Identifying a Spells with Spellcraft


Rules Questions

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I put myself firmly in the camp of all spellcasting creating visual effects (I made a document all about it here). I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.


Personally, I'd probably do Bluff (Verbal) and/or Sleight of Hand (Somatic) to disguise things. XD


Rednal wrote:
Personally, I'd probably do Bluff (Verbal) and/or Sleight of Hand (Somatic) to disguise things. XD

Those might be needed as well depending on the spell and the caster's means of bringing it about, but the displays I was referring to are completely separate from the components of spellcasting. They are perceivable phenomena that are briefly able to be sensed without the use of detect magic during the spellcasting process.

So I would allow someone who wanted to be sneaky to 'craft' their spell to be subtle with Spellcraft.


dwayne germaine wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Please don't try to call me stupid.
I did no such thing. I saw you were clearly making a mistake about how specific>general works and tried to enlighten. perhaps I did a poor job of it.

Indeed.

Text already exists within the spells talking about visual effects.

Fireball, for example.

Magic missile, as another one.

They don't describe the lack of visual aspects from spells like Charm because that isn't how the books are written.

They include the required details. If that detail isn't listed, that's because it isn't there.

They don't need to say that first level characters DON'T get a free wish every day, because Wish is a 9th level spell, unavailable to 1st level characters.

Spells that have visual effects already say so. Those that don't list any, don't have any.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I put myself firmly in the camp of all spellcasting creating visual effects (I made a document all about it here). I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.

I REALLY like this idea.


Ravingdork wrote:
Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I put myself firmly in the camp of all spellcasting creating visual effects (I made a document all about it here). I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.
I REALLY like this idea.

Neat, how would you adjudicate stealthy spellcasting?


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.

No! The correct way to do that is to take the feats Still Spell and Silent Spell and Eschew Materials, and then take another feat that specifically allows you to use Bluff checks to disguise your spells! If we allowed people to do things without taking feats first, there's be anarchy!


Doesn't this line suggest that there are spells without any visual components (if stilled/silent/eschewed/etc.)?

PRD wrote:


Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

(emphasis mine)

PRD link

Seems like this would be a pointless line if all spells had "magic floating runes" associated with them.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.
No! The correct way to do that is to take the feats Still Spell and Silent Spell and Eschew Materials, and then take another feat that specifically allows you to use Bluff checks to disguise your spells! If we allowed people to do things without taking feats first, there's be anarchy!

Did you remember to take the "Indignant Outrage" feat? =P


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.
No! The correct way to do that is to take the feats Still Spell and Silent Spell and Eschew Materials, and then take another feat that specifically allows you to use Bluff checks to disguise your spells! If we allowed people to do things without taking feats first, there's be anarchy!

Likely the feats would simply make it easier.

Like how I do it.

5 points of DC per feat.

Dark Archive

Paulicus wrote:

Doesn't this line suggest that there are spells without any visual components (if stilled/silent/eschewed/etc.)?

PRD wrote:


Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

(emphasis mine)

PRD link

Seems like this would be a pointless line if all spells had "magic floating runes" associated with them.

That would strongly imply that there are spells which lack any visible component, to satisfy the "you must see the spell being cast" requirement of Spellcraft.


Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Paulicus wrote:

Doesn't this line suggest that there are spells without any visual components (if stilled/silent/eschewed/etc.)?

PRD wrote:


Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

(emphasis mine)

PRD link

Seems like this would be a pointless line if all spells had "magic floating runes" associated with them.

That would strongly imply that there are spells which lack any visible component, to satisfy the "you must see the spell being cast" requirement of Spellcraft.

There are, in fact, MANY spells with no identifiable visual clues... all the spells that don't describe any, in fact.

The spells you can see all have descriptions of... you know, stuff you can see. :D


As I see it, there are three parts to a spellcast. There's the ritual - the somatic, verbal, emotion, thought, what-have-you. There's the aura generated by spellcasting. And finally, there's the resultant spell effect. And indeed many of these have no obvious physical effects, but that's only the third part of the spell cast.


alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I put myself firmly in the camp of all spellcasting creating visual effects (I made a document all about it here). I would also be just fine with someone who wanted to cast 'sneakily' using Spellcraft effectively like a Stealth check for the visual effects created by spellcasting.
I REALLY like this idea.

Neat, how would you adjudicate stealthy spellcasting?

It would be Spellcraft opposing Perception. Detect magic would instantly foil the attempt.


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Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Paulicus wrote:

Doesn't this line suggest that there are spells without any visual components (if stilled/silent/eschewed/etc.)?

PRD wrote:


Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

(emphasis mine)

PRD link

Seems like this would be a pointless line if all spells had "magic floating runes" associated with them.

That would strongly imply that there are spells which lack any visible component, to satisfy the "you must see the spell being cast" requirement of Spellcraft.

This is so irrelevant.

(OK, stop reading now and prepare your argument without reading what I have to say)

It very obvious that this quoted text about feeling the hostile force or tingle even when there are no obvious effects is what happens AFTER you roll the Saving Throw. Please don't tell me you think you roll the saving throw while the caster is still waving his arms in the air, babbling his incantations, and fishing around in his spell component pouch for his sand and crickets and bat guano?

Of course not.

So, obviously, this rule text takes place ENTIRELY after the spell has been fully cast, targeted, and resisted by a successful saving throw.

How is that possibly even germane to a discussion about what we can identify while a spell is being cast, long before the casting is complete, targets are declared, and saving throws are rolled?

Answer: It's not.

Likewise, saying Fireball has a visible component (true) and therefore is visible before you even finish casting it (irrelevant and unsupported by any rules) is flawed logic.

And likewise, saying Charm Person has NO visible component (true) and therefore is INvisible before you even finish casting it (irrelevant and unsupported by any rules) is flawed logic.

Your argument works something like this:

You and I walk into a room together. It's daytime and a window is open so we can see each other clearly. You watch me as I reach over and turn on a light switch. The light comes on. You say "I totally saw you reaching for that switch, while your arm was still moving, before you touched the switch, because the light came on."

Or

You and I walk into a room together. It's daytime and a window is open so we can see each other clearly. You watch me as I reach over and turn on a light switch. The light does not turn on. You say "I totally NEVER EVEN saw you reaching for that switch, while your arm was still moving, before you touched the switch, because the light did not come on."

The future fact that the light will or will not come on has no bearing on whether you can see me reach out to turn on the light before I even touch the switch.

Likewise, the future existence of a visible bead of fire or existence of an invisible Charm Person has no bearing on whether you can see the magic being created before the spell is even finished.

The visible or invisible effects after a spell is finished have no bearing on what you see while the spell is still being cast.

You can rule that they do. Please do. It's obviously fun for you so go for it. But nothing in the rules supports this, and as I repeatedly demonstrated in that other thread, the rules really do support the fact that there is something there to see for every spell while it is being cast, before it is finished.

