Spellcasting Contract questions


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So here's the link to the relevant spell(s) Spellcasting Contract.

  • 1. Does the greater version of this spell allow for 1 5th level spell, 2 4th level spells, and everything allowed by the lower version?
    So basically a net of 1 5th, 2 4th, 1 3rd, 2 2nd, and 2 1st? I may have counted that wrong...
    Or does it allow only 1 5th and 2 4th?
    Or does it allow anything up to 1 5th and 2 4th? So I could give 3 4th level, or 1 5th, 1 4th and 1 3rd?
  • 2. What happens if this is cast from a scoll? Does it not consume the casters spell slot but still allow all the benefits?
  • 3. What happens if another class UMD's this from a scroll, say a wizard for example?
    Can they grant wizard spells?
    Or can they perform more UMD checks to emulate possible cleric spells for the recipient to get?
  • 4. What happens if a non-spell caster casts this? Like a rogue. Can they perform successive UMD's as referenced above? Or does nothing happen?


My question is, why does it say you get a profane bonus to AC in the first time but in the exapmle says you get a bonus to attacks instead?


Snakers wrote:
My question is, why does it say you get a profane bonus to AC in the first time but in the exapmle says you get a bonus to attacks instead?

Haha ironic you say that cause that was gonna be my 5th question... But i figured i should get the first 4 cleared up before asking that. Since thats gonna require an errata or something probably.

The Exchange

1. One fifth and 2 fourth only (though nothing prevents you from also having a normal and lesser contract with the same creature).
2. I don't believe you can cast this from a scroll. The reason is that the focus component is a signed contract between you and the recipient explaining the terms and conditions. When a scroll is created the maker provides the focus component. But the contract is between "you" and the recipient.
3. See 2
4. See 2

It's possible to do hoop-jumping to make arguments about various ways of providing the focus component in a scroll but it's something that just doesn't work and no GM should really allow.

Quote:

a)"It just says 'a written contract' not that it has to be the one you sign!"

b)"I could sign the contract then give it to a priest of Asmodeus to create a scroll, then I could cast it and no one would lose the slot!"

a) Pretty clearly that's the focus as intended.

b) That could lead to a neverending loop where 2 clerics of Asmodeus give each other unlimited 4th and 5th level spells. Clearly not intended.
c) Asmodeus doesn't like it when people try to out rules-lawyer him.

And question 5. Dunno. Doubtful that we'll get an errata considering that Mother of Flies was published so long ago. I kinda assume it was meant to be all four (attacks, AC, saves, and checks) but there was an error in editing.


Belafon wrote:

1. One fifth and 2 fourth only (though nothing prevents you from also having a normal and lesser contract with the same creature)...

b) That could lead to a neverending loop where 2 clerics of Asmodeus give each other unlimited 4th and 5th level spells. Clearly not intended...
I have to disagree with you here. There's this clause in the spell description that prevents that.
Spellcasting Contract wrote:
This spell cannot be combined with imbue with spell ability or similar spells to give a target more spells than the limit.

So I'm sure two clerics could cast it on each other and get an additional 5th level and 2 4th but they'd be out a 9th each and then that's all they could do.

Belafon wrote:

2. I don't believe you can cast this from a scroll. The reason is that the focus component is a signed contract between you and the recipient explaining the terms and conditions. When a scroll is created the maker provides the focus component. But the contract is between "you" and the recipient.

3. See 2
4. See 2

It's possible to do hoop-jumping to make arguments about various ways of providing the focus component in a scroll but it's something that just doesn't work and no GM should really allow.

Quote:

a)"It just says 'a written contract' not that it has to be the one you sign!"

b)"I could sign the contract then give it to a priest of Asmodeus to create a scroll, then I could cast it and no one would lose the slot!"
a) Pretty clearly that's the focus as intended.
I have to say that the focus and the contract points are a reach. Would you also say that you cannot cast shield other from a scroll because you would be lacking the focus component which is integral to the spell...
shield other wrote:
F (a pair of platinum rings worth 50 gp worn by both you and the target)

emphasis mine

since if you cast it from a scroll then there are no platinum rings on either the caster or the target?
I don't think it's a stretch at all to say that the caster makes a contract that the recipient signs when using the scroll. Or even that the scroll serves as the contract. Especially since it is a 0gp focus, not even a divine focus... (assumed to be in a spell component pouch) but the platinum rings are 50gp.
Spell Component Pouch:
Spell Component Pouch wrote:
A spellcaster with a spell component pouch is assumed to have all the material components and focuses needed for spellcasting, except for those components that have a specific cost, divine focuses, and focuses that wouldn't fit in a pouch.

