Identifying a Spells with Spellcraft


Rules Questions

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I agree, Secret Signs is contradictory to the core rules. Bad form, Paizo!

Maybe with a little finagling we can make it work.

What if, the person who learns this feat ALSO learns how to bury that visible spell manifestation, too. No, it doesn't make sense that they should, not from the feat's description, but clearly, with this feat, they can, somehow, make that manifestation go away.

Maybe this feat is now (and really has always been - since 2011 when it was published), one clever way to hide that visible manifestation (for whatever unexplained reason). For Somatic-only spells, of course.


DM_Blake wrote:

I agree, Secret Signs is contradictory to the core rules. Bad form, Paizo!

Maybe with a little finagling we can make it work.

What if, the person who learns this feat ALSO learns how to bury that visible spell manifestation, too. No, it doesn't make sense that they should, not from the feat's description, but clearly, with this feat, they can, somehow, make that manifestation go away.

Maybe this feat is now (and really has always been - since 2011 when it was published), one clever way to hide that visible manifestation (for whatever unexplained reason). For Somatic-only spells, of course.

A book that was written by... Jason Bulmahn and James Jacob, amongst other.

So, 2 solutions here.

First : they agreed with what is inside the book, and so they didn't believe in magical manifestations while spellcasting (obviously).

Second : they just put their name on the book, didn't check what was inside, and by such didn't do their job.

I am in favor of the first one.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Avh wrote:

First : they agreed with what is inside the book, and so they didn't believe in magical manifestations while spellcasting (obviously).

Second : they just put their name on the book, didn't check what was inside, and by such didn't do their job.

Third: Secret Signs is a feat that allows you to attempt an opposed skill check to hide the manifestations of spell-casting for somatic only spells.

That would imply that MORE than a feat would be required to hide manifestations of a spell with multiple components OR to do so automatically. Which seems consistent with the standard rules on spell manifestations to me.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Avh wrote:

First : they agreed with what is inside the book, and so they didn't believe in magical manifestations while spellcasting (obviously).

Second : they just put their name on the book, didn't check what was inside, and by such didn't do their job.

Third: Secret Signs is a feat that allows you to attempt an opposed skill check to hide the manifestations of spell-casting for somatic only spells.

That would imply that MORE than a feat would be required to hide manifestations of a spell with multiple components OR to do so automatically. Which seems consistent with the standard rules on spell manifestations to me.

Manifestations that doesn't exists in the book, that is not written a single time in Pathfinder rules.

Actually, in another thread I showed that most people on this forum never interpreted the rule that way, at least before 2014. I have every single thread of this whole Paizo forums to back my claim.
I can also prove that it wasn't the case in Dnd 3.0 and 3.5. I can't say for previous editions though, but I wouldn't be surprised it doesn't have those magical manifestations either.

All of this to say that before the coming of Ultimate intrigue (and some other) book, there was no indication whatsoever that spellcasting had magical manifestations.

Some sources indicates that there are some manifestations, maybe coming with the need of concentration, allowing to make a spellcraft check to identify a spell.
However, those manifestations could very well be mundane in nature (as Jason wrote : "change of breathing, wiggle of a finger", or you could imagine closing your eyes to concentrate, pointing a finger at your target, cracking your bones, ...).

Or you could also interpret things more strictly. Seeing the spell as it is being cast meaning seeing the things that manifests during spellcasting. And the only thing written in the book that happens during the casting of a spell are the components. Without the post of Jason Bulmahn from 2010, the only RAW interpretation we can make concerning the identification of spells is that without components, you can't identify a spell, because you can't "see the spell as it is being cast".

So, we have 3 possible interpretations :

  • Without components, you can't identify a spell. Components being the only manifestations coming before a spell, you can't notice a spell that doesn't have components unless the spell itself have visible effects (fireball is noticeable, charm person is not)
  • Without components, you can identify a spell through mundane manifestations (wiggling of a finger, changing in breathing, cracking your bones, ...). Noticing a spell as it is being cast is hard, because those manifestations are not obvious, and could come from other reasons that spellcasting, as they are neither magical in nature nor unique to spellcasting.
  • With or without components, spellcasting is obvious because there are magical manifestations that comes during spellcasting (swirling runes, glowing eyes, thunder, hair that change colour, ...). Noticing a spell is easy for the same reason.

Before Pathfinder, it was the first.
Since Jason Bulmahn post, it should be the second.
The FAQ is written as it was the third one.

