Identifying a Spells with Spellcraft


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alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15


Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15

Yeah, seems logical. Would you assume every GM at every table of PFS will use that too?

Or would you prefer to know for sure how it works?

Oh, and does Invisibility affect that or not?


alexd1976 wrote:

Yeah, seems logical. Would you assume every GM at every table of PFS will use that too?

Or would you prefer to know for sure how it works?

I would assume so. Since that is what the rules say, base spellcraft DC + level + penalties from perception.

I don't really see the ambiguity.


alexd1976 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

If I play with someone using the FAQ ruling, I expect them to abide by it.

Spells are simply visible.

No roll required, because none is listed.

Makes noticing casters a LOT easier.

People wanted an FAQ answer, we got one. Use it or don't.

All spells? Everywhere?

No concealment? Behind walls. Inside rooms. Inside buildings.
No distance? Miles away?

That doesn't fit the way seeing anything is handled anywhere in the game.

So would it be safe to say that perhaps the FAQ did not, in fact, really clarify things as much as people hoped it would? :D
Not if one refuses to apply common sense.
So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

Basic perception roll: DC 0 +1 for distance.

You won't know it's Charm Person, without a Spellcraft roll of course.
No point in rolling in that case.

Normally, that's going to be the case. No roll required, because the DC is trivial.


Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15

Yeah, seems logical. Would you assume every GM at every table of PFS will use that too?

Or would you prefer to know for sure how it works?

I would assume so. Since that is what the rules say, base spellcraft DC + penalties from perception.

Oh I'm talking about SEEING the spell, NOT identifying it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I can see what might have some people upset.

So, why not start a FAQ thread, with something like: "Can I identify a spell being cast by a caster with concealment, or total concealment?"

Seems like that would make all those "problems" go away.


alexd1976 wrote:
Oh, and does Invisibility affect that or not?

It's already been established that the FAQ doesn't address invisibility. It addresses basic visibility of spellcasting, which would then fall under the rules for Perception.


Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15

Why -1?

+1 from distance.
Assuming that's actually a Spellcraft roll, I'd say it's 17. 15 + 1(level) + 1(distance).


so we have one person applying common sense to use a base of 10 DC, and another person using common sense to use a base 15 DC.

You two should talk about common sense, and why that number differs by 5 between the two common sensical answers.

I'm just trying to point out that 'common sense' isn't a solution, because some people want rules to refer back to.


Paizo Defense Force claims the new rules are simple and easy to understand. Then immediately gives three different answers for a simple question about what the DC is.


alexd1976 wrote:
Oh I'm talking about SEEING the spell, NOT identifying it.

Oh, I misunderstood. My apologies. Yes that is ambiguous, though I'd assume it'd be 0 + perception modifiers + stealth check.

Quote:
Why -1?

Wow, I'm more sleep deprived than I thought. 0.0


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Paizo Defense Force claims the new rules are simple and easy to understand. Then immediately gives two different answers for a simple question about what the DC is.

Hey lets not get personal about it. ;)

I would suggest a base 15, subtract level of spell, add distance.

So Charm Person would be 15-1 for level of spell, +1 for distance.

Seems logical. 10 seems a bit low.

Of course, if I was playing a caster, I would argue for higher DCs.

I would also hope Invisibility would be applied, despite not being addressed...

As a non-caster, I would argue that the spell SHOULDN'T be affected by invisibility.

If only someone had put the details we needed into the FAQ...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I already made my suggestion.

There is nothing to achieved in this thread anymore, except bitter bickering at this point.

Make a new FAQ thread, with a short, clear, concise question, like I suggested, and you may actually get results.


Ooh, maybe using 2x spell level (like concentration) instead of just spell level, using base 15 DC...

I dunno. Hard call.


Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Oh I'm talking about SEEING the spell, NOT identifying it.

Oh, I misunderstood. My apologies. Yes that is ambiguous, though I'd assume it'd be 0 + perception modifiers + stealth check.

Quote:
Why -1?
Wow, I'm more sleep deprived than I thought. 0.0

0? Interesting.

Sort of like "noticing a visible creature" I guess.

So so far we have 0, 10 and 15.

I agree with blackbloodtroll, someone should start a new thread. :D


alexd1976 wrote:

so we have one person applying common sense to use a base of 10 DC, and another person using common sense to use a base 15 DC.

