Deeper Darkness vs. Detect Magic

Rules Questions

Okay so I searched the forums and couldn't find the answer to this question.

Last Night we were playing, and we were facing off against this bat creature thing, and it cast deeper darkness in an already dark area, and then proceeded to rely on its echolocation ability to track and hurt the party.

I am a 6th level Tiefling Arcanist with the see magic exploit. My party mate is also a 6th level arcanist but an elf without the see magic exploit.

We are both inside the Deeper Darkness Spell area when its cast and are in it for the entirety of the encounter.

He casts detect magic in an effort to track the creature who is holding a magical scroll. I follow on my initiative with my See Magic ability.

The question is can we see him/the scroll and therefore track him through the Deeper Darkness area, specifically, can I pinpoint him to target him/the scroll with spells or can I not see him at all. Keep in mind the battle took longer than 3 rounds but he (bat thing) was moving the entire time. There was this huge argument over line of sight vs. line of effect, and whether detect magic would grant me line of sight yada yada. I argued that the spell granted me a line of sight... anyway HELP.

Dark Archive

I say you have a general ideal of where his is at but thats it you cant see in the dark but if you made light you would be fine

Deeper Darkness would radiate magic. Thus, Detect Magic would be pointless until you could start to discern differences in auras (Round 3).

From detect magic:

Magical areas, multiple types of magic, or strong local magical emanations may distort or conceal weaker auras.


Your arcanist with the "see magic" exploit would have a much easier go at this, IF the GM didn't declare the magic on the scroll was distorted/warped by the surrounding Deeper Darkness.

Even so, I would still rule that the creature AND the object both had concealment, granting a 50% miss chance in even the best of conditions.

To put it another way:

I'll draw a picture of a giant light-blue blob with a few pixels of cyan mixed in, and you tell me which pixels are cyan. Oh, and I'll move the cyan ones around the whole time.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Since detect magic works through solid barriers, it would certainly seem to work in magical darkness.

But! There are several problems to the plan you describe. First, it takes multiple rounds of concentration to pinpoint an aura. So your friend starts detecting, and all he gets in round one is "yes" or "no" for magic auras in his cone. In round 2 he gets the strength of the strongest aura - which might not be the scroll the bat had - for example, he might pick up your magic items if you are in the cone. Only in round 3 would he now know the 5' square containing the scroll - and only then if the bat didn't leave the cone of detection the entire time.

So yes it technically works if you want to eat up 3 rounds of attacks, hope the foe doesn't move, and then still have a 50% miss chance.

I would not say that it would let you target the bat with spells. You know the location of the scroll, not the bat. You can infer the bat's location but that's not the same thing.

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