Wands and Arcane Failure


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Do wands suffer arcane spell failure?


No, sir.

Wands are spell-trigger items.


No. Arcane spell failure only affects things with a somatic component. Wands only have a command word, and are not affected.

Using a scroll, however, does have arcane spell failure applied (assuming the spell has a somatic component).

Quote:
Activate the Spell: Activating a scroll requires reading the spell from the scroll. The character must be able to see and read the writing on the scroll. Activating a scroll spell requires no material components or focus. (The creator of the scroll provided these when scribing the scroll.) Note that some spells are effective only when cast on an item or items. In such a case, the scroll user must provide the item when activating the spell. Activating a scroll spell is subject to disruption just as casting a normally prepared spell would be. Using a scroll is like casting a spell for purposes of arcane spell failure chance.

Grand Lodge

Hrm, that says 'from armor', in this case, it's due to impaired ability to speak. Not total inability, more of a slur.


Nuku wrote:
Hrm, that says 'from armor', in this case, it's due to impaired ability to speak.

That would not incur an Arcane Spell Failure, but a regular one.

Grand Lodge

I didn't know there was a regular one!

Scarab Sages

Jeraa wrote:

No. Arcane spell failure only affects things with a somatic component. Wands only have a command word, and are not affected.

Using a scroll, however, does have arcane spell failure applied (assuming the spell has a somatic component).

Quote:
Activate the Spell: Activating a scroll requires reading the spell from the scroll. The character must be able to see and read the writing on the scroll. Activating a scroll spell requires no material components or focus. (The creator of the scroll provided these when scribing the scroll.) Note that some spells are effective only when cast on an item or items. In such a case, the scroll user must provide the item when activating the spell. Activating a scroll spell is subject to disruption just as casting a normally prepared spell would be. Using a scroll is like casting a spell for purposes of arcane spell failure chance.

Do because scrolls include the language you can conclude that since wands do not include the language they do not incur the failure chance?

I wish it was explict in the case of wands - as it could be a balance issue (which I figure why Spell Like Abilities provoke since there is nothing to show what is going on).


Nuku wrote:
I didn't know there was a regular one!

Being deaf imparts a blanket amount of spell failure, regardless of the magic being arcane or divine.


If the slur is a roleplay-based thing with no mechanical effect, it would have zero impact on spellcasting. If it is from an effect that applies the deafened condition or impairs normal speaking (such as a lipstitch spell), there is a listed percentage chance of spell failure. Note that this chance of spell failure is a separate check from an arcane spell failure chance applied by worn armor.

No idea what the cause of the caster slurring is, but if the slur is from a character being affected by alcohol, there is no spell failure chance in the rules. (See alcohol rules in PFRPG Gamemastery Guide.)

In any case, the command word of a spell trigger magic item (like a wand) is not the same RAW as a verbal component of a spell, so the user of said item doesn't suffer any penalty or spell failure applied by effects to casting spells with verbal components. All the user has to do is be able to speak in order to activate the item.

GMs can certainly enact a houserule to have command words suffer the failure percentage of being deafened or having impaired speech. I do it in my home games; it's just not RAW.

A GM could also enact a houserule to impair spellcasting by drunk/drugged casters. Again not RAW, but something like a 20% spell failure chance for casters sickened by alcohol (same % as similar impairing effects) may seem reasonable.

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