You two should talk about common sense, and why that number differs by 5 between the two common sensical answers.

I'm just trying to point out that 'common sense' isn't a solution, because some people want rules to refer back to.

That was Base DC 0, not 10. Base DC for noticing a person. Or hearing a conversation.

All the relevant modifiers to Perception apply. Including Stealth.

You also need line of sight, since Spellcraft is called out as "must be able to clearly see". I would let you roll against Invisible casting, but with the normal rules for handling Invisibility and Perception (Which are themselves a mess and not worth going into again.)


thejeff wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15

Why -1?

+1 from distance.
Assuming that's actually a Spellcraft roll, I'd say it's 17. 15 + 1(level) + 1(distance).

Perception and Spellcraft should not be conflated (unless the GM is houseruling for abstraction and less rolls at the table in which case go right ahead).

Noticing a spell being cast requires a Perception check (DC 0, +1 per 10 feet). Other factors can modify the DC, as normal (+20 for full concealment). As this is a visual manifestation, doors and walls (full cover) make perceiving a spell being cast impossible.

Identifying a spell after you have noticed it requires a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level).

Personally, I house-rule size modifiers based on the level of the spell, but that's just an aside.


thejeff wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

so we have one person applying common sense to use a base of 10 DC, and another person using common sense to use a base 15 DC.

You two should talk about common sense, and why that number differs by 5 between the two common sensical answers.

I'm just trying to point out that 'common sense' isn't a solution, because some people want rules to refer back to.

That was Base DC 0, not 10. Base DC for noticing a person. Or hearing a conversation.

All the relevant modifiers to Perception apply. Including Stealth.

You also need line of sight, since Spellcraft is called out as "must be able to clearly see". I would let you roll against Invisible casting, but with the normal rules for handling Invisibility and Perception (Which are themselves a mess and not worth going into again.)

Huh, thought someone said ten... my bad.

So we have base DC of 0 and 15 suggested so far. Bit of a range.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15

Why -1?

+1 from distance.
Assuming that's actually a Spellcraft roll, I'd say it's 17. 15 + 1(level) + 1(distance).

Perception and Spellcraft should not be conflated (unless the GM is houseruling for abstraction and less rolls at the table in which case go right ahead).

Noticing a spell being cast requires a Perception check (DC 0, +1 per 10 feet). Other factors can modify the DC, as normal (+20 for full concealment). As this is a visual manifestation, doors and walls (full cover) make perceiving a spell being cast impossible.

Identifying a spell after you have noticed it requires a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level).

Personally, I house-rule size modifiers based on the level of the spell, but that's just an aside.

They only get conflated in the sense that Spellcraft specifically calls out "this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors."

The Spellcraft roll, as I see it, is the Perception DC + 15 + spell level.

Note that you could hear someone casting a spell in cases where you still couldn't see the visual manifestation.


Question, who has said 15 aside from me? I only said it because I thought I was answering a different question.


thejeff wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

so we have one person applying common sense to use a base of 10 DC, and another person using common sense to use a base 15 DC.

You two should talk about common sense, and why that number differs by 5 between the two common sensical answers.

I'm just trying to point out that 'common sense' isn't a solution, because some people want rules to refer back to.

That was Base DC 0, not 10. Base DC for noticing a person. Or hearing a conversation.

All the relevant modifiers to Perception apply. Including Stealth.

You also need line of sight, since Spellcraft is called out as "must be able to clearly see". I would let you roll against Invisible casting, but with the normal rules for handling Invisibility and Perception (Which are themselves a mess and not worth going into again.)

You can't see something invisible, no matter how high your perception is. You can just 'perceive' it with a high enough roll if it makes noise, disturbs the environment, or affects some other sensory organ.

If the casting manifestation was invisible, then it can't be noticed. If it is visible, then it would receive no modifications for the caster being invisible.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

15 + 1 - 1 = 15

Why -1?

+1 from distance.
Assuming that's actually a Spellcraft roll, I'd say it's 17. 15 + 1(level) + 1(distance).

Perception and Spellcraft should not be conflated (unless the GM is houseruling for abstraction and less rolls at the table in which case go right ahead).