Edit: I want to make it clear that using a scroll does not require the focus components or material components, those were consumed when the scroll was scribed, I'm just trying to make a point with my statement.

Belafon wrote:
And question 5. Dunno. Doubtful that we'll get an errata considering that Mother of Flies was published so long ago. I kinda assume it was meant to be all four (attacks, AC, saves, and checks) but there was an error in editing.

I would be happy to see it apply to both AC and attack. I don't see it being too overpowered (it's a +5 from a level 9 spell that costs that spell slot for as long as you have the bonus). I'm sure there's much worse someone could think of to do with a level 9 spell...

The Exchange

I notice you skipped

Quote:
c) Asmodeus doesn't like it when people try to out rules-lawyer him.

:)

I agree that using a scroll normally doesn't require a focus. That's in the scroll creation rules. I'm a bit iffy on shield other, actually. The rings are quite literally the link between the two. There's other spells like that too. Contingency specifically requires an ivory statuette of you worth 1500gp as a focus. Why would a scroll work for you if the maker used a statuette of herself? If you buy one made with a statuette of you as the focus, shouldn't that be calculated into the cost somewhere? I'd really like to see a FAQ on scrolls and focus components.

The two other reasons I would say you can't cast from a scroll are:
1) As you pointed out even if you can use the scroll there's no guidance on how it would work when it comes to choosing the spells to imbue. There's multiple interpretations that are not explicitly wrong but are mutually exclusive.
2) The simple reason I say you can't cast it from a scroll is that it violates the "something for free (or almost so)" rule. If I can go around giving every one of my Asmodeus-loving buddies the opportunity to cast a 5th and 2 4th level cleric spells until he or I dies for no spell slot cost and only 1900gp each, that's a lot. A staff containing nothing but greater spellcasting contract would be even worse. I mean sure it's 61,200 gp to make in the first place but at 17th level that's peanuts to give that ability to one person each day. "One flame strike and two divine powers every day for every 5 HD fighter in my army! Bwah haha!"

I suppose the fair way to implement it would be to have the creator of the scroll lose a spell slot. That seems reasonable but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that high of a level willing to sell a scroll that would cost them a 9th level spell.

Spoiler:
Unless of course part of the contract said "After one day the recipient agrees to be willingly slain by a devil and taken directly to hell to serve forevermore. All hail Asmodeus.

So using it as a scroll doesn't have a clear "Rules as Written" answer. There's so many reasons it might not work that I would just say it doesn't. Another GM may allow it, but she needs to keep an eye on possible exploitation.


Belafon wrote:

I notice you skipped

Quote:
c) Asmodeus doesn't like it when people try to out rules-lawyer him.
:)

Yeah I skipped that bit cause I don't know Asmodeus well enough. All I know is what the spell says about him and the little bits I skimmed from inner sea god's.

He's seems to be an ends justify the means guy though so I could see him "letting someone pull one over on him" so he could collect their soul in the end. But I could easily be wrong.
Belafon wrote:
I agree that using a scroll normally doesn't require a focus. That's in the scroll creation rules. I'm a bit iffy on shield other, actually. The rings are quite literally the link between the two. There's other spells like that too. Contingency specifically requires an ivory statuette of you worth 1500gp as a focus. Why would a scroll work for you if the maker used a statuette of herself? If you buy one made with a statuette of you as the focus, shouldn't that be calculated into the cost somewhere? I'd really like to see a FAQ on scrolls and focus components.

I don't foresee any FAQs on this since the focus components are consumed provided while making the scroll and the scroll user does not have to supply them.

But like my assessment of Asmodeus, I could be wrong and there be an FAQ on it.

