Name one Pathfinder rule or subsystem that you dislike, and say why:


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1,151 to 1,200 of 1,707 << first < prev | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Now Illusion has an even HARDER time now (since glowing pretty runes makes things like invisibiity pointless...) and creates and even weirder time with stealth (if a wizard is behind a low barrier stealthed and casts a silent, still spell, would the glow give him away? Technically there is no listed penalty to stealth for casting a spell).

Since there's no mention of light with a radius being emitted, I think the spell effects should be treated more like coloured smoke - no-one can see you casting in the dark.

Even if your GM rules that casting while invisible gives away your position, you can still cast and then move.

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
The other issue is Enchantment. Enchantment is also a school that is hosed enough (There is a reason why most people ditch enchantment with no worries...). Now a lot of its spells are rather pointless or lose all thematic value (how are you supposed to be a charming succubus using magic to charm your opponents without them even knowing when you glow eldritch runes everywhere???)

This is far more balanced than secret casting. "My sorcerer casts Still Silent Charm Person on everyone at the king's party. Then I borrow money from all my new best friends."

Otherwise, a disguised succubus could secretly cast Charm Monster (DC 22) at will on everyone around her and because there would be no way of anyone knowing, there would be no possible counters.

With the 'visible casting' ruling, you can still do these things, but they become more challenging and interesting. You have to get someone on their own first. If they fail their save, they won't mind that you were casting spells. If they pass, you're now in trouble.

As for illusions, just stand behind something when casting one. You can't make a spellcraft check on a spell you can't see.


DM_Blake wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

I know it's already been said, but the poison rules...

Why so expensive? I mean, at one TENTH the cost they are still pretty pricy.

Also, the DCs aren't great.

In early editions of D&D, poison was a one-shot encounter ender. Sure, it either worked or it didn't (Save vs. Paralyzation, Poison, or Death Magic), but when they worked, the encounter was done. They were relatively cheap and also easily harvested from monsters with poison (killing scorpions or wyverns, etc., gave you tools to end several of your next encounters).

My guess is that somewhere along the way, probably starting in the 3.x versions and getting even worse with Pathfinder, the various developers decided to make it more expensive and harder to obtain poisons, included risks that you poison yourself unless you had one specific class feature that only appears on a couple classes, and limited the effects to make it harder to end encounters with a single hit with a poisoned weapon.

The result is what you describe - worthless poisons that are ridiculously overpriced.

Now they really only serve as debuffs for monsters, with possible long-term consequences at low level (well, Dave, your fighter is going to have to deal with that big penalty on his Constitution for many days since you only get back one point each night) or resource drain at higher level (consuming Restoration spells to recover instantly).

Nope. Dragon Magazine 69 during 1st ed introduced poisons that did stat damage. Most poisons only did HP damage, though type E was save or die. The new poisons did some stat damage for every few (usually 4) HP of damage. That was the beginning of the poisons debuff saga.


Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

As for the group saying "well the effects are subtle like eyes whiting and such"... that makes Spellcraft REALLY FREAKING DUMB...

I mean, picture if you will... A wizard casts a silent Stilled Dominate Person with Eschew Materials... you say his eyes kinda go a little white or something (his eyes glow a little maybe?). Well, since there is no penalty to spellcraft with Silent+Still+Eschew, the spell is still very readily identifiable...

How is that better than the current standard of "you cast a spell showing no outward appearance and there is no penalty to spellcraft checks"? By RAW since 3.0 you identified spells by sight with no penalties. Are you telling me a fighter with ranks in spellcraft can just figure out an unseen magical casting?

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

I mean... that just SOUNDS stupid... Now the glowing runes things solves the issue entirely (each spell has a unique set of runes) and is in line with Words of Power (as they are essentially more primal magic), but that opens a whole new can of worms. Now Illusion has an even HARDER time now (since glowing pretty runes makes things like invisibiity pointless...) and creates and even weirder time with stealth (if a wizard is behind a low barrier stealthed and casts a silent, still spell, would the glow give him away? Technically there is no listed penalty to stealth for casting a spell).

The other issue is Enchantment. Enchantment is also a school that is hosed enough (There is a reason why most people ditch enchantment with no worries...). Now a lot of its spells are rather pointless or lose all thematic value (how are you supposed to be a charming succubus using magic to charm your opponents without them even knowing when you glow eldritch runes eveywhere???)

So yes, the FAQratta is stupid and create ALL SORTS OF OTHER ISSUES....

The FAQ says the process of casting a spell is obvious, not the duration of the spell. Turning invisible is a massive clue to a spell being cast, so that is a terrible example. And if the wizard uses stealth then no, the spell doesn't give you away. You guys are going a long way to set up the contrivances. The FAQ says "If you cast a spell in front of someone they know it is cast" and that's it.

Who has ever cast an enchantment spell in plain sight? Enchantment is specifically the isolate and dominate school, and succubi lure people in with their wiles and then cast magic on them. If you want to talk about dumb situations, casting a spell openly in a crowded place and expecting no one to figure it out.

There are no other issues with this ruling, and the only thing that is "different" is that people know magic is cast even if they can't identify it.


I'm surprised so many people have an issue with this. Is casting Still-Silent-Eschew-Materials spells on hapless targets a common feature of many campaigns?


I personally advocate the magic glowing runes interpretation.

Severely limiting the subtlety of magic may not be very "literary", but it goes a long way toward limiting shenanigans that can derail a campaign, and makes it so that the warrior types at least know who to hit without having to cast a spell themselves. There are lots of ways that Pathfinder magic is not very literary, so I'm not bothered in the least by this. Vancian magic puts gameplay first.

Frankly, I wish they'd make magic even less subtle (c.f. Iron Kingdoms).

