Symbols and Permanancy


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

If a symbol of X is placed on an object, then made permanent, what happens after the symbol is triggered? Does it go away, or come back due to permanancy?

If it stays on, is it always on at that point, does the trigger need to be "reset," what action would it entail?


I'd assume it remains active for the duration of the normal symbols effect and then goes back to inactive mode until triggered again. If it wasn't for dispel spells, a symbol of pain permanency'd onto a shield or banner would be incredibly cost and action economy effective means of debuffing.


Why does everyone forget the line...

Quote:
You can't use a symbol of death offensively
Quote:
Once triggered, the symbol becomes active and glows, lasting for 10 minutes per caster level or until it has affected 150 hit points' worth of creatures, whichever comes first
Quote:
Symbol of death can be made permanent with a permanency spell. A permanent symbol of death that is disabled or has affected its maximum number of hit points becomes inactive for 10 minutes, but then can be triggered again as normal.

I would say that the permanent symbol lasts for 10 mins per caster level or until its max HP have been affected (which ever comes first) then it shuts down for 10 minutes and resets.


Sure but that's ill defined. If I happen to have it on my shield, did I put my shield before Urist McTarrasque's eyes, or did it lay it's eyes on my shield? Who's to say what makes it offensive or defensive use?


Common sense?

If you put something that can hurt/impair people on a shield to use in combat, its offensive. If you put something in your closet to stop thieves its not offensive.

A strict ruling would use the same rules that break invisibility.


Actually, there's an example that suggests the shield trick works. From Baba Yaga's stat block:

"Baba Yaga has permanent symbols of death (DC 36) magically inscribed on the center of her chest, between her shoulder blades, upon the crown of her head, and on the soles of her feet. Only a few great beings have knowledge of the symbols’ passwords (each symbol has its own unique phrase), and even fewer significant personalities have been attuned to the symbols."

I doubt Dear Grandmother is worried about peeping toms. This is clearly meant for use in a fight.


Paizo likes to break its own rules (like permanent walls of force).... plus Baba Yaga isn't exactly mortal.


There's no RAW label of what is offensive and defensive and it isn't a matter of common sense, it's highly subjective. My best defense against an assaulting bandit may be making it painful or even deadly to glance at my shiny robe, after all the best defense is a good offense. So far I've seen one example of an official Paizo stat block of a Symbol of Death being used in a similar manner and no examples to indicate it isn't legal to use it in such a way. If you can find some examples for me to prove otherwise I'll take your word, but otherwise please don't be condescending by insinuating I lack common sense for a perfectly reasonable conception (or possibly misconception) of the rules.

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