Question about False Focus in PFS Play


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

Fomsie wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:

You're mostly right, but in both cases it's still a material component. False Focus makes no differentiation between whether it's a MC from the spell itself or whether it's a MC from some other rule. A material component is simply a material component, regardless of whether it's extra or required.

You're right in that it probably shouldn't work. It is too powerful compared to what it was intended to do. But as it's written it just works.

I acknowledge both are components. However, look at what the feat says versus what the power component says.

One says "cast" one says "alter". Since you wanted specific as written, that is very specific. Cast =/= Alter or augment.

Is it splitting hairs? Sure, but that is what RAW arguments generally are, and in this case that is a key difference. False Focus allows you to replace components to cast the spell, it says nothing about additional components to alter or augment the spell.

So no, as it is strictly written, it does not work.

Now personally I wish it did, it would benefit some of my casters greatly, and I believe that alchemical items are vastly overpriced in most cases. However, from a cost to value case with this particular feat, I can't even pretend to see allowing it to be the RAI in this case.

First you are not replacing any components you are adding them. Second it alters the spell that you are casting. When you use a compenent you still need to cast it regardless of the spell. Power components dont say you don't cast spell. Your adding an effect to the spell. I still dont get your point betweencasting and altering. false focus teduces the cost of anything under 100 gold to nil. You no long need the componets as long as the cost is under 100 gold. Dont know how many times i need to repeat this. Cast and alter or two seperate catagories they dont interfere with eachother at all.

Grand Lodge

Also about the razmiran priest. Whats the point of the gold cost. If it was for disguising as a divine caster. The feat should just say: "This feat allows you to use a symbol as if you were a divine caster when casting arcane spells." It shouldn't even have the gold part in it.


Imbicatus wrote:
Epsilon wrote:
Regardless Im using the text the feat explicitely states. Going by your rules it also means i would need to be a razmiran sorcerer to take the feat. Words like RAI and RAW are bothersome. Go by what the feat says not the flavor text for why the feat exists.
Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if a GM house-rules that you can only take false focus as a Razmiran priest. Razmir and his priests are pretty adamant about keeping their methods from becoming public knowledge, and knowing how to use a holy symbol to cast arcane spells would draw Razzmiran hit squads if they found out.

I've used this in the past as a non-Razmiran priest and using Alchemical Power components. The (internet) DM had no issues and it didn't impact the game in any meaningful way. A +1 damage or +1DC just wasn't powerful enough to throw anything off. I mainly used it to get a cool cantrip that threw an icicle at people. A whole +1 damage but it was cool.

Grand Lodge

Yeah. regardless of everything else im also pretty sure its not gamebreaking as some people think its. Alas gamebreaking is a different question altogether. It adds cool effects that can help but nothing op as a low level character one shotting a boss. Granted they were using a play test character.

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Epsilon wrote:
Regardless Im using the text the feat explicitely states. Going by your rules it also means i would need to be a razmiran sorcerer to take the feat. Words like RAI and RAW are bothersome. Go by what the feat says not the flavor text for why the feat exists.
Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if a GM house-rules that you can only take false focus as a Razmiran priest. Razmir and his priests are pretty adamant about keeping their methods from becoming public knowledge, and knowing how to use a holy symbol to cast arcane spells would draw Razzmiran hit squads if they found out.
I've used this in the past as a non-Razmiran priest and using Alchemical Power components. The (internet) DM had no issues and it didn't impact the game in any meaningful way. A +1 damage or +1DC just wasn't powerful enough to throw anything off. I mainly used it to get a cool cantrip that threw an icicle at people. A whole +1 damage but it was cool.

It could have been +3 damage with the ray of frost by using false focus to simulate a Liquid Ice focus for +1 cold damage, black powder for +1 energy damage, and a Liquid Ice component for 1d3 piercing +1 cold.

It's not broken by itself, but it's beyond the general power level of a feat by giving you +3 to damage with no negative.


I'd rule this doesn't work at my PFS table, since the RAW can indeed be twisted to work either way, and that puts it in the purview of the GM. The reason I'd err on the "no" side is that PFS tries to keep the wealth-by-level from varying too much, and this basically allows the player to remove the cost limit inherent in the power component rules.


claudekennilol wrote:

Is it a material component? Yes.

Does False Focus allow you to use a divine focus in place of material components? Yes. It's that simple.

Actually, it is not that simple. False Focus allows you to to cast the spell without at material component, but you can already cast the spell without these particular components. It says nothing about getting benefits for components you did not include, other than the implicit benefit of the spell going off in the first place.

I'd probably allow it in a home game, but for PFS you have to stick to RAW where possible, and by my reading the RAW is against it.

glass.

