Scar Hex and Line of Effect


Rules Questions


Pretty simple question, prompted by an argument that has annoyed me far to much.

Q1: After a target has been scarred by the Witch (either willingly, or via touch attack), does the Witch need "Line of Effect" in order to hit the scarred target with its Hexes (say healing hexes, or misfortune) within the effects stated 1 mile range?

The effect of the hex specifically states, "The witch can use her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile". My view is that this is to allow a Witch to hex people they don't have LoE on, or LoS. They met LoE/LoS by putting the Hex on the target in the first place, now the effect happens regardless. The entire point of the Hex is to be able to Hex targets within 1 mile, not within LoE.

Scar (Su):

This hex curses a single target touched with horrible scars of the witch’s choosing, whether something as simple as a single letter on the target’s forehead or blotchy, burn-like scars on his body.

Effect: The target may make a Will save to resist this hex. These scars do not interfere with the target’s senses or prevent it from using abilities, but may affect social interactions. The witch can use her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile, and she is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scrying and similar divination spells. They persist through disguises and shapechanging.

The witch can withdraw this hex from a target as a move action at any range. The number of supernatural scars the witch can maintain at once is equal to her Intelligence bonus; once she reaches this limit, she must remove the scar from a current victim in order to mark another. Effects that remove curses can remove the scar.

Scar Eratta:

Witch, Scar Hex: Does the scar hex (page 81) have any effect on the target's Diplomacy or other social skills, or any other effects?
The hex needs some clarification and a little bump.

First, the sentence "These scars do not hinder the target's actions or abilities in any way" is there to indicate that you can't scar over a target's eyes to make them blind, ears to make them deaf, or mouth and nose to keep them from breathing. However, large, visible scars may have a positive or negative effect for the target, depending on who he's interacting with--a tribal culture may see scarification as the mark of a deadly warrior, while the upper echelons of a decadent urban nobility may see scars as a sign of childhood poverty or general thuggishness. Rather than trying to present a system of game mechanics for all these possibilities, the GM should use the Fiat Rule (Core Rulebook page 403) to modify Bluff, Disguise, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks as appropriate for interactions with the scarred target.

Second, the scar is a magical curse, and it should persist through changing shapes (lycanthropic, the change shape monster ability, polymorph spells, and so on).

Third, the hex needs a range. Touching the target to scar it is thematically appropriate, so the witch has to make a melee touch attack.

Fourth, the hex could benefit from a mechanical boost. Therefore, scarring a creature with the hex has two benefits: the witch can use any of her hexes on that creature at a range of up to one mile, and the witch is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scry and similar divinations.

The book will be updated with these changes, though the exact wording will depend on the space available when the page is typeset.

Update: Witch scar hex, page 81, add notes about skill modifiers, shapechanging persistence, melee touch attack, increased range for other hexes, and scrying boost.


RAW it doesn't seem that a Witch would need a Line of Effect in order to use further Hexes.

Given the other aspects of the Scar Hex though, it might be reasonable to house-rule that a Witch must either be able to see or Scry on the Scarred creature to use further Hexes. If this condition isn't met she either can't use further Hexes or has no idea whether or not they have been effective. This is what I'd consider if someone tried to abuse it, at least.


House rules would be acceptable, however the discussion I was having is regarding RAW. Thanks for your response, and thanks to anyone else chiming in.


It would help to have a little more context. RAW Scar specifically lets you cast any Hex you want on a Scarred target within 1 mile, no LoE is mentioned to be needed. I've seen one or two suggestions about abusing it in combination with Split Hex, a so-called "stay-at-home Hexer" - what in particular is the problem?


A discussion about the hex in general, not any in game shenanigans. In a nutshell, the train of thought for the second party is that because the hex is not specifically saying LoE is not needed, it won't work without it.


The only issue I think that can be raised with using Scar without LoS/LoE is that you don't inherently know what's happening to the Scarred creature. The Scry aspect of the Hex - to me - implies that you can Scry on the target at range, use a further Hex and view the results. If not, what's the point?

Unless you're using some form of Divination or can see them, you have no way of knowing that a friendly Scarred target needs your healing Hex or Fortune. I suppose you could just sit around in a safe area using Fortune every six seconds, but I find it hard to believe a character would actually do this.


Agreed Corvino. Knowing what's going on is a separate animal. Not caring about the target, and unloading all the negative hexes however should be no problem.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Corvino wrote:
RAW it doesn't seem that a Witch would need a Line of Effect in order to use further Hexes.

The magic rules for spells require line of effect and often line of sight.

The magical effects rules cover spells and non-spells (based on developer comments), by this you could conclude that Supernatural effects still require normal line of effect and line of sight unless otherwise specified.

Some people who follow strict or pedantic RAW, assert that since this is not explicitly specified that it isn't true.

So ultimately, ask your GM.

(duplicate info from a duplicate thread on the same subject today.)

The Exchange

I was the other Party of this discussion, it just so happens that our conversation left me with a glaring problem with all (su) abilities. RAW and RAI with the scar hex not without specific problems of their own. As a PFS GM I want to obtain a reasonable answer before I throw down table variance.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
I want to obtain a reasonable answer before I throw down table variance.

All the rules for how targets work, how save DC's work, how line of effect works, how line of sight works, etc are buried inside the Spells chapter.

This includes the combining magical effects rules, which covers spells and non-spell interactions.