Make your choice.

Personally, I believe it should be the first, have no real problems with the second but am firmly opposed to the third.


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

Apparently, the current way of things wasn't common knowledge at all, despite what its proponents would lead us to believe. Even the game developers followed the other interpretation at times. :P


Avh wrote:
All of this to say that before the coming of Ultimate intrigue (and some other) book, there was no indication whatsoever that spellcasting had magical manifestations.

I really don't know why your associating it with Ultimate Intrigue over and over for any reason past it mentioning an example of something that overrides the rule.

Quote:

So, we have 3 possible interpretations :

* Without components, you can't identify a spell. Components being the only manifestations coming before a spell, you can't notice a spell that doesn't have components unless the spell itself have visible effects (fireball is noticeable, charm person is noticeable, supermetagic'd charm person isn't)
* Without components, you can identify a spell through mundane manifestations (wiggling of a finger, changing in breathing, cracking your bones, and other flavor bits that happen when a spellcaster makes the magic happen). Noticing a spell as it is being cast is hard, because those manifestations are not obvious, and could come from other reasons that spellcasting, as they are neither magical in nature nor unique to spellcasting.
* With or without components, spellcasting is obvious because there are magical manifestations that comes during spellcasting (swirling runes, glowing eyes, thunder, hair that change colour, ...). Noticing a spell is easy for the same reason.

Completely different game system, where the text relating to that interpretation in the core rules does not exist, so we can ignore it.
Since Jason Bulmahn post, it should be the second.
Since Occult Playtest, it should be the third.

Make your choice.

Fixed that for you.


Milo v3 wrote:
Avh wrote:
All of this to say that before the coming of Ultimate intrigue (and some other) book, there was no indication whatsoever that spellcasting had magical manifestations.
I really don't know why your associating it with Ultimate Intrigue over and over for any reason past it mentioning an example of something that overrides the rule.

Maybe the fact that the PDT didn't even pretend they weren't using the FAQ to advertise Ultimate Intrigue? It's about on par with EA ripping content out of a game, then selling it back in the form of paid DLC.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Maybe the fact that the PDT didn't even pretend they weren't using the FAQ to advertise Ultimate Intrigue? It's about on par with EA ripping content out of a game, then selling it back in the form of paid DLC.

I don't see how it was advertisement. It was simply acknowledgement of the fact they have already showed that rules in it will bypass the magical manifestations (a warlock ability), in my opinion and the opinion of my group +3 other people I've talked about this with.


DM_Blake wrote:


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.

Its not really me saying it is a rule change to sell their new book, It is the pathfinder devs themselves saying so in the FAQ. I have met zero people who thought spell likes made a visual effect, so please don't pretend it was always right.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

well it's true, you've not met me cwheezy, but I've not met you either, thus we've both not met people who hold differing POV on the topic. It doesn't change their existence.


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I've also always interpreted the rules to be like that, as have several others who have made their presence known on this thread, as have many of my fellow gamers here at home. From our viewpoint, it is not a rules change.


Rules to be like what?

What are the magical manifestations of casting a spell? Specifically? At least, what was your interpretation, because I don't see anything even close to a uniform consensus here.

Is it purely visual? Can it be hidden with invisibility? How did you play it?


Near as I can tell, there are two consensuses here: 1) Spellcasting is obvious regardless of components, but requires Perception (though generally a trivial DC) and thus won't be noticed if the caster is concealed or invisible, without beating the Stealth check.
There's no consensus on the details of what it actually looked like.

2) The whole thing makes no sense and nobody could possibly have gotten that from the rules.

I really don't think there's much difference among those who actually thought it worked like that already.


_Ozy_ wrote:
What are the magical manifestations of casting a spell? Specifically?

They aren't anything Specifically. You can have them as various different things as long as they are appropriate.


thejeff wrote:

Near as I can tell, there are two consensuses here: 1) Spellcasting is obvious regardless of components, but requires Perception (though generally a trivial DC) and thus won't be noticed if the caster is concealed or invisible, without beating the Stealth check.

There's no consensus on the details of what it actually looked like.

2) The whole thing makes no sense and nobody could possibly have gotten that from the rules.

I really don't think there's much difference among those who actually thought it worked like that already.

What I don't get, though, is that if it purely a visible manifestation and also invisible with the caster, then it is undetectable according to the rules, period. Even with a +100 perception bonus. You can notice the presence of the invisible person, pinpoint their square even, but you can't actually see them, nor any 'invisible' visual spell manifestation.