Grand Lodge

For Ray of frost it is 1d3 cold + 1d3 piercing + 1 cold for adding liquid ice. I dont know about black powder but at most it is 7 dmg and least 3 damage. assuming you hit more if you crit and assuming no dr. Which helpful early level ues but higher levels with dr probably not.
Then ther is acid splash adding an acid flask makes it last 1 round longer so 1d3 first round 1d3 second round. useless if it has more than 3 acid resistance. Still not gamebreaking at most slightly abusive. but there are still more iseful magic items and spells.
I still do more damge woth my composite bow i have arcanist 2/ slayer 1. So know target would give me +5 to hit, and 1d8+2. I would still use the logbow way more useful.


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So then, I suggest you use the longbow and stop making every GM have to go through the same argument of a grey-area topic. There are some rules that just aren't worth the trouble at the table, frankly.

Grand Lodge

No it just mention material compostents costing under 100gp. It make no explicit difference between required and optional components. And as everyone has argued RAW seems to beable to argued both ways.
Its not the gold cost thats the problem entirely granted it makes it for thigs linke liquid ice 40gp helpful. Its more of the encumbrance without handyhaversack or bag of holding. And for cost you are giving up a feat which iconsoder a big cost. Not just that you also have to protect your symbol so things like erase or damaged tattoo can stop it.
There is still some risk when usig the feat. You also cant have your symbol covered

Grand Lodge

GM Lamplighter wrote:
So then, I suggest you use the longbow and stop making every GM have to go through the same argument of a grey-area topic. There are some rules that just aren't worth the trouble at the table, frankly.

Because i still want to see peoples arguments. If you think it is a waste then feel free to ignore this thread you have the right. However i do find it important. I believe in the idea of everypoint counts (played 2 years of Anarchy Online). Just because you dont find it important doesn't mean that everyone has the same sentiment. Creating this thread can also help others make decisions. Part of the point of having a rules forums. This is also why im argueing this online if you have the time argue if you dont then dont. Doing this precily so it doesnt take time. My plan is to inform the GM i want to use this. Then ill show him the info and thread and let him decide before the start of the game.

Or there is also the chance that this gets Faq'd then it would end this arguement. I find it important therefor ill keep arguing

Grand Lodge

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Epsilon wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
So then, I suggest you use the longbow and stop making every GM have to go through the same argument of a grey-area topic. There are some rules that just aren't worth the trouble at the table, frankly.

Because i still want to see peoples arguments. If you think it is a waste then feel free to ignore this thread you have the right. However i do find it important. I believe in the idea of everypoint counts (played 2 years of Anarchy Online). Just because you dont find it important doesn't mean that everyone has the same sentiment. Creating this thread can also help others make decisions. Part of the point of having a rules forums. This is also why im argueing this online if you have the time argue if you dont then dont. Doing this precily so it doesnt take time. My plan is to inform the GM i want to use this. Then ill show him the info and thread and let him decide before the start of the game.

Or there is also the chance that this gets Faq'd then it would end this arguement. I find it important therefor ill keep arguing

There's no chance of this getting FAQ'd and I'm willing to put money on that. As stated above, many people are willing to misread it so that it doesn't say what it does say because they feel it has too much value. It's obviously not intended to work this way, but that doesn't mean it's broken just because it happens to do so.


Epsilon wrote:

For Ray of frost it is 1d3 cold + 1d3 piercing + 1 cold for adding liquid ice. I dont know about black powder but at most it is 7 dmg and least 3 damage. assuming you hit more if you crit and assuming no dr. Which helpful early level ues but higher levels with dr probably not.

Then ther is acid splash adding an acid flask makes it last 1 round longer so 1d3 first round 1d3 second round. useless if it has more than 3 acid resistance. Still not gamebreaking at most slightly abusive. but there are still more iseful magic items and spells.
I still do more damge woth my composite bow i have arcanist 2/ slayer 1. So know target would give me +5 to hit, and 1d8+2. I would still use the logbow way more useful.

They pointed out that you can't add the same effect twice in the Alchemy Manual, so only one +1 damage. The d3 is changed to a d3+1 so the total max damage could be a d3+2 with gunpowder and liquid ice.

As far as "It's not broken by itself, but it's beyond the general power level of a feat by giving you +3 to damage with no negative.": It's +2, the exact thing weapon specialization ray would give. Seem in line actually.

Grand Lodge

graystone wrote:
Epsilon wrote:

For Ray of frost it is 1d3 cold + 1d3 piercing + 1 cold for adding liquid ice. I dont know about black powder but at most it is 7 dmg and least 3 damage. assuming you hit more if you crit and assuming no dr. Which helpful early level ues but higher levels with dr probably not.

Then ther is acid splash adding an acid flask makes it last 1 round longer so 1d3 first round 1d3 second round. useless if it has more than 3 acid resistance. Still not gamebreaking at most slightly abusive. but there are still more iseful magic items and spells.
I still do more damge woth my composite bow i have arcanist 2/ slayer 1. So know target would give me +5 to hit, and 1d8+2. I would still use the logbow way more useful.