I submit that the targeting rules and line of effect rules are applicable. As I said, others disagree. So there is no way to avoid table variance. Short of Paizo putting out a FAQ on the matter (similar to how WotC put out FAQ in 3.5 times that multiple Nightsticks and Orange Ioun Stones can't be combined.)


Not all spells seem to require either Line of Effect or Line of Sight. Scrying doesn't specifically say no LoE or LoS is required just that the range is "any distance", but how would it be useful if LoE/LoS were needed?

I can see the conversation now:
PC: I cast Scrying to locate the BBEG, we have a drop of his blood from last time we fought.
GM: Sorry, he's indoors. Your line of effect is blocked by a thin wooden wall. Unlucky.

Given that the Scrying spell is specifically called out in the Scar Hex description I think it's reasonable to infer that Scar allows Hexes to be used in a similar manner.

The Exchange

Corvino wrote:

Not all spells seem to require either Line of Effect or Line of Sight. Scrying doesn't specifically say no LoE or LoS is required just that the range is "any distance", but how would it be useful if LoE/LoS were needed?

I can see the conversation now:
PC: I cast Scrying to locate the BBEG, we have a drop of his blood from last time we fought.
GM: Sorry, he's indoors. Your line of effect is blocked by a thin wooden wall. Unlucky.

Given that the Scrying spell is specifically called out in the Scar Hex description I think it's reasonable to infer that Scar allows Hexes to be used in a similar manner.

Scrying is a clear exception to the rule. The scar Hex aids with scrying as its secondary part but that in no way stops the need for LoE on hexes being "cast" at the target.


I believe it's as I said. Take each (SU) ability, read the description and effect to determine if LoE is required. A (Su) to cast Scorching Ray, that clearly states "as the spell" would require LoE because it's mimicing a spell that is required to have LoE. An (Su) to understand languages shouldn't require LoE to understand spoken words. I think it's fair to say you can understand someone through a 4 inch hole in the door, or through a thin glass window. Both of which, per RAW, block LoE. Each (Su) needs to be looked at, because they are not spells.

As for scar, per raw it does require LoE to scar hex the target - it requires touch. Either by the target willingly being touched, or a touch attack. The effect of being able to deliver any hex the witch can cast within a 1 mile range happens after it's delivered, and it's clear what it's meant to do.

The Exchange

Cubic Prism wrote:

I believe it's as I said. Take each (SU) ability, read the description and effect to determine if LoE is required. A (Su) to cast Scorching Ray, that clearly states "as the spell" would require LoE because it's mimicing a spell that is required to have LoE. An (Su) to understand languages shouldn't require LoE to understand spoken words. I think it's fair to say you can understand someone through a 4 inch hole in the door, or through a thin glass window. Both of which, per RAW, block LoE. Each (Su) needs to be looked at, because they are not spells.

As for scar, per raw it does require LoE to scar hex the target - it requires touch. Either by the target willingly being touched, or a touch attack. The effect of being able to deliver any hex the witch can cast within a 1 mile range happens after it's delivered, and it's clear what it's meant to do.

(Su) understanding of languages is such a straw man here. The point of origin of that effect is "personal". You understand the words as they reach you not as they are spoken.

(Su) does seem to be called out in magic section as working like spells with noted exceptions.

"Under special abilities
A number of classes and creatures gain the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells
//////
Supernatural Abilities: These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas."

clearly the intent is to require that magic rules apply to (Su) abilities as well.

The Exchange

Here is an example of something that can be used through a wall under your interpretation of RAW

"Soul Swallow (Su) As a standard action, the balor lord can inhale the soul of a living creature within 30 feet. The target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 balor lord's racial HD + the balor lord's Charisma modifier) or die. The body of a humanoid creature killed in this manner immediately transforms into a demon under the balor lord's command (a babau, succubus, or shadow demon, according to the balor lord's whim)."

No LoS/LoE needed, buffing on the other side of a wall? Soul sucked. Clearly ALL (su) abilities are specified in their specific rules.

They are not spells but they operate under the Magic rules, and thus must adhere to the spell effect rules. Or we have madness.

Here is another.

"Dance of Ruin (Su) A vrock can dance and chant as a full-round action—at the end of 3 rounds, a crackling wave of energy explodes from the vrock, dealing 5d6 points of electricity damage to all creatures within 100 feet. A DC 17 Reflex save halves this damage. For each additional vrock that joins in the dance, the damage increases by 5d6 and the DC to avoid the effect increases by +1, to a maximum of 20d6 when four or more vrocks are dancing (the DC continues to increase with additional vrocks, but the damage does not). The dance immediately ends and must be started anew if any of the participating vrocks is slain, stunned, or otherwise prevented from dancing. The save DC is Charisma-based."

Not blocked by a wall unless it adheres to the Magic rules.


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Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:

They are not spells but they operate under the Magic rules, and thus must adhere to the spell effect rules.

That's an interesting and entirely unsupported opinion.

The Exchange

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:

They are not spells but they operate under the Magic rules, and thus must adhere to the spell effect rules.

That's an interesting and entirely unsupported opinion.

Magic

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magic.html

Scroll down to "special abilities"

I quoted this section a few posts above.


Given the general inconsistencies and non-specific nature of the system I don't think we can achieve a consensus here.