Full disclosure: I play a bard with spellsong in one campaign, and the results have only reinforced my opinion that subtle magic is a pain in the arse for the GM, and steals the spotlight from the other players. That's meta-game logic, sure, and it points to a bad gameplay result.

And that's spellsong, which is not compatible with stealth. If general spellcasting – even with a 2-3 feat investment – were compatible with stealth, then why make any other character? Why would villainous spellcasters ever expose themselves? What kind of game world does that make? Sure, playing a spell-sniper seems like fun, but what about the rest of the party? Moreover, what about GMs using spell-sniper NPCs? That's sounds just great...

Just my opinion, but I think they should leave it at Spellsong which at least has some kind of stealth limitation. And even that may be too much, but at least it's just the Bard spell list.


hiiamtom wrote:
How is that better than the current standard of "you cast a spell showing no outward appearance and there is no penalty to spellcraft checks"? By RAW since 3.0 you identified spells by sight with no penalties. Are you telling me a fighter with ranks in spellcraft can just figure out an unseen magical casting?

No, RAW you identified a spell through its components.

No components = no spellcraft possible.

One or more components = spellcraft with DC 15 + spell level (and no other modifiers).

That's it. It were simpler.

Pathfinder modified it so that you needed to see the spell as it is being cast (without any precision on what it means).
It added modifiers about distance and circonstances as a perception check too. It removed the need to perceive the spell components.

Spellcraft became very complicated.

With the FAQ, it is becoming even more complicated.


Avh wrote:

No, RAW you identified a spell through its components.

No components = no spellcraft possible.

One or more components = spellcraft with DC 15 + spell level (and no other modifiers).

That's it. It were simpler.

Pathfinder modified it so that you needed to see the spell as it is being cast (without any precision on what it means).
It added modifiers about distance and circonstances as a perception check too. It removed the need to perceive the spell components.

Spellcraft became very complicated.

With the FAQ, it is becoming even more complicated.

You made me look into this, and you are right that SLAs could not be identified before pathfinder. It still makes none of this more complicate.

It went from: "Is a spell being cast with visible spell components?" and "Can I see/hear the components?"

To: "Is a spell being cast?" and "Can I perceive the spellcaster?"

This is not complicated, there is no deeper layer of questioning that is needed or explanation required.

You might as well be complaining about how through FAQ errata you can't intimidate undead and vermin anymore.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

As for the group saying "well the effects are subtle like eyes whiting and such"... that makes Spellcraft REALLY FREAKING DUMB...

I mean, picture if you will... A wizard casts a silent Stilled Dominate Person with Eschew Materials... you say his eyes kinda go a little white or something (his eyes glow a little maybe?). Well, since there is no penalty to spellcraft with Silent+Still+Eschew, the spell is still very readily identifiable...

That means, you are some how saying that an opponent wizard could go "He is casting Dominate Person!!!", the fighter would ask "How the bloody hell can you tell???" and in reply the wizard would say "His eyes slightly glowed a Deep Sea green blue with a touch of magenta. Obviously Dominate. Charm is more a Light Sea blue green with a touch of hot pink"...

I mean... that just SOUNDS stupid... Now the glowing runes things solves the issue entirely (each spell has a unique set of runes) and is in line with Words of Power (as they are essentially more primal magic), but that opens a whole new can of worms. Now Illusion has an even HARDER time now (since glowing pretty runes makes things like invisibiity pointless...) and creates and even weirder time with stealth (if a wizard is behind a low barrier stealthed and casts a silent, still spell, would the glow give him away? Technically there is no listed penalty to stealth for casting a spell).

The other issue is Enchantment. Enchantment is also a school that is hosed enough (There is a reason why most people ditch enchantment with no worries...). Now a lot of its spells are rather pointless or lose all thematic value (how are you supposed to be a charming succubus using magic to charm your opponents without them even knowing when you glow eldritch runes eveywhere???)

So yes, the FAQratta is stupid and create ALL SORTS OF OTHER ISSUES....

And yet, this is exactly what the core rulebook has said for 6 years!!!

Why is it so hard for some people to understand that this is not a change, the core rulebook SAYS explicitly that every spell can be identified (during casting) and countered, that Spellcraft if how you identify them, and that it's visual.

All the FAQ did was clarify this for the people who didn't figure it out from the core rulebook.

Is it stupid? Maybe. If you think it's just pretty colors in people's eyes, then yeah, that's hard to explain without sounding silly - but you could do it that way if you want. Is it swirling runes? Maybe. The FAQ deliberately doesn't say WHAT it is so each GM can decide how he wants to run it. Make it as stupid as you want, or as sensible as you want, or whatever else you want. It's up to YOU.


thorin001 wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

I know it's already been said, but the poison rules...

Why so expensive? I mean, at one TENTH the cost they are still pretty pricy.

Also, the DCs aren't great.

In early editions of D&D, poison was a one-shot encounter ender. Sure, it either worked or it didn't (Save vs. Paralyzation, Poison, or Death Magic), but when they worked, the encounter was done. They were relatively cheap and also easily harvested from monsters with poison (killing scorpions or wyverns, etc., gave you tools to end several of your next encounters).

My guess is that somewhere along the way, probably starting in the 3.x versions and getting even worse with Pathfinder, the various developers decided to make it more expensive and harder to obtain poisons, included risks that you poison yourself unless you had one specific class feature that only appears on a couple classes, and limited the effects to make it harder to end encounters with a single hit with a poisoned weapon.

The result is what you describe - worthless poisons that are ridiculously overpriced.

Now they really only serve as debuffs for monsters, with possible long-term consequences at low level (well, Dave, your fighter is going to have to deal with that big penalty on his Constitution for many days since you only get back one point each night) or resource drain at higher level (consuming Restoration spells to recover instantly).

