What can be done through a Force Effect?


Rules Questions


9 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm talking about things like Wall of Force or Emergency Force Sphere... what can be done by someone inside/outside/on the other side?

Can control over a construct continue? What about control over spells already cast like Ball Lightning or Flaming Sphere?

Can any spell that requires line of sight but doesn't need to be heard and don't originate from you be cast? Cloudkill or Dominate Person, for instance?


pfsrd, wall of force: wrote:
Breath weapons and spells cannot pass through a wall of force in either direction, although dimension door, teleport, and similar effects can bypass the barrier. It blocks ethereal creatures as well as material ones (though ethereal creatures can usually circumvent the wall by going around it, through material floors and ceilings). Gaze attacks can operate through a wall of force.

You can't cast spell through a wall of force. You have line of sight but not line of effect. I'm not sure if controlling an existing spell requires LOS or LOE?


FAQed


Speaker for the Dead wrote:
pfsrd, wall of force: wrote:
Breath weapons and spells cannot pass through a wall of force in either direction, although dimension door, teleport, and similar effects can bypass the barrier. It blocks ethereal creatures as well as material ones (though ethereal creatures can usually circumvent the wall by going around it, through material floors and ceilings). Gaze attacks can operate through a wall of force.
You can't cast spell through a wall of force. You have line of sight but not line of effect. I'm not sure if controlling an existing spell requires LOS or LOE?

I'm not sure about the way that's worded though. For instance, a Lightning Bolt that begins 'at your fingertips' or a Fire Snake which 'starts with you' obviously couldn't be cast through a force effect... but why couldn't say, a Spiked Pit? Or a Summon Monster spell? Those spells originate at a point beyond the force effect, a point you do have line of sight to.

That's kind of the main thing I'm trying to lock down...


It says, "spells cannot pass through a wall of force". That seems fairly definitive.

As for the other part of the question, controlling an ongoing spell;

pfsrd wrote:
Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target.

Seem like you only need line of sight.


Speaker for the Dead wrote:

It says, "spells cannot pass through a wall of force". That seems fairly definitive.

I'll say it again - the spell is not 'passing through the wall of force'. The spell is originating at a point already beyond the wall of force, a point which is in plain view of the caster.

Think of it like making a tree grow in a garden outside of a window. You're not casting a tree through the window, your casting a spell that makes the tree grow outside in the garden.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Speaker for the Dead wrote:
pfsrd, wall of force: wrote:
Breath weapons and spells cannot pass through a wall of force in either direction, although dimension door, teleport, and similar effects can bypass the barrier. It blocks ethereal creatures as well as material ones (though ethereal creatures can usually circumvent the wall by going around it, through material floors and ceilings). Gaze attacks can operate through a wall of force.
You can't cast spell through a wall of force. You have line of sight but not line of effect. I'm not sure if controlling an existing spell requires LOS or LOE?

If you don't have Line of Effect, you can't do anything with a spell on the opposite side of your force wall.


I understand what you're saying but have to disagree with your conclusion.

My understanding is that the spell originates from the caster. If the spell has a range then that's the distance the caster can cast the spell away from him.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Speaker for the Dead wrote:

I understand what you're saying but have to disagree with your conclusion.

My understanding is that the spell originates from the caster. If the spell has a range then that's the distance the caster can cast the spell away from him.

The argument is irrelevant. For the spell to make use of range, you must have line of effect down that range. Your 100 foot lightning bolt isn't going to go beyond the wall of stone that's 10 feet in front of your face no matter how much empty space there is behind it.


prsrd wrote:

Line of Effect

A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.

Basicly you need line of effect to be able to cast most spells.

Grand Lodge

Ok, question about Emergency Force Sphere. If the character casts it with a small space at the bottom of the hemi-sphere, can he cast out of it and target another character standing 10 feet away with a spell like haste? Would that give him protection against enemy spell casters 10 feet away? I had this come up during a high level PFS game recently.

Grand Lodge

Bump

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Baronjett wrote:
Ok, question about Emergency Force Sphere. If the character casts it with a small space at the bottom of the hemi-sphere, can he cast out of it and target another character standing 10 feet away with a spell like haste? Would that give him protection against enemy spell casters 10 feet away? I had this come up during a high level PFS game recently.

Unless you show how the spell can be cast that way, from the spell text, it can't be done.


AFAIK, EFS isn't shapable.