My reading, as I have said, is that Scar allows you to use Hexes without Line of Sight or Line of Effect on the Scarred creature in a manner similar to the Scrying spell. The "at a range of 1 mile" part the Hex description is similar to the "at any distance" wording of Scrying, and the fact that Scrying is specifically mentioned makes this synergy seem obvious.

It makes sense from a fluff point of view as well - a witch staring into a cauldron and watching their victim fall prey to the misfortune inflicted is a classic fantasy trope.

I could be wrong, but if Scar does not permit this then it's horribly underpowered. The only use if it doesn't allow long-range Hexing is to scar your allies to throw buffs at longer range, which is pretty mediocre. If you need to walk up to melee range and make a touch attack in order to gain "long-range but within LoS/LoE Hexing" - that's stupid and no-one would ever use it.

The Exchange

Corvino wrote:

Given the general inconsistencies and non-specific nature of the system I don't think we can achieve a consensus here.

My reading, as I have said, is that Scar allows you to use Hexes without Line of Sight or Line of Effect on the Scarred creature in a manner similar to the Scrying spell. The "at a range of 1 mile" part the Hex description is similar to the "at any distance" wording of Scrying, and the fact that Scrying is specifically mentioned makes this synergy seem obvious.

It makes sense from a fluff point of view as well - a witch staring into a cauldron and watching their victim fall prey to the misfortune inflicted is a classic fantasy trope.

I could be wrong, but if Scar does not permit this then it's horribly underpowered. The only use if it doesn't allow long-range Hexing is to scar your allies to throw buffs at longer range, which is pretty mediocre. If you need to walk up to melee range and make a touch attack in order to gain "long-range but within LoS/LoE Hexing" - that's stupid and no-one would ever use it.

you are forgetting the Split hex and Scry utility. having LOE and LOS doesn't make the Scar hex terrible it just makes it less one mile away from combat. Scar is still fantastic even with the LOS/LOE limitations. It just requires a more tactical mindset to take advantage of.


Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:

They are not spells but they operate under the Magic rules, and thus must adhere to the spell effect rules.

That's an interesting and entirely unsupported opinion.

Magic

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magic.html

Scroll down to "special abilities"

I quoted this section a few posts above.

You mean, the section where it says absolutely nothing in support of your opinion?


On a phone ATM. I'd say the Vrocks is a burst or emanation. Rules cover bursts and emanations. Ignoring balor lord as I can't look into it.plus it's a balor lord. Why shouldn't it do insane things like that haha

The Exchange

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:

They are not spells but they operate under the Magic rules, and thus must adhere to the spell effect rules.

That's an interesting and entirely unsupported opinion.

Magic

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magic.html

Scroll down to "special abilities"

I quoted this section a few posts above.

You mean, the section where it says absolutely nothing in support of your opinion?

why would they list them under the magic rules if they do not follow the magic rules?

All effects (burst or otherwise) call out Spells and say nothing of (Ex), or (Su) are you going to tell me that because cone effects only call out spells (Su) abilities need not adhere to those rules?

"Hellfire Breath (Su): The pit fiend gains a devastating breath weapon that it can use once every 1d4 rounds. This breath weapon is a 60-foot cone of fire (10d10 fire damage and 10d10 unholy damage as per flame strike, successful Reflex save [DC 10 + 1/2 the pit fiend's racial HD + the pit fiend's Constitution modifier] half)."

Here is a pit fiends hell breath. Damage dealt as per Flame strike. Cone effect as per (Su). Not a spell and therefore does not follow the magic effect rules?

The Exchange

Dragon breath weapon (Su).

"Breath Weapon (Su): Using a breath weapon is a standard action. A dragon can use its breath weapon once every 1d4 rounds, even if it possesses more than one breath weapon. A breath weapon always starts at an intersection adjacent to the dragon and extends in a direction of the dragon's choice. Breath weapons come in two shapes, lines and cones, whose areas vary with the dragon's size. If a breath weapon deals damage, those caught in the area can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage. The save DC against a breath weapon is 10 + 1/2 dragon's HD + dragon's Con modifier. Saves against various breath weapons use the same DC; the type of saving throw is noted in the variety descriptions. A dragon can use its breath weapon when it is grappling or being grappled."

No LoE needed right guys? Not stopped by walls.

The Exchange

SPECIAL ABILITIES
A number of classes and creatures gain the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells

Supernatural Abilities: These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas.

Clearly they are magical, clearly they function like spells sans the alterations specifically noted under the Supernatural Abilities entry.


No. The effect specifically calls out lines and cones.


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It seems like you are willing to look at abilities that inherently are limited and per effect/description data, give it more flexibility without doing the opposite. Taking an inherently flexible ability and limiting it based on effect/description.

If a (Su) ability states it's a cone, it inherits all benefits and limitations. As there (to the best of my knowledge) only 1 set of rules pertaining to cones, burst etc., it's logical that the ability must obey said rules.

You appear to want a blanket rule for (Su) abilities. These abilities are to me designed to do stuff spells don't/can't do, so by design and intent they don't all inherent the rules that spells are forced to obey. Some (Su) abilities will conform to LoE, some won't. Some will be unclear due to poor wording. In all cases one has to read the descriptions and effects to determine what does and does not apply. Also rules for Pathfibder are spread out, sometimes in multiple locations.

The Exchange

So you are willing to ignore targeting core mechanics of magic but not area of effect mechanics?

So these

Target or Targets: 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. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.

