Identifying a Spells with Spellcraft


Rules Questions

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alexd1976 wrote:
In my games, you can sometimes use Charm Person to sneak into a town after hours.

The problem isn't necessarily the narrative of a PC hero sneaking into a town by charming the guard and walking through the gate. Or even the similar of a villain using the same trick to get into town and do some nefarious stuff.

The real problem, for me, is the verisimilitude of the entire game if you take it to its logical conclusion:

The same low-level guy who sneaks through a gate by charming the guard could also walk into any store in town and charm the merchant. "Hey, good buddy, you look tired. Worn out. You know I"m your best friend and I worry about you. Why don't you take the afternoon off and I will watch your store for you. I'll handle your business, take care of your customers, because I care about you. So have a nice afternoon!" And now that low-level wizard loads up his bag of holding with as much merchandise as he wants and destroys his WBL value.

No big deal. One guy getting rich (maybe that was a gem shop) isn't world-breaking.

But let's not forget that the merchant is now out of business, his merchandise stolen, his loans unpaid and now unpayable. Still not a big deal.

Until you remember that Charm Person is a level ONE spell and is available to hundreds of thousands of wizards, sorcerers, bards, arcanists, shamans, witches, divine casters with the right domain, and adepts. All at level ONE.

Now hundreds of thousands of spellcasters are doing this kind of thing today.

Putting hundreds of thousands of merchants out of business all over the world.

And they do it again tomorrow.

And the next day.

Within a week, no merchant is open for business. Anywhere.

World economies collapse. Currency becomes useless. Anarchy reigns all over the entire planet. Might makes right. Whoever has the biggest sword and the best skill to use it becomes the new ruling class and the new wealthy elite.

Except those are usually the people who are the most susceptible to Charm Person, so they are nearly all subjugated to enforced friendship with all those hundreds of thousands of LEVEL ONE casters who, by proxy, are the real masters of the universe.

This all happens within a week.

Even more chaos and anarchy follow next week.

And don't forget about those higher level casters with Dominate Person in their bag of tricks, taking world ruination to a whole new level.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------

That's why it's not a good idea to let spellcasting be concealable. At least with the FAQ (and the way it's worked all along), it's much much more difficult for level ONE spellcasters to ruin the world in less than a week.


That's why I go by the rules within Charm Person, and interpret the 'harmful' clause to fit the situation.

The limitations are built into the spell, it didn't need a flashing neon sign.


People seem to forget that treating someone as your friend doesn't mean you will give them all your money.

I mean, honestly, would you even empty your bank account for your MOTHER without asking some questions?


I'm not talking about emptying a bank account.

I'm talking about trusting a close friend and viewing his actions in the most favorable way. Like the spell says. Having a friend offer to do some of your JOB, your work, while you get some freedom to relax for a bit isn't such a bad deal. People in real life do that all the time, depending on the job. It's really not that far-fetched at all, and well within the spell parameters since there is nothing "harmful" about relaxing while a trusted friend takes care of you.

Edit: if you consider that harmful, then why don't you consider it harmful for a city watchman standing guard at a closed gate to allow a total stranger into the city? After all, he's trusting his good friend to behave in a decent fashion (in the most favorable way), but if he gets caught, he could lose his job and livelihood and even see his family starve if the city is crowded and jobs are rare. The levels of "harmful" are very similar in these two cases - if one is OK, then they should both be OK.


DM_Blake wrote:

I'm not talking about emptying a bank account.

I'm talking about trusting a close friend and viewing his actions in the most favorable way. Like the spell says. Having a friend offer to do some of your JOB, your work, while you get some freedom to relax for a bit isn't such a bad deal. People in real life do that all the time, depending on the job. It's really not that far-fetched at all, and well within the spell parameters since there is nothing "harmful" about relaxing while a trusted friend takes care of you.

See we don't agree that it is within the parameters of the spell...

I prevent abuse of the spell by limiting it's power to what I think it should allow...

My players all know how first level spells work, and respect the idea of not being able to just clean out a vendors shop with one casting...

*shrugs* It's a combination of playstyle, regular group and consensual interpretation of what is allowable.


Conversely, you could Magic Missile him to death with a first level spell, but then you have committed murder, then theft... so that is the in-game balance...

:D


I would cast the Hypnotism spell in this case.


Draco Bahamut wrote:
I would cast the Hypnotism spell in this case.