Yet people, such as yourself, are indicating that invisibility just modifies the DC, therefore it can't only be a visual effect.

So what else is it? Nobody has explained how they ran it in a way that is consistent with how the rules work.


Milo v3 wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
What are the magical manifestations of casting a spell? Specifically?
They aren't anything Specifically. You can have them as various different things as long as they are appropriate.

Um, no, they can't be just 'anything'. This has a big impact on the mechanics of the detection.

Can they be made invisible?

Can they be detected anyways?

How did you run them?


I actually don't see any reason why being invisible would make the spell manifestations invisible, though I could see many GM's ruling differently. I mean, the manifestation is tied to them, but that's location and cover based and stuff, and the invisibility effect only says it affects stuff you are wearing, and you aren't wearing the effect.

Quote:

Um, no, they can't be just 'anything'. This has a big impact on the mechanics of the detection.

Can they be made invisible?

Can they be detected anyways?

How did you run them?

1. "Aren't anything Specifically" =! "Anything"

2. If there was an ability that said it made them invisible.
3. Not if they are made invisible I suppose.
4. Spellcasting has visual effects, you can use stealth to hide it as appropriate to the perception rules. But the effects themselves have always varied from caster to caster in my games.


Milo v3 wrote:
I actually don't see any reason why being invisible would make the spell manifestations invisible, though I could see many GM's ruling differently. I mean, the manifestation is tied to them, but that's location and cover based and stuff, and the invisibility effect only says it affects stuff you are wearing, and you aren't wearing the effect.

Well, I agree with you.

Others do not.

Thus when people say there hasn't been a 'rule change' and they always played 'this way', I'm trying to find out what exactly 'this way' meant to them, because it seems to mean different things to different people, yet all of those people say the rules haven't changed.

Which is downright confusing.

So, how did you play it? Did you actually run that an invisible caster manifested a visible effect while casting, thus essentially automatically pinpointing his location, or at least providing a general area?

Our group never did, and I doubt they will start now.


_Ozy_ wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Near as I can tell, there are two consensuses here: 1) Spellcasting is obvious regardless of components, but requires Perception (though generally a trivial DC) and thus won't be noticed if the caster is concealed or invisible, without beating the Stealth check.

There's no consensus on the details of what it actually looked like.

2) The whole thing makes no sense and nobody could possibly have gotten that from the rules.

I really don't think there's much difference among those who actually thought it worked like that already.

What I don't get, though, is that if it purely a visible manifestation and also invisible with the caster, then it is undetectable according to the rules, period. Even with a +100 perception bonus. You can notice the presence of the invisible person, pinpoint their square even, but you can't actually see them, nor any 'invisible' visual spell manifestation.

Yet people, such as yourself, are indicating that invisibility just modifies the DC, therefore it can't only be a visual effect.

So what else is it? Nobody has explained how they ran it in a way that is consistent with how the rules work.

I get that no one has explained it to your satisfaction. That doesn't mean those played that way didn't all do it basically the same way.


thejeff wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Near as I can tell, there are two consensuses here: 1) Spellcasting is obvious regardless of components, but requires Perception (though generally a trivial DC) and thus won't be noticed if the caster is concealed or invisible, without beating the Stealth check.

There's no consensus on the details of what it actually looked like.

2) The whole thing makes no sense and nobody could possibly have gotten that from the rules.

I really don't think there's much difference among those who actually thought it worked like that already.

What I don't get, though, is that if it purely a visible manifestation and also invisible with the caster, then it is undetectable according to the rules, period. Even with a +100 perception bonus. You can notice the presence of the invisible person, pinpoint their square even, but you can't actually see them, nor any 'invisible' visual spell manifestation.

Yet people, such as yourself, are indicating that invisibility just modifies the DC, therefore it can't only be a visual effect.

So what else is it? Nobody has explained how they ran it in a way that is consistent with how the rules work.

I get that no one has explained it to your satisfaction. That doesn't mean those played that way didn't all do it basically the same way.

Dude, nobody has explained what they did specifically at all!

Simple question, how did you play it?

Were they purely visual?

Did they turn invisible with the spellcaster?


_Ozy_ wrote:


Others do not.

Which I noted.

Quote:

Thus when people say there hasn't been a 'rule change' and they always played 'this way', I'm trying to find out what exactly 'this way' meant to them, because it seems to mean different things to different people, yet all of those people say the rules haven't changed.