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.

doesnt apply for targeting with an ability.

but

Area: Some spells affect an area. Sometimes a spell description specifies a specially defined area, but usually an area falls into one of the categories defined below.

Regardless of the shape of the area, you select the point where the spell originates, but otherwise you don't control which creatures or objects the spell affects. The point of origin of a spell is always a grid intersection. When determining whether a given creature is within the area of a spell, count out the distance from the point of origin in squares just as you do when moving a character or when determining the range for a ranged attack. The only difference is that instead of counting from the center of one square to the center of the next, you count from intersection to intersection.

You can count diagonally across a square, but remember that every second diagonal counts as 2 squares of distance. If the far edge of a square is within the spell's area, anything within that square is within the spell's area. If the spell's area only touches the near edge of a square, however, anything within that square is unaffected by the spell.

Burst, Emanation, or Spread: Most spells that affect an area function as a burst, an emanation, or a spread. In each case, you select the spell's point of origin and measure its effect from that point.

A burst spell affects whatever it catches in its area, including creatures that you can't see. It can't affect creatures with total cover from its point of origin (in other words, its effects don't extend around corners). The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst spells are specifically described as cone-shaped. A burst's area defines how far from the point of origin the spell's effect extends.

An emanation spell functions like a burst spell, except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin for the duration of the spell. Most emanations are cones or spheres.

A spread spell extends out like a burst but can turn corners. You select the point of origin, and the spell spreads out a given distance in all directions. Figure the area the spell effect fills by taking into account any turns the spell effect takes.

Cone, Cylinder, Line, or Sphere: Most spells that affect an area have a particular shape.

A cone-shaped spell shoots away from you in a quarter-circle in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner of your square and widens out as it goes. Most cones are either bursts or emanations (see above), and thus won't go around corners.

When casting a cylinder-shaped spell, you select the spell's point of origin. This point is the center of a horizontal circle, and the spell shoots down from the circle, filling a cylinder. A cylinder-shaped spell ignores any obstructions within its area.

A line-shaped spell shoots away from you in a line in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner of your square and extends to the limit of its range or until it strikes a barrier that blocks line of effect. A line-shaped spell affects all creatures in squares through which the line passes.

A sphere-shaped spell expands from its point of origin to fill a spherical area. Spheres may be bursts, emanations, or spreads.

Creatures: A spell with this kind of area affects creatures directly (like a targeted spell), but it affects all creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures you select. The area might be a spherical burst, a cone-shaped burst, or some other shape.

Many spells affect “living creatures,” which means all creatures other than constructs and undead. Creatures in the spell's area that are not of the appropriate type do not count against the creatures affected.

Objects: A spell with this kind of area affects objects within an area you select (as Creatures, but affecting objects instead).

Other: A spell can have a unique area, as defined in its description.

(S) Shapeable: If an area or effect entry ends with “(S),” you can shape the spell. A shaped effect or area can have no dimension smaller than 10 feet. Many effects or areas are given as cubes to make it easy to model irregular shapes. Three-dimensional volumes are most often needed to define aerial or underwater effects and areas.

does simply because you say so?

if you have to TARGET something with an ability it has to follow the targeting rules laid out in Magic.

The Exchange

Cubic Prism wrote:

It seems like you are willing to look at abilities that inherently are limited and per effect/description data, give it more flexibility without doing the opposite. Taking an inherently flexible ability and limiting it based on effect/description.

If a (Su) ability states it's a cone, it inherits all benefits and limitations. As there (to the best of my knowledge) only 1 set of rules pertaining to cones, burst etc., it's logical that the ability must obey said rules.

You appear to want a blanket rule for (Su) abilities. These abilities are to me designed to do stuff spells don't/can't do, so by design and intent they don't all inherent the rules that spells are forced to obey. Some (Su) abilities will conform to LoE, some won't. Some will be unclear due to poor wording. In all cases one has to read the descriptions and effects to determine what does and does not apply. Also rules for Pathfibder are spread out, sometimes in multiple locations.

I don't need a blanket rule, they already exist within the magic rules.

If you have to target something, you have to follow the benefits and limitations of targeting too, that means LoS and LoE.


Previous posts:
Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:

It seems like you are willing to look at abilities that inherently are limited and per effect/description data, give it more flexibility without doing the opposite. Taking an inherently flexible ability and limiting it based on effect/description.

If a (Su) ability states it's a cone, it inherits all benefits and limitations. As there (to the best of my knowledge) only 1 set of rules pertaining to cones, burst etc., it's logical that the ability must obey said rules.

You appear to want a blanket rule for (Su) abilities. These abilities are to me designed to do stuff spells don't/can't do, so by design and intent they don't all inherent the rules that spells are forced to obey. Some (Su) abilities will conform to LoE, some won't. Some will be unclear due to poor wording. In all cases one has to read the descriptions and effects to determine what does and does not apply. Also rules for Pathfibder are spread out, sometimes in multiple locations.

I don't need a blanket rule, they already exist within the magic rules.

If you have to target something, you have to follow the benefits and limitations of targeting too, that means LoS and LoE.

Everything you quoted is from the section titled "Spell Descriptions".

(Su) abilities are NOT spells.

Supernatural Abilities (Su):

Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like. Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance and do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). A supernatural ability's effect cannot be dispelled and is not subject to counterspells. See Table: Special Ability Types for a summary of the types of special abilities.

