Fighter going mythic? Choose archmage. Here's why.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

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RJGrady wrote:
It is obvious a new kind of spellcasting

...


Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:

When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words, as that is what this discussion was presumably originally about, and not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

So anyway, am I to take this to mean you do not care to continue. If so I am perfectly willing to drop things.

It may not be fruitful or interesting to you (I'm going to keep posting until it's not fruitful or interesting to me and wont take offense if you decline to respond).

However, to expand on my position somewhat. When you say:

Quote:
When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words......not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

I think this is a false dichotomy of sorts. In my view there is no, unique "meaning of the words" since "any arcane spell" could be limited in some fashion (To illustrate: does this, specific rule grant one the ability to cast an arcane spell with a vocal component when gagged? Can you cast a spell if you dont meet any of the other requirements? If you think "any spell" is unrestricted then it should, shouldnt it? Specific trumps general and all that.)

It seems to me that interpreting rules sometimes involves determining which meaning of some word or phrase should apply - "any spell at all", "any spell which you meet all the other pre-requisites for" (ie have the material components, can see the target, etcetera) or "any spell you can already cast". One way to do this is to try and discern what the designer intended, however that's not the only way (I prefer to take the meaning which my table will enjoy the most, even if I know it's against RAI).

To provide another illustration of my position. It seems to me that someone following BigDTBone's approach could point to the move action of "drawing a weapon" and argue that:

"All it says is that the weapon has to be within easy reach. It doesnt specify that it has to be within easy reach of the person taking the action though, so I'd...

The idea that "[You can]draw a weapon within easy reach [of you] as a move action," is equivalent to "you can cast any arcane spell," is somewhat disingenuous. Your example is clear in that it follows the conventions of the English lanuage where all qualifiers are given an implicit qualifier of their own tagged to the noun. So we know the qualifier "within reach" applies to [of you].

The example in arcane surge IS EVEN MORE CLEAR, in that it explicitly and specifically says, "you can do X."


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
RJGrady wrote:
It is obvious a new kind of spellcasting, as the way it works for sorcerers and wizards is not the way sorcerers and wizards ordinarily cast spells. That seems irrefutable to me. For a wizard, Arcane Surge completely replaces the "choose a spell to cast" which is being used an ammunition. The argument that a fighter can't "choose a spell" has no legs.

Do you think "any spell" means you can cast a spell with verbal components, even when gagged?


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
BigDTBone wrote:
The idea that "[You can]draw a weapon within easy reach [of you] as a move action," is equivalent to "you can cast any arcane spell," is somewhat disingenuous.

It may be naive, but it isnt disingenuous. I dont do this very often and dont spend much time looking around for the perfect example.


Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:

When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words, as that is what this discussion was presumably originally about, and not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

So anyway, am I to take this to mean you do not care to continue. If so I am perfectly willing to drop things.

It may not be fruitful or interesting to you (I'm going to keep posting until it's not fruitful or interesting to me and wont take offense if you decline to respond).

However, to expand on my position somewhat. When you say:

Quote:
When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words......not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

I think this is a false dichotomy of sorts. In my view there is no, unique "meaning of the words" since "any arcane spell" could be limited in some fashion (To illustrate: does this, specific rule grant one the ability to cast an arcane spell with a vocal component when gagged? Can you cast a spell if you dont meet any of the other requirements? If you think "any spell" is unrestricted then it should, shouldnt it? Specific trumps general and all that.)

It seems to me that interpreting rules sometimes involves determining which meaning of some word or phrase should apply - "any spell at all", "any spell which you meet all the other pre-requisites for" (ie have the material components, can see the target, etcetera) or "any spell you can already cast". One way to do this is to try and discern what the designer intended, however that's not the only way (I prefer to take the meaning which my table will enjoy the most, even if I know it's against RAI).

To provide another illustration of my position. It seems to me that someone following BigDTBone's approach could point to the move action of "drawing a weapon" and argue that:

"All it says is that the weapon has to be within easy reach. It doesnt specify that it has to be within easy reach of the person taking the action though, so I'd...

I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers


Steve Geddes wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
The idea that "[You can]draw a weapon within easy reach [of you] as a move action," is equivalent to "you can cast any arcane spell," is somewhat disingenuous.
It may be naive, but it isnt disingenuous. I dont do this very often and dont spend much time looking around for the perfect example.

Fair enough

Quote:
But the point was essentially "Don't bring up silly RAW examples in theory debates" right?

Yeah, pretty much.


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kestral287 wrote:


The general rule is the rule clearly stated under the "Caster Level" heading that states that you must meet the minimum caster level to cast the spell.

And the specific rules under discussion are, respectively, under Arcane Surge, and in the description of one obscure item. I don't see any way to transport the rule from the item into the Arcane Surge situation. Arcane Surge already suspends a number of rules; what makes you think that particular clause is sacrosanct?