Which is downright confusing.

So, how did you play it? Did you actually run that an invisible caster manifested a visible effect while casting, thus essentially automatically pinpointing his location, or at least providing a general area?

If the invisible caster casts a spell, it is the same as if they weren't invisible. 0+modifiers or Stealth+modifiers, depending on the players actions.


Milo v3 wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:


Others do not.

Which I noted.

Quote:

Thus when people say there hasn't been a 'rule change' and they always played 'this way', I'm trying to find out what exactly 'this way' meant to them, because it seems to mean different things to different people, yet all of those people say the rules haven't changed.

Which is downright confusing.

So, how did you play it? Did you actually run that an invisible caster manifested a visible effect while casting, thus essentially automatically pinpointing his location, or at least providing a general area?

If the invisible caster casts a spell, it is the same as if they weren't invisible. 0+modifiers or Stealth+modifiers, depending on the players actions.

So, they didn't get the invisibility modifiers to stealth if they were casting?


_Ozy_ wrote:


So, they didn't get the invisibility modifiers to stealth if they were casting?

Nope. There is no text to suggest that the spell would be affected by the caster being invisible, thus no change.

One question, do people realize you can hide your spells ridiculously easily by just being in crowds since they enable stealth checks?


Milo v3 wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:


Others do not.

Which I noted.

Quote:

Thus when people say there hasn't been a 'rule change' and they always played 'this way', I'm trying to find out what exactly 'this way' meant to them, because it seems to mean different things to different people, yet all of those people say the rules haven't changed.

Which is downright confusing.

So, how did you play it? Did you actually run that an invisible caster manifested a visible effect while casting, thus essentially automatically pinpointing his location, or at least providing a general area?

If the invisible caster casts a spell, it is the same as if they weren't invisible. 0+modifiers or Stealth+modifiers, depending on the players actions.

OK. That is different.

That's actually the first difference I've noticed.


Very few people have actually offered real specifics of how they ran it, just vague: we always played it 'this way' even though 'this way' isn't well defined.

So again, how did you run it?

Visual only? Invisible with caster?


_Ozy_ wrote:
Very few people have actually offered real specifics of how they ran it, just vague: we always played it 'this way' even though 'this way' isn't well defined.

This way = The way the FAQ states it. Things the FAQ doesn't state aren't necessary for someone to say they played it 'this way' and be completely correct.


Er, yeah, that's why I'm looking for actual specifics.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Er, yeah, that's why I'm looking for actual specifics.

I'm suggesting that is a pointless endeavour, since while many will have always run it in the way of the FAQ (like myself), there will be many interpretations of the rules that are not part of the FAQ. I doubt there will be a consensus on those aspects until there is another dev comment.


How is it pointless, I want to know how people ran it pre-FAQ to see how they are specifically interpreting how the rules worked.

For example, since asking Jeff the question of how he played it before the FAQ, were the manifestations visual only, did they become invisible with the caster.

I received 3 replies, none of which contained answers to those questions. Even though I repeated the question multiple times.

It's not really a trick question.


_Ozy_ wrote:

How is it pointless, I want to know how people ran it pre-FAQ to see how they are specifically interpreting how the rules worked.

For example, since asking Jeff the question of how he played it before the FAQ, were the manifestations visual only, did they become invisible with the caster.

I received 3 replies, none of which contained answers to those questions. Even though I repeated the question multiple times.

It's not really a trick question.

I told you how we played it.

Honestly, we didn't really dig into the ramifications or even decide there were specifically visual manifestations. Just that casting was obvious and Spellcraft didn't depend on components.


My group's never even had someone try to cast spells while invisible.


Then I must have missed where you said whether or not the manifestations were specifically made invisible with invisible casters.

I guess the answer is that you didn't really think about it? 'Casting was obvious'...all the time? Except when stealthy? In the dark? Did you never have to consider these cases?

Depending on how you ran it, you actually made these choices even if you didn't realize you were doing so based on the mechanics of the perception check DC.

This is kinda my point though, you didn't actually play it any specific way that was necessarily consistent with the rules, you apparently didn't consider how it should interact with stealth or concealment given the specifics of manifestations, so there's not a small chance that you were and are actually doing it wrong.

And yet you claim you've been following the rules all along.

How do you know?