Link to Special Abilities Rules.

Opinion ->

There is a differentiation between (Su) abilities, and Spells/ (Sp) abilities for a reason. (Su) abilities, by design are more powerful, and less constrained than spell casting. This is so the designers can create whatever cool magical powers they want to, without being stuck in the box that is called spell rules. (Su) abilities are meant to be the opposite of spells - unconstrained to start with, being limited by the creators intent and wording of the abilities. Spells on the other hand have loads of rules to them, and generally have to spell out if they deviate from them. Spells = explain how they are NOT limited. (Su) = explain how they ARE limited. Anything that dictates how the (Su) ability works, or is limited by, or what rules it is subject to, is found in the description and the effect of said (Su) ability. If they were meant to be spells, they'd be Spells, or (Sp) abilities.

A great example of an (Su) ability is Channel Energy (Su). Channel Energy is specifically called out in the magic rules to obey the [Spell Rules - Attacks], and in the effect portion of the ability, it is specifically described as a burst; which dictates how it can be used (obeys Line of Effect). If this was NOT spelled out, it would not follow LoE, and would plow through walls because it is an (Su) ability.

This same description/effect data is shown in the Dragon Breath (Su) quoted above. It's specifically called out it obeys Lines/Cones, and therefor, LoE. That's how hiding behind a wall helps you.

Is this pedantic arguing? No, it's exactly how (Su) abilities work per RAW. The abilities themselves dictate what rules apply to them outside of the following blanket rules:

Supernatural Abilities:
These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas.

Link to (Su) header in Magic Section

If someone can show me where in RAW (Su) abilities are bound by spell rules by default, I'll change my tune. As it stands, I'll repeat myself one last time -> (Su) are not spells. (Su) works as written per the descriptions and effects of each ability.

My only concession is that some (Su) abilities are invariably going to be poorly written, confusing, OP, and in need of GM fiat to fix them per the abilities RAI. One could follow a precedent set by a similar (yet more clearly written) (Su) ability (Channel Energy being referenced against another burst/AoE power). That's the prerogative of each GM and their table/group (aka House Rules). I don't think there needs to be a FAQ, though ultimately that will be determined by the community and developers.

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Cubic Prism wrote:
If someone can show me where in RAW (Su) abilities are bound by spell rules by default, I'll change my tune

Shown, and ignored. But I'm trying again.

Core p221 wrote:

A number of classes and creatures gain the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells.

Supernatural Abilities: These can’t be disrupted in combat and generally don’t provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren’t subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don’t function in
antimagic areas.

Inside the Magic section, when it begins to describe non-spell magical abilities it relates them to being "like spells" and generally when something is like something you absorb all rules of that something and modify them.


How do you account for (Su) being specifically called out as not being spells? I see the point your making, however wouldn't that be (Sp), rather than (Su)? Special abilities include (Sp) which are treated as spells and subject to the rules mentioned.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cubic Prism wrote:
How do you account for (Su) being specifically called out as not being spells? I see the point your making, however wouldn't that be (Sp), rather than (Su)?

Extraordinary are not spells either and they are listed.

The way dependencies work (in programming too) is that you take the entire rules set of the old thing (in this case Spells) and then modify it in a set of ways. In this case it takes all the spell rules, and makes clear that they can't be disrupted and generally don't provoke. They are not subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic. Not functioning in antimagic also makes sense.

So while it doesn't say they are not spells, it does prohibit them from being interacted by things that interact with spells.

Take for example this ability:
Resist Energy Fire (Su)

If this ability was made, it would interact like two spells of Resist Energy would interact.


You have a vague statement, "A number of classes and creatures gain the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells." in a subsection of the Magic rules talking about Magic and Special Abilities interact. These special abilities are -> (Sp), (Su), (Ex) and Natural. If "many" function as spells, then some do not. Nothing calls out explicitly in that section which are considered spells, which are magical and which are not. It just states some of them are, and some are not.

You also have in a section devoted to Special Abilities, a clear statement, "Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like.". Extra-Ordinary is listed as "not magical". Spell like is listed as, "very much like spells". Taking (Su) as not being a spell, both statements are true. Taking (Su) as being a like a spell, the statement in the Special Ability section is false.

So, you're saying a vague statement is superseding a definite?

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Cubic Prism wrote:
So, you're saying a vague statement is superseding a definite?

Neither section says they don't follow line of sight and line of effect rules. So you are saying because neither sections says anything related to this that means you do not require line of effect and line of sight.

APG p241 wrote:

Seamantle

The seamantle blocks line of effect for any fire spell or supernatural fire effect

If your assertion that LoE doesn't matter for Supernatural effects, then this rule is irrelevant. I don't believe it is irrelevant, just that it isn't overtly written. Call it an unwritten rule or understanding that LoE matters for Supernatural abilities that don't otherwise say it doesn't matter.


Given that spells don't actually always obey their own laws - as the example of Scrying shows - we have to rely on the text describing the use of the Scar Hex. Saying that "Scrying is a clear exception to the rule" shows that a) exceptions exist and that b) sometimes this is stated nowhere in the rules or spell description, but implied by common use. The connection in the text between Scrying and Scar implies they can be used in similar ways but does not explicitly state it.