Perfect example of a spell with a clearly described, noticeable effect:

"causing them to stop and stare blankly at you."

You might be able to convince them to do something that improving their attitude by two ranks would allow, but you better do it in private, or someone may notice that spell.

Also, you have a visual effect on the spell now, as per FAQ. So when it wears off, chances are they are reporting you to the authorities.

I mean, wouldn't you?


The spell states that they don´t remember being ensorceled.


alexd1976 wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
I think that Alex is thinking that he doesn't like people talking about what he's thinking. I think THAT is what Alex thinks...

Pretty much.

Feel free to quote me as much as you like, or make suppositions, but do not make statements about my thoughts. Those are my own. I have shared what I wished to share.

Speaking is an attempt to convey thought. To know what a person is thinking is the goal when listening to them. I don't understand why you'd even bother speaking if that offended you.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Draco Bahamut wrote:

What the FAQ say ?

The FAQ say that somehow, people witnessing the casting of the spell should have chance to roll spellcraft and know whitch spell was cast.
This is a game, we don´t really need to go beyond that.
But, because of different gaming styles, some of us need to theorize beyond that and seek answers beyond the scope of the game. And these answers break the rules.

What these mysterious signs of casting mean ?
What the NPCs would do if they see these signals ?
How can i hide these signals ?

I do apologize, as i can´t really relate to this need and i may have made questions just for fun. I fully support people who can´t accept this rulling and hope you find an acceptable solution.

Just want to add on the questions...

Do I really see people who argued against spells being 'seen' while being cast, are now arguing for rules on what is 'seen'?

Less cynically, the faq says the effects are visible enough to cause spellcraft. It doesn't say that casters are autodetected or that the untrained recognize the 'sight' of a spell building.
by leaving what is 'seen' is open it clarifies a rule, since some were unclear, and makes it clearer. "Can see spell building"

Bland version:
PC1 and PC2
GM: You two are guarding the gate. NPC comes up and PC1 'sees' the spell being cast. You can roll spellcraft.
PC2: Can't I see it?
GM: No, you can see the signs, but don't have the skills to ID a spell in progress.
PC1: 18, what is it?
GM: charm person, make a will save.

More flavourful version
GM: Dana, the 'not a witch' herbalist comes up. She makes the sign of protecting from evil and smiles, making you both notice her. PC1, you recognize the sensation of casting from your studies. roll spellcraft.
PC2: So is she casting a spell?
GM: No, she's just caught your eye. You wouldn't know a spell until it forced a will save. Speaking of will saves...

Now yes, you can have the spell make flashy runes, or other sfx that screams 'spell caster' and be in the rules, or you can 'Dresden files' it where there are noticeable effects of spells being 'primed' but either way, it fits the rules without being stifling.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Just want to add on the questions...

Do I really see people who argued against spells being 'seen' while being cast, are now arguing for rules on what is 'seen'?

Less cynically, the faq says the effects are visible enough to cause spellcraft. It doesn't say that casters are autodetected or that the untrained recognize the 'sight' of a spell building.
by leaving what is 'seen' is open it clarifies a rule, since some were unclear, and makes it clearer. "Can see spell building"

No. The FAQ makes it clear that the untrained do recognize casting.

Quote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation.

It does not say casters are autodetected, you're right about that.


alexd1976 wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
I would cast the Hypnotism spell in this case.

Perfect example of a spell with a clearly described, noticeable effect:

"causing them to stop and stare blankly at you."

You might be able to convince them to do something that improving their attitude by two ranks would allow, but you better do it in private, or someone may notice that spell.

Also, you have a visual effect on the spell now, as per FAQ. So when it wears off, chances are they are reporting you to the authorities.

I mean, wouldn't you?

They're actually more likely to go to the authorities after Charm Person than Hypnotism. When Charm Person wears off, every aspect of the spell goes away. The victim knows they acted in a manner totally differently than they normally would.

With Hypnotism, firstly the victim does not remember being ensorcelled, and the positive attitude they gained from the spell towards the request you made remains even after the spell duration ends.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Re-reading it, you wouldn't even know it was referring to the visible effects PRIOR to casting if the question itself didn't give it a solid frame of reference.


Ravingdork wrote:
Re-reading it, you wouldn't even know it was referring to the visible effects PRIOR to casting if the question itself didn't give it a solid frame of reference.

Do you often read answers without using the question for a point of reference? Or only when you're criticizing a FAQ you don't like.


