Do supernatural abilities require Line of effect and / or Line of Sight?


Rules Questions

The Exchange

Do supernatural abilities require Line of effect and/or Line of Sight?


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Depends on the ability. Are you talking about a specific ability? Channel energy requires line of effect but not line of sight because it's a burst.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For the most part yes, but about what ones in particular are you asking?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd imagine the target or AoE of the (Su) should still come into play.

A Witch, for example, couldn't Hex someone she couldn't see, but a Negative Channeling Cleric can still burst to affect an Invisible foe.

The Exchange

not all witch hexes rely on sight, misfortune, fortune being two. The idea that for a (su) ability to have restrictions only written into the ability is absurd.

If LoE only affects spells then

"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)."

has no bearing on any supernatural ability. So a cleric channel can be stopped by a wall, but a ghost's

"Frightful Moan (Su): The ghost died in the throes of crippling terror. It can emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by the same ghost's moan for 24 hours."

can just happen through a wall.

(Su) auras will penetrate walls and other LoE stopping things unless they say "this effect cannot go through a wall".

The Witch's "Scar Hex" is an example of abuse of loss of LoS, LoE rules. The hex only specifies a Range but not how it interacts with LoE.

If LoS and LoE don't apply to (Su) then every monster that carries one is horrendously more powerful.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:
If LoS and LoE don't apply to (Su) then every monster that carries one is horrendously more powerful.

+1

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pasha Cassius Ardolin wrote:

not all witch hexes rely on sight, misfortune, fortune being two. The idea that for a (su) ability to have restrictions only written into the ability is absurd.

If LoE only affects spells then

"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)."

has no bearing on any supernatural ability. So a cleric channel can be stopped by a wall, but a ghost's

"Frightful Moan (Su): The ghost died in the throes of crippling terror. It can emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by the same ghost's moan for 24 hours."

can just happen through a wall.

(Su) auras will penetrate walls and other LoE stopping things unless they say "this effect cannot go through a wall".

The Witch's "Scar Hex" is an example of abuse of loss of LoS, LoE rules. The hex only specifies a Range but not how it interacts with LoE.

If LoS and LoE don't apply to (Su) then every monster that carries one is horrendously more powerful.

Spread is defined only under the magic rules:

PRD wrote:
Spread: Some effects, notably clouds and fogs, spread out from a point of origin, which must be a grid intersection. The effect can extend around corners and into areas that you can't see. Figure distance by actual distance traveled, taking into account turns the spell effect takes. When determining distance for spread effects, count around walls, not through them. As with movement, do not trace diagonals across corners. You must designate the point of origin for such an effect, but you need not have line of effect (see below) to all portions of the effect.

Fortune and misfortune imply a target, and targeting require a LoS and LoE.

Generally if a supernatural ability require LoE/LoS is somewhat defined by the ability.

Example of a aura:

PRD wrote:

Frightful Presence (Ex) This special quality makes a creature's very presence unsettling to foes. Activating this ability is a free action that is usually part of an attack or charge. Opponents within range who witness the action may become frightened or shaken. The range is usually 30 feet, and the duration is usually 5d6 rounds. This ability affects only opponents with fewer Hit Dice or levels than the creature has. An affected opponent can resist the effects with a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 frightful creature's racial HD + frightful creature's Cha modifier; the exact DC is given in the creature's descriptive text). An opponent that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to that same creature's frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failed save, the opponent is shaken, or panicked if 4 HD or fewer. Frightful presence is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Format: frightful presence (60 ft., DC 21); Location: Aura.

It don't say anywhere "this effect cannot go through a wall", but ti say "Opponents within range who witness the action may become frightened or shaken." and that very clearly require a LoS.

The Exchange

The implication of a target does not necessitate LoS/LoE rules. This is what RAW players will argue. If that is true indeed, then the argument is senseless.

The problem with (Su) abilities is that they don't follow Magic rules. There is nothing in the Magic rules that talks about (Su) other than

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

Spell-Like Abilities: Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.

Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated. Spell-like abilities cannot be used to counterspell, nor can they be counterspelled.

If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability's effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is granted.

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.

Extraordinary Abilities: These abilities cannot be disrupted in combat, as spells can, and they generally do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Effects or areas that negate or disrupt magic have no effect on extraordinary abilities. They are not subject to dispelling, and they function normally in an antimagic field. Indeed, extraordinary abilities do not qualify as magical, though they may break the laws of physics.

Natural Abilities: This category includes abilities a creature has because of its physical nature. Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like."

If that is enough to dictate LoS/LoE then I am content but I would appreciate a FAQ to fix this glaring issue.

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