The most logical and thematically appropriate use of Scar is offensive. Allies may be willing to have scars applied, but only if they *really* trust the witch involved. So to use it offensively you need to get to touch range. Okay. And once you've applied it, and are still in melee range, the only immediate benefit is that you can now use Hexes from further away. Oooookay. This is effectively useless unless you're sure this particular enemy is going to escape and require scrying on at a later date.

I'm trying to assume the Devs don't make useless abilities (though I have had a read of the Rogue Talents, but let's pretend). If Scar allows you to ignore LoS/LoE for Hexes for up to a mile it's moderately situationally useful. If it doesn't then it slightly increases the range of Fortune and Healing Hex for party members, which is rubbish.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Corvino wrote:
This is effectively useless unless you're sure this particular enemy is going to escape

It allows you to not have to worry about allies or enemies exceeding your range. This is useful if you don't need line of effect or sight anymore to help them. Such as maintaining fortune or misfortune on them when they exceed your range.

Hardly unless.


James Risner wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:
So, you're saying a vague statement is superseding a definite?
Neither section says they don't follow line of sight and line of effect rules. So you are saying because neither sections says anything related to this that means you do not require line of effect and line of sight.

The magic section clearly tells us which by default follows LoS and LoE. Spells and Ranged attacks (bows etc). All spells and spell like abilities are subject to the spell rules.

I'm saying, because (Su) is specifically called out as NOT being spells, it is not subject to spell rules. UNLESS the description and/or effects say it is.

James Risner wrote:


APG p241 wrote:

Seamantle

The seamantle blocks line of effect for any fire spell or supernatural fire effect

If your assertion that LoE doesn't matter for Supernatural effects, then this rule is irrelevant. I don't believe it is irrelevant, just that it isn't overtly written. Call it an unwritten rule or understanding that LoE matters for Supernatural abilities that don't otherwise say it doesn't matter.

Ok, lets look at these two (Su) abilities I'm making up. (I think I wrote em properly).

Fire-go-boom. (Su).
Description: The critter creates fires of rage!
Effect: This ability shoots a 10ft. line of fire toward the target for 1d6 damage.

This (Su) power is stating it is a line. Therefor, it inherits the rules associated with lines, which are in the Magic section.

Trogdor-fire. (Su).
Description: The critters huge rage causes a creature it can see within 30ft to burn from the inside out.
Effect: The recipient of the critters rage takes 1d6 fire damage.

This (Su), you only have to see the target. It's clearly stating what it does, and what the targeting requirements are (Sight).

Line of effect matters on one, <edit> only seeing the creature for the the other. Seamantle blocks the LoE for the first one.

Another (Su) I'd like to point out. Abundant step. It's clearly calling out it is subject to spell rules by stating it's working "as if using the spell Dimension Door". In my eyes, there is a reason for these distinctions.


James Risner wrote:

It allows you to not have to worry about allies or enemies exceeding your range. This is useful if you don't need line of effect or sight anymore to help them. Such as maintaining fortune or misfortune on them when they exceed your range.

The inference of the second paragraph in my last post was that LoS/LoE still had to apply, as Pasha Cassius Ardolin maintains, which would render Scar fairly pointless. As you say, if Scar allows you to disregard these then it is in fact useful.

The Exchange

Corvino wrote:
James Risner wrote:

It allows you to not have to worry about allies or enemies exceeding your range. This is useful if you don't need line of effect or sight anymore to help them. Such as maintaining fortune or misfortune on them when they exceed your range.

The inference of the second paragraph in my last post was that LoS/LoE still had to apply, as Pasha Cassius Ardolin maintains, which would render Scar fairly pointless. As you say, if Scar allows you to disregard these then it is in fact useful.

Scar is still a very powerful hex even with LoS/LoE rules being properly applied to it. It just negates the ability to sit in a log cabin a mile away with no danger to you at all.

Cubic Prism, you cannot logically apply only half of the Magic rules to (Su) abilities without causing more problems for your argument. As stated above, Balors ripping souls with no Los/Loe, Vrock dances ignoring walls.

If you apply any of the rules you have to apply all of them unless the ability grants them otherwise.

Lets apply Occam's Razor to this rules question. Which is more likely? All abilities under the Magic section follow the same rules, or some of the abilities only follow two of the rules most of the time, if they wrote it into the ability.

I pointed out before, if the rule for Effect spreads counts because it gives a named spread effect then the rule for Targeting must count if you have to target. If targeting counts so does Los/Loe per RAW.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cubic Prism wrote:
I'm saying, because (Su) is specifically called out as NOT being spells, it is not subject to spell rules. UNLESS the description and/or effects say it is.

But you don't have a rule that makes it clear which way to interpret. It is your interpretation that your way of thinking about it is true and it is my interpretation that my way is true.

Until there is a FAQ/Errata/Dev comment on the matter, it isn't settled who is right.


I believe the rules provide this answer.

You have a section titled "Special Abilities" and one Titled "Magic".

Special Abilities states:

1. Extraordinary abilities are non-magical.
2. Spell-like abilities, as the name implies, are magical abilities that are very much like spells.
3. Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like.

Taking those as RAW, lets move to the Magic Section and see how the rules work together:

Magic->special abilities

"A number of classes and creatures gain the use of special abilities, many of which function like spells."
Those listed: Spell-Like Abilities (Sp), Supernatural Abilities (Su), Extraordinary Abilities (Ex), Natural Abilities.

Lets review the Special Ability section. Does that statement in quotations invalidate any rules as written? No, as written both sections exist in concert together.