I mean, seriously, we have someone casting a spell as a Supernatural Ability. What does that even mean? I mean, here's the whole section:

Quote:


Caster Level
A spell's power often depends on its caster level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to her class level in the class she's using to cast the spell.

You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.

In the event that a class feature or other special ability provides an adjustment to your caster level, that adjustment applies not only to effects based on caster level (such as range, duration, and damage dealt), but also to your caster level check to overcome your target's spell resistance and to the caster level used in dispel checks (both the dispel check and the DC of the check).

Emphasis mine. Those rules don't even make a strong statement of how high caster level can go, they simply report on the general case. So, for the fighter, the caster level does not equal her class level. At this point, there is no caster level, but the next clause states it must be at least the minimum. I wouldn't say you could cast at an arbitrarily high level, since nothing in that section specifies what your caster level is or isn't.

Contrast to:

Quote:


Wild Arcana (Su): As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power to cast any one arcane spell without expending a prepared spell or spell slot. The spell must be on one of your arcane class spell lists and must be of a level that you can cast with that arcane spellcasting class. You don't need to have the spell prepared, nor does it need to be on your list of spells known. When casting a spell in this way, you treat your caster level as 2 levels higher for the purpose of any effect dependent on level. You can apply any metamagic feats you know to this spell, but its total adjusted level can't be greater than that of the highest-level arcane spell you can cast from that spellcasting class.

Right there is the verbiage which is missing from Arcane Surge and really should be there.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
BigDTBone wrote:

As far as the rules lawyering goes; this ability is giving a new kind of casting. It isn't prepared (prepared spells), it isnt spontaneous (spell slots), but unique (mythic power points). All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All of these rules are more specific than the (general) "cast a spell" action rules, so those rules are trumped by the text in this ability.

The hypothetical argument is that if there's a reason to explicitly spell out how to choose a spell in the general rule, it will only be "trumped" by a specific rule if it's explicitly stated as an exception. As you point out, the specific rule replaces the general rules on casting time, resource managed, spells allowed.... but doesn't speak to the "choice of spell" section.

Since a sorcerer requires the "choose a spell" step to be spelled out, wouldnt we expect the same for a fighter/Archmage using arcane surge? Since its not explained in the specific rule, don't we need to fall back on the general?


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Steve Geddes wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

As far as the rules lawyering goes; this ability is giving a new kind of casting. It isn't prepared (prepared spells), it isnt spontaneous (spell slots), but unique (mythic power points). All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All of these rules are more specific than the (general) "cast a spell" action rules, so those rules are trumped by the text in this ability.

The hypothetical argument is that if there's a reason to explicitly spell out how to choose a spell in the general rule, it will only be "trumped" by a specific rule if it's explicitly stated as an exception. As you point out, the specific rule replaces the general rules on casting time, resource managed, spells allowed.... but doesn't speak to the "choice of spell" section.

Since a sorcerer requires the "choose a spell" step to be spelled out, wouldnt we expect the same for a fighter/Archmage using arcane surge? Since its not explained in the specific rule, don't we need to fall back on the general?

"any arcane spell"


Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.

Right, but I was talking about meaning not about how one might chose to rule regardless of what the meaning is. Only guessing at developer intent seems to satisfy that from the methods you listed.

Okay, so even if the rules are too ambiguous to ever derive a meaning, are there interpretation that are too out there, or must we consider all of them. If we can exclude some of them, then why could we not attempt to exclude all but one. Where do we draw the line and why do we draw it there.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

As far as the rules lawyering goes; this ability is giving a new kind of casting. It isn't prepared (prepared spells), it isnt spontaneous (spell slots), but unique (mythic power points). All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All of these rules are more specific than the (general) "cast a spell" action rules, so those rules are trumped by the text in this ability.

The hypothetical argument is that if there's a reason to explicitly spell out how to choose a spell in the general rule, it will only be "trumped" by a specific rule if it's explicitly stated as an exception. As you point out, the specific rule replaces the general rules on casting time, resource managed, spells allowed.... but doesn't speak to the "choice of spell" section.

Since a sorcerer requires the "choose a spell" step to be spelled out, wouldnt we expect the same for a fighter/Archmage using arcane surge? Since its not explained in the specific rule, don't we need to fall back on the general?

"any arcane spell"

With no limits?

A spell with verbal components whilst gagged? A spell with material components when you don't have them to hand? Do the relevant specific rules apply here? Or are they similarly exempted by the (in my view incomplete) specific?


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion and his disciples
... you have just uttered the world's most terrifying phrase.
I can see the writing on the wall.

I weep for this world.

(My wife pointed out that I'm totally raising two sons. This world is AWESOME!!!!)

Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.

And this is pretty much my view as well. While I use it differently from Steve in his games, we both agree on this: RAW can take you where it can take you, and beyond that it must, necessarily, be up to GM interpretation.