Nope. Dragon Magazine 69 during 1st ed introduced poisons that did stat damage. Most poisons only did HP damage, though type E was save or die. The new poisons did some stat damage for every few (usually 4) HP of damage. That was the beginning of the poisons debuff saga.

You're right. But even the non-lethal poisons were a Save-or-Suck to the extent that if you blew the save, you took so MUCH stat damage that you were essentially done fighting. You might have the HP to live on for a round or two, but you were probably crippled enough to essentially be out of the fight.

Sure, there were a few poisons that were pretty weak and didn't end encounters, but many of them just ended it right there. Like landing a Greater Curse or a Hold Person on a BBEG - it's pretty much a done deal after that. Same with a great many of the old-school poisons - especially the ones the monsters used against the PCs.


Silent spell: Still useful for not alerting people in the next room that you're buffing, or casting spells in silenced areas, or with a gag on, or holding your breath.

Still spell: still useful for bypassing arcane spell failure, casting while restrained.

Just because being able to secretly cast in front of someone would be nice does not mean it was the intent of these feats. They are both VERY useful.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
I'm surprised so many people have an issue with this. Is casting Still-Silent-Eschew-Materials spells on hapless targets a common feature of many campaigns?

It certainly is in mine. Most of my players who play sorcerers take those feats for just this reason!

DM_Blake wrote:
Why is it so hard for some people to understand that this is not a change, the core rulebook SAYS explicitly that every spell can be identified (during casting) and countered, that Spellcraft if how you identify them, and that it's visual.

I don't believe the core rulebook uses the word "every." You and others keep throwing it in there.

The book assumes you can identify spells under normal conditions. Prior to this FAQ, it did not take into account things like the caster being invisible or there being no observable components.

After the FAQ the RAW still doesn't take those extenuating circumstances into account, but the FAQ does.


hiiamtom wrote:

It went from: "Is a spell being cast with visible spell components?" and "Can I see/hear the components?"

To: "Is a spell being cast?" and "Can I perceive the spellcaster?"

This is not complicated, there is no deeper layer of questioning that is needed or explanation required.

It is complicated because we don't know how it is perceived.

Does it affect vision only (runes, glowing eyes) ? Sound ? smell ? Other senses (a shiver through your spine, change in temperature, ...) ?

Does it affect people differently depending on the spell ? Depending on the spellcaster ?

Can you hide it with mundane means ? For example, glowing eyes could be hidden with a bandage or something covering them, the same for tatoos, but swirling runes moving around the caster would be much more difficult to hide.

How do you handle the perception of spells behind a wall/door ? Does it depend on the manifestation that happen in your world and/or with this form of magic ? How does it interact with spells such as Invisibility, Darkness and Clouds/fogs ? How does it interact with Stealth ?

And I could go on and on with questions like those.
Questions that are answered easily with 3.0/3.5 version of spellcraft.
They are somewhat way more difficult with the Pathfinder version. And with the FAQ version, it's just a huge mess that will vary for each table even with "RAW" rules or PFS.

Quote:
Why is it so hard for some people to understand that this is not a change, the core rulebook SAYS explicitly that every spell can be identified (during casting) and countered, that Spellcraft if how you identify them, and that it's visual.

For starters, not every spell can be countered.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Why is it so hard for some people to understand that this is not a change, the core rulebook SAYS explicitly that every spell can be identified (during casting) and countered, that Spellcraft if how you identify them, and that it's visual.
I don't believe the core rulebook uses the word "every." You and others keep throwing it in there.

Actually, it uses the word "any", synonymously with "every", as in:

SRD, Magic, Counterspells wrote:
It is possible to cast any spell as a counterspell.

Since spells counter themselves, that means Charm Person can be used as a counterspell against Charm Person.

Which means you can see Charm Person as it is being cast per the Spellcraft rules.

And since Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials all have ZERO rules for affecting this, that means you can even see a Charm Person as it is being cast even if the caster used those feats to hide his casting.

Which means components are irrelevant to this discussion - you can counter any spell, therefore you can see any spell, regardless of which components it has or doesn't have.

And since any spell can be used as a counter spell, this can be done with every spell in the game.

Which means that EVERY spell can be seen as it is being cast, regardless of components or lack thereof.

Per the Core Rulebook since 2009 when it was first published.

Ravingdork wrote:
The book assumes you can identify spells under normal conditions. Prior to this FAQ, it did not take into account things like the caster being invisible or there being no observable components.

Yes, you're right, the Core Rulebook doesn't care about components because having them or not having them has no bearing on identifying spells. Per RAW.

I agree with you, there always has been and still is, even with the FAQ clarification, some question on how to handle invisible casters. The Core Rulebook never handled that, and neither did the FAQ.

In fact (in FAQed), nothing has changed with this FAQ - all they did was clarify what the Core Rulebook has said since it was first printed six years ago.


Avh wrote:
For starters, not every spell can be countered.

Care to explain that?

It's pretty clear that they can. The Core Rulebook says so:

SRD, Magic, Counterspells wrote:
It is possible to cast any spell as a counterspell.

There are only two ways to counterspell. One of them uses Dispel Magic. The other uses a spell to counter itself.

Since and spell can be used as a counterspell to counter itself, that means that EVERY spell can be countered by somebody else using that same spell to counter the original caster.

This is the general rule. It applies ALL THE TIME unless you have a specific rule that overrides it. Even if you do have a specific rule that overrides it, that doesn't invalidate the general rule that says that any spell can be used as a counterspell.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I still don't believe that the intent of the original text was to cover some of the extenuating circumstances I described, DM_Blake.

Using your logic you could identify spells even if the caster is invisible, or on the other side of the planet.

That's an extreme example to be sure, but you gotta admit, the RAW does not take into account every possible situation.

To assume that the intent truly does mean ANY spell will only lead to confusion and oddball situations.


Avh wrote:

It is complicated because we don't know how it is perceived.