Now, in the Magic section lets define (Su) as a spell. Lets look at the rules as written. Is there a contradiction? Yes. Special abilities ->#3 is now invalid/conflicting.

Don't forget, (Sp) makes the statement in the Magic->special abilities true no matter how we classify (Su). Also, something I think is important. All the rules being tossed around regarding how magic is working, is under sections specifically for "spells". I believe that that is an important distinction. They are not under "Magic Rules", they are under "stuff about spells". In my eyes, there is a difference between magic in Pathfinder and spells in Pathfinder.

So what's more likely? That an interpretation is correct, which invalidates the main section of rules governing special abilities, or that the interpretation is incorrect?

The special abilities are included in the Magic section to tell us, the consumer how they interact with various magical effects (dispell, provoking aops etc). They are not there to be defined. That's the province of the rule section devoted to the Special Abilities. Furthermore, if you look under Magic->Descriptors you'll see the following:

"Most of these descriptors have no game effect by themselves, but they govern how the spell interacts with other spells, with special abilities, with unusual creatures, with alignment, and so on."

This is telling us in another location that special abilities are not spells. They are separate.

Taking it one step further and applying the logic I believe is being displayed, that special abilities, through virtue of being in the Magic section must be spells:

Lets take a look now at two common (Ex.) abilities. Blindsight and Blindsense. They both call out specifically they require Line of Effect. If special abilities are treated as spells because they are included in the Magic section, this would not be needed.

On d20pfsrd, or whatever Bestiary's you have available, search for (Su) abilities with Line of Effect, or Line of Sight. You'll find a number of them have that included in the ability. Why include it, if it's already working that way? The opposite would be the case, it would say it doesn't require Line of Effect or Line of Sight. Not that it does. Same with Abundant Step calling out it's to be treated as a spell. They are not spells and not subject to the spell rules unless it's spelled out in the (Su) description/effect data.

There are two choices, go with an interpretation which contradicts a rule as written, or go with RAW that works in harmony with everything written. I feel there are enough supporting examples of (Su) not being spells that upon examination, one should reach the same conclusion I did. That they obey only the rules their descriptions and effects specifically call out, otherwise they work as written.

On a note regarding the examples given above (Vrock, CR 25 Balor Lord): Nothing is contradicted rule wise going with what I'm asserting is correct regarding (Su) abilities. They are only tougher opponents. Maybe they are designed to be harder than originally thought?

Very tired, signing off.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cubic Prism wrote:
I believe the rules provide this answer.

I don't believe they do provide an answer.

Your proof amounts to saying they didn't need to add these words here and there if it was defaulted to that so the default must be the opposite. But often in the rules they restate the defaults.

The default is every Su, Ex, and Sp is a Standard action, but you find a great many of them state "as a Standard action" which is a waste of words.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cubic Prism wrote:

I believe it's as I said. Take each (SU) ability, read the description and effect to determine if LoE is required. A (Su) to cast Scorching Ray, that clearly states "as the spell" would require LoE because it's mimicing a spell that is required to have LoE. An (Su) to understand languages shouldn't require LoE to understand spoken words. I think it's fair to say you can understand someone through a 4 inch hole in the door, or through a thin glass window. Both of which, per RAW, block LoE. Each (Su) needs to be looked at, because they are not spells.

As for scar, per raw it does require LoE to scar hex the target - it requires touch. Either by the target willingly being touched, or a touch attack. The effect of being able to deliver any hex the witch can cast within a 1 mile range happens after it's delivered, and it's clear what it's meant to do.

For an ability that allow you to comprehend a language the target isn't the language or the person speaking, the target are you. And you always have the possibility to target yourself.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Corvino wrote:

Given the general inconsistencies and non-specific nature of the system I don't think we can achieve a consensus here.

My reading, as I have said, is that Scar allows you to use Hexes without Line of Sight or Line of Effect on the Scarred creature in a manner similar to the Scrying spell. The "at a range of 1 mile" part the Hex description is similar to the "at any distance" wording of Scrying, and the fact that Scrying is specifically mentioned makes this synergy seem obvious.

It makes sense from a fluff point of view as well - a witch staring into a cauldron and watching their victim fall prey to the misfortune inflicted is a classic fantasy trope.

I could be wrong, but if Scar does not permit this then it's horribly underpowered. The only use if it doesn't allow long-range Hexing is to scar your allies to throw buffs at longer range, which is pretty mediocre. If you need to walk up to melee range and make a touch attack in order to gain "long-range but within LoS/LoE Hexing" - that's stupid and no-one would ever use it.

While I agree that scar don't require LoE/LoS, the scrying part of your argument is baseless. The scar hex say "she is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scrying and similar divination spells". It has nothing to do with it requiring LoE or not.

It has all to do with this line of the scrying spell: "Connection Will Save Modifier Body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, etc. –10".


Scar Hex wrote:

This hex curses a single target touched with horrible scars of the witch’s choosing, whether something as simple as a single letter on the target’s forehead or blotchy, burn-like scars on his body.

Effect: The target may make a Will save to resist this hex. These scars do not interfere with the target’s senses or prevent it from using abilities, but may affect social interactions. The witch can use her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile, and she is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scrying and similar divination spells. They persist through disguises and shapechanging.