Noticing a spell being cast requires a Perception check (DC 0, +1 per 10 feet). Other factors can modify the DC, as normal (+20 for full concealment). As this is a visual manifestation, doors and walls (full cover) make perceiving a spell being cast impossible.

Identifying a spell after you have noticed it requires a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level).

Personally, I house-rule size modifiers based on the level of the spell, but that's just an aside.

Stationary invisible creatures get a +40 to stealth, would that fit in the mix somehow? Or is the spell itself by default visible, and not affected by invisibility?


Just in case people need reminding:

Quote:

Invisible

Invisible creatures are visually undetectable.

If casting a spell is a visual only manifestation, and if that manifestation is invisible with the caster, then it is undectable.

No +20DC, no +40DC, undetectable.

If, like invisible creatures, spell manifestations have an audible, olfactory, or tactile manifestation in addition to visual, then an increased DC to detect an invisible spell would be suitable.


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

Man. What have I unleashed upon the world?


alexd1976 wrote:
Stationary invisible creatures get a +40 to stealth, would that fit in the mix somehow? Or is the spell itself by default visible, and not affected by invisibility?

For me, that falls into what I said before: "the normal rules for handling Invisibility and Perception (Which are themselves a mess and not worth going into again.)"


I made a new thread about Perception DCs folks. :D


Some more 'normal rules for handling Invisibility':

Quote:
Ethereal creatures are invisible. Since ethereal creatures are not materially present, Perception checks, scent, Blind-Fight, and blindsight don't help locate them.

So, are spell manifestations 'materially present'?


_Ozy_ wrote:

Some more 'normal rules for handling Invisibility':

Quote:
Ethereal creatures are invisible. Since ethereal creatures are not materially present, Perception checks, scent, Blind-Fight, and blindsight don't help locate them.
So, are spell manifestations 'materially present'?

In the sense that light is composed of Photons, sure. ;)

Doesn't anyone like my thread I started? I was trying to focus on the Perception checks... ;)


I might have come a bit late, but:

alexd1976 wrote:
So, using your common sense, whats the base DC to notice a casting of Charm Person, from fifteen feet away, clear line of sight?

DC is the same as seeing a guy standing there. There is no other DC given, so we must use what we have, therefore, seeing the spell is the same difficulty as seeing the guy casting it. Therefore, the DC = 0. It doesn't matter if he's standing there, dancing there, picking his nose there, or casting a spell there. Base DC = 0.

Apply +1 for distance, making the modified DC = 1.

You said "clear line of sight" so I'm assuming no further Perception modifiers exist, including favorable or unfavorable conditions, so that's the final DC.

DC = 1 to see the spell as it is being cast.

Now, if you have ranks in Spellcraft, and you want to identify the spell, the base DC is 15 + the spell's level, so base DC = 16.

Still add the +1 for distance, so modified DC to identify the spell is 17.

You said "clear line of sight" so I'm assuming no further Perception modifiers exist, including favorable or unfavorable conditions, so that's the final DC.

DC = 17 to identify the spell as it is being cast.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
alexd1976 wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

Some more 'normal rules for handling Invisibility':

Quote:
Ethereal creatures are invisible. Since ethereal creatures are not materially present, Perception checks, scent, Blind-Fight, and blindsight don't help locate them.
So, are spell manifestations 'materially present'?

In the sense that light is composed of Photons, sure. ;)

Doesn't anyone like my thread I started? I was trying to focus on the Perception checks... ;)

I would have gone with concealment.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Just because people are saying something doesn't make it a fact.

Spellcraft DC is modified by Perception modifiers. So if you can't perceive the caster you can't see the spell casting. If you're invisible whatever makes people aware that you're casting is also invisible because it would get modified the same penalty.

Depending on the GM's interpretation, that's not even close to true.

Invisibility hides you and your gear. If spellcasting brings up a visible magic rune circle, why would that be invisible? It's not you, it's not your gear.

If casting creates a identifiable musical buzzing sound, that certainly won't be hidden by concealment.

If it's your assumption that this is a visible effect, able to be hidden by invisibility, thus you don't see a problem. Then I suggest that we're arguing about the wrong thing.

The fact that the FAQ doesn't specify what are the obvious manifestations does implies that there are no official answer to your questions.


obvious manifestations means that it's clearly going to allow a check to notice/spellcraft it. And whatever perception modifiers are on to see the caster apply the the DC to notice the spell/spellcraft the spell.