It would take an errata to change it to be otherwise.


alexd1976 wrote:

There are, in fact, MANY spells with no identifiable visual clues... all the spells that don't describe any, in fact.

The spells you can see all have descriptions of... you know, stuff you can see. :D

Yep, stuff you can see after the guy is done casting the spell.

Which has no bearing on what you can or cannot see before he is done casting the spell.

I fail to see why people keep dragging the after-effects into the before-discussion.

After an airplane crashes, I can see devastation, wreckage, flames, carnage, etc. But while that airplane was falling from the sky, I saw NONE OF THAT. I cannot look after the fact and say "See all that devastation and wreckage and flame? Well, THAT is how I knew that plane would crash."

That's totally a non-sequitur.

And so is saying that the bead of fire is how you know the guy is casting a fireball.

Again, you can rule that the visible bead of Fireball appears very early while he's still casting it so you can see the spell, and you can rule that the invisible magic of Charm Person also appears very early while he's still casting it but it's invisible so you cannot see the spell. That's a fine ruling and probably an excellent house rule, but it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use Charm Person as a counterspell for Charm Person which is directly contradicted by the RAW.


Quote:
Yep, stuff you can see after the guy is done casting the spell.
Quote:
I fail to see why people keep dragging the after-effects into the before-discussion.

And I don't see yet why you insist effects can only begin happening after the guy is done casting the spell.

It doesn't say the tingle happen after either, it doesn't really even say you roll a save after vs. during for all I know.

Nor even if the tingle did happen ever would this imply anything else about spellcasting. Tingling in people's heads could very simply be something that happens later in the spell process than XYZ other things...

Honestly, you have virtually or maybe even literally NO information about the timeline of spellcasting, we can't really conclude anything as being required about it, that I can see.


It's so strange the way you take people's names out of their quotes.

Anyway, I'll just go ahead and take credit for my quotes in my reply...

Crimeo wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Yep, stuff you can see after the guy is done casting the spell.
DM_Blake wrote:
I fail to see why people keep dragging the after-effects into the before-discussion.
And I don't see yet why you insist effects can only begin happening after the guy is done casting the spell.

Easy.

Because my explanation matches RAW. When they said "any spell" they probably meant it. But your way ignores RAW and assumes, as you've said elsewhere, that when they said "any spell" they really meant "not really any spell, unless your enemy decides to actually tell you what he's doing so you can know in advance."

I don't think they meant that, and I have a hard time thinking you do either.

Crimeo wrote:
It doesn't say the tingle happen after either, it doesn't really even say you roll a save after vs. during for all I know.

So now you're saying that the tingle you feel if you make a saving throw happens before you make the saving throw?

Heck, maybe you're right. Maybe the tingle was there the whole time, from the instant the enemy started casting his Charm Person. Maybe you even feel the tingle when you FAIL the saving throw too? That's not what the rule says, but since we're house ruling it anyway then we might as well admit that if the tingle happened BEFORE the save, then it happened before the save regardless of whether you make or fail the save, right?

You can't have it both ways: "If you fail the save, there never was a tingle, but if you make the save then the tingle was there all along, even before you rolled the save attempt."

This is not Schrodinger's Tingle...

Crimeo wrote:
Honestly, you have virtually or maybe even literally NO information about the timeline of spellcasting, we can't really conclude anything as being required about it, that I can see.

Actually I have "literally" lots of information, because the rulebooks are literally literal, and I have them.

We can read the rules.

We can then draw the best conclusion possible without changing or ignoring any rule.

We can also freely change the rule (as per Rule Zero) but at least we should admit when we do so.


Quote:
It's so strange the way you take people's names out of their quotes.

They're never in there to begin with, I just type out the html tags, because it's easier than deleting down the huge blocks of text. Also I often respond to more than one person.

Quote:
that when they said "any spell" they really meant

I told you how indeed, any spell, can be used to counter, without implying that spells have visible manifestations necessarily. I gave you more than one way.

You not LIKING them or them offending your sensibilities doesn't make them not exist, sorry.

Quote:
So now you're saying that the tingle you feel if you make a saving throw happens before you make the saving throw?

No I'm saying that the saving throw might happen before the casting is complete, and then the tingle might happen after that, but also before the casting is complete. Or probably various other possible combos. Maybe save before, then casting ends, then tingle. Who knows?

Quote:
We can read the rules. We can then draw the best conclusion possible without changing or ignoring any rule.

Except the ones you don't like, such as improved counterspell. You forgot to mention that we should ignore THOSE rules.


DM_Blake wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

There are, in fact, MANY spells with no identifiable visual clues... all the spells that don't describe any, in fact.

The spells you can see all have descriptions of... you know, stuff you can see. :D

Yep, stuff you can see after the guy is done casting the spell.

Which has no bearing on what you can or cannot see before he is done casting the spell.

I fail to see why people keep dragging the after-effects into the before-discussion.

After an airplane crashes, I can see devastation, wreckage, flames, carnage, etc. But while that airplane was falling from the sky, I saw NONE OF THAT. I cannot look after the fact and say "See all that devastation and wreckage and flame? Well, THAT is how I knew that plane would crash."

That's totally a non-sequitur.

And so is saying that the bead of fire is how you know the guy is casting a fireball.

Again, you can rule that the visible bead of Fireball appears very early while he's still casting it so you can see the spell, and you can rule that the invisible magic of Charm Person also appears very early while he's still casting it but it's invisible so you cannot see the spell. That's a fine ruling and probably an excellent house rule, but it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use Charm Person as a counterspell for Charm Person which is directly contradicted by the RAW.

If you want to say that spellcasting takes place at initiative X, and is immediately resolved with no possibility of interruption, that is your prerogative, but it also violates the rules.

Readied actions can interrupt this.

Countering spells is explicitly spelled out as an option to do this.

If we want to slavishly adhere to RAW, then let's look closer.

You are saying that all spells are visible. This stops being relevant, because by your own suggestion, spellcasting starts and stops with no passage of time. There is no delay between the casting and the resolution of a spell (unless it is longer than a standard action, of course).

You literally can't interrupt it, because it is instantaneous.

If I start casting my spell, I finish it as well.

The alternative is that you have a readied action to interrupt me when I start casting, so obviously beginning casting (triggering the readied action to counterspell) and finishing casting cannot be simultaneous.

It is during this period that counterspelling takes place. This is the 'travel time' of spells, the 'casting time'. It isn't measured in initiative counts, but it MUST exist for counterspelling to be possible.

"it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use Charm Person as a counterspell for Charm Person which is directly contradicted by the RAW."

This is not true at all. Being forced to identify a spell does not prevent you from countering it. Nothing in RAW is being contradicted here.

You CAN use Charm Person to counter Charm Person. Nothing is preventing this.

As long as you meet the prerequisites of identifying it first.

Arbitrarily assigning visual signs to spells is one way of doing it.
It's not the only way. Other house rules include new divination spells that identify spells being cast (and can be used to craft goggles of spell battle etc).