The witch can withdraw this hex from a target as a move action at any range. The number of supernatural scars the witch can maintain at once is equal to her Intelligence bonus; once she reaches this limit, she must remove the scar from a current victim in order to mark another. Effects that remove curses can remove the scar.

I think everyone missed the scar's LoE: The scar itself is a magically created LoE with the rules 1) can be dissolved with a move action, 2) can be used up to 1 mile away by other hexes, and 3) can be scryed upon as if having a body part.

Consider Instant Summons can reach across the planes to an Arcane Mark.

/cevah

The Exchange

Cevah wrote:
Scar Hex wrote:

This hex curses a single target touched with horrible scars of the witch’s choosing, whether something as simple as a single letter on the target’s forehead or blotchy, burn-like scars on his body.

Effect: The target may make a Will save to resist this hex. These scars do not interfere with the target’s senses or prevent it from using abilities, but may affect social interactions. The witch can use her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile, and she is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scrying and similar divination spells. They persist through disguises and shapechanging.

The witch can withdraw this hex from a target as a move action at any range. The number of supernatural scars the witch can maintain at once is equal to her Intelligence bonus; once she reaches this limit, she must remove the scar from a current victim in order to mark another. Effects that remove curses can remove the scar.

I think everyone missed the scar's LoE: The scar itself is a magically created LoE with the rules 1) can be dissolved with a move action, 2) can be used up to 1 mile away by other hexes, and 3) can be scryed upon as if having a body part.

Consider Instant Summons can reach across the planes to an Arcane Mark.

/cevah

There is nothing in the Scar hex that says anything about LoE just range. Range does not equal LoE.

Instant summons is a telportation effect, conjuration spells interact differently with the world than Special abilities and Spells.

Conjuration
Each conjuration spell belongs to one of five subschools. Conjurations transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane (calling); create objects or effects on the spot (creation); heal (healing); bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning); or transport creatures or objects over great distances (teleportation). Creatures you conjure usually—but not always—obey your commands.

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

The creature or object must appear within the spell's range, but it does not have to remain within the range.

Calling: A calling spell transports a creature from another plane to the plane you are on. The spell grants the creature the one-time ability to return to its plane of origin, although the spell may limit the circumstances under which this is possible. Creatures who are called actually die when they are killed; they do not disappear and reform, as do those brought by a summoning spell (see below). The duration of a calling spell is instantaneous, which means that the called creature can't be dispelled.

Creation: A creation spell manipulates matter to create an object or creature in the place the spellcaster designates. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, magic holds the creation together, and when the spell ends, the conjured creature or object vanishes without a trace. If the spell has an instantaneous duration, the created object or creature is merely assembled through magic. It lasts indefinitely and does not depend on magic for its existence.

Healing: Certain divine conjurations heal creatures or even bring them back to life.

Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have.

Teleportation: A teleportation spell transports one or more creatures or objects a great distance. The most powerful of these spells can cross planar boundaries. Unlike summoning spells, the transportation is (unless otherwise noted) one-way and not dispellable.

Teleportation is instantaneous travel through the Astral Plane. Anything that blocks astral travel also blocks teleportation.

The school calls out that it works across planes. Scar hex does not say works through walls.


Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Scar Hex wrote:

This hex curses a single target touched with horrible scars of the witch’s choosing, whether something as simple as a single letter on the target’s forehead or blotchy, burn-like scars on his body.

Effect: The target may make a Will save to resist this hex. These scars do not interfere with the target’s senses or prevent it from using abilities, but may affect social interactions. The witch can use her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile, and she is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scrying and similar divination spells. They persist through disguises and shapechanging.

The witch can withdraw this hex from a target as a move action at any range. The number of supernatural scars the witch can maintain at once is equal to her Intelligence bonus; once she reaches this limit, she must remove the scar from a current victim in order to mark another. Effects that remove curses can remove the scar.

I think everyone missed the scar's LoE: The scar itself is a magically created LoE with the rules 1) can be dissolved with a move action, 2) can be used up to 1 mile away by other hexes, and 3) can be scryed upon as if having a body part.

Consider Instant Summons can reach across the planes to an Arcane Mark.

/cevah

There is nothing in the Scar hex that says anything about LoE just range. Range does not equal LoE.

Instant summons is a telportation effect, conjuration spells interact differently with the world than Special abilities and Spells.

Actually, Instant Summons is "conjuration (summoning)".

Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
Quote:

Conjuration

Each conjuration spell belongs to one of five subschools. Conjurations transport creatures from another plane of existence to your plane (calling); create objects or effects on the spot (creation); heal (healing); bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning); or transport creatures or objects over great distances (teleportation). Creatures you conjure usually—but not always—obey your commands.

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

The creature or object must appear within the spell's range, but it does not have to remain within the range.

Calling:...

Creation:...

Healing:...

Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have.

Teleportation:...

The school calls out that it works across planes. Scar hex does not say works through walls.

Conjuration(calling) will cross planes. Conjuration(Summoning) does not have that text.

/cevah

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:
Conjuration (Summoning) does not have

Correct it says "manifestations" which can be considered "magically created similar creatures.


James Risner wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Conjuration (Summoning) does not have
Correct it says "manifestations" which can be considered "magically created similar creatures.

A manifestation does not come from across the planes, which is what Pasha implied by saying "The school calls out that it works across planes." The school does, for calling, but not for summoning.

The spell also indicated that you get the original, not a manifested copy.

/cevah

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