... and I'm still going to say that this thing is an awesome potential character. I really, really want a fighter who takes this in one of my games now to see what clever things they can come up with. Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller? Beuller? TOZ? Beuller?


bookrat wrote:
Good news! I have! And so has at least one other person in greater detail than I. You may breathe now, just in case you were holding your breath.

Did I miss a post? If so, please quote or link it, because the only rebuttal my argument I can find that is (barely) more than "you're wrong because I say so" is this:

bookrat wrote:
There is nothing in the rules which states that if you are not one, you must be the other. The argument falls flat. And no, you didn't misunderstand it, it's just an erroneous argument.

...and that really doesn't cut it. Hint: It is not enough to assert that the definition of spontaneous is something other than "without preparation". You'd need to actually post your definition, and provide evidence for it.

That would deal with the second problem. You'd also have to provide general rules or precedents to fill the rules gaps you create, to solve the first problem. Good luck!

Or, you could just assert that I am wrong again, without providing any actual evidence. But it won't be any more convincing this time than the previous three.

_
glass.


BigDTBone wrote:
All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All the rules needed to adjudicate the fighter/archmage casting system are provided?

Cool, let's turn this thread into a play-by-post campaign where all of our character are 1st-level/1st-tier. I'll start:

I rolled up Fred, a human fighter/archmage. Fred is always paranoid that he is being threatened by invisible enemies, so before anything else happens in this campaign, Fred casts see invisibility defensively.

Let's adjudicate this action using the fighter/archmage casting system. Fred attempts to cast see invisibility (allowed by the rules) as a swift action (set by the rules) by spending 1 mythic power point (set by the rules). To see if this spell goes off instead of failing as a result of Fred casting defensively, Fred rolls a concentration check of 1d20 + [UNDEFINED].

Hold on, Fred's caster level isn't defined by arcane surge. No problem, we'll just use the caster level he gains from being a fighter. So we'll roll 1d20 + [UNDEFINED]. No worries, we'll use the caster level he gains for being human. 1d20 + [UNDEFINED]. Er, um. The default caster level for any Pathfinder character? 1d20 + [UNDEFINED].

Huh. I don't have all the rules I need to adjudicate the first action I attempted using the fighter/archmage casting system. Relying solely upon the RAW, nothing in that system can tell me if a spell my fighter/archmage is casting defensively succeeds or fails. The RAW system provides no rule that can be used to resolve that (rather common) spellcasting action.

---

On a completely unrelated note, it's been a while since I've seen anything posted by Successful Troll is Successful. I wonder what insight that guy could provide into the many issues being debated in this massive thread. Successful Troll is Successful always had such amazing insight into these sorts of discussions.


Here's a fun fact: spells themselves are neither arcane nor divine. A class' spellcasting feature defines which they cast as well as the list from which they cast. These are two different things. What 'arcane' spells does the fighter have access to?


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Buri Reborn wrote:
Here's a fun fact: spells themselves are neither arcane nor divine. A class' spellcasting feature defines which they cast as well as the list from which they cast. These are two different things. What 'arcane' spells does the fighter have access to?

What 'arcane' spells does the Bard have access to?


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DominusMegadeus wrote:
What 'arcane' spells does the Bard have access to?
Bard wrote:
A bard casts arcane spells drawn from the bard spell list presented in Spell Lists.

If it said "a bard casts divine spells" instead, and they went into archmage, they wouldn't be casting anything off the ability being discussed here.


Buri Reborn wrote:
Here's a fun fact: spells themselves are neither arcane nor divine. A class' spellcasting feature defines which they cast as well as the list from which they cast. These are two different things. What 'arcane' spells does the fighter have access to?

Though, being on an arcane spell list, a given spell is definitively arcane at a given level.

Arcane Surge wrote:
if you're a spontaneous caster, this spell must be one of your spells known

This is, by far, the most convincing possible RAW argument placed here for why this doesn't work. Weirdly, however, this is actually able to be covered by a decent Knowledge (arcana) (neatly defined as "knowledge"), and/or a Spellcraft (which can be used to learn a spell from a book or a scroll).

I mean, Spellcraft even specifies,

Spellcraft wrote:
Spellcraft is used whenever your knowledge and skill of the technical art of casting a spell <snip> comes into question.

... which definitively covers the idea of "spells known" (though not under the definition that a sorcerer uses, certainly falling under the common definition of the words).

While I'd not necessarily be inclined to require such a thing (depending on the game, the player, and so on), it's certainly one way of handling common English usage of such questions (which, since we're ignoring the game definition of spontaneous caster for common English, which are different, should suffice, if one wants it to).


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.

Right, but I was talking about meaning not about how one might chose to rule regardless of what the meaning is. Only guessing at developer intent seems to satisfy that from the methods you listed.

I think there are two distinct ways in which we might conceive of the meaning of a rule: what the developer intended to convey when they wrote it and what the words mean by the usual conventions of language (basically RAI and RAW). The situation I think we're discussing is where the latter is inconclusive - where two or more interpretations can be argued, based on usual, English usage.