DM_Blake wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Re-reading it, you wouldn't even know it was referring to the visible effects PRIOR to casting if the question itself didn't give it a solid frame of reference.
Do you often read answers without using the question for a point of reference? Or only when you're criticizing a FAQ you don't like.

Knowing the question is kind of important when trying to determine how to apply the answer....


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DM_Blake wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
In my games, you can sometimes use Charm Person to sneak into a town after hours.

The problem isn't necessarily the narrative of a PC hero sneaking into a town by charming the guard and walking through the gate. Or even the similar of a villain using the same trick to get into town and do some nefarious stuff.

The real problem, for me, is the verisimilitude of the entire game if you take it to its logical conclusion:

The same low-level guy who sneaks through a gate by charming the guard could also walk into any store in town and charm the merchant. "Hey, good buddy, you look tired. Worn out. You know I"m your best friend and I worry about you. Why don't you take the afternoon off and I will watch your store for you. I'll handle your business, take care of your customers, because I care about you. So have a nice afternoon!" And now that low-level wizard loads up his bag of holding with as much merchandise as he wants and destroys his WBL value.

No big deal. One guy getting rich (maybe that was a gem shop) isn't world-breaking.

But let's not forget that the merchant is now out of business, his merchandise stolen, his loans unpaid and now unpayable. Still not a big deal.

Indeed, not a big deal. The merchant will now get to the local merchant guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who stole from him, in addition to the law enforcement and his friends.

With little help from magic, they will find the one that dared to do that, and make an example of him in plain sight.

Now, no one will ever dare to do that again. EVER.

It's wonderful how most people forget that a world should all have something incredible : consistency.


Avh wrote:

Indeed, not a big deal. The merchant will now get to the local merchant guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who stole from him, in addition to the law enforcement and his friends.

With little help from magic, they will find the one that dared to do that, and make an example of him in plain sight.

Now, no one will ever dare to do that again. EVER.

It's wonderful how most people forget that a world should all have something incredible : consistency.

Ahem. Yes. Speaking of consistency:

In Alex's post about using Charm Person to get past city guards, the guards will now get to the local constables guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who ensorceled them and sneaked past them and could be perpetrating who knows what other crimes in town.

With a little help from magic, they will find the one who dared to do that and make an example of him in plain sight.

Now nobody will ever dare to do that again. EVER.

I submit that using Charm Person to break the law and steal from a merchant is no harder, no different, and no bigger a crime than using Charm Person to break the law and enter a restricted location that is legally off limits. Heck, in some real places, theft is just jail time but trespassing is punishable by death.

I further submit that using any enchantment spell on a citizen is a personal violation and is very illegal.

Yet, Alex (and I'm sure many others) seems to be perfectly OK with a character violating the mind of a guard and nobody, not even the guard, cares. Then they somehow say that doing the same thing to a merchant either violates the parameters of the spell and/or causes immense legal problems. Why? There is no palpable difference between the two illegal violations other than the mindset that one is cool narrative and the other is cheating the WBL system.

I guess I play in more consistent game world than that, so my game world actually does have that "something incredible" you spoke of.


Avh wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
In my games, you can sometimes use Charm Person to sneak into a town after hours.

The problem isn't necessarily the narrative of a PC hero sneaking into a town by charming the guard and walking through the gate. Or even the similar of a villain using the same trick to get into town and do some nefarious stuff.

The real problem, for me, is the verisimilitude of the entire game if you take it to its logical conclusion:

The same low-level guy who sneaks through a gate by charming the guard could also walk into any store in town and charm the merchant. "Hey, good buddy, you look tired. Worn out. You know I"m your best friend and I worry about you. Why don't you take the afternoon off and I will watch your store for you. I'll handle your business, take care of your customers, because I care about you. So have a nice afternoon!" And now that low-level wizard loads up his bag of holding with as much merchandise as he wants and destroys his WBL value.

No big deal. One guy getting rich (maybe that was a gem shop) isn't world-breaking.

But let's not forget that the merchant is now out of business, his merchandise stolen, his loans unpaid and now unpayable. Still not a big deal.

Indeed, not a big deal. The merchant will now get to the local merchant guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who stole from him, in addition to the law enforcement and his friends.

With little help from magic, they will find the one that dared to do that, and make an example of him in plain sight.

Now, no one will ever dare to do that again. EVER.