They pointed out that you can't add the same effect twice in the Alchemy Manual, so only one +1 damage. The d3 is changed to a d3+1 so the total max damage could be a d3+2 with gunpowder and liquid ice.

As far as "It's not broken by itself, but it's beyond the general power level of a feat by giving you +3 to damage with no negative.": It's +2, the exact thing weapon specialization ray would give. Seem in line actually.

I was adding everything together so 1d3 cold from ray of forst usog liquid ice as a materiel component adds a +1d3 piercig damge and + 1 cold damage

So the total damge when using only liquid ice as the component is 1d3 cold + 1d3 piercing + 1 cold damage. Thats what it say i wasnt adding anyting else
Ray of Frost (M): The spell creates an icicle of frozen water vapor that strikes the target and deals 1d3 points of piercing damage and 1 point of cold damage.
Actually maybe its just 1d3 + 1. When i get back home i'll double check that part.

Grand Lodge

Thank you for pointing that out.


graystone wrote:
As far as "It's not broken by itself, but it's beyond the general power level of a feat by giving you +3 to damage with no negative.": It's +2, the exact thing weapon specialization ray would give. Seem in line actually.

False equivalency. Weapon Specialization requires you have 4 levels in fighter (or something that acts like fighter levels), and weapon focus in the weapon. 4 levels and a feat is hardly the same as single feat.


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Claxon wrote:
graystone wrote:
As far as "It's not broken by itself, but it's beyond the general power level of a feat by giving you +3 to damage with no negative.": It's +2, the exact thing weapon specialization ray would give. Seem in line actually.
False equivalency. Weapon Specialization requires you have 4 levels in fighter (or something that acts like fighter levels), and weapon focus in the weapon. 4 levels and a feat is hardly the same as single feat.

It was about power not prerequisites. False focus has two also but lets go another way. Point blank shot gives a +1 to hit and damage to a close range ray.

Point Blank shot: +1 hit and damage to ALL ranged attacks within 30' seems pretty equivalent to +2 damage on a few select spells. Any issue with THAT one?

How about Arcane strike? Scaling bonus damage to all weapon attacks + makes them count as magic. Seems pretty equivalent.

How about you come with the most powerful combo you can come up with using false focus and see how it stacks up with these feats. I'm betting the combo would be on the same level of power at best with good feats out there and not "beyond the general power level".

Sovereign Court

False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.

You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.
You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.

I bolded a different section of false focus. Any spell with a material component. Does casting Ray of Frost with Liquid Ice as a material component have a material component? Yes. Does False Focus let you ignore the cost of a material component if less than the cost of the focus? Yes. Its that easy.


Alchemical power components are [specific] alchemical items used as a material component (replacing the material component) for [specific] spells.

False Focus let's you use a Divine Focus to cast a spell [with a material component] without it's material component.

Yea, I can totally see why this is confusing. I'm inclined to say that False Focus wouldn't replace an alchemical power component. I say this because you have to use the alchemical power component in place of the material component to get the benefit. If you are using your False Focus, then you are not replacing the material component with the alchemical power component.

I would argue that the more specific rule trumps the more general rule. In this instance, the False Focus replacement is less specific than replacing your material component with a bottle of alchemists fire to augment Burning hands (extend that logic to each alchemical power component).

With that said, if I were you, I'd ask if the GM he he/she things that the use of a Feat is worth the benefit you would get for free alchemical power components. That appeal is probably more likely to work.

Sovereign Court

@zrandrews: APCs don't replace the prior material component, they add to it.

Sovereign Court

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Tarantula wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.
You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.
I bolded a different section of false focus. Any spell with a material component. Does casting Ray of Frost with Liquid Ice as a material component have a material component? Yes. Does False Focus let you ignore the cost of a material component if less than the cost of the focus? Yes. Its that easy.

It's not really that easy. False Focus would "apply" to augmented Ray of Frost because it now has material components, but then do absolutely nothing, because you didn't actually need those components. False Focus only does anything if you actually needed the component, and you don't need APCs.

You're allowed to cast the spell without the APC, but if you do, you don't get the bonus, because you didn't include it.


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The "needing" of the component is the effect of false focus. You get the effect of having had the material component without having to physically possess it.

The spell "needing" a material component is not a requirement of false focus. It simply says any spell with a material component. The fact that the liquid ice is optional has no effect. You are casting with liquid ice as a material component, and false focus says you can without actually having the component.

The same way that someone with eschew materials could use cold iron as a material component for abjuration spells. Cold iron is worth 1gp, and eschew materials lets you cast any spell with a material component worth 1gp or less without needing the component.

Grand Lodge

zrandrews wrote:

Alchemical power components are [specific] alchemical items used as a material component (replacing the material component) for [specific] spells.

False Focus let's you use a Divine Focus to cast a spell [with a material component] without it's material component.