Battlemagic Perception (from Heroes of Battle, a 3.5 book) serves as good inspiration.

Just cause published materials don't have the solution to seeing every spell, every time, all the time, doesn't mean you just CAN'T do it...


Actually I'm not even sure why it matters anyway re: the tingling, even if it did go after...

If it describes the tingle as in response to something with no obvious physical effects, and this happens after the spell, then that means, as of the point in time after the spell, there have been no obvious physcial effects yet.

So... uh, that still would mean some spells have no obvious physical effects during casting.

Thus, in addition to it not being clear when it happens, I'm not seeing why it even matters when it happens tbh.


Crimeo wrote:

Actually I'm not even sure why it matters anyway re: the tingling, even if it did go after...

If it describes the tingle as in response to something with no obvious physical effects, and this happens after the spell, then that means, as of the point in time after the spell, there have been no obvious physcial effects yet.

So... uh, that still would mean some spells have no obvious physical effects during casting.

Thus, in addition to it not being clear when it happens, I'm not seeing why it even matters when it happens tbh.

That's just their way of saying that PC's will be alerted to attempts to charm/dominate etc them...

Not WHO did it, just that someone tried SOMETHING.

That's when you roll initiative and start freaking out, looking for the glowing neon signs over peoples heads.


DM_Blake wrote:
Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Paulicus wrote:

Doesn't this line suggest that there are spells without any visual components (if stilled/silent/eschewed/etc.)?

PRD wrote:


Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

(emphasis mine)

PRD link

Seems like this would be a pointless line if all spells had "magic floating runes" associated with them.

That would strongly imply that there are spells which lack any visible component, to satisfy the "you must see the spell being cast" requirement of Spellcraft.

This is so irrelevant.

(OK, stop reading now and prepare your argument without reading what I have to say)

It very obvious that this quoted text about feeling the hostile force or tingle even when there are no obvious effects is what happens AFTER you roll the Saving Throw. Please don't tell me you think you roll the saving throw while the caster is still waving his arms in the air, babbling his incantations, and fishing around in his spell component pouch for his sand and crickets and bat guano?

Of course not.

So, obviously, this rule text takes place ENTIRELY after the spell has been fully cast, targeted, and resisted by a successful saving throw.

How is that possibly even germane to a discussion about what we can identify while a spell is being cast, long before the casting is complete, targets are declared, and saving throws are rolled?

Answer: It's not.

Likewise, saying Fireball has a visible component (true) and therefore is visible before you even finish casting it (irrelevant and unsupported by any rules) is flawed logic....

Wow. I wasn't expecting that. Can you not be so condescending? I was just trying to contribute to a discussion with a point I hadn't seen brought up yet. Sheesh.

I don't care much about "RAW," so my response will be short (and, I'd like to note, formulated after reading your reply. Hopefully you can extend the same courtesy.)

- -

I'm not trying to argue some strange, time-warping effect here. I'm just pointing out the implications of that language. If someone were to cast charm person (with metamagics to remove the components, or a SLA), it would seem to me that "swirling magical runes" could reasonably be construed as an "obvious physical effect" and thus render that entire line in the magic chapter irrelevent, as every spell would have some kind of obvious effect, and no one would ever feel said "tingle."

At the very least I can say my 'argument' is far simpler, and doesn't require multiple paragraphs to explain.

Also, this:

DM_Blake wrote:
...but it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use Charm Person as a counterspell for Charm Person...

is wrong, as charm person normally has components (V,S) that would allow counterspelling. It would only be 'impossible' with 2+ feats and a 3rd (or higher, for other spells) level spell slot.

(Then again, I'm the kind of GM who would probably allow stealthy casting with just some tough skill checks, if you didn't have feats to make it easier).

- -

If your condescending attitude is how discussions in the forum are done, I don't want any part of it. So sorry for trying to contribute. Enjoy your internet argument.

No wonder why I keep telling myself to stay away from the rules forum.


Quote:

That's just their way of saying that PC's will be alerted to attempts to charm/dominate etc them...

Not WHO did it, just that someone tried SOMETHING.

That's when you roll initiative and start freaking out, looking for the glowing neon signs over peoples heads.

I realize that. The relevant part of the text isn't actually the tingling, but the other part of the sentence that mentions spells with no obvious physical effects. I.e. indicating that such spells exist.

Dark Archive

Ok, ignoring your gross mangling of the opposing position. Again, on account of how grossly inaccurate it is.

Charm Person may be used as a counterspell. The rules say so. The rules, being read literally as written, not describing any visual effects of Charm Person, do not normally permit identification of such a spell. However, both Detect Magic, and Arcane Sight would permit a caster to view the magical aura of the spell as it is being cast, permitting a Spellcraft check to identify the spell and counter.

It makes countering Charm Person harder, if the caster is willing to spend a third level spell slot to cast it, but it does not make it impossible as you claim.

Now, as to your contention that the spell effects happen after the end of the standard action casting time of most spells. That makes no sense. It requires that the caster chant, gesture, and fiddle with his bat guano at normal speed for approximately three seconds, casting the spell, before accelerating to warp factor 9, as the spell occurs. It is much more reasonable to believe that the spell effects resolving are the end of the standard action, rather than after the standard action. Once saves have been made, and damage dealt or effects resolved, then the standard action is over. Not before.


Crimeo wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
So now you're saying that the tingle you feel if you make a saving throw happens before you make the saving throw?
No I'm saying that the saving throw might happen before the casting is complete, and then the tingle might happen after that, but also before the casting is complete. Or probably various other possible combos. Maybe save before, then casting ends, then tingle. Who knows?

GM: The guy starts casting a spell.

Fighter: 17.
GM: What?
Fighter: 17.
GM: What's that?
Fighter: I rolled a 17 for my save.
GM: Why?
Fighter: He's casting a spell.
GM: He hasn't finished yet.
Fighter: I know. But I heard somewhere that I'm supposed to make the saving throw before the casting is complete.
GM: Whatever. The guy finishes casting the spell. Your Reflex save was a 17?
Fighter: No, that was my Fortitude save.
GM: Why did you roll a Fortitude save against a fireball?
Fighter: I just assumed.
GM: Don't assume. Roll a Reflex save.
Fighter: Are you sure I can? He's done casting, I think it's too late for me to roll that save.
GM: Just do it.
Fighter: 12.
GM: You die.

GM: OK, the other mage is casting a spell.
Cleric: 11, 8, 21.
GM: What's that?
Cleric: I rolled all three saves. I don't want you to kill me like you did the fighter, so I rolled all three just to be safe.
GM: He hasn't finished casting yet.
Cleric: I know. But I heard somewhere that I'm supposed to make the saving throw before the casting is complete.
GM: Whatever. They guy finishes casting his spell at the wizard.
Wizard: Oh, crap, I didn't roll my save yet. I thought he was casting at the cleric.
GM: No, he cast at you.
Wizard: Can I still roll a save?
GM: Yes, it's a Fortitude save.
Wizard: I got a 10.
GM: You're disintegrated.