If our expectation is that it must be an objectively, "settleable" question, then I think you're right. The only way to truly learn The meaning of an ambiguous phrase or term is to discern what the user of the phrase intended.

However, in the case of rules of an RPG, I reject such an expectation. I don't consider "the rules" to be an objectively determinable list of statements. I think they are a subjectively adjudicated set of guidelines. Some things are clear and unambiguous and others not. In my mind that's a feature, not a bug.

Quote:
Okay, so even if the rules are too ambiguous to ever derive a meaning, are there interpretation that are too out there, or must we consider all of them. If we can exclude some of them, then why could we not attempt to exclude all but one. Where do we draw the line and why do we draw it there.

I think we draw it based on the needs of the players in each, individual group. I don't think there's "One True Answer" I think it's a fundamentally messy thing, where we each adopt what seems best to us. Nobody's right and there isn't any way to settle it once and for all (imo).


Tacticslion wrote:

Though, being on an arcane spell list, a given spell is definitively arcane at a given level.

Arcane Surge wrote:
if you're a spontaneous caster, this spell must be one of your spells known

This is, by far, the most convincing possible RAW argument placed here for why this doesn't work. Weirdly, however, this is actually able to be covered by a decent Knowledge (arcana) (neatly defined as "knowledge"), and/or a Spellcraft (which can be used to learn a spell from a book or a scroll).

I mean, Spellcraft even specifies,

Spellcraft wrote:
Spellcraft is used whenever your knowledge and skill of the technical art of casting a spell <snip> comes into question.

... which definitively covers the idea of "spells known" (though not under the definition that a sorcerer uses, certainly falling under the common definition of the words).

While I'd not necessarily be inclined to require such a thing (depending on the game, the player, and so on), it's certainly one way of handling common English usage of such questions (which, since we're ignoring the game definition of spontaneous caster for common English, which are different, should suffice, if one wants it to).

Knowing of a spell is mechanically different than spells known and you've been around here long enough to know the clear difference. Your argument doesn't hold water. It doesn't even make sense.


Steve Geddes wrote:

I think there are two distinct ways in which we might conceive of the meaning of a rule: what the developer intended to convey when they wrote it and what the words mean by the usual conventions of language (basically RAI and RAW). The situation I think we're discussing is where the latter is inconclusive - where two or more interpretations can be argued, based on usual, English usage.

If our expectation is that it must be an objectively, "settleable" question, then I think you're right. The only way to truly learn The meaning of an ambiguous phrase or term is to discern what the user of the phrase intended.

However, in the case of rules of an RPG, I reject such an expectation. I don't consider "the rules" to be an objectively determinable list of statements. I think they are a subjectively adjudicated set of guidelines. Some things are clear and unambiguous and others not. In my mind that's a feature, not a bug.

I think we draw it based on the needs of the players in each, individual group. I don't think there's "One True Answer" I think it's a fundamentally messy thing, where we each adopt what seems best to us. Nobody's right and there isn't any way to settle it once and for all (imo).

Yeah, fine. But that just means that if there are two equally valid interpretations choosing one is not an attempt to figure out what the rules mean as one is rejecting an option that may in fact be the correct one for reasons unrelated to correctness. Nothing has changed in my assessment.

So in the end we have gone nowhere. We are right back at the rules are too vague and ambiguous for anyone to ever hope to get their meaning. Discussion is pointless as we can not ever get any closer to an answer and there is no point to talking about what to do in a particular group since it would be better to, you know, talk to the people in the group about that.

Unless you have something new to add I believe I will end my participation in this particular tangent. We have covered the same ground more then enough for my liking, and I see no point in doing it again.


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Devil's Advocate wrote:
On a completely unrelated note, it's been a while since I've seen anything posted by Successful Troll is Successful. I wonder what insight that guy could provide into the many issues being debated in this massive thread. Successful Troll is Successful always had such amazing insight into these sorts of discussions.

I would just like to note, as one of the most vocal advocates for allowing this, I am not attempting any sort of trolling, despite what it may seem.

I feel it is worth clarifying because, frankly, emotions and intents are hard to read through the internet and, upon re-reading my posts, I can certainly read that into them. I took another post before responding because I wanted to successfully (if possible) put my mind and words in order (given that it's 6AM here, and I've not slept yet, I may entirely fail).

I'd like to be frank. I am in these discussions for three reasons: one, to find and allow different, interesting, and potentially successful character ideas; and to find how the RAW mechanics supports potential role playing application and inspires ideas for GMs and players alike to use; and to educate myself (and others) on the RAW so they and I may better make decisions on when to hold onto it and when to deviate from it (and why) in their own games for their own purposes and how to interpret it in their own way (and why).