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

I am ashamed of this thread, and wish I had never started it.


Ravingdork wrote:
I am ashamed of this thread, and wish I had never started it.

Why?

It was a good question about unclear and poorly written rules and it got the FAQ to clear it up.

That's exactly what this thread was meant to do, and now everyone understands the rule better than before.

So, chin up! Good thread, be proud.


^ I agree with DM_Blake, RD. Now I know I need to house rule this.

The Paizo logic is simple and clear: Spells can be Identified by Spellcraft, and can be Countered. It doesn't matter whether they have components or not, or if any Metamagic Feat have been added.

Is it a Spell?
Yes.

Can you see it being cast?
Yes.

Than you can Spellcraft to identify it!

Simple!

Just don't stop to question: What does it mean to 'see it being cast?'!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I am ashamed of this thread, and wish I had never started it.
Why?

Because I feel I was bullied into it by the vocal "of course we're right" crowd that follows your interpretation. My selfish desire to settle the matter has caused people much strife it would seem.

Also because the issue, once brought into official light, has clearly divided the community, devolved several otherwise amazing and unrelated threads into barely contained heated arguments on the subject matter, has raised numerous additional questions and complaints, has damaged the reputations of many of the game developers in the eyes of many members of the community, and has generally made the whole forum atmosphere a lot less friendly and approachable to potential newcomers.

Not to mention the fact that I personally believe it has changed the game for the worse, generally making the game's rules more complicated rather than less.

A lot of that falls on the developers and not myself, but being the guy who accidentally ignited the flame is something I'd just rather not have been.


Ravingdork wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I am ashamed of this thread, and wish I had never started it.
Why?

Because I feel I was bullied into it by the vocal "of course we're right" crowd that follows your interpretation. My selfish desire to settle the matter has caused people much strife it would seem.

Also because the issue, once brought into official light, has clearly divided the community, devolved several otherwise amazing and unrelated threads into barely contained heated arguments on the subject matter, has raised numerous additional questions and complaints, has damaged the reputations of many of the game developers in the eyes of many members of the community, and has generally made the whole forum atmosphere a lot less friendly and approachable to potential newcomers.

Not to mention the fact that I personally believe it has changed the game for the worse, generally making the game's rules more complicated rather than less.

A lot of that falls on the developers and not myself, but being the guy who accidentally ignited the flame is something I'd just rather not have been.

You were bullied into nothing. Be honest. You argued in another thread and thought you were right, so you thought that if you asked for a FAQ and got one, that the PDT would prove you right. So you CHOSE to request a FAQ. It didn't work out the way you wanted, but there's no shame in that.

The community was already divided on this point. The only difference was that, before, we were calling each other names. Now we're (a few of us) calling the PDT names instead. I call that an improvement; they're paid to take the abuse...

The questions and complaints existed before, but so many people didn't know they had misunderstood the badly written ruleset that most of them didn't know they had anything to complain about. The FAQ exposed the existing problem, not you.

Believe all you want that this has changed the game, but it hasn't. The FAQ did not make a new rule. Same old rule, more clarity on the fact that it exists. All you did was get the PDT to shine a light into the dark corner where this rule already lived.

If any shame exists here, it's on the original authors who should have made this more clear but failed to do so. Had they clarified this in the first printing, we could have argued about this in 2009 instead of today. Actually, we HAVE been arguing about it for 6 years, off and on, so maybe a little shame goes to the PDT for not clarifying this FAQ much sooner. I'll just assume they were busy so nobody deserves any shame.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
You were bullied into nothing. Be honest. You argued in another thread and thought you were right, so you thought that if you asked for a FAQ and got one, that the PDT would prove you right. So you CHOSE to request a FAQ. It didn't work out the way you wanted, but there's no shame in that.

If there is one thing you've been right on this entire time, is that Paizo's stance hasn't changed on the issue.

When I started the thread seeking an official answer, I wasn't expecting it to change either (hoping maybe, but that's not the same thing).

You're right in that I ultimately made a decision, one that I regret, and as such it wasn't true bullying. Nevertheless, all of the rhetoric was wearing thin on me, and I was hoping to put an end to it, or at least reduce it. Looks to me like it has had the opposite effect.