It's wonderful how most people forget that a world should all have something incredible : consistency.

But, speaking as a GM, players always seem to think that everything with the merchant/guard/whatever ends as soon as their present interaction is over.


DM_Blake wrote:

Ahem. Yes. Speaking of consistency:

In Alex's post about using Charm Person to get past city guards, the guards will now get to the local constables guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who ensorceled them and sneaked past them and could be perpetrating who knows what other crimes in town.

The difference lies in the action of the PC/NPC who do it.

Going past some guards patrolling during a curfew or at a gate at night won't cause major problems.

Things would be different if it was used to penetrate inside the king's castle, and either attempt to kill the king or steal his treasures.

The example with the merchant would go vastly different if the wizard just used a little charm to get some discount (-10 or -20% for example) or access to a more restricted part of the shop, instead of stealing everything from him. If the merchant doesn't feel he was played by the wizard, he doesn't have any reason to ask for help in retribution, does he ?

Quote:
I further submit that using any enchantment spell on a citizen is a personal violation and is very illegal.

Not in every country. And again, it's hard to go after someone you don't feel bad.

Quote:
Yet, Alex (and I'm sure many others) seems to be perfectly OK with a character violating the mind of a guard and nobody, not even the guard, cares. Then they somehow say that doing the same thing to a merchant either violates the parameters of the spell and/or causes immense legal problems. Why? There is no palpable difference between the two illegal violations other than the mindset that one is cool narrative and the other is cheating the WBL system.

Nope : it has absolutly nothing to do with WBL.

The king's throne room guards won't let anyone pass, even their closest friend. However, guards from the night patrol arresting people because of a curfew may very well forgive a late friend with just a warning.


Avh wrote:
However, guards from the night patrol arresting people because of a curfew may very well forgive a late friend with just a warning.

After the spell wears off, he's not a "late friend"; he's an enchanter who used dark magic to control my mind and make me screw up my job. And now he's running around MY town, probably committing other crimes with his foul dark magic, and I'm going to get blamed for it. I better report this right now, immediately, so we can go find that guy and put him to the torch for his dark arts. If I don't report it immediately, then I'm going to be torched with him - my only chance is to admit that I was ensorceled and blame the sorcerer (unless my boss is Darth Vader; just about anyone else would be reasonable enough to recognize that the fault is not the mine, but rather, the enchanter who ensorceled me).

Yeah, that guy gets the witch hunters out in full force, exactly as much as the robbed merchant does.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

thejeff wrote:

No. The FAQ makes it clear that the untrained do recognize casting.

Quote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation.
It does not say casters are autodetected, you're right about that.

Well bugger, missed that.

Sovereign Court

Pathos wrote:

So, where does this FAQ leave something like SU abilities, like a Witches Hex?

Is there some outward manifestation when she drops a Slumber Hex on some unsuspecting farmer?

It's a fair question. The rules don't directly answer it.

I would say Yes. I believe the current tendency in the rules supports that ("magic is noticeable unless you take steps") and it also fits how I like my game: not too much unnoticeable casting mayhem. The particular advantage of unnoticeable casting is something you actually have to pay for with resources you could've spent on other things, like raw power.


Having actually guarded places in the past, I find the concept of using charm person to access restricted areas kinda silly. As in, the first time a player tried it, I genuinely did not understand what she was attempting, whereas she assumed he'd just let her by no questions asked. A guard who lets his friends past because they're his friends wouldn't last long enough to guard anything. But we've wandered a bit.

I don't understand this ruling somehow being less intuitive. PreFAQ you had to determine if you could use Spellcraft from a boatload of variables and there was table variance. Post FAQ you can use Spellcraft. Period for emphasis. So much simpler, so we can get in with combat.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Avh wrote:

Indeed, not a big deal. The merchant will now get to the local merchant guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who stole from him, in addition to the law enforcement and his friends.

With little help from magic, they will find the one that dared to do that, and make an example of him in plain sight.

Now, no one will ever dare to do that again. EVER.

It's wonderful how most people forget that a world should all have something incredible : consistency.

Ahem. Yes. Speaking of consistency:

In Alex's post about using Charm Person to get past city guards, the guards will now get to the local constables guild, a few hours later, and will ask for payback from the douchebag who ensorceled them and sneaked past them and could be perpetrating who knows what other crimes in town.

With a little help from magic, they will find the one who dared to do that and make an example of him in plain sight.