I find the idea of a Fighter having access to magical forces to be both inspiring and fascinating (similarly, Recalled Blessing of Heirophant fame). The character concepts of any sort of a warrior-type gaining this ability is really freaking cool. It gives visions of powerful warriors with abilities beyond the mundane due to mythic heritage. Demigods who are "mortal, but more," or warriors who've achieved a state of perfection in their deadly art that they can function in mystical ways (who are not lawful and/or raised in a monastery) and can even affect or alter the world around them.

I find the idea that Devil's Advocate encourages, "If the GM has to decide something, this isn't a valid interpretation." to be deceiving. A GM is always deciding something. Some things are easier to decide than others.

Many, if not most, posting in this thread conclude that it's more sensible to treat a non-ability as impossible to parse, and a non-caster level as impossible to cast. They have perfectly legitimate reasons for believing this, and this is a perfectly legitimate and "correct" decision to come to.

However, given the precedent within the rules, it seems entirely valid for a GM to interpret things differently, while still holding to the weight of RAW. That's kind of the nature of written language. It is, by nature, incomplete. There is almost always wiggle room.

I tend to choose the wiggle room that allows the game to be more diverse and more interesting. That allows players to make unusual choices but to still be successful.

The idea that this breaks things is weak - the most compelling example given to date was time stop which warrior-types can't use to their fullest advantage like true mages (though when talking about it with my wife - who immediately got excited about the idea - she pointed out that they could drink potions or activate defensive magical items, which is really cool), and the most common "broken" (as in combat-negating) options are, under the interpretation I use, entirely negated.

So what could a warrior-type use?

Dimension door for one. Long range means a 400 ft. teleport. Really nice, though again, not a combat-oriented thing. Time stop, as covered. Alchemical allocation could be exceptionally useful when combined with time stop as my wife suggested (and I would argue it falls under "arcane", due to the fact that alchemists can and do scribe "arcane" spells as formulae*, though again that would be up to GM interpretation, and it appears under "spells" sections). Ancestral regression. Arcane mark. Prestidigitation. Arcane theft (though unlikely to work). Certain uses of Atonement. If a warrior doesn't want to bother with dimension door, they could travel in style by using gate twice - once to leave the area, and once to enter a new one. Augury (at a flat 70% chance).

That's a bunch of really cool and actually relatively fitting-feeling things for a super-awesome warrior-type to do just from looking over the "A" list (plus a few that I thought of along the way).

... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllsooooooo...

Devil's Advocate wrote:
The default caster level for any Pathfinder character? 1d20 + [UNDEFINED].

I find that uncompelling because of the interaction of two things: this...

Caster Level wrote:

A spell's power often depends on its caster level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to her class level in the class she's using to cast the spell.

You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.

In the event that a class feature or other special ability provides an adjustment to your caster level, that adjustment applies not only to effects based on caster level (such as range, duration, and damage dealt), but also to your caster level check to overcome your target's spell resistance and to the caster level used in dispel checks (both the dispel check and the DC of the check).

... and the fact that in every other aspect of the game, when you lack a given element to reference, when that element is required, you either substitute something else or you treat all things involved with it as "0" - ability scores being the ur-example, as increasing a non-score (in which they lack it altogether) increases it from zero, while the modifier while they lack it is also zero. This also neatly falls into common-use English for rulings, because, when you have nothing to add, you add nothing, or "0" - adding 1+0 nets you 1, the same as if you added nothing at all**.

(Curiously, though, as quirk of the system, 0-level spells are treated as half of a level for various effects instead of actually being "0" value - oh d20, you so cray-cray.)

That said, this particular argument is not hardline RAW. There is no hardline RAW. That means the GM is going to have to make decisions based on the weight of RAW (or their own preferences) to make an informed decision.

Expecting a GM to be entirely unable to do that because something may be difficult to define is... unreasonable, and gives most GMs far too little credit***.

* Ala:

Quote:
An alchemist can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. An alchemist does not need to decipher arcane writings before copying them.

Bold mine.

** For "higher" math, "nothing" (aka [undefined] elements) and "0" are not the same; for the vast preponderance of math and common-use English, however, they are.

*** I would like to note that GMs who do not feel qualified to make a decision and thus negotiate with their player to avoid whatever thing they'd have to decide on are, in fact, making a decision in and of itself, and it is the correct one.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
WWWW wrote:
So in the end we have gone nowhere. We are right back at the rules are too vague and ambiguous for anyone to ever hope to get their meaning. Discussion is pointless as we can not ever get any closer to an answer and there is no point to talking about what to do in a particular group since it would be better to, you know, talk to the people in the group about that.

I don't have any particular need to keep talking about it, nonetheless I don't share this view.

I reject the idea that the concept of "their meaning" (singular) has any objective substance (other than RAI). As such, discussion has a point - it's just that the point isn't to determine who is correct, but rather to determine the strengths and weaknesses of different resolutions of any ambiguity.


EDIT: to avoid a double-post
EDITing: back into it's own post because I think it bears examining more.

Buri Reborn wrote:
Knowing of a spell is mechanically different than spells known and you've been around here long enough to know the clear difference. Your argument doesn't hold water. It doesn't even make sense.