And I could go on and on with questions like those.
Questions that are answered easily with 3.0/3.5 version of spellcraft.
They are somewhat way more difficult with the Pathfinder version. And with the FAQ version, it's just a huge mess that will vary for each table even with "RAW" rules or PFS.

So? It doesn't matter how it is perceived, because perception is an abstraction; just like stealth is an abstraction. It's always been a mess because flatly the skill rules for 35. and Pathfinder suck in both systems.

Avh wrote:

Does it affect vision only (runes, glowing eyes) ? Sound ? smell ? Other senses (a shiver through your spine, change in temperature, ...) ?

Does it affect people differently depending on the spell ? Depending on the spellcaster ?

The answer to all of these is maybe, none of it matters for RAW.

Avh wrote:

Can you hide it with mundane means ? For example, glowing eyes could be hidden with a bandage or something covering them, the same for tatoos, but swirling runes moving around the caster would be much more difficult to hide.

How do you handle the perception of spells behind a wall/door ? Does it depend on the manifestation that happen in your world and/or with this form of magic ? How does it interact with spells such as Invisibility, Darkness and Clouds/fogs ? How does it interact with Stealth?

Yes, everything you just described is a stealth check versus perception before casting. You can't perceive the caster, you don't perceive the spell being cast, you cannot identify it.

Concealment would also work, so fog darkness etc. would all hide spellcasting by RAW.

There is no complications with magic casting, those are complications in your fluffing of the abstraction of the perception skill.

Avh wrote:

And I could go on and on with questions like those.

Questions that are answered easily with 3.0/3.5 version of spellcraft.
They are somewhat way more difficult with the Pathfinder version. And with the FAQ version, it's just a huge mess that will vary for each table even with "RAW" rules or PFS.

If in 2015 you have these issues, then this must be the very first time you ever compared 3.5 skills to Pathfinders. I thought it was universal knowledge that Pathfinder's skill rules are written much, much worse than 3.5.

That's why I mentioned the intimidate skill being able to target undead and vermin until the FAQ... in January 2015. Your issue is not with the FAQ, your issue is with the skills as written.

Ravingdork wrote:

I still don't believe that the intent of the original text was to cover some of the extenuating circumstances I described, DM_Blake.

Using your logic you could identify spells even if the caster is invisible, or on the other side of the planet.

That's an extreme example to be sure, but you gotta admit, the RAW does not take into account every possible situation.

To assume that the intent truly does mean ANY spell will only lead to confusion and oddball situations.

The FAQ didn't modify Perception. Invisibility, concealment, stealth, etc. are all able to block someone from perceiving a spell being cast by RAW.


DM_Blake wrote:
Avh wrote:
For starters, not every spell can be countered.

Care to explain that?

It's pretty clear that they can. The Core Rulebook says so:

SRD, Magic, Counterspells wrote:
It is possible to cast any spell as a counterspell.

There are only two ways to counterspell. One of them uses Dispel Magic. The other uses a spell to counter itself.

Since and spell can be used as a counterspell to counter itself, that means that EVERY spell can be countered by somebody else using that same spell to counter the original caster.

This is the general rule. It applies ALL THE TIME unless you have a specific rule that overrides it. Even if you do have a specific rule that overrides it, that doesn't invalidate the general rule that says that any spell can be used as a counterspell.

You have a first limitation with the range of the spells you want to counter.

You can't counter personal spells. You need to be in range for every other spells (touch spells implies you need to be in touch range, ...).

I suppose Dispel Magic could suppress the Range limitation.

You also need to be able to target the spellcaster. It means that a caster that can't be targeted, such as an invisible caster, prevents counterspell EVEN if you can identify the spell.


Ravingdork wrote:

I still don't believe that the intent of the original text was to cover some of the extenuating circumstances I described, DM_Blake.

Using your logic you could identify spells even if the caster is invisible, or on the other side of the planet.

That's an extreme example to be sure, but you gotta admit, the RAW does not take into account every possible situation.

To assume that the intent truly does mean ANY spell will only lead to confusion and oddball situations.

The core rulebook DOES say that normal perception modifiers, like distance, still apply. And it does say you need to see the spell as it is being cast.

I think that rules out the other side of the planet.

And I've agreed, invisibility always was and still is a question. The FAQ didn't handle that. Maybe a FAQ request to have them clarify the invisible caster question would be a good idea.

Regardless of the (unchanged) questionable status of invisible casters, the FAQ still didn't change the rules that exist in the Core Rulebook in any way. At all.


Would simplifying the FAQ wording to "telling if someone is casting a spell is a DC0 perception check" solve anything for you?

DM_Blake wrote:

And I've agreed, invisibility always was and still is a question. The FAQ didn't handle that. Maybe a FAQ request to have them clarify the invisible caster question would be a good idea.

Regardless of the (unchanged) questionable status of invisible casters, the FAQ still didn't change the rules that exist in the Core Rulebook in any way. At all.

Invisible creatures still have total concealment and you have a STEEP perception check to change that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Avh wrote:

You have a first limitation with the range of the spells you want to counter.

You can't counter personal spells. You need to be in range for every other spells (touch spells implies you need to be in touch range, ...).

I suppose Dispel Magic could suppress the Range limitation.

You also need to be able to target the spellcaster. It means that a caster that can't be targeted, such as an invisible caster, prevents counterspell EVEN if you can identify the spell.

I agree. The Counterspell rules have always been a little vague about what "in range" means, especially when it comes to Personal spells.

You could argue it your way, that Personal spells cannot be countered. I disagree. If that's true, then the very first line of the Counterspells section that says ANY spell can be used as a counterspell is completely false. If you cannot use Shield as a counterspell because the range is Personal, then the first sentence is dead wrong.

