's not really alive, I'd also let it discern that the illusion is not really alive.

Either that or have it register as dead - a golem is still fueled by an entity (an elemental spirit IIRC?) while an illusion isn't in the same way, so maybe treat it as dead, since it has a complete lack of life?

Not saying that's clear RAW, but it is how I'd run it.

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