Yea, I can totally see why this is confusing. I'm inclined to say that False Focus wouldn't replace an alchemical power component. I say this because you have to use the alchemical power component in place of the material component to get the benefit. If you are using your False Focus, then you are not replacing the material component with the alchemical power component.

I would argue that the more specific rule trumps the more general rule. In this instance, the False Focus replacement is less specific than replacing your material component with a bottle of alchemists fire to augment Burning hands (extend that logic to each alchemical power component).

With that said, if I were you, I'd ask if the GM he he/she things that the use of a Feat is worth the benefit you would get for free alchemical power components. That appeal is probably more likely to work.

Two issues:

First, why do people keep thinking it replaces the material component? It adds to the material component there is no replacing. It does add an effect and/or alter the spell though.
Second, my issue was more PFS specific. I was trying to see if I could use it for PFS play until it got moved to rules.
It seems I get some GM's who allow it and others who don't seem to understand what exactly false focus does or who disagrees because it says optional.

Too me I see it like Boolean values True/False.
Is it a material component -> True
False Focus spell material component ffs = 20 gp (Alchemist Fire)
if(ffs <= 100)
{
Free
}

Problem is there are those who don't understand it like the guy who kept equating cast v alter argument (still don't understand)
Others:
I wouldn't allow it because it is game breaking
(Which implies that you agree it works you just don't want it allowed)

Flavor text
(Problem I find with this is that is is so much easier to twist flavor text that and trying to figure out what a person was intending is nigh impossible. Since first you don't know them so its hard to explain a position for someone you don't even know.)

Optional
(Argument that since its optional material component it doesn't count)
Actually easy to deal with this one. There is no difference in false focus text that makes a difference between required material component, ex: Stoneskin, communal M = 100 gp, vs optional material component alchemist fire M = 20 gp

Overpowered
(In the grand scheme of things it helps you do slightly more damage it to me at least I don't see how doing a few extra points of damage is op)
Fireball: One target per caster level fails saving throw catches on fire as if hit by alchemist fire
Flaming Sphere: Any creature hit catches on fire as if struck by alchemist fire
Scorching Ray: any target damaged by a scorching ray catches on fire as if it has been struck by alchemist fire.
Cone of Cold: The spell deal +1 point of damage per caster level

They are nice benefits but its still not extremely overpowered.

Sovereign Court

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What may be hard for people to swallow is that False Focus is intended to allow someone to cast a spell without the material component required to make it function. Alchemical Power allows the introduction of an optional material component, that effectively changes a spell into something similar but slightly stronger.

Is the intention of False Focus to just allow the casting the basic form of a spell without the material component? Or when combined with Alchemical Power does it also allow the spell to be augmented for free?

As written, it's the latter. There's nothing in False Focus that indicates that it's only intended for a specific set of spells or spells unmodified by Alchemical Power.

Also, really looking at the table, there's nothing here that strikes me as so game breaking that it's going to cause a balance issue. Nor are the components so expensive here that someone is going to wind up with a massive excess of wealth. The most you get is a saving of 100gp per spell augmented by Alchemical Power, and that list is finite. Don't forget it takes a feat.


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Acedio wrote:

What may be hard for people to swallow is that False Focus is intended to allow someone to cast a spell without the material component required to make it function. Alchemical Power allows the introduction of an optional material component, that effectively changes a spell into something similar but slightly stronger.

Is the intention of False Focus to just allow the casting the basic form of a spell without the material component? Or when combined with Alchemical Power does it also allow the spell to be augmented for free?

As written, it's the latter. There's nothing in False Focus that indicates that it's only intended for a specific set of spells or spells unmodified by Alchemical Power.

Also, really looking at the table, there's nothing here that strikes me as so game breaking that it's going to cause a balance issue. Nor are the components so expensive here that someone is going to wind up with a massive excess of wealth. The most you get is a saving of 100gp per spell augmented by Alchemical Power, and that list is finite. Don't forget it takes a feat.

This. All of this. It's exactly my reasoning when I first looked at it. I'll mark this as a FAQ as well, but I'm inclined to allow it as written for any PFS tables I run until an errata says otherwise.


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I think I should point out that there are 'normal' spells that have optional material components listed.

Pellet blast: M (a handful of metal pellets or handful of cold iron, silver, or adamantine pellets; see descriptions for cost)

The material component can be made of metal 0 gp
cold iron 50 gp
silver 20 gp
adamantine 100 gp

So for those saying that optional components aren't covered by false focus, would you allow cold iron, silver or adamantine with this spell? Do you count the optional differently if it listed in the spell vs the component?


graystone wrote:

It was about power not prerequisites. False focus has two also but lets go another way. Point blank shot gives a +1 to hit and damage to a close range ray.

Point Blank shot: +1 hit and damage to ALL ranged attacks within 30' seems pretty equivalent to +2 damage on a few select spells. Any issue with THAT one?

How about Arcane strike? Scaling bonus damage to all weapon attacks + makes them count as magic. Seems pretty equivalent.

