Divination Wizard, Forsight Subschoo, Prescience question.


Rules Questions


Foresight subschool has the following ability:

Prescience (Su): At the beginning of your turn, you may, as a free action, roll a single d20. At any point before your next turn, you may use the result of this roll as the result of any d20 roll you are required to make. If you do not use the d20 result before your next turn, it is lost. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

My very simple question is, can this be used multiple times in 1 round? I don't see a limiting factor here, other than the normal limit on free actions a DM is free to give in 1 round.

For instance, if I know I will be using multiple rolls in my next turn, maybe for scorching ray, can I use this ability 2-3 times and then substitute rolls if I want to?


I would say that an extremely literal reading of the ability doesn't limit you with regard to the number of uses.

However, there is that word "single" in there. It seems to be in the wrong place. The author could have said "you may, as a free action, roll a d20" and nobody, nobody, would question how many d20s are allowed to be rolled with one free action.

But he said "a single d20" which is quite redundant and entirely superfluous in the context where it is applied, unless you realize that he meant "single" as in "you may only do this once". In which case the inclusion of "single" begins to make sense, though its location is still awkward.

I submit that the author really meant to say "At the beginning of your turn, you may as a single free action, roll a d20." Which is still awkward, but this time the awkwardness is word choice rather than word location. It would still be better as "At the beginning of your turn, you may one time roll a d20 as a free action."

Just a theory.

If you don't like that one, or if you prefer extremely literal readings, then here's another analysis: At the beginning of your turn you may roll one d20 for prescience; nobody disputes that. But, if you want to roll a second d20 for prescience, well, sorry, it's no longer the beginning of your turn.. In fact, you have already taken a whole action this turn. Sure, it was just a free action to roll a single d20 for prescience, but, nonetheless, it was an action - so now it can hardly be the beginning of your turn if you've already completed a whole action.

That's about as literal as it gets.


Thanks for the reply. The first part is interesting but also inconclusive because there isn't really a way to know what the author meant to say, only what he did say.

However I do clearly see how the second part of your post could be correct. It could be read that way, not saying it has to be, but could.


You're right, of course. Clearly my first part is a RAI answer, not a RAW answer. But, sometimes, we have to make the assumption that the English language is a tool and, sometimes, people misuse that tool.

That's where RAI comes into the discussion.

Clearly, "single" doesn't belong in that sentence, not where it is, but equally clearly, the author DID deliberately include the word. So just what was he trying to say?

You're right, we'll never know, but a little Occam's Razor can go a good way toward figuring it out.
So which is more likely?

A. The author deliberately wasted space and word-count with a redundant and superfluous adjective ("single")

or

B. The author meant something but simply expressed himself poorly.

In this case, I choose B. The word "single" must be there for a reason; it must have meant something to the author, regardless of his misuse of his linguistic toolset - Paizo has expressed countless times that many awkward word choices were made due to limited word-count and/or space constraints; it's a high priority for Paizo.

So what can "single" mean? The only logical explanation is that you get one single use of the ability.

Of course that's all RAI, but as Paizo has oft insisted, read the rulebook but also apply common sense.

I'm not saying that anything I posted is correct. I'm just rooting around with logic to try to get to the bottom of it.


I could also see him meaning you get a roll a single d20 for each use of the ability. The ability is limited by 3+int modifier, each 1 time you use it, you get another single D20 to roll.

The word single does seem redundant, but it could also just be clarifying.

"At the beginning of your turn, you may, as a free action, roll a single d20"

"At the beginning of your turn, you may, as a free action, roll a d20"

To me Occam's Razor on this one is, the author wrote the sentence, liked how it sounded/looked, and didn't think the word single was overly redundant. Only us looking at it and dissecting it see it as so.

edit: P.S. I like seeing your viewpoint on this


I am pretty sure it means you may use it once per turn allowed. "At the beginning" and "a single d20" leaves know doubt there for me :-)


Pretty sure the intent is that you may roll a single d20, and that this is a free action. But that doesn't mean you can take that specific action more than once, and "a single d20" suggests you can't.

I really like that power, and was quite attracted to it, but that subschool as a whole lost scrying adept, which I love. (On the other hand, basically any power is likely to be more useful than diviner's fortune, in my experience, because there are just not enough circumstances where it's a good idea to blow my standard action giving someone else a one-shot buff.)


The way it is worded leaves the question open whether or not you can use the result for any/all d20s you make in the round, and only have to use it once.

"Prescience (Su): At the beginning of your turn, you may, as a free action, roll a single d20. At any point before your next turn, you may use the result of this roll as the result of any d20 roll you are required to make. If you do not use the d20 result before your next turn, it is lost. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier."

So, you activate the ability;

Roll 1 d20,
Then at 'any point' before your next turn use the result of the d20 as the result 'of any' d20 roll you are required to make.

The single d20, if it means to limit the power to 1/turn, is in the wrong place.

