Firesight vs pyrotechnics & other magical smoke effects

Rules Questions


Had this come up in a pfs game the other day, and I wanted to make sure of the ruling that this actually works the way i thought it did. The question was with the spell pyrotechnics... (and by extension several other spells with similar or the same language.) to help the spell text is here.

Smoke Cloud: A stream of smoke billows out from the fire, forming a choking cloud that spreads 20 feet in all directions and lasts for 1 round per caster level. All sight, even darkvision, is ineffective in or through the cloud. All within the cloud take -4 penalties to Strength and Dexterity (Fortitude negates). These effects last for 1d4+1 rounds after the cloud dissipates or after the creature leaves the area of the cloud. Spell resistance does not apply.

There is the pertinent portion of the spell ALL sight even darkvision is blocked by the smoke.

My Ifrit bard decided it would be an amazing spell to use to screw with enemies... since he has two abilities. these are the abilities.

Firesight (Ifrit)
Prerequisites: Ifrit.

Benefit: You can see through fire and smoke without penalty, ignoring any cover or concealment bonuses from fire and smoke. This does not allow you to see anything you could not otherwise see (for example, invisible creatures are still invisible). You are immune to the dazzled condition.


Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through flames without any distortion. Any ally within 30 feet of the bard who can hear the performance can see through fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally, as with the base effect of the gaze of flames oracle revelation. Song of the fiery gaze relies on audible components.

This essentially allows his party (and him) to see through the firey smoke as i understood it. However the phrasing blocks all sight had the question come up in game. Do these abilities allow one to see through even magical sight blocking smoke, since it seems that is part of what is intended. or is the magic of the smoke blocking the see through smoke abilities? If possible it would be nice to get an answer on this matter for next time i wish to use the character.


Bump? any comments or help?

I think it would see thru any obscuring fog or smoke effect. Even so, I suppose one could argue that it might be an issue of level effect (similar to light versus darkness).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The whole "blocks all sight, including darkvision" thing is the standard language for any type of cloudy concealment. Same thing appears in obscuring mist (and therefore also applies to every effect that's based on obscuring mist, which is quite a chain of spells).

If you try to take it as a completely final, no-exceptions, absolute barrier then those abilities to see through fog/smoke/etc end up not actually doing anything.

If you think that a character who has those abilities is supposed to be mechanically different than a character without them, then you're left with no choice but to conclude that such abilities are an exception to the "blocks all sight" thing.

So, the trick works. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that's exactly the kind of thing it was probably designed to let you do!

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