Now nobody will ever dare to do that again. EVER.

I submit that using Charm Person to break the law and steal from a merchant is no harder, no different, and no bigger a crime than using Charm Person to break the law and enter a restricted location that is legally off limits. Heck, in some real places, theft is just jail time but trespassing is punishable by death.

I further submit that using any enchantment spell on a citizen is a personal violation and is very illegal.

Yet, Alex (and I'm sure many others) seems to be perfectly OK with a character violating the mind of a guard and nobody, not even the guard, cares. Then they somehow say that doing the same thing to a merchant either violates the parameters of the spell and/or causes immense legal problems. Why? There is no palpable difference between the two illegal violations other than the mindset that one is cool narrative and the other is cheating the WBL system.

I guess I play in more consistent game world than that, so my game world actually does have that "something incredible" you...

In Eberron it was considered a form of fraud.


I find it curious that no dev came here to express their personal opinion on the matter...


Avh wrote:
I find it curious that no dev came here to express their personal opinion on the matter...

I don't.

They often stay out of arguments like this.

They also sometimes come in to express opinions. Still, the staying out happens often enough that it's not a curiosity for me.

Frankly, with all the vitriol, with people saying "This is the worst thing ever!", with people saying it's a deliberate rule change to sell their product, well, I don't blame them at all for not volunteering to be the volunteer punching bag.


DM_Blake wrote:
Avh wrote:
I find it curious that no dev came here to express their personal opinion on the matter...

I don't.

They often stay out of arguments like this.

They also sometimes come in to express opinions. Still, the staying out happens often enough that it's not a curiosity for me.

Frankly, with all the vitriol, with people saying "This is the worst thing ever!", with people saying it's a deliberate rule change to sell their product, well, I don't blame them at all for not volunteering to be the volunteer punching bag.

In my opinion, I think it is a bad move. I believe that when something divide the community like this, a dev (or someone officially appointed by a dev to do this) should go a clarify things calmly, trying to explain why they do this and to understand why it provokes such reactions.

Not hide themselves and turn a deaf ear anticipating being stoned by the community, despite having the power to shut down posters that get carried away too much.

In fact, it looks like they don't even care about their game anymore. It looks like the only thing they want is to sell yet another rulebook. I'm sick of this situation (and firmly believe i'm not the only one).


Aren´t Buhlmann on vacation ? They should be busy.


Avh wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Avh wrote:
I find it curious that no dev came here to express their personal opinion on the matter...

I don't.

They often stay out of arguments like this.

They also sometimes come in to express opinions. Still, the staying out happens often enough that it's not a curiosity for me.

Frankly, with all the vitriol, with people saying "This is the worst thing ever!", with people saying it's a deliberate rule change to sell their product, well, I don't blame them at all for not volunteering to be the volunteer punching bag.

In my opinion, I think it is a bad move. I believe that when something divide the community like this, a dev (or someone officially appointed by a dev to do this) should go a clarify things calmly, trying to explain why they do this and to understand why it provokes such reactions.

Not hide themselves and turn a deaf ear anticipating being stoned by the community, despite having the power to shut down posters that get carried away too much.

In fact, it looks like they don't even care about their game anymore. It looks like the only thing they want is to sell yet another rulebook. I'm sick of this situation (and firmly believe i'm not the only one).

Given that various devs have commented on how this works for years and that was dismissed as just opinion and finally this FAQ was met by denunciations as a stealth rules change and done just to sell books, I really doubt any casual comment would clear things up.

Other than moderating them away, they don't have the power to shut down posters.

Nor is this really dividing the community. It's a tempest in a teapot. There are a handful of posters who are outspoken about it. That's all.


DM_Blake wrote:
Avh wrote:
However, guards from the night patrol arresting people because of a curfew may very well forgive a late friend with just a warning.

After the spell wears off, he's not a "late friend"; he's an enchanter who used dark magic to control my mind and make me screw up my job. And now he's running around MY town, probably committing other crimes with his foul dark magic, and I'm going to get blamed for it. I better report this right now, immediately, so we can go find that guy and put him to the torch for his dark arts. If I don't report it immediately, then I'm going to be torched with him - my only chance is to admit that I was ensorceled and blame the sorcerer (unless my boss is Darth Vader; just about anyone else would be reasonable enough to recognize that the fault is not the mine, but rather, the enchanter who ensorceled me).