DM_Blake wrote:
The community was already divided on this point. The only difference was that, before, we were calling each other names. Now we're (a few of us) calling the PDT names instead. I call that an improvement; they're paid to take the abuse...

Nevertheless, it escalated, even as it changed targets.

DM_Blake wrote:
The questions and complaints existed before, but so many people didn't know they had misunderstood the badly written ruleset that most of them didn't know they had anything to complain about. The FAQ exposed the existing problem, not you.

I don't think "misunderstand" is the right word. We're not idiots. We understood both sides just fine. We just didn't disagree.

Disagreement =/= misunderstood

DM_Blake wrote:
Believe all you want that this has changed the game, but it hasn't. The FAQ did not make a new rule....

That is your interpretation of recent (and not so recent events). Please stop touting it as truth. There is nothing that supports it any more than the conspiracy theory that Paizo made these moves to sell more products.


Some consideration from someone who lives in a culture that believe and uses "magic". At the city i lives, cursing, charming or blessing others is somewhat common. If this could be considered any indication of how things would work in a fantasy society with actual spell casting: non trained people wouldn´t outlaw magic. The benefits of helping magic far outweight harmful magic for believers, is more or less the same as people putting secret data in computers that can be hacked.

People only care if there are spellcasters around, when things start going bad. "I am having so much bad luck, someone must have cursed me". And people don´t look much for "casting" effects, they look for motive and opportunity.

" She was envious of me, she must have hired a witch to curse me."
" This outsider was around when things strange happened. He must be a spellcaster."

The first attitude is not to confront the agressor, people seek a friendly spellcaster and confirm if there was magic involved, and then try to hire him into helping getting back against the enemy spellcaster.

Even if confronted with something obviously "magical", they don´t think much of it if is not affecting them directly (too much magic going around all their life, and allmost everyone could hire some if they want, even not understanding it).

A lot of people accuse each other of "charming" them all the time, so it would be very hard to tell the truth without a spellcaster to confirm it ot not.

People are very weary to "spellcasting" directed at them by people they don´t trust, but they would run away. Touching spellcasters is considered bad luck (and spellcaster could have been hired, so could not be a personal thing and making a enemy of spellcaster IS REALLY BAD LUCK).
Armed guards would attack a hostile spellcaster, but seek coutercurse after, at their boss expenses.
People would try at least a sense motive if someone was casting a unknown magic to determine if it was harmless of harmful even without spellcraft. If they sense hostility they enter flight or fight mode.

People know magic is expensive. Any offer of free magic is considered really suspicious.

Faking casting magic is a skill most people learn. Most people would try casting a spell by themselves at least on time in life (even i already tried it once). People are aware of faking casting, but it could be fake fake casting so no one is taking risks. Even then most people don´t take real classes of "magic" because of the commitment to it (even believing it works, is like leaning computer programming, is too easy to just hire someone to do it for you).

Spellcasters gain too much money to take risks doing crazy things like hobomurdering if not hired to it. There is "multiclass" people, that claim they know some magic tricks and only use for themselves or friends. After a time they start hiding from friends because of the constant asking of favors (just like computer skills).


Along the same lines, a lot of it depends on how common magic is and how often it was used. And how much of it was basically combat/adventuring magic.

I'd expect in any "real" world with magic, there'd be a lot of daily use kind of magic, rather than, or at least in addition to, the giant list of combat magic.

Guards might attack a hostile spellcaster, but they're not going to pay much attention to the non-hostile guy across the street casting something, as long as it doesn't become a threat. Because it's happening often enough, you can't get amped up over it every time.

If magic is rarer or outright banned (or banned to all but certain groups or certain places etc) then the case is different.


thejeff wrote:
Guards might attack a hostile spellcaster, but they're not going to pay much attention to the non-hostile guy across the street casting something, as long as it doesn't become a threat. Because it's happening often enough, you can't get amped up over it every time.

That becomes very situational. And it should be.

Someone across the street casting magic to light his pipe, well, no big deal. Happens all the time.

Someone walks right up to you and begins casting something while looking right at you, you probably get the idea that they're casting AT you. If they're a stranger, you are probably very alarmed about this.