GM: The last caster begins casting a spell.
Rogue: 31
GM: I guess you rolled your save?
Rogue: Yep! Has he finished casting yet?
GM: No, but whatever. Now he finishes casting and some of his wounds close up.
Rogue: He cast that on himself?
GM: Yes, he cured his critical wounds.
Rogue. Dang. I wasted a good roll. Can I use the die roll for my next attack?
GM: Rocks fall. You die. But first you heard a tingle. You realize, right before you die, that the tingle began last Tuesday.

Crimeo wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
We can read the rules. We can then draw the best conclusion possible without changing or ignoring any rule.
Except the ones you don't like, such as improved counterspell. You forgot to mention that we should ignore THOSE rules.

I explained that in the other thread too. Here and here.

I don't think you read a word I write, but I'll try again:

You're assuming that the authors wrote the Counterspell rules with the assumption that the only way you can ever use them is by having one certain feat, and then they didn't even have the decency to tell you that in the rule.

Imagine if they wrote every rule like that (thank the gods they don't!). Here's a thought experiment to illustrate the point:

(For this thought experiment, imagine that the Attacks of Opportunity rules in the combat experiment actually do say you get 1 AoO + 1 per point of DEX modifier. They don't really say that, but imagine that they do; it's a thought experiement.)

GM: Four orcs run past the fighter to close with the obvious wizard behind you.
Wizard: Oh, crud, I'm going to die!
Fighter: Oh no you're not. I get to make 4 Attacks of Opportunity on them as they go past.
GM: You do?
Fighter: Sure. Says so right here in the combat section. I get to make one AoO +1 for every point of my DEX bonus. That's a total of 4 AoOs, one for each orc.
GM: Uh, yeah, it says that. But what it really means is that you can ONLY do it if you have the Combat Reflexes feat. Otherwise you only get one AoO.
Fighter: That's not what it says. Look right here.
GM: I know, but look at this feat. Combat Reflexes. See? That's the feat that makes the Combat rule work.
Fighter: That's stupid! The rules in the COMBAT CHAPTER are perfectly clear. I can make 4 AoOs and it never says anything about that feat!
GM: Yeah, well, the rule works the way I told you. You get 1 AoO, not 4.
Fighter: So, in order to understand this rule, written in black and white, I have to know about some other OPTIONAL rule, a feat somewhere that I never even read, and the official rule never even tells me that this feat exists?
GM: Yeah, that's how these developers write rules.
Fighter: Is this like last session when you told me I can't make 4 iterative attacks until I'm 16th level? Even though the combat section says everybody makes 4 iterative attacks and never said that this is based on BAB?
GM: Yeah, the book is FULL of places where the developers wrote that you can do something that you really can't. they like lying to you in the rules. The only way to know you really can't do the rules they lied about is to read some other rule, an optional rule that most characters don't even have, and they never even cross-reference the real rule for you; you have to figure it out on your own.

But it doesn't happen like that, does it?

Never.

If the developers had meant "You can use any spell as a counterspell but only if you have the Improved Counterspell feat" then they would have said it that way.

They didn't.

Which means you don't need the Improved Counterspell feat to apply the [b]GENERAL RULE[B] that says you can use any spell as a counterspell.

This really is that simple. Really.


It is simple, you are right.

You are allowed to counter any spell with itself.

This does not remove the fact that you must first identify it.

Whether or not YOUR character can identify it is of no concern to the rules or their designers.


Blake, I don't understand where this idea of an impossible to counter Charm spell is coming from. Normally there are Verbal and Somatic components that allow identifying the spell in order to counter, that's the norm.

The "impossible" to counter Charm spell is a corner case where the components are removed by 2 or more feats being applied to it.

Where is the confusion coming from??

edit: you also ignored the point I made. Or perhaps didn't read it? In any case, rude.


Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Now, as to your contention that the spell effects happen after the end of the standard action casting time of most spells. That makes no sense.

You are right, that would make no sense, but I never said "after the end of the standard action".

It all happens in the same standard action:

1. Standard action begins
2. Guy starts casting a spell.
3. [b]Guy finishes casting the spell.[b]
4. Effects of spell appear.
5. Target tries to make a saving throw, when applicable.
6. Effects are applied.
7. Standard action ends.

If I am standing around with a readied action to counterspell:

1. Standard action begins
2. Guy starts casting a spell.
3. I declare that I'm countering that spell. My readied standard action begins.
4. I determine (with the GM) that I have line of sight so I roll my Spellcraft check, modified with the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.
5. I make the Spellcraft check.
6. The GM tells me it's a Charm Person spell.
7. I don't have a Charm Person spell prepared so I cannot counter his. My readied standard action ends (it was wasted).
8. [b]Guy finishes casting the spell.[b]
9. Effects of spell appear.
10. Target tries to make a saving throw, when applicable.
11. Effects are applied.
12. Guy's Standard action ends.

Alternative ending:

7. I have a Charm Person spell prepared so I cast mine to counter his.
8. My readied standard action ends.
9. Guy's standard action ends because he is no longer casting the spell I countered.


Paulicus wrote:

Blake, I don't understand where this idea of an impossible to counter Charm spell is coming from. Normally there are Verbal and Somatic components that allow identifying the spell in order to counter, that's the norm.

The "impossible" to counter Charm spell is a corner case where the components are removed by 2 or more feats being applied to it.

Where is the confusion coming from??

edit: you also ignored the point I made. Or perhaps didn't read it? In any case, rude.

Technically, Verbal and Somatic components don't have any bearing on the identification of the spell.

This is as much a house rule as imposing visual effects on all spells is.


Yet another reason why "RAW" is senseless. I can't handle all this rules-lawyering and tossing around "house rules" like it's a dirty word. Have fun with whatever it is you're all indulging in, I'm going to sleep.


Paulicus wrote:

Blake, I don't understand where this idea of an impossible to counter Charm spell is coming from. Normally there are Verbal and Somatic components that allow identifying the spell in order to counter, that's the norm.

The "impossible" to counter Charm spell is a corner case where the components are removed by 2 or more feats being applied to it.

Where is the confusion coming from??

I'm afraid the confusion is all yours. I'm not confused at all. Maybe this will help.

Tell me the difference between these two quotations (hint, one is real, one is false):

1:

SRD, Skills, Spellcraft wrote:
Identifying spell components as a spell is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell components as the spell is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

2:

SRD, Skills, Spellcraft wrote:
Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

Did you spot the difference?

Now, which is the actual quote?

Answer:
#2 is the real one.

There is nothing there, nothing, about spell components.

What's worse, is that many people are arguing that taking away the spell components (using Still Spell, Silent Spell, and Eschew Materials) makes it impossible to identify the spell.