Yeah, that guy gets the witch hunters out in full force, exactly as much as the robbed merchant does.

I totally agree. It's always funny how players seem to think that the effects of Charm Person are somehow permanent, or that then victim forgets everything afterwards, or that just somehow there is no repercussion for using the spell in social setting.

The default Pathfinder is a relatively high magic setting. Mind affecting magic would be something that most probably haven't personally experienced, but have definitely heard of from stories and rumors (heck, we've heard of it here on Earth, and such magic doesn't even exist here). Consequently, when an individual meets someone that they've never met before (or only know very tangentially), suddenly feel that they are that person's best friend, and then equally as suddenly stop feeling that way, it really doesn't take much of a leap for that person to assume they were the victim of such magic. It doesn't even matter whether or not they saw spell casting; the effects of the spell would be noticeable. Assuming that subject person performed actions they would not normally have done for their erstwhile "friend," it is equally as reasonable for that subject person to take action against that "friend." What action they take would depend upon the person in question. A guard might report to his superior officer; heck, the guards might actually have a standard system for response against such mind affecting magic since any self respecting noble would have planned against it. A merchant would go to the policing authorities, his/her guild, or approach the seedier side of the community for some unofficial justice.

Dark Archive

Dallium wrote:

Having actually guarded places in the past, I find the concept of using charm person to access restricted areas kinda silly. As in, the first time a player tried it, I genuinely did not understand what she was attempting, whereas she assumed he'd just let her by no questions asked. A guard who lets his friends past because they're his friends wouldn't last long enough to guard anything. But we've wandered a bit.

I don't understand this ruling somehow being less intuitive. PreFAQ you had to determine if you could use Spellcraft from a boatload of variables and there was table variance. Post FAQ you can use Spellcraft. Period for emphasis. So much simpler, so we can get in with combat.

I think the guard situation comes up more when entering towns, in a lot of the books i read, from the forgotten realms setting, guards at the gates of towns don't always let travelers in at certain times, only people native to the area, charming the guard will get you in as the guard sees you as a friend.

All in all still a minor issue, just being used as a simple example of the spell


I guess enchanting is the main school of magic that have a lot of problems with people knowing a spell was cast.

Evocation, Necromancy, and Conjuration generally have overt effects that turn pretty obvious that magic was involved.

Divination, Illusion, Abjuration and Transmutation are more covert, but you seldom need to cast them in the enemy face if you want it secret.


Draco Bahamut wrote:
Aren´t Buhlmann on vacation ? They should be busy.

You mean that PDT made its decision without the lead designer and author of Pathfinder ?

I start to understand one of the reason why this FAQ is so bad ... :)


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Avh wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
Aren´t Buhlmann on vacation ? They should be busy.

You mean that PDT made its decision without the lead designer and author of Pathfinder ?

I start to understand one of the reason why this FAQ is so bad ... :)

You mean the PDT made a FAQ that EXACTLY mirrors Jason's own post on this subject? The FAQ is 100% consistent with what Jason has already posted here on these message boards. Whether or not he sat in on this decision (they might have been kicking this one around in the PDT for months, long before anyone currently on vacation might have left).

So I personally think the fact that the PDT and Jason are in harmony on this FAQ is why it's so good - they are not only in harmony with each other, but also completely in sync with what the Core Rulebook has said for SIX years...


They made this FAQ because there didn't need to be a "discussion." They probably called Jason up and are like, hey we here all still think the same thing we've thought all along, you haven't changed your mind have you? He says nope, and then we have a FAQ. Mark commented that we were 50% likely to have a FAQ last week, so the fact that it was so simple and easy was probably what made it happen.


DM_Blake wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
In my games, you can sometimes use Charm Person to sneak into a town after hours.

The problem isn't necessarily the narrative of a PC hero sneaking into a town by charming the guard and walking through the gate. Or even the similar of a villain using the same trick to get into town and do some nefarious stuff.

The real problem, for me, is the verisimilitude of the entire game if you take it to its logical conclusion:

The same low-level guy who sneaks through a gate by charming the guard could also walk into any store in town and charm the merchant. "Hey, good buddy, you look tired. Worn out. You know I"m your best friend and I worry about you. Why don't you take the afternoon off and I will watch your store for you. I'll handle your business, take care of your customers, because I care about you. So have a nice afternoon!" And now that low-level wizard loads up his bag of holding with as much merchandise as he wants and destroys his WBL value.