So are you arguing hard mechanical definition, or common-use definition?

By hard mechanical definition, the fighter is not a spontaneous caster, and thus has no list of spells known to worry about.

By common-use definition, the fighter is a spontaneous caster, but any list they make of spells known to them is, by definition, a list of spells known.

I believe you have been around here long enough to know the difference between the two (and where they intersect or they do not).

EDIT:

First, Buri Reborn, I suspect, based on the way your responded, that you were conflating two different arguments I'd made in this post as being toward you, when, in fact, only one was made in response to you - an easy mistake to make, considering I had no demarcation of "and now this new argument" other than the normal pauses found within posts. My apologies for being less than clear. For communication sake, the only thing responding to you was the part about the arcane/divine divide.

Whether that's true or not (or you just chose to enter into a new argument with me), however, in order to to clarify further what I mean above the EDIT in this post, there are definitely times when the game holds common-use definition to be the definition of terms and ideas. Generally, this is when something is undefined, the game treats it like the normal English expectations of that thing are.

Common Example: when someone is dead they are dead; a corpse is a corpse (though whether a corpse is an object is a bit iffier, I suppose).

However, when the game provides a specific set of expectations for a defined element, the definitions fall under those expectations. Hence, a spontaneous spellcaster has a list of spells known; this list is provided in the class, and it is defined within the class itself whether or not something is a spontaneous spellcaster.

There was an argument forwarded here (among other places, that's just the most recent one) that,

Quote:
...and that really doesn't cut it. Hint: It is not enough to assert that the definition of spontaneous is something other than "without preparation". You'd need to actually post your definition, and provide evidence for it.

Which is interesting and nifty, but disingenuous... if it purports to be the only interpretation. (If it does not purport to be the only interpretation, it ceases to be disingenuous and becomes practical for those who use it at their table as a basis for decision making.)

Either we are talking about a spontaneous caster (of which there are several, they are defined as being spontaneous casters, and they have specific rules) or we are talking about the generic idea of someone who can cast spontaneously (in which case any spells they know, due to, say, knowledge or spellcraft, are their "spells known" by definition).

Now, one could say that classes with spontaneous spellcasting are just a subsection of the general presumption - i.e. that both the common use and the specific game use are equally valid - however, this is not generally seen as the case in the vast majority of commonly held and accepted rulings, including those later FAQ'd by the design team themselves, making it an exceptionally odd and fundamentally rocky position to argue from, as well as leaving the RAW (which this is about) by the wayside to supply elements from it beyond itself (the common-use definition).

None of this is to say that anyone who chooses to look at it that way is wrong in their own games. They are, however, not solid enough to prove that such is "the" correct interpretation, and it is that rockiness that I'm pointing out.

My argument has been the entire time, "Hm, yeah, looks like it works, RAW, but the GM will have to supply some common English to work things out." while that argument boils down to "Ignore what the books specify, and use some common English!" which, you know, is the same thing to come to an alternate interpretation (though the latter has the much easier luxury of simply disallowing things).


Aaaaaaaaaaaaand Steve does wonders. Wait: Stevie Wonders?!

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
It's the mythic version of Tail Terror.

And guess which side of the argument I was on in that one, too~!

(Totally not sane, guys. Remember this.)


glass wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Good news! I have! And so has at least one other person in greater detail than I. You may breathe now, just in case you were holding your breath.

Did I miss a post? If so, please quote or link it, because the only rebuttal my argument I can find that is (barely) more than "you're wrong because I say so" is this:

bookrat wrote:
There is nothing in the rules which states that if you are not one, you must be the other. The argument falls flat. And no, you didn't misunderstand it, it's just an erroneous argument.

...and that really doesn't cut it. Hint: It is not enough to assert that the definition of spontaneous is something other than "without preparation". You'd need to actually post your definition, and provide evidence for it.

That would deal with the second problem. You'd also have to provide general rules or precedents to fill the rules gaps you create, to solve the first problem. Good luck!

Or, you could just assert that I am wrong again, without providing any actual evidence. But it won't be any more convincing this time than the previous three.

_
glass.

Again, you're just asserting with no evidence (oddly enough, exactly what you're accusing me of doing). This exactly shows that the original assertion is inccorect. There is literally nothing in the rules which state that if you are not one, you must be the other. Ergo, the assertion that if you're not a prepared, you must be a spontaneous is not correct. Here, in the mythic rules, a third option is brought up: mythic points. There may be other options elsewhere, as the rules leave it open for more. An example would be if Paizo wrote a new class with an entirely new spell casting system; then most here would be arguing that it doesn't count because it doesn't fall within the general rules printed in the CRB (forgetting again that specific overrides the general). Oh, wait - they did exactly that with the mythic rules, knowingly or not.

You've made good arguments. You really have. Unfortunately, they were based off a false premise, negating the rest of the logic. I've done the same myself in the past. It's ok to make mistakes like this, we just have to admit our errors.