I have to admit, if you were seeing spell components (and only spell components), then NOT having spell components would definitely make it impossible. Which means the developers would have mentioned that, don't you think? But there is absolutely nothing about this in the rules. Anywhere. Not in the Spellcraft rules. Not in the Magic rules. Not in the descriptions of those feats. Nowhere.

Here's another quote. Tell me if you think it's real or false:

3:

SRD, Skills, Spellcraft wrote:
Identifying spell components as a spell is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell components as the spell is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors. Furthermore, if the spell has no spell components, you cannot identify the spell.

Answer:
#3 is completely made up and totally unsupported by any general rules in any rulebook.

So...

Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, the spell components have nothing, NOTHING, to do with identifying the spell as it is being cast.

(I personally think they should, and would love an errata for that, but currently they do not, per the RAW).


Blake, your anecdote is simply an anecdote of an incompetent GM, doesn't really tell us anything about this.

I am not saying that saves MUST happen by RAW during casting. I'm saying they CAN work that way as one of many equally valid options.

If you, as a GM, have chosen that optional valid interpretation among many, then presumably you should have told your players about this, specified when during the process a save is rolled, and everyone will be quite happily on the same page. All of the incompetence in your story comes from a GM deciding on an interpretation and not telling anybody = bad GMing, not anything of interest here to this thread. (Alternatively, the GM chose an "after casting" interpretation, and the player is also doing it wrong by choosing an interpretation of spellcasting timelines, when that is not a player's job.)

You're the only one trying to argue that it MUST be any particular timeline.

Quote:
You're assuming that the authors wrote the Counterspell rules with the assumption that the only way you can ever use them is by having one certain feat, and then they didn't even have the decency to tell you that in the rule.

I don't care a whit what the writers assumed or thought. I'm showing you citations that prove your assumptions are unreliable. The end. This is RAW discussion. You left the realm of RAI long ago when you brought up niggling technicalities of counterspell in the first place.

Spellcraft: You can't necessarily do the thing
Counterspell: Seems like you can do the thing after all
Improved Counterspell: Nope, alternative explanation for why you don't necessarily need to be able to do the thing still.

For some bizarre reason, you seem to think that although it's perfectly reasonable to leap to another part of the book to apply other rules, it's NOT okay to leap to a second other part of the book also to apply other rules. I have no idea why.

If you want RAI: Don't leap to obscure tangential references in the first place, including the counterspell stuff, which I'd say is pretty clearly not intentionally written to have any bearing on basic spell physics.
If you want strict RAW: which you do if you're bringing up the counterspell stuff, then you are now obligated to entertain any and all OTHER obscure references as well. And you have no basis for invoking intent anymore.

You don't get to make strict RAW leaps when it suits you, then act like what you care about is RAI 5 minutes later when it suits you. Pick one.


Paulicus wrote:
Blake, I don't understand where this idea of an impossible to counter Charm spell is coming from.

From your post, you made it clear that you thought it was coming from lack of components.

It was not.

The "impossible to counter" Charm Person comes form this:

Please click this link and actually read it, it answers your question. If you disagree with the conclusions, then at least you'll have more specific questions or arguments to bring up.


DM_Blake wrote:
Paulicus wrote:
Blake, I don't understand where this idea of an impossible to counter Charm spell is coming from.

From your post, you made it clear that you thought it was coming from lack of components.

It was not.

The "impossible to counter" Charm Person comes form this:

Please click this link and actually read it, it answers your question. If you disagree with the conclusions, then at least you'll have more specific questions or arguments to bring up.

Point 2 is already wrong. The stuff that follows from this doesn't matter. Being guaranteed to be able to cast fireball as a counterspell =/= being guaranteed to be able to cast fireball as a counterspell FOR FIREBALL. Because there are ways to cast fireball as a counterspell to burning hands, thus satisifying the criteria of being guaranteed to be able to use fireball as a counterspell without necessitating that fireball itself need be able to be countered. I.e. nothing ever guarantees that fireball can be countered.

Dark Archive

So, how do you make those AoOs against invisible orcs running past you?

Oh right. You have to be able to see the orcs to know they provoke. Crazy how that works.

No one is claiming that you cannot use Charm Person to counter Charm Person. We are saying, as is the case with the AoOs example you used, that there are circumstances where you will not necessarily be able to do so.

In the case of counterspells, it is reasonable to believe, based on the wording of the spellcraft skill, that you are required to be able to see the spell being cast.

It is furthermore reasonable to believe that there must be something for you to see in order for you to see it.

As it is not stated anywhere that you are able to see all spells when they are being cast, we must therefore go back to our ability to reason.

Speaking reasonably, some spells are described as having visible physical effects.

There is a reference in the magic section to spells which have no visible effects.

There are no rules written stating that all spells have some visible manifestation by which a caster may identify them.

Given these three bits of information, we can reason that spells which are not stated to have such effects do not have such effects.

We can furthermore state that spellcraft requires you to see the spell as it is being cast.

You are not required to see the caster, only the spell, though perceive would have been a more appropriate term.

We can reasonably conclude that the components of the spell are parts of "the spell" for the purposes of seeing it, though a more strict interpretation would require the ability to see the magical aura of a spell without visible effects(ref Arcane Sight or Detect Magic).

Following from this, we can state that if you cannot see any of the required components of the spell, or the magical aura if we take the strictest possible interpretation, you cannot make a spellcraft check to identify the spell.

If you cannot make the spellcraft check to identify the spell, you cannot counter it.

This entire chain of logic is all explicitly in accordance with the rules as they are written, except for the part where I am generous with the use of "perceive" instead of "see" and treating components as parts of "the spell" which may be perceived. It is possible to ignore those portions, and require the ability to see auras for spells which do not have any physical effects, and be literally within the rules.

The key part that you are overlooking, is that there is no rule that says all spells can be seen while casting, and assuming that the counterspell rules require such a rule to be true. Since no rule is written, no such rule exists, and your argument fails on its merits. Spells which cannot be seen, cannot be seen, and as a result of being unable to be seen, cannot be identified, which means that they cannot be countered by any method other than dispel magic in that particular instance.


By the way, I do also agree with the above folks in that "You can do X" =/= "You're guaranteed being allowed to do X" You're just allowed to, not guaranteed to be able to cast any spell as a counterspell. Just like you're always allowed to jump, but you may hit a tree, you aren't guaranteed to stick your landing 10 feet ahead even if there's a door/wall in the way...

This is yet another layer of why counterspell doesn't work, and I fully endorse it. I'm just arguing another angle to make it even more clear that it's incorrect for additional reasons as well. As in "even if for sake of argument we pretend it is guaranteeing, it still doesn't help you"


Paulicus wrote:
edit: you also ignored the point I made. Or perhaps didn't read it? In any case, rude.

Sorry, I actually did not respond directly to your post; I was responding to other posts instead. Didn't mean to be rude.

Paulicus wrote:
Wow. I wasn't expecting that. Can you not be so condescending? I was just trying to contribute to a discussion with a point I hadn't seen brought up yet. Sheesh.