Do you really think the rules allow for both mechanics that say either 'DC0 perception not affected by invisibility', or 'completely undetectable when invisible'? Because that sort of wide latitude is about the only way that most of the people who claim they've been 'following the rules' actually are correct.


I may be late to the party, but why does being able to spellcraft a spell require it to have glowy runes? Maybe being trained in spellcraft lets you sense that magic is being worked. I think that is a much more reasonable interpretation.

Personally, I'd give a circumstance penalty per missing component to the spellcraft check and if the identifier fails by, say, 5: then they can't tell magic is happening at all.


Milo v3 wrote:
My group's never even had someone try to cast spells while invisible.

*blink*

...

Seriously?

You guys ever play past level 2? ;)

Not even any bad guys?

Why the heck not?


Knight Magenta wrote:

I may be late to the party, but why does being able to spellcraft a spell require it to have glowy runes? Maybe being trained in spellcraft lets you sense that magic is being worked. I think that is a much more reasonable interpretation.

Personally, I'd give a circumstance penalty per missing component to the spellcraft check and if the identifier fails by, say, 5: then they can't tell magic is happening at all.

Yeah, you're a bit late. ;)

This is about casting spells being obvious to anyone not just people trained in spellcraft.

If you restrict detecting casting to a spellcraft check, then normal people won't be able to detect a spell being cast at all.


_Ozy_ wrote:

*blink*

...

Seriously?

Yep

Quote:
You guys ever play past level 2? ;)

My latest character is a 15th level gestalt. Where one of the other players has a stealth modifier so high no one ever has the chance of seeing him, even if he rolls a 1 and they roll a 20 + can walk through walls at-will + at-will flight + at-will teleporting. At this level, trueseeing is expected, who would use invisibility?

Quote:

Not even any bad guys?

Why the heck not?

Just never came up, stealth is generally good enough on it own.


_Ozy_ wrote:

Then I must have missed where you said whether or not the manifestations were specifically made invisible with invisible casters.

I guess the answer is that you didn't really think about it? 'Casting was obvious'...all the time? Except when stealthy? In the dark? Did you never have to consider these cases?

Depending on how you ran it, you actually made these choices even if you didn't realize you were doing so based on the mechanics of the perception check DC.

This is kinda my point though, you didn't actually play it any specific way that was necessarily consistent with the rules, you apparently didn't consider how it should interact with stealth or concealment given the specifics of manifestations, so there's not a small chance that you were and are actually doing it wrong.

And yet you claim you've been following the rules all along.

How do you know?

Do you really think the rules allow for both mechanics that say either 'DC0 perception not affected by invisibility', or 'completely undetectable when invisible'? Because that sort of wide latitude is about the only way that most of the people who claim they've been 'following the rules' actually are correct.

No. Obvious, subject to the usual perception checks, based on Spellcraft using them.

I'll grant you that the invisible part may not have been RAW, but then I don't think anyone actually plays invisibility RAW or even knows what RAW is. But that's a different flame war.:)

As I said, we didn't actually say anything about manifestations, so that was technically wrong too, but that's special effect, not mechanics.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Knight Magenta wrote:

I may be late to the party, but why does being able to spellcraft a spell require it to have glowy runes? Maybe being trained in spellcraft lets you sense that magic is being worked. I think that is a much more reasonable interpretation.

Personally, I'd give a circumstance penalty per missing component to the spellcraft check and if the identifier fails by, say, 5: then they can't tell magic is happening at all.

Yeah, you're a bit late. ;)

This is about casting spells being obvious to anyone not just people trained in spellcraft.

If you restrict detecting casting to a spellcraft check, then normal people won't be able to detect a spell being cast at all.

Well, even a level 1 city guard can put a point into spellcraft. Its literally the smallest investment you could ask for. This makes sense to me. A trained watchman should be able to notice if something is amiss, but your regular country bumpkin won't notice anything.


"Always played that way" What does that FAQ say? It says that casting a spell is noticeable always. We never specified what the "clear manifestations" were. Just that everyone around you knew you were casting. And that anything that modified perception for seeing the caster applied to the perception and spellcraft checks for seeing and recognizing the spell.


_Ozy_ wrote:

How is it pointless, I want to know how people ran it pre-FAQ to see how they are specifically interpreting how the rules worked.

For example, since asking Jeff the question of how he played it before the FAQ, were the manifestations visual only, did they become invisible with the caster.

I received 3 replies, none of which contained answers to those questions. Even though I repeated the question multiple times.

It's not really a trick question.