Guards are worse. They are PAID to be paranoid. They, presumably, are guarding something that NEEDS to be guarded - nobody wastes money to pay a guy to guard something that doesn't need to be guarded. If it needs to be guarded, that implies risk - the guard is there to STOP somebody from entering or stealing or killing whatever he's guarding and it NEEDS to be guarded which means the guy paying the guard has reason to believe that somebody might, or probably, try to enter, steal, or kill. Guards should be paranoid. It comes with the job.

Which isn't to say they murder every suspicious person out of hand, but they aren't going to be happy or complacent about a stranger casting AT them.

Storekeeps are automatically "guards" when they're in their store. They must always be vigilant for thieves and shoplifters. So they automatically have the same paranoia (but their own personal risk is probably lower than a guard's). So they won't be happy or complacent about a stranger casting AT them either.

Probably nobody would.

But, in a world where I could cast Prestidigitate 1,440 times a day for no real effort on my part, I possibly would cast it dozens, maybe hundreds of times every day. Why not? And maybe in Golarion, that happens too, and people ARE complacent about it.

Until they have something to lose, something they're protecting, something they need to guard. That's when complacency goes right out the window.


DM_Blake wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Guards might attack a hostile spellcaster, but they're not going to pay much attention to the non-hostile guy across the street casting something, as long as it doesn't become a threat. Because it's happening often enough, you can't get amped up over it every time.

That becomes very situational. And it should be.

Someone across the street casting magic to light his pipe, well, no big deal. Happens all the time.

Someone walks right up to you and begins casting something while looking right at you, you probably get the idea that they're casting AT you. If they're a stranger, you are probably very alarmed about this.

Guards are worse. They are PAID to be paranoid. They, presumably, are guarding something that NEEDS to be guarded - nobody wastes money to pay a guy to guard something that doesn't need to be guarded. If it needs to be guarded, that implies risk - the guard is there to STOP somebody from entering or stealing or killing whatever he's guarding and it NEEDS to be guarded which means the guy paying the guard has reason to believe that somebody might, or probably, try to enter, steal, or kill. Guards should be paranoid. It comes with the job.

Which isn't to say they murder every suspicious person out of hand, but they aren't going to be happy or complacent about a stranger casting AT them.

Storekeeps are automatically "guards" when they're in their store. They must always be vigilant for thieves and shoplifters. So they automatically have the same paranoia (but their own personal risk is probably lower than a guard's). So they won't be happy or complacent about a stranger casting AT them either.

Probably nobody would.

But, in a world where I could cast Prestidigitate 1,440 times a day for no real effort on my part, I possibly would cast it dozens, maybe hundreds of times every day. Why not? And maybe in Golarion, that happens too, and people ARE complacent about it.

Until they have something to lose, something they're protecting, something they need...

Obviously at them, certainly. But even the vast majority of spells we're talking about here don't require you to be up in their face. Close range is at least 30'.

And, without Spellcraft, you don't know what the guy is casting until he's done (if then). By then, you're charmed or hypnotized or whatever.

It also depends on how elite the guards are and how serious their particular duty is. The guy watching the shop is likely more on the lookout for petty theft than anything more extreme or elaborate. The king's personal guards, OTOH ...


DM_Blake wrote:


Guards are worse. They are PAID to be paranoid. They, presumably, are guarding something that NEEDS to be guarded - nobody wastes money to pay a guy to guard something that doesn't need to be guarded. If it needs to be guarded, that implies risk - the guard is there to STOP somebody from entering or stealing or killing whatever he's guarding and it NEEDS to be guarded which means the guy paying the guard has reason to believe that somebody might, or probably, try to enter, steal, or kill. Guards should be paranoid. It comes with the job.

Highly paid guards, yeah. Cheap guards are there only to intimidate robbers. They are bored all the time and their only real job is to appear tough. Of course they are trained to do their job, but they only paranoid if what they are guarding is robbed on a weekly basis.


thejeff wrote:

Obviously at them, certainly. But even the vast majority of spells we're talking about here don't require you to be up in their face. Close range is at least 30'.

And, without Spellcraft, you don't know what the guy is casting until he's done (if then). By then, you're charmed or hypnotized or whatever.

Without a doubt, muggles are always at a disadvantage when spellcasters decide to cast at them, as long as the spellcaster isn't an idiot. The only chance is to have a long-range projectile weapon and a readied action. Since that pretty much never happens, the spellcaster always wins.