How about you come with the most powerful combo you can come up with using false focus and see how it stacks up with these feats. I'm betting the combo would be on the same level of power at best with good feats out there and not "beyond the general power level".

There is still a significant difference though. Under your interpretation False Focus power expands exponentially. It is not that this combination would enable an incredibly over powered usage, but rather the idea that it would allow you to subvert the normally required wealth to power up these spells is the real problem. Further, because of the existence of alchemical components suddenly False Focus "gains" this extra ability and power that it clearly isn't intended to have.

The other problem is that normally taking all those other feats that increase damage use up feats. A fairly limited and important resource. Most people unless they want to focus exclusively on damage build casters would consider a feat that gives 1 or 2 extra points of damage waste. But when you "get" it for "free" with another feat that lets you "ignore" the cost of these alchemical augmentation components it takes on a whole new benefit. You don't need to waste a feat on point blank shot or arcane strike (which wont work on your spells) but you can still get extra points of damage, increase the spell DC, and myriad other effects under your interpretation.

It's just not intended to work that way. It's not terribly overpowered, but just because it isn't as rife with problems as Simulacrum doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up against it and ignore it as though it doesn't matter because it is only a small transgression.


Sorry Claxon, but I don't see it as a "significant difference". I don't see optional components any different no matter is they are listed in the spell or listed under the component itself.

As far as it being an unintended benefit to use power components, Adventurer’s Armory with those components came out in 2010 and Inner Sea Magic came out in 2011. I can't imagine that the Adventurer’s Armory was unknown to everyone in the production chain that examined False Focus before it saw print, from writers, developers, director to editors. If it was unintended, they only have themselves to blame for being uninformed as it was power components where clearly a thing by then and it was close enough to still be fresh in their minds.

Or it might be intended. Who knows?


graystone wrote:
Or it might be intended. Who knows?

I don't believe for a second it was intended. And I think most people in this thread agree and understand the difference between the the alchemical components are regular components.

The fact that two things from two different non-core line sources can be combined in a troublesome way shouldn't be that surprising to anyone. It is difficult to maintain awareness of that many things. Also, none of the authors are the same between Adventurers Armory and the Inner Sea Magic Guide.


Claxon wrote:
graystone wrote:
Or it might be intended. Who knows?

I don't believe for a second it was intended. And I think most people in this thread agree and understand the difference between the the alchemical components are regular components.

The fact that two things from two different non-core line sources can be combined in a troublesome way shouldn't be that surprising to anyone. It is difficult to maintain awareness of that many things. Also, none of the authors are the same between Adventurers Armory and the Inner Sea Magic Guide.

James Jacobs, Judy Bauer, Christopher Carey, Sean K Reynolds, and James L. Sutter and Jason Bulmahn are all listed as EDITING both. Even if the writers didn't know it, one of those editors should have. I can't say what intent was but it shouldn't have been an unknown factor. In fact it should have been painfully clear after the alchemy handbook.*

Now if you want to talk authors, you have Jason Nelson. He was one in both the alchemist handbook and inner sea magic. They clarified alchemical reagents/power components in the alchemist handbook yet they didn't say a peep about False Focus/Eschew Materials*. He clearly should know what was in the books HE helped write. And needless to say it has designers, developers and editors in common.

*Note there are alchemical reagents that cost under 1GP so you'd ALSO have to assume the people that updated power components also where completely unaware of Eschew Materials and the entire sorcerer class (it gets it free).

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Cpt_kirstov wrote:

I'm flagging this is in the wrong forum because it is a rule question and not a PFS question hopefully you can get a response by peoples FAQ it and use that for your PFS needs.

Personally I would allow it for anything 99 gold or less if the spell itself has material components listed and 100 gold if the spell itself does not have material components listed because otherwise you would go over your hundred gold limit for false focus

Because if you tried casts spell that requires bat guano... That bat guano has a cost. It is included ni the cost of the spell component pouch, but there is a cost. So if you allow a 100gp alchemical component it would cost 100gp and 1/10 of a copper piece, it is still over the maximum of 100gp (I forgot that the alchemical replaces and is not in addition to the original material component )


Epsilon wrote:
zrandrews wrote:

...

I would argue that the more specific rule trumps the more general rule. In this instance, the False Focus replacement is less specific than replacing your material component with a bottle of alchemists fire to augment Burning hands (extend that logic to each alchemical power component)....

Two issues:

First, why do people keep thinking it replaces the material component?...

People keep thinking that because it's what it says. You use the alchemical item as the material component. "An alchemical power component is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell's normal effects."(http://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment---final/goods-and-services/herb s-oils-other-substances)

It doesn't say "in addition to", it says "as". If I handed you a rolled up newspaper and said " use this as a flyswatter" you wouldn't start dual welding the newspaper and a flyswatter.