LoE wrote:
An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.
EFS wrote:
The bottom edge of the dome forms a relatively watertight space if you are standing on a reasonably flat surface. The dome shape means that falling debris (such as rocks from a collapsing ceiling) tend to tumble to the side and pile up around the base of the dome.

Good luck persuading the GM the surface is so irregular you have a 1' square hole, it's not something the caster has much control over.

If you can do it it won't protect you from enemy casters, LoE works both ways.


Also, since Force effects are usually transparent, what about spells that have the [Light] or [Darkness] descriptors?

Scarab Sages

If you have a light or darkness spell cast on on an object outside of a force wall, the light or darkness will affect the the area on the the other side of it.

Since the range of these spells is touch, you can't actually cast a light or darkness spell through a wall of force, although if you tried using reach spell, it would fail because a spell cannot pass through the barrier.

Also, just a note, if you are using the Technology Guide, any laser weapon will go through a wall of force like it wasn't there.


Sunbeam has the [Light] descriptor, and it has a range out of the box. I guess Force effects not allowing spells to go through would block this, but it would seem a reasonable house rule to let it go through unless the force field is actually opaque (or at least has light filtering properties).


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Sunbeam has the [Light] descriptor, and it has a range out of the box. I guess Force effects not allowing spells to go through would block this, but it would seem a reasonable house rule to let it go through unless the force field is actually opaque (or at least has light filtering properties).

Sunbeam is "Spell Resistance: Yes", so the beam is still magic even after it is generated.

The Exchange

Cast Thread necro -
wondering about the interaction of Emergency Force Sphere and a few other spells...

Colorspray - could/does this pass thru?
Burning Gaze - could/does the effect pass thru?

Thanks for your responses!

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

You have no line of effect, your spell can't come into being. If an existing spell that doesn't require concentration is now on the other side of a new force wall it still operates.


Nosig, color spray does not pass through an emergency force sphere because it is a cone-shaped burst.

Line of Effect wrote:
A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

Burning gaze, however, would work fine, as it has a range of personal and targets only you. It's not a spell that you would need to cast through an emergency force sphere, it's more of a buff - you cast it on yourself, and it gives you a special ability to damage creatures from a distance.


Not a spell, but you can shoot lasers through a wall of force. :D


Avoron wrote:

Nosig, color spray does not pass through an emergency force sphere because it is a cone-shaped burst.

Line of Effect wrote:
A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).
Burning gaze, however, would work fine, as it has a range of personal and targets only you. It's not a spell that you would need to cast through an emergency force sphere, it's more of a buff - you cast it on yourself, and it gives you a special ability to damage creatures from a distance.
magic wrote:
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

Burning gaze still doesn't work, as you can't get the effect past the force sphere.


Create Mindscape seems not to require line of effect based on spell text examples.


dragonhunterq wrote:
Burning gaze still doesn't work, as you can't get the effect past the force sphere.

Burning gaze doesn't have an "effect," which is a specific game term in the context of aiming a spell, just like target or area.

Aiming a Spell wrote:

You must make choices about whom a spell is to affect or where an effect is to originate, depending on a spell's type. The next entry in a spell description defines the spell's target (or targets), its effect, or its area, as appropriate.

---
Effect: Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.
Burning Gaze wrote:

Range personal

Target you

Burning gaze doesn't create any sort of effect anywhere - it targets you and only you, giving you an improvement to your combat performance. You might as well say that any lasers used through the wall cannot benefit from true strike.

Slithery D wrote:
Create Mindscape seems not to require line of effect based on spell text examples.
Line of Effect wrote:
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on
Create Mindscape wrote:
Target one creature


Burning Gaze can not bypass a wall of force.

Quote:

Targeted creatures must succeed at a Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of fire damage. Unattended objects do not get a save. Creatures damaged by the spell must make a Reflex save or catch fire. Each round, burning creatures may attempt a Reflex save to quench the flames; failure results in another 1d6 points of fire damage. Flammable items worn by a creature must also save or take the same damage as the creature. If a creature or object is already on fire, it suffers no additional effects from burning gaze.

Note that this spell does not grant an actual gaze attack—foes and allies are not in danger of catching on fire simply by meeting your gaze.

The creature is still targeted, and the spell does not grant you an actual gaze attack. Basically the spell is a buff on yourself that lets you target creatures you want to attack. Those targets are still behind a wall of force.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

I thought his burning gaze assertion was that he could cast burning gaze but couldn't them use it. Because it targets yourself you can waste the spell if you like.


You could definitely cast it, and I think you could use it as well.