I guess they can always hope they can make their save (if one is even allowed).


DM_Blake wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Obviously at them, certainly. But even the vast majority of spells we're talking about here don't require you to be up in their face. Close range is at least 30'.

And, without Spellcraft, you don't know what the guy is casting until he's done (if then). By then, you're charmed or hypnotized or whatever.

Without a doubt, muggles are always at a disadvantage when spellcasters decide to cast at them, as long as the spellcaster isn't an idiot. The only chance is to have a long-range projectile weapon and a readied action. Since that pretty much never happens, the spellcaster always wins.

I guess they can always hope they can make their save (if one is even allowed).

Well, if you're actually going into combat - win initiative and charge.

But, we're talking about subtle spell use here.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

So, how is Secret Signs supposed to work with regards to this FAQ? If no components, even somatic ones, being used during spellcasting still means that even an idiot goblin can tell there's a spell being cast, how does adding somatic components and somatic components only allow the spellcasting to potentially be hidden? Per the first point, the obvious magical signs isn't based off of anything somatic, so why and how is Sleight of Hands + this feat helping? Is the caster just flailing their hands in the air through whatever glowing runes occur in a manner that we're supposed to believe their utterly ridiculous display blocks all view of the obviously eldritch light? Because there's no way in the world that should work. If it's not glowing runes but something like a temperature drop or humming in the air, how does doing wiggling your fingers generate enough opposing thermal energy or cancel out the sound to make it harder to detect this change in the environment? If it's some kind of mental sensation, what are you doing with your hands from across the freaking room that it can distract someone from the sensation of changes to their own thoughts? Saying "it's up to the table or individual player" is not only not a good standard to set, it still doesn't provide any kind of reasonable mechanic for how this whole scenario could work.


The mechanics are clearly set in how they work. Explaining that in the game world of how it works is different and potentially a problem.


Maybe the light magic display only appear when you take the components out.


Cerberus Seven wrote:
So, how is Secret Signs supposed to work with regards to this FAQ? If no components, even somatic ones, being used during spellcasting still means that even an idiot goblin can tell there's a spell being cast, how does adding somatic components and somatic components only allow the spellcasting to potentially be hidden? Per the first point, the obvious magical signs isn't based off of anything somatic, so why and how is Sleight of Hands + this feat helping? Is the caster just flailing their hands in the air through whatever glowing runes occur in a manner that we're supposed to believe their utterly ridiculous display blocks all view of the obviously eldritch light? Because there's no way in the world that should work. If it's not glowing runes but something like a temperature drop or humming in the air, how does doing wiggling your fingers generate enough opposing thermal energy or cancel out the sound to make it harder to detect this change in the environment? If it's some kind of mental sensation, what are you doing with your hands from across the freaking room that it can distract someone from the sensation of changes to their own thoughts? Saying "it's up to the table or individual player" is not only not a good standard to set, it still doesn't provide any kind of reasonable mechanic for how this whole scenario could work.

I've got to give you that one. It's hard to read that as anything other than "Spellcraft based on components."


Cerberus Seven wrote:
So, how is Secret Signs supposed to work with regards to this FAQ? If no components, even somatic ones, being used during spellcasting still means that even an idiot goblin can tell there's a spell being cast, how does adding somatic components and somatic components only allow the spellcasting to potentially be hidden? Per the first point, the obvious magical signs isn't based off of anything somatic, so why and how is Sleight of Hands + this feat helping? Is the caster just flailing their hands in the air through whatever glowing runes occur in a manner that we're supposed to believe their utterly ridiculous display blocks all view of the obviously eldritch light? Because there's no way in the world that should work. If it's not glowing runes but something like a temperature drop or humming in the air, how does doing wiggling your fingers generate enough opposing thermal energy or cancel out the sound to make it harder to detect this change in the environment? If it's some kind of mental sensation, what are you doing with your hands from across the freaking room that it can distract someone from the sensation of changes to their own thoughts? Saying "it's up to the table or individual player" is not only not a good standard to set, it still doesn't provide any kind of reasonable mechanic for how this whole scenario could work.

Sounds like Secret Sign was written by someone who at the time was thinking along the lines of how 3.5e worked and wasn't aware it changed (can't exactly blame them).

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