No one is actually able to describe how they interpreted it before the FAQ, despite claiming they interpreted it the way the FAQ does now for years.

No one ever mentionned obviously magical manifestations during spellcasting anywhere in the forum from 2008 to 2014.
I can back my claims through the whole paizo forum, and have quoted a lot of topics relating to the topic.

It should be clear to everyone that the FAQ does not clarify a point in the rule, but create a new rule. I suspect that this rule is added to advertise Ultimate Intrigue.

I'm definitely expecting Jason Bulmahn to rectify this FAQ when he goes back from vacation, for many reasons.


You do know that they don't make a FAQ unless they are all in agreement. The only reason we got this FAQ with Jason gone was that they were already all in agreement about it. Probably a quick call or email to Jason and him responding that he hadn't changed his mind from his original post where he said that spellcasting was noticeable.


Except that perception modifiers are applied to different senses differently.

A loud environment doesn't hinder visual perception and a dark environment doesn't hinder auditory perception.

By having perception modifiers (including invisibility?) affect the detection of spellcasting identically to pinpointing a creature means that you are defining manefestations has having identical characteristics of a creature.

Visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, the whole lot. Creatures are noticed also because of their effect on the environment, moving branches, stirring up dust, changing air currents, which is why non-material beings like etheral creatures, who are invisible can't be detected using perception as per the rules.

You say you don't specify the manifestations, but you actually are doing exactly that, you're specifically giving them the same characteristics as a physical creature.

Perhaps part of the issue is in your phrase: 'perception for seeing the caster' when perception involves a lot more than 'seeing'. You can't 'see' an invisible caster, even with a perception bonus +100.


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Avh wrote:
No one is actually able to describe how they interpreted it before the FAQ, despite claiming they interpreted it the way the FAQ does now for years.

Except for the people who have... like me... in this thread... slightly above your post... Why do you keep saying things like this?


Milo v3 wrote:
Avh wrote:
No one is actually able to describe how they interpreted it before the FAQ, despite claiming they interpreted it the way the FAQ does now for years.
Except for the people who have... like me... in this thread... slightly above your post... Why do you keep saying things like this?

No, you didn't.

You said you interpreted things the way the FAQ is written, but you didn't give any examples, unless I'm missing something.


I think he said he ran them as purely visual effects left up to the caster. They couldn't be made invisible, but could be concealed using stealth.

Not sure how he handled blind creatures and/or darkness.


Yes, it is a trick question. Or more accurately, you're trying to get ammunition to set up a strawman argument.

The FAQ very specifically left the manifestations up to interpretation. That means any and all manifestations that your table runs are valid by RAW. Asking somebody for their personal take on it is meaningless for this question, so I can only fathom that you ask so that you can rip it apart to try to devalue the oppositions argument.

So no, despite having a very clear interpretation that I run that my table is very familiar with (and that has not changed at all after the FAQ and is still RAW), I will not tell you my interpretation, because it means nothing for this question.


Avh wrote:


No, you didn't.

You said you interpreted things the way the FAQ is written, but you didn't give any examples, unless I'm missing something.

I said how it works at my table mechanically, including saying how the manifestation changes depending on the caster. Why do I have to give examples when I've said how it works already? Also, everything I said was based on stuff pre-FAQ.

But if you want an example, my mesmerist is a noble so whenever he casts a spell his crest appears like a hologram around him (I feel that hologram is a better way to describe the visual effects as when you say glow it implies it is a light source). Last time he cast a spell while trying for it to not be noticed he did it in a crowd, since those allow for stealth checks and he's got a decent stealth bonus. My 15th level gestalt vizier//wizard has it so when he casts his spells, the manifestation looks like intangible technological components being put together with magic and then discharging the spell effect. Last time he cast a spell while trying to not be noticed, he used stealth in darkness.

Quote:
Not sure how he handled blind creatures and/or darkness.

RAW, you need to see the spell so blind creatures wouldn't be able to identify it unless you have that superpowered blindsight thingie that gives you effective sight despite not seeing. Not sure what you mean by the darkness thing.


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Avh wrote:
No one is actually able to describe how they interpreted it before the FAQ, despite claiming they interpreted it the way the FAQ does now for years.

I played and GMed it such that when you cast spells, it creates a distortion. It looks like heat waves in a desert mirage, creating kind of a halo around you. But, as the caster, YOU can make that much more flashy if you want. No game effects (making it bright doesn't necessarily let you read by the light, etc.). The halo lasts only for a moment (not defined, no need to, it's some fraction of a standard action, long enough to be noticeable, short enough not to care how long it lasts).