Please note that my reply was not to you.

It was to another poster who happened to quote you. That poster has been posting the same thing over and over in multiple threads. He has not rebutted my points or offered salient counterpoints - he just repeats his points. Which gives me the distinct impression that he never even reads what I write.

You're right, that reply was condescending, but understand that I have gone around and around with that poster and felt completely ignored (from your response when I ignored you, I think you can get my irritation).

I'm sorry if it appeared that my condescension was aimed at you. It wasn't.

Paulicus wrote:
I don't care much about "RAW," so my response will be short (and, I'd like to note, formulated after reading your reply. Hopefully you can extend the same courtesy.)

In that case, it seems odd that you'd post a question on a debate thread in the Rules Questions forum. That makes it appear that you do care about the rules, which I cannot correlate with your statement that you do not.

Paulicus wrote:

I'm not trying to argue some strange, time-warping effect here. I'm just pointing out the implications of that language. If someone were to cast charm person (with metamagics to remove the components, or a SLA), it would seem to me that "swirling magical runes" could reasonably be construed as an "obvious physical effect" and thus render that entire line in the magic chapter irrelevent, as every spell would have some kind of obvious effect, and no one would ever feel said "tingle."

At the very least I can say my 'argument' is far simpler, and doesn't require multiple paragraphs to explain.

As I responded in my previous reply to you, the components are irrelevant to using Spellcraft to identify a spell as it is being cast.

Yet, spellcraft says we must see the spell (not the spell components) so something must be there to be seen. "Swirling magical runes" is what many posters suggest, due to their frequent use in the artwork in the published books. It's not exactly what I use, but that's also irrelevant - the rules don't say WHAT it is, just that it's there and can be seen; the GMs of the world get to decide what it looks like.

I'm pretty sure that the "visible effect" people are referring to is the effect of the spell. Fireball's EFFECT is a very visible ball of fire, not a bunch of swirling runes. Charm Person's EFFECT is that a guy got charmed, not a bunch of swirling rules. In the case of charm person, the EFFECT (getting charmed) is completely invisible and takes place once the caster is finished casting. The stuff that is visible during the moments while the caster is still casting is visible, even though the EFFECT is not.

Paulicus wrote:

Also, this:

DM_Blake wrote:
...but it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use Charm Person as a counterspell for Charm Person...
is wrong, as charm person normally has components (V,S) that would allow counterspelling. It would only be 'impossible' with 2+ feats and a 3rd (or higher, for other spells) level spell slot.

Please see my previous reply to you.

It's not about the components at all.

Paulicus wrote:

If your condescending attitude is how discussions in the forum are done, I don't want any part of it. So sorry for trying to contribute. Enjoy your internet argument.

No wonder why I keep telling myself to stay away from the rules forum.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

Rules discussions can get heated, and I believe some people (including myself) deserve some condescension at times; it keeps us all grounded). In any case, it wasn't targeted at you.

Stick around, it only gets more fun...


Another thing to consider. D&D/PF has always been weak at emulating things outside its own paradigm and the connected works.

Add floating runes to every spell cast and it's now even worse, including trying to emulate previous D&D/PF fiction.


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Paulicus wrote:
Yet another reason why "RAW" is senseless.

Yep, that's why we all use house rules.

Except those guys in PFS; they're kinda stuck with the senseless RAW. Maybe these threads help them understand the rules they must play by.

And, at least for me, I like to know the real rule before I make a house rule to change it. It helps me make good decisions and helps me integrate my house rule into the other existing senseless RAW that I haven't house ruled yet...

Paulicus wrote:
I can't handle all this rules-lawyering and tossing around "house rules" like it's a dirty word. Have fun with whatever it is you're all indulging in, I'm going to sleep.

House rules are not a dirty word.

But...

This is a Rules Questions forum. If, by chance, you came in here and asked "What does a +1 sword cost?" and I answered "100,000 tin snoogers" (because that is a house rule I use), wouldn't you find it rather useless that I gave you a house rule instead of the real rule?

The only way to answer questions in a Rules Questions forum is to answer with the RAW, and leave house rules out of it.

Luckily, there is another forum here specifically for house rules, and there, "RAW" is a dirty word.

Sweet dreams.


Crimeo wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Paulicus wrote:
Blake, I don't understand where this idea of an impossible to counter Charm spell is coming from.

From your post, you made it clear that you thought it was coming from lack of components.

It was not.

The "impossible to counter" Charm Person comes form this:

Please click this link and actually read it, it answers your question. If you disagree with the conclusions, then at least you'll have more specific questions or arguments to bring up.

Point 2 is already wrong. The stuff that follows from this doesn't matter. Being guaranteed to be able to cast fireball as a counterspell =/= being guaranteed to be able to cast fireball as a counterspell FOR FIREBALL. Because there are ways to cast fireball as a counterspell to burning hands, thus satisifying the criteria of being guaranteed to be able to use fireball as a counterspell without necessitating that fireball itself need be able to be countered. I.e. nothing ever guarantees that fireball can be countered.

So, obviously, you didn't read point 6 at all.

Well played, argue a simple point while ignoring an equally simple point made in the same post. Maybe you could address that one first then, since it directly addresses and nullifies your argument.

Dark Archive

DM_Blake wrote:
Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Now, as to your contention that the spell effects happen after the end of the standard action casting time of most spells. That makes no sense.

If I am standing around with a readied action to counterspell:

1. Standard action begins
2. Guy starts casting a spell.
3. I declare that I'm countering that spell. My readied standard action begins.
4. I determine (with the GM) that I have line of sight so I roll my Spellcraft check, modified with the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.
5. I make the Spellcraft check.
6. The GM tells me it's a Charm Person spell.
7. I don't have a Charm Person spell prepared so I cannot counter his. My readied standard action ends (it was wasted).
8. [b]Guy finishes casting the spell.[b]
9. Effects of spell appear.
10. Target tries to make a saving throw, when applicable.
11. Effects are applied.
12. Guy's Standard action ends.

Alternative ending:

7. I have a Charm Person spell prepared so I cast mine to counter his.
8. My readied standard action ends.
9. Guy's standard action ends because he is no longer casting the spell I countered.

1. Standard action begins

2. Guy starts casting a spell.
3. I declare that I'm countering that spell. My readied standard action begins.
4. Effects of spell appear.
5. I determine that I have line of sight to the caster, and I can see the spell, accounting for all possible penalties to perception relating to lighting and distance.
6. Roll a spellcraft check to identify the spell, applying all relevant penalties from the perception skill relating to distance and lighting.
7. The spell is fireball.
8. Don't have fireball prepped, so can't dispel. Readied action is wasted, and ends.
9. [b]Guy finishes casting the spell.[b]
10. Target tries to make a saving throw, when applicable.
11. Effects are applied.
12. Guy's Standard action ends.

More reasonable.

Another option would be...