Also, using an alchemical power component as the material component to get a bonus is more specific than being able to cast the spell without the material component. So, if you want the bonus, you have to follow the more specific rule. Goes back to that first chapter in the core book that says when there is a potential conflict in rules or abilities, the more specific rule takes precedence.

Did you cast the spell using faith focus in place of the material component? Yes. Did you use the alchemical power component as the material component? No. So, you can cast the spell but don't get the bonus for using the alchemical power component as the material component.

Sovereign Court

Given that there are two spells that have explicit Alchemical Power augments and material components with meaningful gp cost (50gp and 200gp respectively), it makes no sense that the alchemical power reagents would replace the normal material components. Otherwise, Alchemical Power alone would allow you to cast the augmented version of the spell for less with benefits. That some Alchemical Power augments allow you to spent multiple units of the reagent also supports the use of multiple material components for the Alchemical Power.

Sovereign Court

zrandrews wrote:
Also, using an alchemical power component as the material component to get a bonus is more specific than being able to cast the spell without the material component.

Could you explain why this is the case?

Grand Lodge

GM Lamplighter wrote:
So then, I suggest you use the longbow and stop making every GM have to go through the same argument of a grey-area topic. There are some rules that just aren't worth the trouble at the table, frankly.

Please, tell me NOT to use my legal PC with a legal archetype in PFS.

Or, to put it plainly, I have a Razmiran Priest Sorcerer, 6th level, in PFS.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Epsilon wrote:

No it just mention material compostents costing under 100gp. It make no explicit difference between required and optional components. And as everyone has argued RAW seems to beable to argued both ways.

Its not the gold cost thats the problem entirely granted it makes it for thigs linke liquid ice 40gp helpful. Its more of the encumbrance without handyhaversack or bag of holding. And for cost you are giving up a feat which iconsoder a big cost. Not just that you also have to protect your symbol so things like erase or damaged tattoo can stop it.
There is still some risk when usig the feat. You also cant have your symbol covered

Exactly, it not explicitly allow optionals alchemical power components, so it don't allow them. You need an explicit permission as they are a optional component that give additional effects if used, not a material component of the spell.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tarantula wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.
You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.
I bolded a different section of false focus. Any spell with a material component. Does casting Ray of Frost with Liquid Ice as a material component have a material component? Yes. Does False Focus let you ignore the cost of a material component if less than the cost of the focus? Yes. Its that easy.

The alchemical components give additional effects if used. They are not used, but something replace them. Why you should get the additional effect?

We are not speaking of casting or not casting the spell. We are speaking of adding additional effects to it.

A cleric replace the M component of most spells with a DF component. You would allow him to replace the alchemical power components for free?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Epsilon wrote:
zrandrews wrote:

Alchemical power components are [specific] alchemical items used as a material component (replacing the material component) for [specific] spells.

False Focus let's you use a Divine Focus to cast a spell [with a material component] without it's material component.

Yea, I can totally see why this is confusing. I'm inclined to say that False Focus wouldn't replace an alchemical power component. I say this because you have to use the alchemical power component in place of the material component to get the benefit. If you are using your False Focus, then you are not replacing the material component with the alchemical power component.

I would argue that the more specific rule trumps the more general rule. In this instance, the False Focus replacement is less specific than replacing your material component with a bottle of alchemists fire to augment Burning hands (extend that logic to each alchemical power component).

With that said, if I were you, I'd ask if the GM he he/she things that the use of a Feat is worth the benefit you would get for free alchemical power components. That appeal is probably more likely to work.

Two issues:

First, why do people keep thinking it replaces the material component? It adds to the material component there is no replacing. It does add an effect and/or alter the spell though.
Second, my issue was more PFS specific. I was trying to see if I could use it for PFS play until it got moved to rules.
It seems I get some GM's who allow it and others who don't seem to understand what exactly false focus does or who disagrees because it says optional.

Too me I see it like Boolean values True/False.
Is it a material component -> True

You see, here is where you miss it:

Quote:
Alchemical Power components is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell's normal effects. What follows is a sample of these effects; your GM may allow other combinations. Spells followed by an (M) expend the alchemical item as a material component; those followed by an (F) use the item as a focus and do not expend it. In both cases, the alchemical item does not have its normal effect and does not affect any other parameters of the spell. You cannot use the same item as both a focus and a material component at the same time.

Is it a material component -> False

It is a "Alchemical Power component ... used as a material component or focus for a spell"
It is a specific category.

Sovereign Court

The text seems to indicate that its a "specific category" of material components. If it's used as "a material component or focus for a spell" how then does it not qualify for False Focus?

"No because it seems weird" is great for homebrews.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It is interesting food for thought that in order for False Focus to work with power components it would have to also work with Eschew Materials since it uses identical wording.

Given that sorcerers get Eschew Materials for free, this would mean that sorcerers cast acid descriptor spells at +1 damage(Brimstone), abjuration spells at +1 caster level for caster level and dispel checks(Cold Iron), transmutation at +1 caster level for the purposes of SR(Ginger Extract), or duration(Magnesium), all necromancy spells at +1 caster level for effect(Salt) and others.

