Target X Spell when Target is not X


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

What happens when you cast a spell which targets X on a target which is something other than X. For example, what would happen if I attempted to cast charm person on a shapeshifted rakshasha?

I'm guessing the spell is successfully cast, but simply has no effect on the target, and the caster realizes this (as opposed to thinking the target simply made his save).

However, other possibilities occur to me. Since the target is invalid, can the target even be targeted? If so, upon realizing this, can the caster then select a different target upon casting the spell?

Perhaps there's something else I haven't thought of.


I've always treated it as the spell has in all ways fizzled since I think the rules are silent on this, but I'll be checking up on the rules later.


Quote:

Spell Failure

If you ever try to cast a spell in conditions where the characteristics of the spell cannot be made to conform, the casting fails and the spell is wasted.

Spells also fail if your concentration is broken and might fail if you're wearing armor while casting a spell with somatic components.

So, casting a spell that only affects creature type X on something other then creature type X causes the spell to fail and be lost.


Theoretically, the spell cannot be cast to begin with. But that would turn them into "Detect Not X"-spells.


Similarly, what happens when you think you have line of effect to a target but do not? Such as through a Wall of Force or just an invisible stone wall?


TwoWolves wrote:
Similarly, what happens when you think you have line of effect to a target but do not? Such as through a Wall of Force or just an invisible stone wall?

I would say that qualifies as "conditions where the characteristics of the spell cannot be made to conform", and so the spell fails and is wasted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Agreed with "it seems to fail/not have any effect" and then leave the exact reasons somewhat vague for the player to try to guess.


Ouch, harsh. But understandable.

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