Belafon wrote:

The two other reasons I would say you can't cast from a scroll are:

1) As you pointed out even if you can use the scroll there's no guidance on how it would work when it comes to choosing the spells to imbue. There's multiple interpretations that are not explicitly wrong but are mutually exclusive.

This is why I wondered if it'd take additional UMD checks. Or maybe you could just use additional scrolls of the intended spells? It doesn't consume the caster's lower level spell slots though, only the one actually used to cast spellcasting contract.

Belafon wrote:

2) The simple reason I say you can't cast it from a scroll is that it violates the "something for free (or almost so)" rule. If I can go around giving every one of my Asmodeus-loving buddies the opportunity to cast a 5th and 2 4th level cleric spells until he or I dies for no spell slot cost and only 1900gp each, that's a lot. A staff containing nothing but greater spellcasting contract would be even worse. I mean sure it's 61,200 gp to make in the first place but at 17th level that's peanuts to give that ability to one person each day. "One flame strike and two divine powers every day for every 5 HD fighter in my army! Bwah haha!"

I suppose the fair way to implement it would be to have the creator of the scroll lose a spell slot. That seems reasonable but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that high of a level willing to sell a scroll that would cost them a 9th level spell.

** spoiler omitted **...
So using it as a scroll doesn't have a clear "Rules as Written" answer. There's so many reasons it might not work that I would just say it doesn't. Another GM may allow it, but she needs to keep an eye on possible exploitation.

I can see how it could be abused though. If that was the case then I'd increase the cost of the scroll significantly in a home game. (There's not much you can do in PFS about the pricing or anything and these spells are PFS legal, so I'm doubly curious how they would play out there...)

I had just planned on using it on a familiar to get him a couple spells and to get me the profane bonus. Haha

Edit:

Belafon wrote:
it violates the "something for free (or almost so)" rule.

I'm not sure I've seen this rule written. I'm fairly new to Pathfinder, so is there somewhere I can find and read this rule? Or is it an "unspoken" rule?


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These line of spells are almost reason enough to play a cleric of Asmodeus!

The Exchange

C4M3R0N wrote:
I can see how it could be abused though. If that was the case then I'd increase the cost of the scroll significantly in a home game. (There's not much you can do in PFS about the pricing or anything and these spells are PFS legal, so I'm doubly curious how they would play out there...)

Two things you should know:

1) I am a PFS Venture-Lieutenant so I can tell you the official answer is "expect table variation." The slightly less official but based on years of playing and organizing answer is that you should avoid trying to use a scroll because it's going to vary from GM to GM though the majority will not allow it.

PFS specific rule:
Also bear in mind that for most of your career the maximum spell level that you can buy in scroll form is 6. That rises to 7 at character level 13, 8 at 15, and 9 at 17. But almost all PFS play is at character level 11 and below.

2) I played a cleric of Asmodeus all the way to 15th level in PFS (though I haven't played him in about 3 years). I did use both the lesser and standard versions of the spell (with spell slots). However before each session I had to have a conversation with the GM and show him or her the page from Mother of Flies. "Here's the spell. Notice the discrepancy on the bonuses. I think it works this way. Do you agree?" Most of the time they agreed though one decided it wouldn't apply to AC.

I had a lot of fun with it and printed a contract that I made any player who got the spell cast on them sign (for their character). It had all kinds of legalese and required them to pray to Asmodeus once a day and to cast any of the granted spells whenever I requested. I could dismiss it at will but they couldn't. (And of course it ended at the end of the scenario per PFS rules.) Grace was a particular favorite to be granted.


Belafon wrote:
C4M3R0N wrote:
I can see how it could be abused though. If that was the case then I'd increase the cost of the scroll significantly in a home game. (There's not much you can do in PFS about the pricing or anything and these spells are PFS legal, so I'm doubly curious how they would play out there...)

Two things you should know:

1) I am a PFS Venture-Lieutenant so I can tell you the official answer is "expect table variation." The slightly less official but based on years of playing and organizing answer is that you should avoid trying to use a scroll because it's going to vary from GM to GM though the majority will not allow it.
** spoiler omitted **

2) I played a cleric of Asmodeus all the way to 15th level in PFS (though I haven't played him in about 3 years). I did use both the lesser and standard versions of the spell (with spell slots). However before each session I had to have a conversation with the GM and show him or her the page from Mother of Flies. "Here's the spell. Notice the discrepancy on the bonuses. I think it works this way. Do you agree?" Most of the time they agreed though one decided it wouldn't apply to AC.