I don't have a convincing RAW argument against it, but I certainly feel it is not RAI.

Liberty's Edge

It looks to me like it works. It also looks to me like it's stretching the rules, and this is why OP is getting resistance.

Specific rules over-ride general rules. Everyone gets that. This appears to be stretching things because it's using three rules exceptions (the tatoo, false focus, alchemical components) to then seek a second generation exception. That the result is a second generation exception is why some are finding it problematic. Some GMs don't have the skills to be able to follow the logic chain. Others intuitively see it as undesirable. It probably wasn't envisioned, which makes it a likely exploit.

I don't think you're going to get the clear resolution you want. It's probably a poor choice for PFS due to the complexity and time required to get someone to follow the logic, understand all three items and how they are interacting, and to then persuade the GM to overcome intuitive first impressions that it shouldn't work or that it's an exploit.

The typical rule of thumb for organized play is that if you would expect table variance, only use the option if you're satisfied with the most conservative ruling. Use the idea in a different game. My suggestion is to retrain and you'll enjoy your sessions more.

Grand Lodge

Diego Rossi wrote:
Epsilon wrote:
zrandrews wrote:

Alchemical power components are [specific] alchemical items used as a material component (replacing the material component) for [specific] spells.

False Focus let's you use a Divine Focus to cast a spell [with a material component] without it's material component.

Yea, I can totally see why this is confusing. I'm inclined to say that False Focus wouldn't replace an alchemical power component. I say this because you have to use the alchemical power component in place of the material component to get the benefit. If you are using your False Focus, then you are not replacing the material component with the alchemical power component.

I would argue that the more specific rule trumps the more general rule. In this instance, the False Focus replacement is less specific than replacing your material component with a bottle of alchemists fire to augment Burning hands (extend that logic to each alchemical power component).

With that said, if I were you, I'd ask if the GM he he/she things that the use of a Feat is worth the benefit you would get for free alchemical power components. That appeal is probably more likely to work.

Two issues:

First, why do people keep thinking it replaces the material component? It adds to the material component there is no replacing. It does add an effect and/or alter the spell though.
Second, my issue was more PFS specific. I was trying to see if I could use it for PFS play until it got moved to rules.
It seems I get some GM's who allow it and others who don't seem to understand what exactly false focus does or who disagrees because it says optional.

Too me I see it like Boolean values True/False.
Is it a material component -> True

You see, here is where you miss it:

Quote:
Alchemical Power components is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell's normal effects. What follows is a sample of these effects; your GM may allow
...

And you missed it. I'm using it as a material component see the M.

Spells followed by a (M) expend the alchemist item as a material component
Material Component = True.
Burning Hands (M): One target that fails its reflex throw (your choice) catches on fire as if it has been struck by alchemist's fire.
Because of that M right there it is considered a material component for the spell.

Grand Lodge

Howie23 wrote:

It looks to me like it works. It also looks to me like it's stretching the rules, and this is why OP is getting resistance.

Specific rules over-ride general rules. Everyone gets that. This appears to be stretching things because it's using three rules exceptions (the tatoo, false focus, alchemical components) to then seek a second generation exception. That the result is a second generation exception is why some are finding it problematic. Some GMs don't have the skills to be able to follow the logic chain. Others intuitively see it as undesirable. It probably wasn't envisioned, which makes it a likely exploit.

I don't think you're going to get the clear resolution you want. It's probably a poor choice for PFS due to the complexity and time required to get someone to follow the logic, understand all three items and how they are interacting, and to then persuade the GM to overcome intuitive first impressions that it shouldn't work or that it's an exploit.

The typical rule of thumb for organized play is that if you would expect table variance, only use the option if you're satisfied with the most conservative ruling. Use the idea in a different game. My suggestion is to retrain and you'll enjoy your sessions more.

Although I kind agree with you. There is only two not three false focus already mentions using holy symbol. The tattoo is just for the example. So a Holy symbol worth 25 gold is also allowed it even gives it as an example. It just says the maximum is 100 gold. So if I used a holy symbol worth 1000 gold then I would still be limited to 100 gold. That should be the easiest to understand.

Grand Lodge

Diego Rossi wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.
You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.
I bolded a different section of false focus. Any spell with a material component. Does casting Ray of Frost with Liquid Ice as a material component have a material component? Yes. Does False Focus let you ignore the cost of a material component if less than the cost of the focus? Yes. Its that easy.

The alchemical components give additional effects if used. They are not used, but something replace them. Why you should get the additional effect?

We are not speaking of casting or not casting the spell. We are speaking of adding additional effects to it.

A cleric replace the M component of most spells with a DF component. You would allow him to replace the alchemical power components for free?

False Focus can only be used for arcane spells. Divine spells not allowed.