No big deal. One guy getting rich (maybe that was a gem shop) isn't world-breaking.

But let's not forget that the merchant is now out of business, his merchandise stolen, his loans unpaid and now unpayable. Still not a big deal.

Until you remember that Charm Person is a level ONE spell and is available to hundreds of thousands of wizards, sorcerers, bards, arcanists, shamans, witches, divine casters with the right domain, and adepts. All at level ONE.

Now hundreds of thousands of spellcasters are doing this kind of thing today.

Putting hundreds of thousands of merchants out of business all over the world.

And they do it again tomorrow.

And the next day.

Within a week, no merchant is open for business. Anywhere.

World economies collapse. Currency becomes useless. Anarchy reigns all over the entire planet. Might makes right. Whoever has the biggest sword and the best skill to use it becomes the new ruling class and the new wealthy elite.

Except those are usually the people who are the most...

THIS deserves its own thread! How do you believably deal with the ramifications of Magic Everywhere?

(If someone already knows of such a thread or threads, please send me links to them.)

This is largely why I prefer the antithetical (to Pathfinder) "low magic" campaign.


@Otherwhere: For a very short thread derailment:

If magic is "everywhere," then it really is everywhere. Virtually no application of a spell your characters have thought up hasn't been thought up by someone else before. Any cute use they come up with will probably be used against them.

The merchants and guards that have popped up in this scenario are familiar with such mind control magic. Wealthier or more successful such people will have protections or contingency plans in place for them. Police forces (like the town watch) will be supported by spell casters or other characters (spell sunder barbarians, for example) who specialize in neutralizing other spell casters. The judiciary will be supported by magic that forces or identifies the truth.

I believe there's the concept of the "Tippyverse" that explores a very extreme idea of what super common Pathfinder magic might lead to.


Otherwhere wrote:
THIS deserves its own thread! How do you believably deal with the ramifications of Magic Everywhere?

Saldiven had part of the answer.

The other part is that spellcasters cannot just walk around and will-nilly cast spells everywhere and on everyone without being seen and being obvious.

Sure, a spellcaster COULD walk into a store and Dominate the storekeep to give him all the merchandise and/or the money in the register. But a fighter of the same level could walk into the same store and kill or subdue that guy and then take whatever he wants, or just Intimidate him into giving away all his stuff "or else!".

Both things are illegal, obviously - it doesn't matter if you subdue him or Dominate him to take his stuff, either way, you're a criminal.

But, obviously, if you walk in the front door and draw a weapon and begin attacking the guy, he will KNOW you're doing it. So will everyone else in the store.

The problem comes when some players/GMs want to be able to walk in the front door and SECRETLY cast spells on the guy, right there in plain sight.

As if spellcasters don't already have nice things, these people want spellcasters to be able to rule the world undetectably. And then many of them complain that spellcasters are overpowered.

So one limiting factor of "magic everywhere" is that magic is obvious. If you use it, people see you use it. If that storekeep has his wife and kids helping in the store, they will ALL see you charm the storekeep. They'll run to the police. You'll have to deal with them all to keep them silent (basically the same thing a fighter would have to do, kill or subdue or intimidate ALL of them). It makes things more equal, definitely harder for spellcasters to become the invisible rulers of the universe.


Avh wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
Aren´t Buhlmann on vacation ? They should be busy.

You mean that PDT made its decision without the lead designer and author of Pathfinder ?

I start to understand one of the reason why this FAQ is so bad ... :)

Considering things like psychic magic there was no way they didn't know each others views on the topic. Thus, they can do it with Jason, because they already asked Jason.


Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..


Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Spells? Exception clauses?

Spell are excellent at telling you what happens AFTER you finish casting them. Effects listed in the spell text are all descriptions of what happens once the spell has been successfully cast. All the "manifestation of effects" occurs after the caster finishes casting the spell.

This entire discussion takes place before that happens. Individual spell text doesn't specify what a spell does before the spell even fully exists. That's the province of general rules about casting spells.

All of this discussion takes place within those general rules. I know of zero instances of a spell text that says "Before you finish casting this spell, this is what happens...". If there is such an "exception clause", I am unaware of it.


Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.


Saldiven wrote:
Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.

"Nope, no sir, don't recall being hypnotized."

"But now that you mention it, there was this guy casting a magic spell right in front of me...wonder what that was about..."

So, in other words, they might as well strike that specific statement. ;)


_Ozy_ wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.