It should read like (bold for moved word);

"Prescience (Su): At the beginning of your turn, you may, as a free action, roll a d20. At any point before your next turn, you may use the result of this roll as the result of any single d20 roll you are required to make. If you do not use the d20 result before your next turn, it is lost. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier."

As written, however... you could use it a hundred times if you need to make a hundred d20 rolls.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Here's a different question about Prescience. Does the d20 roll count as the result without any modifiers you'd normally apply, or do modifiers apply as normal? For instance, I roll the d20 and get a 10. I have +4 Bluff. I use the Prescience result for a Bluff check. Do I get a 14, or a 10?

I think RAI is that I'd get a 14. But the wording "the result of any single d20 roll" leads me to believe RAW is that I'd get a 10.


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You roll once. The word "single" seems clear, and the only way it isn't clear is if you are really stretching things like Clinton. This game isn't written for lawyers, it's written in plain English.

The roll only replaces one other roll. If you do 3 scorching rays or whatever, and you would have to roll 3 times on your turn, you can't use that roll for all 3, you can only use it for 1 of the 3. It's clear unless you are again stretching to try to get something there that plainly isn't.

Finally, the roll is just the roll, it isn't the final result. The "result" it refers to is the result of the roll. If you have Bluff +4, then the roll of 10 on a d20, the "final result" is 10 + 4 = 14, not 10.

Again, the rules are written in plain English rather than legal writing. So you could try to parse the language but if you find yourself parsing every word, you're probably going to get the rule wrong. It's a decent rule of thumb for this game.


Moondragon Starshadow wrote:

You roll once. The word "single" seems clear, and the only way it isn't clear is if you are really stretching things like Clinton. This game isn't written for lawyers, it's written in plain English.

The roll only replaces one other roll. If you do 3 scorching rays or whatever, and you would have to roll 3 times on your turn, you can't use that roll for all 3, you can only use it for 1 of the 3. It's clear unless you are again stretching to try to get something there that plainly isn't.

Finally, the roll is just the roll, it isn't the final result. The "result" it refers to is the result of the roll. If you have Bluff +4, then the roll of 10 on a d20, the "final result" is 10 + 4 = 14, not 10.

Again, the rules are written in plain English rather than legal writing. So you could try to parse the language but if you find yourself parsing every word, you're probably going to get the rule wrong. It's a decent rule of thumb for this game.

Stretching would be to interpret it the way you are interpreting it. By normal use of English, it allows you to use it in place of any d20 roll. There is no clause that it can only be used once. The clause is that you can only have a single d20 waiting to be used. How often that waiting d20 can be used isn't specified.

I showed where the word 'single' should have been placed if the ability only was intended to only allow one such substitution.

But the 'single' only appears once in the text, and the placement of it in the text makes it clear that you can only have a single d20 result waiting to be substituted for another d20 roll that you are later required to make on your turn.

How many times can you perform this substitution? By RAW, any/all of them.

Is that RAI? No, clearly not. They write these abilities sloppy sometimes. Being able to use it the way it is written is far too powerful.


Charlie Bell wrote:

Here's a different question about Prescience. Does the d20 roll count as the result without any modifiers you'd normally apply, or do modifiers apply as normal? For instance, I roll the d20 and get a 10. I have +4 Bluff. I use the Prescience result for a Bluff check. Do I get a 14, or a 10?

I think RAI is that I'd get a 14. But the wording "the result of any single d20 roll" leads me to believe RAW is that I'd get a 10.

Replace the result of the d20 for the result of the d20.

A 'd20 roll' is the result on the die.

tldr: add your modifiers


Related question. Say I use the Prescience ability at the start of my turn and roll a 16. Then as a Standard action I make an attack. Can I roll the attack and if I get say a 4 choose to use the 16 instead or would I have to declare that I am using the 16 before I make the roll?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jayder22 wrote:

Foresight subschool has the following ability:

Prescience (Su): At the beginning of your turn, you may, as a free action, roll a single d20. At any point before your next turn, you may use the result of this roll as the result of any d20 roll you are required to make. If you do not use the d20 result before your next turn, it is lost. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

My very simple question is, can this be used multiple times in 1 round? I don't see a limiting factor here, other than the normal limit on free actions a DM is free to give in 1 round.

For instance, if I know I will be using multiple rolls in my next turn, maybe for scorching ray, can I use this ability 2-3 times and then substitute rolls if I want to?

No... the ability says that you can roll a SINGLE die as a free action. So you get one prescient roll and you choose which roll you're going to apply it to.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bigguyinblack wrote:
Related question. Say I use the Prescience ability at the start of my turn and roll a 16. Then as a Standard action I make an attack. Can I roll the attack and if I get say a 4 choose to use the 16 instead or would I have to declare that I am using the 16 before I make the roll?

You can declare the swap after you roll, but must do so before the DM says "You missed the attack", or "You failed the save."

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