Grand Lodge

Diego Rossi wrote:
Epsilon wrote:

No it just mention material compostents costing under 100gp. It make no explicit difference between required and optional components. And as everyone has argued RAW seems to beable to argued both ways.

Its not the gold cost thats the problem entirely granted it makes it for thigs linke liquid ice 40gp helpful. Its more of the encumbrance without handyhaversack or bag of holding. And for cost you are giving up a feat which iconsoder a big cost. Not just that you also have to protect your symbol so things like erase or damaged tattoo can stop it.
There is still some risk when usig the feat. You also cant have your symbol covered
Exactly, it not explicitly allow optionals alchemical power components, so it don't allow them. You need an explicit permission as they are a optional component that give additional effects if used, not a material component of the spell.

I disagree. It says material components. If they wanted explicit all they would have to do is Say:

Benefit: By using a divine focus as part of
casting, you can cast any spell with a [required] material
component costing the value of that divine focus
(maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that
component.

However it doesn't make it that explicit it's generalized instead.
Benefit: By using a divine focus as part of
casting, you can cast any spell with a material
component costing the value of that divine focus
(maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that
component.

Grand Lodge

Just also realized something else the book only calls them as used as a material component

So although we call them optional and we know they are optional not even the book differentiates them as optional.

So even if you want to argue explicit it wouldn't work since they aren't called out as an optional material components.

Alchemical Power components is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell's normal effects.

They are considered just material components not optional material components. If they were they would call them out. If you want to go with the explicit line of reasoning.


graystone wrote:
Note there are alchemical reagents that cost under 1GP so you'd ALSO have to assume the people that updated power components also where completely unaware of Eschew Materials and the entire sorcerer class (it gets it free).

You know, thats a good point. Now, unless there was something here on the baords that I missed, it would seem that Paizo staff assumed people were intelligent enough and understanding enought to realize that you shouldn't get something for nothing and that Eschew Materials also wouldn't allow for free usage of alchemical components that cost 1gp or less.

Now, to my knowledge no statement has been made confirming that sorcerers by virtue of having the Eschew Materials feat have gained free bonuses to several of their spell as mentiond by Niconorsk.

You keep assuming that people or perfect, or that can see with perfect ability all problems that can arise and are using that as reason to justify this combinaiton. But nothing could be further from the truth. We have pages and pages of FAQ, errata, and discussions because the rule system is so complex that it seems like a new combinations are discovered after every book is published that seems to go beyond the intended scope of the writers and we as players have to point it out and get it corrected. Or at least clarified if it was intentional.

You seem to think that this is clearly intentional and that the writers couldn't have possibly overlooked it or made a mistake. I think the writers are human and do their best, but slipped up on this issue.

Epsilon wrote:

Just also realized something else the book only calls them as used as a material component

So although we call them optional and we know they are optional not even the book differentiates them as optional.

So even if you want to argue explicit it wouldn't work since they aren't called out as an optional material components.

Alchemical Power components is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell's normal effects.

They are considered just material components not optional material components. If they were they would call them out. If you want to go with the explicit line of reasoning.

The components are either optional or required. So, either these alchemical components are optional and can be used in addition/replacing the standard required components OR they are required and now spells all have additional required costs that did not exist before. Which do you think it actually is? Just because the book doesn't use the word optional doesn't mean they aren't.

Grand Lodge

Claxon wrote:
graystone wrote:
Note there are alchemical reagents that cost under 1GP so you'd ALSO have to assume the people that updated power components also where completely unaware of Eschew Materials and the entire sorcerer class (it gets it free).

You know, thats a good point. Now, unless there was something here on the baords that I missed, it would seem that Paizo staff assumed people were intelligent enough and understanding enought to realize that you shouldn't get something for nothing and that Eschew Materials also wouldn't allow for free usage of alchemical components that cost 1gp or less.

Now, to my knowledge no statement has been made confirming that sorcerers by virtue of having the Eschew Materials feat have gained free bonuses to several of their spell as mentiond by Niconorsk.

You keep assuming that people or perfect, or that can see with perfect ability all problems that can arise and are using that as reason to justify this combinaiton. But nothing could be further from the truth. We have pages and pages of FAQ, errata, and discussions because the rule system is so complex that it seems like a new combinations are discovered after every book is published that seems to go beyond the intended scope of the writers and we as players have to point it out and get it corrected. Or at least clarified if it was intentional.

You seem to think that this is clearly intentional and that the writers couldn't have possibly overlooked it or made a mistake. I think the writers are human and do their best, but slipped up on this issue.

Epsilon wrote:

Just also realized something else the book only calls them as used as a material component

So although we call them optional and we know they are optional not even the book differentiates them as optional.

So even if you want to argue explicit it wouldn't work since they aren't called out as an optional material components.

Alchemical Power components is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a

...

I'm just saying they aren't called optional material components. Just material components.

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