1. Standard action begins
2. Guy casts a spell.
3. Effects of spell appear
4. Declare that I am countering that spell.
5. I determine that I have line of sight to the caster, and I can see the spell, accounting for all possible penalties to perception relating to lighting and distance.
6. Roll a spellcraft check to identify the spell, applying all relevant penalties from the perception skill relating to distance and lighting.
7. The spell is fireball.
8. Have fireball prepped, so can dispel.
10. Cast fireball to dispel fireball.
11. Effects of spell are canceled harmlessly.
12. Guy's Standard action ends, readied standard action ends.

The second option is a much more narrative way of doing things. Both versions comply with the express requirement of being able to see the spell, as the spell cannot be seen prior to the effects being seen, since the effects are the spell, unless you admit that the components are sufficient to qualify as "the spell" for purposes of identification, which would imply that an absence of components is sufficient to be unable to see the spell to identify it.


Quote:
[from point 6:] General rules NEVER describe the rule with an assumption that everybody has any specific feat. Never.

I agree!

The general rules aren't assuming that everybody has the feat. They don't even have to assume that anybody currently has the feat.

All that matters is that you can get the feat, in order to satisfy it being POSSIBLE to use any spell as a counterspell without all spells having to have visible manifestations.

Whether or not anybody ever in the world has or even ever has in history taken the feat is irrelevant to what is POSSIBLE. This logic makes zero assumptions and places zero obligations on what feats any character has chosen. If you choose not to take the feat, that's your problem. The fact that you can now not claim a guarantee of being able to use any spell as a counterspell was your choice and your fault. The universe still allows it, whenever you're ready to make it happen.


Proposal: Two houserules regarding Spellcraft/Counterspelling.

System 1-Visible Spell Energy

All spells manifest visibly, which is why Spellcraft is allowed to be used to identify and counter casting.

Pro-Simple, rules don't require heavy modification
Con-Enchantment and Illusion spells lose some utility. All you have to do is look for these visible signs and casters are identified without fail. Still Spell/Silent Spell/Eschew Materials don't affect detection of casting. Casters attempting to use spells while in disguise will reveal themselves.

System 2-Component Based Identification

Only spells that list visible effects have them, but identification can also take place if the caster is witnessed casting the spell (removal of V/S/M components can increase difficulty/remove ability to detect casters).

Pro-Casters can potentially use spells without revealing the fact that they are the person casting.
Con-Identification may sometimes be impossible, casters could be considered more powerful with these rules. Players may feel obligated to start taking Still/Silent feats (arms race scenario).

I will use system 2, despite my feelings about caster/martial disparity.


Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:

So, how do you make those AoOs against invisible orcs running past you?

Oh right. You have to be able to see the orcs to know they provoke. Crazy how that works.

No one is claiming that you cannot use Charm Person to counter Charm Person. We are saying, as is the case with the AoOs example you used, that there are circumstances where you will not necessarily be able to do so.

Yes, but you're claiming that some orcs are naturally invisible without having any rules at all to support it.

Nowhere in any rulebook does it say that orcs have natural, innate invisibility and therefore some of them cannot be seen when you want to make an AoO against them.

Sure, orcs could use a spell or a magic item, but those would be cases where a specific rule (e.g. an Invisibility spell) trumps a general rule (that all orcs are visible). Without that trumping by a specific rule, all orcs are visible.

Nowhere in any rulebook does it say that any spells have natural, innate invisibility and therefore some of them cannot be seen when you want to make a Spellcraft check to identify them as they are being cast.

Sure, casters could use a feat or a magic item to hide their spellcasting, but those would be cases where a specific rule (e.g. a specific feat) trumps a general rule (that all spells are visible while being cast). Without that trumping by a specific rule, all spells are visible.

Now, there also may be circumstantial modifiers. It might be dark. Or very foggy. Or a nasty blizzard. Or those orcs could be miles away. Again, these are circumstances that don't even trump the general rule (that all orcs are visible), they just give us reason to temporarily ignore it. These don't make the orcs invisible, it just means that I don't have Line of Sight to the visible orcs.

Those same circumstances can also give us reason to temporarily ignore the general rule that all spells are visible while being cast - I can't see them in the dark, in the fog, in a blizzard, in a box, with a fox, on a train, in the rain, etc. (sorry, channeled a little Dr. Seuss there for a bit). That doesn't make the spellcasting invisible, it just means that I don't have Line of Sight to the visible spellcasting.


Crimeo wrote:
By the way, I do also agree with the above folks in that "You can do X" =/= "You're guaranteed being allowed to do X".

I agree with this too.

But in this case, if you take away that guarantee, it breaks the whole sentence. "You can use any spell as a counterspell." This is a general rule. Feats like Improved Counterspell are specific exceptions, not general rules.

If you make certain spells innately invisible, then the general rule fails. If Charm Person cannot be identified because the effects are invisible, then Charm Person cannot GENERALLY be used as a counterspell, which invalidates the general rule by making that sentence ("You can use any spell as a counterspell.") false.

If you go down that path, you must therefore assume that the developers wrote a broken rule. "You can use any spell as a counterspell" is broken by Charm Person and by every other spell with no visible effects. Given that there are countless spells with no visible effects, it would seem that at least one developer might have said "hey, guys, we're writing an impossible rule, we should be more clear."

At which time they might have said "You can use any spell with visible effects as a counterspell. Spells with invisible effects cannot normally be used as a counterspell."

Had they written that, your problem would be solved and we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.

But they didn't.

They wrote "You can use any spell as a counterspell."

I assume they meant it. With that assumption, I parse in the other rules and discover that all spells are visible while they're being cast as I've laid out in explicit detail.

That solves my problem, but yet we're having this discussion anyway.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
[from point 6:] General rules NEVER describe the rule with an assumption that everybody has any specific feat. Never.

I agree!

The general rules aren't assuming that everybody has the feat. They don't even have to assume that anybody currently has the feat.

All that matters is that you can get the feat, in order to satisfy it being POSSIBLE to use any spell as a counterspell without all spells having to have visible manifestations.

Whether or not anybody ever in the world has or even ever has in history taken the feat is irrelevant to what is POSSIBLE. This logic makes zero assumptions and places zero obligations on what feats any character has chosen. If you choose not to take the feat, that's your problem. The fact that you can now not claim a guarantee of being able to use any spell as a counterspell was your choice and your fault. The universe still allows it, whenever you're ready to make it happen.

If that's the way writing rulebooks works, then why doesn't the combat section list the fact that we get a number of Attacks of Opportunity equal to 1 + DEX modifier?

That's exactly what we get, right?

Well, that's what we can get. because we can get the Combat Reflexes feat.

But devs don't write general rules that way. Ever.

What they do is write a general rule EXACTLY AS IT IS MEANT TO WORK WITH NO EXTRANEOUS ASSUMPTIONS. Then they add specific rules like feats that break/override general rules, but the information you need to understand the feat is entirely contained within the feat while the information you need to understand the general rule is entirely contained within the general rule.