I never assume the developers write a sentence in their rulebook that is completely contradictory to another sentence, especially then the two sentences are about 1 inch apart on the same page in the same section of the same rule. Doing that would not be "vague", it would be stupid.

I never assume the developers are stupid.

I prefer to assume that they just overlooked a point that needs clarification, then attempt to clarify it for myself. One possible clarification might be that you can counter a personal spell if you're adjacent to the caster. Another clarification might be that "in range" means "in visible range" which includes the existing rules that you need to make a spellcraft check to identify the spell as it is being cast with normal Perception modifiers being applicable - maybe that's all you need to determine if yo're "in range"; make that roll, and you're in range, otherwise you're not.

Frankly, I'm not sure what their clarification might be, but I expect it's not "Oh, yeah, we lied when we said ANY spell can be used as a counterspell" or "Oh, yeah, we were total idiots when we said ANY spell can be used as a counterspell". That's an assumption I won't make about a professional game developer. Oversight, sure, it happens. Total idiot, no, that's too much of an assumption.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:


Actually, it uses the word "any", synonymously with "every", as in:

SRD, Magic, Counterspells wrote:
It is possible to cast any spell as a counterspell.

Since spells counter themselves, that means Charm Person can be used as a counterspell against Charm Person.

Which means you can see Charm Person as it is being cast per the Spellcraft rules.

And since Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials all have ZERO rules for affecting this, that means you can even see a Charm Person as it is being cast even if the caster used those feats to hide his casting.

Which means components are irrelevant to this discussion - you can counter any spell, therefore you can see any spell, regardless of which components it has or doesn't have.

And since any spell can be used as a counter spell, this can be done with every spell in the game.

Which means that EVERY spell can be seen as it is being cast, regardless of components or lack thereof.

Still using highly unconvincing arguments here. "Since spells counter themselves, that means Charm Person can be used as a counterspell against Charm Person."

Obviously.

"Which means you can see Charm Person as it is being cast per the Spellcraft rules."
You have shown that this is true some of the time, not that it is true in every possible circumstance. For example, if you can't see the spell being cast, you can't counter it.

"Which means you can see Charm Person as it is being cast per the Spellcraft rules."
Except when you can't, for example if there's a wall in the way.
All these counterspell arguments are worthless. We know you can counter any spell if you can see it being cast, and that under normal circumstances you can see a spell being cast. The question is, can you see them being cast without their components?

"And since Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials all have ZERO rules for affecting this, that means you can even see a Charm Person as it is being cast even if the caster used those feats to hide his casting."
Except that it seemed 'obvious' to some people that you couldn't see the spell being cast under those circumstances, which would mean it couldn't be identified, in which case no further rules were needed beyond common sense.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It wasn't just obvious to us. There was a precedent for it in earlier editions.


Here is how I see it. Much like how investigators are known for taking very small details or patterns and reaching a conclusion based on their finding, a individual with Spellcraft, even if someone is casting a Silent, Still, Eschew Material spell on someone, can make a Check to identify the spell being cast as long as the person making the Spellcraft check is able to actually perceive that character. People without Spellcraft cannot because they are not trained to hone in on those kind of details, and not everyone is an investigator.

If you are not happy with the FAQ, then house-rule it. State that you get a -2 penalty for every missing component of a spell that you can't identify. Someone with a good roll or high enough Spellcraft may be able to still see that a Silent, Still, Eschew Material spell is being cast, but at a -6 penalty. Done.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Downie wrote:

"Which means you can see Charm Person as it is being cast per the Spellcraft rules."

Except when you can't, for example if there's a wall in the way.

So, is your position something like the following:

"Sometimes there might be a wall in the way, at least, occasionally on certain battlefields, so this means you can never see the spell as it is being cast even when there is no wall"

Is that your point?

I ask because it really seems like this is the point you're making.

OF COURSE you can't see the spell if there is an obstacle that blocks line of sight, or if the distance is so great that you can't see that far. Even the Core Rulebook says this. Nobody is disputing it.

But when this IS NOT THE CASE, you CAN ALWAYS sell the spell, ANY SPELL, when it's being cast in your line of sight with no obstacles or other concealment.

This should have been obvious, especially since I've called out the Perception modifiers in many of my posts, and especially since the Core Rulebook already stipulates this.

Matthew Downie wrote:
All these counterspell arguments are worthless. We know you can counter any spell if you can see it being cast, and that under normal circumstances you can see a spell being cast. The question is, can you see them being cast without their components?

Yes. YES. YES!!! You can see it without components. When the Core Rulebook was printed, there were ZERO spells that had NO components. There were a few that were only Verbal though. Nevertheless, the rules say you "see" the spell being cast, not "hear" the spell being cast. So even Verbal-only spells can be SEEN as they are being cast.

Even more importantly, the Counterspell rules have this line, right there in the Core Rulebook for the last 6 years:

SRD, Spells, Counterspells wrote:

Counterspelling Metamagic Spells

Metamagic feats are not taken into account when determining whether a spell can be countered.

So if I can counter a Fireball with V, S, M components, and then you use METAMAGIC FEATS to remove those components, we don't take those feats into account when determining if I can counter your Fireball. Since counterspelling REQUIRES me to identify the spell, then I am allowed, in fact required, to identify that fireball without taking those feats into account. Period.

Simple, really.

Matthew Downie wrote:

"And since Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials all have ZERO rules for affecting this, that means you can even see a Charm Person as it is being cast even if the caster used those feats to hide his casting."

Except that it seemed 'obvious' to some people that you couldn't see the spell being cast under those circumstances, which would mean it couldn't be identified, in which case no further rules were needed beyond common sense.

To those people for whom this seemed obvious, all I can say is that they misread and/or misunderstood the rule that was there all along. Sorry. I'm not attacking you or them when I say that; accidents happen.