Grand Lodge

What the hell is Tail Terror?


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
What the hell is Tail Terror?

It's a Kobold feat that lets you make natural Attacks with your tail. People were claiming that you could take racial heritage: Kobold as a human and then tail terror to get a natural attack.

It was a lengthy and heated debate. FAQ eventually said no.

Grand Lodge

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Right, because the feat doesn't say 'you must have a tail' in the prereqs, huh?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Right, because the feat doesn't say 'you must have a tail' in the prereqs, huh?

You got it.


EDIT: Ninja'd!

It's a kobold-exclusive feat that some felt human-like aasimars could take after the ruling that aasimars could be descended from any race, when combined with the scion of humanity alternate racial ability and the Racial Heritage human-exclusive feat (because you counted as human due to the trait and you could count as kobold due to the feat).

The whole point was to gain interesting natural weapons on non-kobolds.
Stephen Radney-MacFarland eventually showed up, told everyone they were being kinda dumb by taking the mechanics too seriously when it makes no sense for someone with scion of humanity to have a tail - a fair enough assessment, I'd say, though it went against my own view (that the combination was, in fact, mechanically sound, and it could create interesting characters).

I'm sure it's in my posts somewhere if you want to go digging.

EDIT 2: It took less digging than I thought to find it.

For similarly i(s)nane arguments on my part, see Blindness/Deafness v. Darkvision thread, where I argued that Darkvision allowed you to temporarly overcome blindness for the short duration of the spell.

The theme here? I like creative solutions to problems that aren't too unbalancing. These all fall under it, though it harms others' suspension of disbelief of sense of 'proper' rules interpretation.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:
The theme here? I like creative solutions to problems that aren't too unbalancing. These all fall under it, though it harms others' suspension of disbelief of sense of 'proper' rules interpretation.

Your FACE harms proper rules interpretation. :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
The theme here? I like creative solutions to problems that aren't too unbalancing. These all fall under it, though it harms others' suspension of disbelief of sense of 'proper' rules interpretation.
Your FACE harms proper rules interpretation. :D

I... I know. :/


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Long story short, "You can do X" is not an absolute in Pathfinder.


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I'm really curious to see what Ravingdork would do with these rules.


And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.
That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.


master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.

This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Long story short, "You can do X" is not an absolute in Pathfinder.

Yes it is. Some mechanics are just written poorly.


master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.

That's a fine house rule. One I am sure those who wish to deny this ability to their players would enforce. Unfortunately, it is not a part of the ability, as it has no mention of spell lists. It only requires those who are prepard casters to have it memorized or those that are spontaneous casters to have it as a known spell. Those are both behind IF statements, and since neither apply to the fighter, s/he is not restricted to those gates and therefore uses a different method (mentioned in the same paragraph: any arcane spell).


Just saw the first few responses so if anybody already suggested this then my bad. Take a level of arcane spell casting. You now have spells and the first tier option works fine. Your DM will spend hours punching him/herself in the face with a +5 vorpal kitchen utensil of choice. Its super broken by its wording. Any smart DM would not let it happen.


bookrat wrote:
glass wrote:
Or, you could just assert that I am wrong again, without providing any actual evidence. But it won't be any more convincing this time than the previous three.
Again, you're just asserting with no evidence (oddly enough, exactly what you're accusing me of doing). This exactly shows that the original assertion is inccorect. There is literally nothing in the rules which state that if you are not one, you must be the other.

So, you decided to go with the assert-it-again approach. Adding even more condescension is not the secret, adding evidence is.

"Cast spontaneously" does not, to my knowledge, have an explicit definition. But the implied definition used in the rules "cast a spell that you select at the time of casting, without having to have prepared it in advance". Evidence for that has been presented (admittedly not by me). If the definition of Y is not-X, then by definition X and Y are the only options. The third way your argument depends on cannot exist. So you absolutely need to provide that competing definition.

_
glass.


glass wrote:
bookrat wrote:
glass wrote:
Or, you could just assert that I am wrong again, without providing any actual evidence. But it won't be any more convincing this time than the previous three.
Again, you're just asserting with no evidence (oddly enough, exactly what you're accusing me of doing). This exactly shows that the original assertion is inccorect. There is literally nothing in the rules which state that if you are not one, you must be the other.

So, you decided to go with the assert-it-again approach. Adding even more condescension is not the secret, adding evidence is.

"Cast spontaneously" does not, to my knowledge, have an explicit definition. But the implied definition used in the rules "cast a spell that you select at the time of casting, without having to have prepared it in advance". Evidence for that has been presented (admittedly not by me). If the definition of Y is not-X, then by definition X and Y are the only options. The third way your argument depends on cannot exist. So you absolutely need to provide that competing definition.

_
glass.

Sorry, dude; I cannot prove a negative. As the openness of the rules allow for other possibilities and at least one additional possibility has been asserted (spend a mythic point to cast a spell), then it's up to you to show the rule that if not-x, then y. I cannot quote the lack of a printed text showing the non-existence of such a rule. It is a physical impossibility.