You're trying to posit that the developers wrote the counterspell rule by telling me what the general rule is AS LONG AS I GET THE FEAT. The wrote what I can do because I can get the feat, but they neglected to mention that part, didn't mention the feat at all, didn't even mention that their general rule was ineptly written and grossly misleading. They expect the reader to figure all that out on their own.

It didn't happen. That's not what they did.

They wrote that general rule exactly the way it generally works without needing anything else to make it work as written.

Dark Archive

DM_Blake wrote:
Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:

So, how do you make those AoOs against invisible orcs running past you?

Oh right. You have to be able to see the orcs to know they provoke. Crazy how that works.

No one is claiming that you cannot use Charm Person to counter Charm Person. We are saying, as is the case with the AoOs example you used, that there are circumstances where you will not necessarily be able to do so.

Yes, but you're claiming that some orcs are naturally invisible without having any rules at all to support it.

Nowhere in any rulebook does it say that orcs have natural, innate invisibility and therefore some of them cannot be seen when you want to make an AoO against them.

Sure, orcs could use a spell or a magic item, but those would be cases where a specific rule (e.g. an Invisibility spell) trumps a general rule (that all orcs are visible). Without that trumping by a specific rule, all orcs are visible.

Nowhere in any rulebook does it say that any spells have natural, innate invisibility and therefore some of them cannot be seen when you want to make a Spellcraft check to identify them as they are being cast.

Sure, casters could use a feat or a magic item to hide their spellcasting, but those would be cases where a specific rule (e.g. a specific feat) trumps a general rule (that all spells are visible while being cast). Without that trumping by a specific rule, all spells are visible.

Now, there also may be circumstantial modifiers. It might be dark. Or very foggy. Or a nasty blizzard. Or those orcs could be miles away. Again, these are circumstances that don't even trump the general rule (that all orcs are visible), they just give us reason to temporarily ignore it. These don't make the orcs invisible, it just means that I don't have Line of Sight to the visible orcs.

Those same circumstances can also give us reason to temporarily ignore the general rule that all spells are visible while being cast - I can't see them in the dark, in the fog, in a...

Again I ask. On what page is the general rule stating that all spells are visible? You say this again and again, ad yet no RAW exists to support this. If you cannot supply a rule that explicitly states "all spells are visible", then your argument fails.

As to your contention that "You can use any spell as a counterspell" means that "all spells are visible," there is no support for that in the rules. That line simply means that it is possible to use any spell to counter itself. It does not mean that you can always see a spell in order to identify it as it is being cast. The specific rule for spellcraft trumps the general rule for countering spells. It really isn't rocket surgery, and I have no idea how you have reached an obviously erroneous conclusion, and argued it this long, especially since it requires twisting reason into knots to achieve your desired outcome.


DM_Blake wrote:
"You can use any spell as a counterspell."

Yes, as opposed to only dispel magic. It does not break the sentence. That is still perfectly useful and meaningful information in context. You're allowed to consider any spell to use.

You still now have to pass the perception clause as well right after that. Which you fail at for invisible spells since the penalty for perceiving nonexistent things = infinite. This implies nothing special Can = Guaranteed.

------------------
^ Relevant to "can =/= guaranteed"
v Relevant to Improved Counterspell
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Quote:
Feats like Improved Counterspell are specific exceptions, not general rules.

Yup, but as long as an exception is always possible for anybody to use (no prereqs on the feat so yes it is available to everyone who is reading the rules), then it is sufficient for merely satisfying an "X is POSSIBLE" general criterion. As long as you don't HAVE to have taken it for the general rule to be true.

Quote:
f that's the way writing rulebooks works, then why doesn't the combat section list the fact that we get a number of Attacks of Opportunity equal to 1 + DEX modifier?

The difference here is that there would be nothing else standing in your way, so telling you it's possible here is the same as implying you can do it right now. In counterspelling there is something normally standing in your way--the lack of visible things you can use to perceive and pass your spellcraft check. Making it clear that "oh I must need some other thing to realize that possibility"

In other words, the spellcraft check is enough to tell you you can't do it RIGHT NOW, because you should know you can't perceive nonexistent things. Thus it is clear even right from the general rule without having to read any further, that in order to go through with truly any spell, you must need some other thing to let you do that that it is referring to. This would not be ambiguous the same way that the AoO thing would be. (which btw doesn't have to be that feat. There could be many other things you could get like telepathic bonds with the other caster)

All the same, if you don't like that explanation, no matter, because I already gave you another way to satisfy the criterion without all spells having to be visible and without even having to take any feats, if you like.

The spell caster can simply announce the spell he is casting, thus obviating the need for a spellcraft check and allowing you to use charm person to counter charm person without needing to see it. That would be a circumstance under which any character without any feats can do it, if that makes you happier.


Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Again I ask. On what page is the general rule stating that all spells are visible? You say this again and again, ad yet no RAW exists to support this. If you cannot supply a rule that explicitly states "all spells are visible", then your argument fails.

There is no page. I never said there was. You know there's no page.

This general rule is extrapolated from the Counterspell rules and the Spellcraft rules (you cannot counterspell without Spellcraft so the two sets of rules are inextricable, therefore parsing them into an extrapolation is relevant).

I also cannot supply a rule that explicitly stats that humans generally cannot fly. But I sure can extrapolate it from the movement rules and the Fly skill.

(please don't begin a multi-page and multi-thread debate about why you think humans can generally fly)

Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
As to your contention that "You can use any spell as a counterspell" means that "all spells are visible," there is no support for that in the rules. That line simply means that it is possible to use any spell to counter itself. It does not mean that you can always see a spell in order to identify it as it is being cast. The specific rule for spellcraft trumps the general rule for countering spells. It really isn't rocket surgery, and I have no idea how you have reached an obviously erroneous conclusion, and argued it this long, especially since it requires twisting reason into knots to achieve your desired outcome.

I've spelled it out for you again and again. You don't want to listen. You just want to tell me I'm wrong.

I'm going to stop posting. I've made my points and rebutted the points of others. I've posted, as have others, that the designers agree that spells are visible.

The RAW and the designers and simple logic are all lined up and fully in agreement, yet you (and a few others) continue to dispute.

Fine.

I'm prepared to agree to disagree.

I read Harry Potter and conclude that Hogwartz is a school for wizards. You conclude that it's a school for dentists. I cannot seem to convince you that it's a school for wizards, so you go right on ahead thinking that Harry Potter and his friends are dentists. I really don't care.

I did care, and do care, that anyone else who reads these threads, up to and including any devs who are looking for insight on how it works in order to formulate a future FAQ or errata, can figure out the actual rules of the game. I think I've helped them do that. Maybe I've helped some of them to realize that Harry Potter is a wizard (I really think just about all of them worked that out on their own without my help at all). Heck, for all I know, you've convinced some of them that Harry Potter is a dentist.

I've done my best.

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