I even respect the opinions of people who say "I might have misunderstood, but I like it my way and will continue using it as a house rule." Fine. Enjoy. Totally cool. Full respect.

What I don't understand, however, is that it's been repeatedly pointed out, spelled out in minute detail, and demonstrated ad nauseum that this is what the rules have said since the first printing, yet some people simply say "no that's not true" when it obviously is true.

Don't like it? Cool, that's your prerogative. Don't want to use it? Awesome, have fun without it. But please stop saying that this is a change, a nerf, or an alteration of any kind. It simply isn't.


I would like to point out something that has been overlooked about that so called FAQ.

Now even those without a single rank in spellcraft automaticly know that the caster is casting. That most certainly is a change into the rules. Now you can certainly argue that the change in rules in spellcraft(the change from 3.5 to PF) shows that even componentles spell has something that can be identefied. I would even agree on that point. However nothing ABSOLUTELY nothing in the rules state about people automaticly regonizing spell casting as spell casting. This is why I berated the devs earlier about calling this a FAQ when it is clearly an errata.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You don't cast spell-like abilities, you activate them.


Nothing ever prevented people without spellcraft from knowing a spell was cast.

They were simply incapable of passing the check to know what spell was being cast.

Spellcasting is so conspicuous that it can be recognized from across a football field (though at a -36 penalty to successfully ID the spell being cast that far away).

This is not new.

All the devs did was spell it out.

Incidentally, still spell and silent have never actually concealed casting. What they do is allow you to cast spells while restrained or silenced.

Though having them hide casting (probably penalizing the spellcraft check and requiring someone to pass to actually recognize spellcasting just happened; I recall Mr. Bulmahn even recommending the spellcraft penalty) is certainly a reasonable houserule.

If you want to charm someone you can still do so - just make sure there's no one else around. After all, if the target fails the save they won't even care that you just cast a spell on him or her =P

Re: Spellsong - It's an explicit bypass to the normal rules you make a perform check opposed to perception or sense motive to completely conceal your casting. I'd say how that interacts with the FAQ is pretty obvious - the feat still works exactly as described, and you don't need to do anything different.


Bigger Club wrote:

I would like to point out something that has been overlooked about that so called FAQ.

Now even those without a single rank in spellcraft automaticly know that the caster is casting. That most certainly is a change into the rules. Now you can certainly argue that the change in rules in spellcraft(the change from 3.5 to PF) shows that even componentles spell has something that can be identefied. I would even agree on that point. However nothing ABSOLUTELY nothing in the rules state about people automaticly regonizing spell casting as spell casting. This is why I berated the devs earlier about calling this a FAQ when it is clearly an errata.

Actually, even that was fully deducible from the core rulebook.

Spellcraft and the Counterspell rules say that you can identify every spell by sight. They further say that components are not a factor in this. Admittedly, getting to this required some deduction (which I've demonstrated in dozens of other posts so I won't here) but it is in the core rules.

Therefore, there IS something that can be seen, whatever it is (the rules don't specify and even the FAQ doesn't specify). The rules clearly say that vision is essential and Perception modifiers apply. Whatever it is, you can see it.

Whatever it is, With Spellcraft you can identify it.

Nowhere does it say Spellcraft (or anything else) is needed to see it.

You could infer, as some have, that special vision is required (e.g. Arcane Sight or Detect Magic), but that is only an assumption, not RAW.

You could infer, as some have, that you only see the components, but that is a misreading of the rules (you can "see" spells with only Verbal components and you can "see" spells with no components thanks to Still Spell, Silent Spell, and Eschew Materials feats).

You could infer, as some have, that you only see spells that have visible EFFECTS, but that is a flawed assumption (the rules explicitly say that this applies to every spell, not just those that visibly set things on fire, etc., but to every spell, which must include those with no visible effects).

You could infer, as some have, that you can only see these spells as they are being cast if you have ranks in Spellcraft. Admittedly, this one seems to be the most defensible of all these inferences, but it also fails simply because nowhere does Spellcraft say that Spellcraft is required to "see" the sepll, only that it's required to identify the spell. Arguing that it also meant to say "see the spell" but the devs just forgot it is making a big assumptive leap.

So, again, I say all of this was already in the core rulebook and has been there since they first printed it 6 years ago.

Unfortunately, they did not make this stuff clear. You had to read multiple sections of the book, finding rules scattered in multiple places, and then parse them all to deduce the true meaning. That's a terrible way to write a rulebook and it leads to all these misunderstandings.

Yet, poorly written as they are, the rules are there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, it's kind of like how the complete rules for incorporeal creatures are scattered over multiple locations (bestiary universal monster rules, core rulebook glossary, ghost touch weapons & armor under magic items, etc.).


I greatly dislike the nature of save or die/suck spells. A character can go from 100% healthy, fresh and rested to a stone statue, mentally dominated, permanently blind, puking their guts out and incapable of doing anything, or even dead with a failed save. There really should be HP or some resource pool that buffers characters from those effects that can basically remove them from the game.


I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell. You could make the connection that the caster is observing the components since there are no other explicit visible accompaniments to spell-casting, but that's not what the rules say.

So, either you make that connection and argue that determining the spell based on the components is a common sense reading, or you don't make that connection and say that according to common sense there has to be visible manifestations when spellcasting because spells are always observable, and there has to be something to be observed. Jason, the head rules guy for the Pathfinder RPG, has stated in the past that the second interpretation is the one that the Pathfinder Design team intends as the "official" interpretation. This FAQ just codifies it, and should really surprise no-one because we already knew how they were handling it (what, did anybody really think that they would deviate from what Bulmahn said the rules were?).

So, no. It's at worst a clearing up of rules ambiguity, and if your stance is more like DM_Blake's it's not even that, but just a rules clarification. Complaining about the FAQ changing the rules or the "badness" of the FAQ being because some of the design team wasn't around at the time of the FAQ is uncalled for and rather silly.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Snowblind wrote:
I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell.