"Nope, no sir, don't recall being hypnotized."

"But now that you mention it, there was this guy casting a magic spell right in front of me...wonder what that was about..."

So, in other words, they might as well strike that specific statement. ;)

Like I said, I couldn't come up with any. Hypnotism was the closest I could get off the top of my head, but even that's a stretch.


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_Ozy_ wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.

"Nope, no sir, don't recall being hypnotized."

"But now that you mention it, there was this guy casting a magic spell right in front of me...wonder what that was about..."

So, in other words, they might as well strike that specific statement. ;)

Awfully melodramatic.

There are many ways to cast a spell without the person knowing you're casting a hostile spell at them.

"Oh dear. I seem to have mud on my boots. Well, I have a spell for that. Prestidigitation. See? One boot cleaned. Now for the other. Prestidigitation. Ahh, better, both boots are clean. But oh dear, I have mud on my pants, too. I better take care of that. Hypnotism. Now, dear shopkeep, give me all your stuff!"

Heaven forbid the masters of the universe have to stop and do a little roleplaying on their way to mastering the universe. I guess it's true, casters can't have nice things...


_Ozy_ wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.

"Nope, no sir, don't recall being hypnotized."

"But now that you mention it, there was this guy casting a magic spell right in front of me...wonder what that was about..."

So, in other words, they might as well strike that specific statement. ;)

If questioned and pressed, they might realize what happened.

Otherwise, no.

That's the point of saying that in the spell description. Otherwise, you know instantly when the mental effect wears off what happened.


thejeff wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.

"Nope, no sir, don't recall being hypnotized."

"But now that you mention it, there was this guy casting a magic spell right in front of me...wonder what that was about..."

So, in other words, they might as well strike that specific statement. ;)

If questioned and pressed, they might realize what happened.

Otherwise, no.

That's the point of saying that in the spell description. Otherwise, you know instantly when the mental effect wears off what happened.

Well, yeah, that's my point. They don't remember being 'enspelled', but they remember that a spell was cast.

I suppose if magic is thrown around willy-nilly in whatever setting you're running they might not think anything of it. However, if casting spells is at all suspicious then it could raise a red flag.

I'm not really sure what the consensus is here, is casting a spell routine enough that nobody would look twice if you were casting in a bar, a shop, a market, a church, a palace?

Would people just assume you were casting some utility cantrip or other harmless spell?


Draco Bahamut wrote:
The spell states that they don´t remember being ensorceled.

Which pre-FAQ would mean something.

As we all now know, the spell has a visual effect BEFORE the mechanical effects are put in place, so it would happen thusly:

1-Caster begins casting spell, producing visible effect
2-Spell takes effect-victim doesn't remember this part
3-Spell wears off
4-Victim remembers pre-spell visual effect, notices theft (or whatever you want to call it)
5-Victim reports theft, with description of caster.

If you don't like it, do what I do, don't use visual effects attached to (and preceeding) spells.


_Ozy_ wrote:
thejeff wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Crai wrote:

Has anyone compiled a list of Pathfinder spells that have specific game-mechanics text that reference "exception clauses" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the recent FAQ Update's take on visibility/noticeability of a spell's casting and/or manifestation of effects?

Sorry for the run-on sentence! I wanted to be careful in the legal accuracy of how I parsed my RAW..

Hrm. Can't think of anything specifically, if I understand what you're trying to ask.

Hypnotism specifically states that those that fail their save have no memory of being enspelled.

"Nope, no sir, don't recall being hypnotized."

"But now that you mention it, there was this guy casting a magic spell right in front of me...wonder what that was about..."

So, in other words, they might as well strike that specific statement. ;)

If questioned and pressed, they might realize what happened.

Otherwise, no.

That's the point of saying that in the spell description. Otherwise, you know instantly when the mental effect wears off what happened.

Well, yeah, that's my point. They don't remember being 'enspelled', but they remember that a spell was cast.

I suppose if magic is thrown around willy-nilly in whatever setting you're running they might not think anything of it. However, if casting spells is at all suspicious then it could raise a red flag.

I'm not really sure what the consensus is here, is casting a spell routine enough that nobody would look twice if you were casting in a bar, a shop, a market, a church, a palace?

Would people just assume you were casting some utility cantrip or other harmless spell?

I think a better question would be, if an NPC pulled this on you, would you let it slide?

Of course not.

So why would they?

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