The rules literally state that some cast prepared and some cast spontaneously. This literally leaves the option open that there is some portion that can be not-x and not-y.

Since you refuse to believe this basic form of logic, then I have no choice but to include you in the "this is wrong because I feel it is wrong" category. You have decided to simply make up rules to show this doesn't work. It's perfectly fine to do this as a house rule, and also perfectly valid to assert that this is RAI, but it is not RAW.

I'll also note that if what you assert is true - that there is no definition of a spontaneous caster - then your defined definition of "y equals not-x" is blatantly making up a rule; you cannot have both a lack of a rule and a rule at the same time just to prevent from having to admit you were in error.


BigDTBone wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.
This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.

It also tells you how to do it based on what kind of caster you are, but you're ignoring that for your own convenience.

Never mind that the FAQ on the matter came out after Mythic Adventures.
You don't have a spell list as a fighter.
The FAQ specifically calls out abilities that would add to your spell list, and says that they cannot.
Ignoring the FAQ that directly disproves you does not mean you are following RAW, it means you are clearly trying to bend the rules based on a loose interpretation of one sentence taken out of context.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

How glorious.


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9toes wrote:
Just saw the first few responses so if anybody already suggested this then my bad. Take a level of arcane spell casting. You now have spells and the first tier option works fine. Your DM will spend hours punching him/herself in the face with a +5 vorpal kitchen utensil of choice. Its super broken by its wording. Any smart DM would not let it happen.

You just accused Tacticslion and anyone else who uses this of not being smart. Please don't do that.


master_marshmallow wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.
This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.

It also tells you how to do it based on what kind of caster you are, but you're ignoring that for your own convenience.

Never mind that the FAQ on the matter came out after Mythic Adventures.
You don't have a spell list as a fighter.
The FAQ specifically calls out abilities that would add to your spell list, and says that they cannot.
Ignoring the FAQ that directly disproves you does not mean you are following RAW, it means you are clearly trying to bend the rules based on a loose interpretation of one sentence taken out of context.

Most certainly the fighter can cast any arcane spells on his spell list, should he have one. However the rule that comes from the FAQ stating that he cannot expand his spell list unless the ability specially says he can, then he has access to no spells to cast.

In short, if casting spells is action y that requires spell list x, then the fighter needs only satisfy spell list x since archmage satisfies action y.

Non algebraically, you want to drink (cast a spell) but you need a glass (the ability to cast spells) and something to drink (a spell list). Archmage gives you a glass for free, to be certain, but the FAQ prevents you from having anything to drink out of it.


master_marshmallow wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.
This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.
It also tells you how to do it based on what kind of caster you are

It absolutely does not. It has restrictions if you happen to be a particular kind of caster.


master_marshmallow wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.
This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.

It also tells you how to do it based on what kind of caster you are, but you're ignoring that for your own convenience.

Never mind that the FAQ on the matter came out after Mythic Adventures.
You don't have a spell list as a fighter.
The FAQ specifically calls out abilities that would add to your spell list, and says that they cannot.
Ignoring the FAQ that directly disproves you does not mean you are following RAW, it means you are clearly trying to bend the rules based on a loose interpretation of one sentence taken out of context.

Most certainly the fighter can cast any arcane spells on his spell list, should he have one. However the rule that comes from the FAQ stating that he cannot expand his spell list unless the ability specially says he can, then he has access to no spells to cast.

In short, if casting spells is action y that requires spell list x, then the fighter needs only satisfy spell list x since archmage satisfies action y.

Non algebraically, you want to drink (cast a spell) but you need a glass (the ability to cast spells) and something to drink (a spell list). Archmage gives you a glass for free, to be certain, but the FAQ prevents you from having anything to drink out of it.

The perfect moment of blind rage when you just realized that you were argueing with yourself. Priceless.


master_marshmallow wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

And the whole, expanding your spell list debacle created by Eldritch Heritage and Paragon Surge.

That ruling alone prevents this from working. As the fighter has no spell list, he cannot cast any arcane spell.
Certainly, he can use his ability to cast any of his own arcane spells, but his class does not offer them.
This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.

It also tells you how to do it based on what kind of caster you are, but you're ignoring that for your own convenience.

Never mind that the FAQ on the matter came out after Mythic Adventures.
You don't have a spell list as a fighter.
The FAQ specifically calls out abilities that would add to your spell list, and says that they cannot.
Ignoring the FAQ that directly disproves you does not mean you are following RAW, it means you are clearly trying to bend the rules based on a loose interpretation of one sentence taken out of context.

There are only two types of spell casters present in the current game. This ability does not change that, it does not say that it changes that, it it's not intended to change that.

Playing the whole "that's your opinion, man" card does nothing to prove to us that your interpretation of one sentence out of context supersedes the development team.

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