The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.

How do you observe a spell that does not yet exist? What you describe is about as logical as trying to observe a cake by staring at a cow and chicken on a wheat farm.


Ravingdork wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell.

The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.

How do you observe a spell that does not yet exist? What you describe is about as logical as trying to observe a cake by staring at a cow and chicken on a wheat farm.

I think a better analogy would be walking into a kitchen and seeing the ingredients on the counter and the oven on.

If you walk into the kitchen and see milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pans on the counter and the oven is on you can't figure out that something is about to be baked?

If you walk in and the oven is on, the ingredients aren't on the counter but there is a bowl full of batter you can't figure out that baking is about to happen?


Ravingdork wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell.

The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.

How do you observe a spell that does not yet exist? What you describe is about as logical as trying to observe a cake by staring at a cow and chicken on a wheat farm.

That interpretation doesn't make sense to me. If there is no spell prior to completion then what is the spell caster doing? If they are casting the spell then doesn't that imply some kind of build up?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Aaron Whitley wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell.

The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.

How do you observe a spell that does not yet exist? What you describe is about as logical as trying to observe a cake by staring at a cow and chicken on a wheat farm.

I think a better analogy would be walking into a kitchen and seeing the ingredients on the counter and the oven on.

If you walk into the kitchen and see milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pans on the counter and the oven is on you can't figure out that something is about to be baked?

If you walk in and the oven is on, the ingredients aren't on the counter but there is a bowl full of batter you can't figure out that baking is about to happen?

Yes, but what if different bakers use different ingredients? How would you possibly come to the conclusion they are both baking a cake? This is essentially what the FAQ is trying to get us to do, and also why it rubs so many people the wrong way.

Aaron Whitley wrote:
That interpretation doesn't make sense to me. If there is no spell prior to completion then what is the spell caster doing? If they are casting the spell then doesn't that imply some kind of build up?

It was no more or less implied than the lack of a build up. This is why we find it so annoying when people say things like "it was clearly always this way." It wasn't clear at all before. The FAQ cleared up the intent, but is causing all sorts of peripheral problems as well.


Snowblind wrote:
I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell. You could make the connection that the caster is observing the components since there are no other explicit visible accompaniments to spell-casting, but that's not what the rules say.

To get to that conclusion, you had to completely ignore that ANY spell can be seen as it is being cast. This is explicitly stated. "Any spell". That includes those with only verbal components - they can still be "seen" while being cast. That even includes those with no components because it also explicitly states that "metamagic feats are not taken into account when determining" this. So banish all the components with metamagic feats and the spell can still be "seen".

It's that simple.

You cannot reach that conclusion unless you ignore these explicit bits of the core rulebook. Well, I suppose you could also forget about them instead of just ignoring them, but that amounts to the same thing:

If you properly account for these rules then there is no way to assume you're only seeing the components.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
If you properly account for these rules then there is no way to assume you're only seeing the components.

Regardless, a lot more people could wrap their head around the v3.0/3.5 method of doing it. In fact, there was almost not problems with that system at all that I can recall (as it applied to spell identification). Pathfinder, on the other hand, has taken a step backwards on the complexity scale. For whatever reason, they are making it more complicated when they had an opportunity to make things simpler.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Aaron Whitley wrote:


I think a better analogy would be walking into a kitchen and seeing the ingredients on the counter and the oven on.

If you walk into the kitchen and see milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pans on the counter and the oven is on you can't figure out that something is about to be baked?

If you walk in and the oven is on, the ingredients aren't on the counter but there is a bowl full of batter you can't figure out that baking is about to happen?

Yes, but what if different bakers use different ingredients? How would you possibly come to the conclusion they are both baking a cake? This is essentially what the FAQ is trying to get us to do, and also why it rubs so many people the wrong way.

Isn't that what the skill Spellcraft is for? To be able to look at the different ingredients and figure out what is being cast?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The only reason it says "so long as you can see the spell being cast" is to account for concealment or other Line-of-Sight issues.

If you have no obstruction to your line of sight, and if the distance is not so great that the distance penalty makes the check auto-fail, you can see the spell as it is being cast. If there is a barrier in your Line-of-Sight, or the spell is concealed in some way as it is being cast, or it's too far away, then you cannot see it - otherwise you can.

I suppose they could have stated it like that and it would have been more clear, that's for sure. But they, as always, saved space and minimized their word count and, as it often does, this confused things. We could have had a 1,200 page core rulebook and paid 2x the price to buy it (and waited twice as long for them to finally complete it and print it). And if they had done that, maybe the rules would have been awesome clear and never ambiguous. Maybe the rules would all have been written clearly in their own specified section instead of fragmented and scattered across multiple sections.

That would have been nice, but we might have had to wait til 2012 to get it. But the world was supposed to end in 2012 so nobody wanted to wait that long...

Instead, we got what we got, and many of the rules are unclear. Now we all need a legal team to parse the rules (thankfully only some of them) and build a case for clarity.

Now the PDT has provided their own case for clarity on this one, and it perfectly matches what the core rulebook has said all along, but it's more concise and clearly written. Still some problems with corner cases like Invisibility, but that's nothing new; these were existing problems too.


Ravingdork wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
If you properly account for these rules then there is no way to assume you're only seeing the components.
Regardless, a lot more people could wrap their head around the v3.0/3.5 method of doing it. In fact, there was almost not problems with that system at all that I can recall (as it applied to spell identification). Pathfinder, on the other hand, has taken a step backwards on the complexity scale. For whatever reason, they are making it more complicated when they had an opportunity to make things simpler.

I completely agree with this.