"Targeted creatures" are not actually targets of the spell; if they were, they would be in the "Target" line. Rather, they're targets in the sense that a ranged weapon or any other form of attack has a target. Or in the sense that true strike bypasses your target's concealment and spiritual weapon can be directed to specific targets. Saying that burning gaze can't pass through the wall would be like saying true strike can't pass through the wall. It's not an issue for them, because neither can have a distant target, area, or effect that would make this a problem: they both target the caster and only the caster.

Remember that the rules for line of effect say that

Line of Effect wrote:
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on

You are clearly not casting a spell on anyone you damage with burning gaze, so this rule does not apply.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Avoron wrote:
Line of Effect wrote:
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on
You are clearly not casting a spell on anyone you damage with burning gaze, so this rule does not apply.

Remember spells in that chapter is short hand for spells and magical effects. Plus the developers consider certain extraordinary effects the same as magical effects for the purpose of those rules.

So, no, you still can't use the gaze at them through a force wall.


Avoron wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
Burning gaze still doesn't work, as you can't get the effect past the force sphere.

Burning gaze doesn't have an "effect," which is a specific game term in the context of aiming a spell, just like target or area.

Aiming a Spell wrote:

You must make choices about whom a spell is to affect or where an effect is to originate, depending on a spell's type. The next entry in a spell description defines the spell's target (or targets), its effect, or its area, as appropriate.

---
Effect: Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.
Burning Gaze wrote:

Range personal

Target you

Burning gaze doesn't create any sort of effect anywhere - it targets you and only you, giving you an improvement to your combat performance. You might as well say that any lasers used through the wall cannot benefit from true strike.

Slithery D wrote:
Create Mindscape seems not to require line of effect based on spell text examples.
Line of Effect wrote:
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on
Create Mindscape wrote:
Target one creature

Read the spell description, you can use this one to target unseen people in a closed building.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Unseen doesn't exist in here


Easy answer here is any effect that requires line of sight but does not require line of effect to apply.

There will likely be a lot of exceptions though.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

It may be that the author forgot about line of effect, or he assumed all loving creates are moved to the mind scale in a way that removes current terrain.

Either way, as it isn't directly addressed there may be table variance. I'd assume this spell is an exception to the rule.


An open window isn't a line of effect unless it also a line of sight, just like a path around a wall of force isn't a line of effect. Line of effect requires a direct, straight line, no obstructions path between you and the target.

Quote:

Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.

There are spells other than Create Mindscape that don't say they ignore line of effect but clearly must in order to function. Sending and Demand are the most obvious, but we also have Dream, Nightmare, Discern Location, and Dream Scan. In Ultimate Intrigue we have Mage's Decree and Pox of Rumors. Without a line saying they ignore line of effect, the caster and target can't be over the horizon, or one of them inside a building, or anything else that puts a physical barrier between the caster and target. Except obviously these spells are expected to work the way they are described and don't feel a need to explicitly exempt standard LOE requirements.

I certainly agree that in any particular instance there's a chance the spell is just conceptually flawed and they didn't think about what they were doing and didn't really mean to implicitly eliminate the standard LOE requirement. But there's also a chance they did want the spell to operate as it says it does and just didn't think to explicitly exempt the LOE requirement. I think the default interpretation is that a spell actually does what it claims to do and overrules any general magic rules that get in the way of that.

In the case of Create Greater Minscape I certainly think it's an appallingly overpowered spell, but the lack of line of effect is only the third worst thing about it. The first worst thing is that apparently the only save is to disbelieve (and learn the exit, not actually escape) after you're already in it, and the second worst is that you can choose a no magic trait. It makes it an instant magician killer if you have some mundane friends who can play "club the baby seal" when the targets suddenly appear in a custom landscape with enemies between them and the exit and absolutely no way to cast or use any magic except Mindscape Door with a low DC.

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed a post and response. Personally abusive comments about other posters' literacy are totally unnecessary.


If I am in a emergency force sphere with a enemy right next to it that has reach i.e. a giant and I cast a spell does he get an AOO? I am casting shadow step to escape basically.


Michael Vogels wrote:
If I am in a emergency force sphere with a enemy right next to it that has reach i.e. a giant and I cast a spell does he get an AOO? I am casting shadow step to escape basically.

If you're casting inside of an emergency force sphere the giant can't attack you through the force sphere. He would have to first destroy the sphere and then make another attack against you.

Technically you have total cover from the giant, and thus you don't provoke an AoO.

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