Everybody can see it as easily as they can see the caster. All Perception modifiers apply, including concealment (the halo is not very big or very bright so if you can hide in the bushes, your halo hides in the bushes - the Perception DC is your Stealth check), Invisibility (same +20 applies to the halo, the magic of being invisible hides the halo exactly as much as it hides you, you only get the +40 if there are no Somatic components, to qualify as not moving), etc.

Don't forget with all the discussion about concealment and/or invisibility that Verbal components are still quite audible (but the halo is not). However, most creatures cannot easily pinpoint your location by sound (not as easily as they can by sight).

Really, this almost never came up. Usually a new player finds out about it in the first few weeks when someone casts a spell and it's visible. But we almost never care or talk about it. I had one player get his sorcerer up to about 8th level before this actually came up, then we discussed it, he said "OK, whatever, that makes sense" and then there were no problems.

I cannot recall a time when ANY player tried to charm a guard (or anyone else) while standing in front of them in plain sight (at least some effort was made to hide) and I'm sure nobody at my table has ever tried to cast an illusion to deceive ANYBODY who was watching them cast it.

I do recall, in Council of Thieves, the PCs went to a nobleman's party and a PC wanted to try detecting evil. Aside from joking that detecting evil in Westcrown was a bit like detecting magic in Hogwarts, I pointed out that everybody at the party would see this and that wouldn't be good for their secret mission, and that was the end of it. Heck, I don't think we even talked about magical halos, the player just said something like "Oh, yeah, that would be bad" and we were done with it.

Avh wrote:
No one ever mentionned obviously magical manifestations during spellcasting anywhere in the forum from 2008 to 2014.

I did. How could you forget; you even quote-mined me on it. Remember? That was in this June 2010 post. My response to your quote-mining is here.

So why are you still carrying on like this?

The lead developer gave his opinion years ago. At least some forum posters have understood it and used it for years. There are even posts that you yourself have found to prove it (though you seem to want to sweep that under the rug so you can keep sounding the alarms for some reason).

Yeah, sure, many people have posted that they didn't think it worked this way. Many people have posted that they don't like it. Great. Everybody should play it the way they want. House Rules and Rule-0 for the win - for everybody. Even you. Even me.

But what I don't get is why you are beating this dead horse into the ground?

Who cares?

You didn't know. Now you know. Move on and use the FAQ or ignore the FAQ however you like.

But why keep rallying the troops or fanning the flames when you could just let it drop and enjoy the game?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have done it several different ways over the years.

Sometimes each spell has its own effects (e.g. summoning is preceded by sounds and smells of the environment the summoned creature comes from). Sometimes each caster has their own 'signature' effects (e.g. necromancer has black flames and skulls). Sometimes the caster can make their own spellcraft check to alter or disguise the effects. Sometimes it is just an undefined 'sixth sense' that a spell is being cast. Et cetera.

As to 'stealth spellcasting', I've always treated it the same as any other kind of stealth. You want to hit someone with magic missile and remain hidden... use the sniping rules. Invisibility allows indirect attacks like cutting a rope bridge or summoning a creature without being seen, but a direct physical or magical attack makes you visible. Et cetera. Level playing field.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Yes, it is a trick question. Or more accurately, you're trying to get ammunition to set up a strawman argument.

The FAQ very specifically left the manifestations up to interpretation. That means any and all manifestations that your table runs are valid by RAW. Asking somebody for their personal take on it is meaningless for this question, so I can only fathom that you ask so that you can rip it apart to try to devalue the oppositions argument.

So no, despite having a very clear interpretation that I run that my table is very familiar with (and that has not changed at all after the FAQ and is still RAW), I will not tell you my interpretation, because it means nothing for this question.

It's not a strawman argument, it's pointing out that people who think they are following the rules, and always have followed the rules actually aren't and haven't been.

For example, the most common interpretation is a visual effect.

And yet, people still allow stealth and invisibility to apply, for example DM_Blake and his Halo.

Yet the rules quite clearly say that invisible things can't be seen. They can be perceived with a higher DC if they affect other senses, but they can't be seen. Period. This means no detecting the spell being cast, no identification using spellcraft, nothing.

So no, not any and all interpretations are 'valid by RAW' since some of them directly contradict the rules.

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