Some of their attempts at simplification have created whole new complications out of thin air. Combining Listen and Spot and Search into one Perception skill is a classic example (and at least partially to blame for some of the confusion with identifying spells, too). Another classic one was the CMB system that was supposed to simplify combat maneuvers (and did, a little) but also created whole new problems in the process.

Some RPGs are very rules light. The GM just basically tells a story, the PCs are little more than some notes on a 3x5 card, and nobody including the GM ever, or hardly ever, rolls any dice. Other RPGs are complex sets of rules that only NASA can properly figure out.

D&D has always been closer to the NASA end of that scale. CNN just recently (this week, Monday) published an article about how figuring out if a receiver has made a legal catch is harder than playing Dungeons and Dragons: A very funny article. I loved it. And it's true.

Pathfinder is definitely at the NASA end of the scale, but for some reason, wants to dip its toe into the other end of the pool. More often than not, when it tries, it just makes things worse.

This has been one of those cases.

Paizo would probably do well to recognize, once and for all, where Pathfinder sits on that scale (very near the NASA end) and be content with that.

Of course, the best time for this recognition was about 2008. I guess that ship has sailed...


Aaron Whitley wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Aaron Whitley wrote:


I think a better analogy would be walking into a kitchen and seeing the ingredients on the counter and the oven on.

If you walk into the kitchen and see milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pans on the counter and the oven is on you can't figure out that something is about to be baked?

If you walk in and the oven is on, the ingredients aren't on the counter but there is a bowl full of batter you can't figure out that baking is about to happen?

Yes, but what if different bakers use different ingredients? How would you possibly come to the conclusion they are both baking a cake? This is essentially what the FAQ is trying to get us to do, and also why it rubs so many people the wrong way.

Isn't that what the skill Spellcraft is for? To be able to look at the different ingredients and figure out what is being cast?

Yes. If by "ingredients" you do NOT mean "components" but you DO mean "visible tangible signs of Spellcasting". As per the FAQ. In that case, you're quite correct.


DM_Blake wrote:
Yes. If by "ingredients" you do NOT mean "components" but you DO mean "visible tangible signs of Spellcasting". As per the FAQ. In that case, you're quite correct.

Nah, that's the oven being on. :P


Ravingdork wrote:


The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.

Considering the spellcraft rules always said you could identify the spell while it's being cast + you need to see the spell to identify it, I am confused by this. Since it automatically means, you can see the spell while it's being cast.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.
Considering the spellcraft rules always said you could identify the spell while it's being cast + you need to see the spell to identify it, I am confused by this. Since it automatically means, you can see the spell while it's being cast.

You and I clearly had differing views as to what qualified as "the spell."

For myself and many others, it was essentially the spell effect, which only occurred after the casting was completed. That clearly was not the case for you and those of differing interpretations.

I can see how you came to the conclusion that the casting was also part of the spell due to the wording of the Spellcraft skill, but it strikes me as something of a (small) mental leap to get there.


Ravingdork wrote:

You and I clearly had differing views as to what qualified as "the spell."

For myself and many others, it was essentially the spell effect, which only occurred after the casting was completed.

But I'm not sure how that interpretation is reached, it saying "but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast", means people must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast. Meaning you can see it before the casting is completed.


Don't get me wrong. I certainly prefer the 3.0/3.5 version of the rule (which incidentally enough was what we used anyway), but upon reading the Pathfinder rules, I came to the same conclusion as DM_Blake. Which only served to reinforce my decision to start with 3.0 and add the things from Pathfinder I liked as opposed to starting with Pathfinder and working the other way.


The levels of pedantry it takes in this argument is staggering. You have a perception check. You have a spellcraft check. If you perceive the spellcaster, then you can make a spellcraft check.

This is the same ruleset that means an invisible creature can run around and yell at the top of their lungs but you probably won't be able to tell they are there. If you can neatly avoid the much, much more common invisible armored hero on marble and not this interaction then you are a statistical anomaly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm so baffled by all of this. The act of spellcasting having a visual manifestation (the welling of power needed to cast the spell) makes so much sense to me and I am blown away that there is this vehement opposition to the concept.

Some have mentioned that visual manifestations seem "video-gamey" but honestly NOT having visual manifestations makes the whole thing seem more like a video game to me. In a video game I can run around throwing random spells in the middle of a town and none of the NPCs care, because they're not scripted to react to the sight of someone casting without regard. I can stand next to a "Town Guard" NPC and cast a charm at a merchant to discount his wares and there's no fallout from that. It doesn't make any sense, but it doesn't have to because there's no depth of roleplay with scripted NPCs.

The opposition has made claims that this spell or that (mainly illusion and enchantment spells) are made "useless" by this "new rule," and the feeling I get out of it is that they want their casters to continue using an "I win" combination that they've thought to be legal for... however long they've been playing I guess? (NOTE: not calling anyone in particular out here, just a general feel for what the other side is saying) One that does not require any additional setup or roleplay.

Not every guard has Spellcraft (most do not). Someone without Spellcraft who perceives a character casting a spell sees just that, a spell being cast. Illusion and Enchantment spells have always been most powerful when used sparingly, mixed in with other more tangible spells. This remains true with the clarification (and I'll always see it as just that, a clarification, not a new rule). Charm Person only affects one target - this has always been true as well. The commonly posited scenario of two guards blocking the way should not be simply bypassed by standing in front of the two of them and casting charm person on one of them.

I'm just baffled that anyone would think otherwise on this.


Okay, spellcraft to identify without components. I think it's been said to death, here and elsewhere. Next?


Goblin_Priest wrote:
Okay, spellcraft to identify without components. I think it's been said to death, here and elsewhere. Next?

I suggest pie.

1,151 to 1,200 of 1,707 << first < prev | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Name one Pathfinder rule or subsystem that you dislike, and say why: All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.