I had a lot of fun with it and printed a contract that I made any player who got the spell cast on them sign (for their character). It had all kinds of legalese and required them to pray to Asmodeus once a day and to cast any of the granted spells whenever I requested. I could dismiss it at will but they couldn't. (And of course it ended at the end of the scenario per PFS rules.) Grace was a particular favorite to be granted.

I greatly appreciate the PFS insight on these in play then. As I've never actually seen these in play.

Your comment about asking them ahead of time though, did they agree that the profane bonus applied to attack, AC, saves, and checks? Aside from the one who said no AC? You didn't make that 100% clear, but judging from your comment above about it applying at all 4 I'm assuming that's what you meant.


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Could you share the contract? I'm always interested in reading that kind of stuff.


Snakers wrote:
Could you share the contract? I'm always interested in reading that kind of stuff.

I second this motion haha


So my initial questions still remain regarding the use of this spell from a scroll... Has anyone tried this? In PFS or otherwise?
Or does anyone have any opinions on how they'd play it or want to see if played out?

Shadow Lodge

As deity-specific spells do not require you to worship that deity in pfs (though racial spells and deity feats require you to match) I'm putting the lesser contract on my cleric of hanspur. Mostly for the semi-permanent +2 bonus on AC, saves, and checks (which checks though? Concentration? Skills? Initiative? All of the above?)

Also, I couldn't come up with a better 5th level cleric spell.

His contract is pretty simple:

I accept the ability to cast Bless and Lesser Restoration each once per day. If I am instructed by Notkira Razin to cast such a a spell and have not already used it for the day, I will do so at his instruction. Otherwise I am free to cast them as I see fit. This contract will remain in effect until Notkira Razin decides to end it.

The Exchange

thistledown wrote:
As deity-specific spells do not require you to worship that deity in pfs (though racial spells and deity feats require you to match) I'm putting the lesser contract on my cleric of hanspur.

I just noticed this and I believe you are incorrect in that assessment. There is no PFS-specific rule saying that you can use any deity's spells (as far as I am aware). Most spells that are associated with a deity do not require you to worship that deity. However that text is called out in the books where those spells appear. For example Inner Sea Gods says:

Quote:
Many of the spells in this chapter originated with the faithful of a particular deity and are more common among the worshipers of that god. Such spells are denoted with the god's name in parentheses after the spell's name. Worshipers of a spell's associated deity always treat the spell as common, and need not research it in order to prepare or learn it. Despite this, all the spells in this chapter are available to members of other faiths, though some temples or religious organizations may proscribe the use of specific spells.

So for example you have spells like:

Quote:

Shared Sacrifice (Asmodeus)

School necromancy [evil]; Level antipaladin 3, cleric 2, summoner 3, witch 2

Spellcasting contract and it's lesser and greater brethren only appear in a fairly rare book (Mother of Flies) and have a particular format to their requirements:

Quote:

Spellcasting Contract

School evocation; Level cleric 7 (Asmodeus)

This specifically requires a level 7 cleric of Asmodeus to cast it.


C4M3R0N wrote:

So here's the link to the relevant spell(s) Spellcasting Contract.

  • 2. What happens if this is cast from a scoll? Does it not consume the casters spell slot but still allow all the benefits?
  • 3. What happens if another class UMD's this from a scroll, say a wizard for example?
    Can they grant wizard spells?
    Or can they perform more UMD checks to emulate possible cleric spells for the recipient to get?
  • 4. What happens if a non-spell caster casts this? Like a rogue. Can they perform successive UMD's as referenced above? Or does nothing happen?
Belafon wrote:

2. I don't believe you can cast this from a scroll. The reason is that the focus component is a signed contract between you and the recipient explaining the terms and conditions. When a scroll is created the maker provides the focus component. But the contract is between "you" and the recipient.

3. See 2
4. See 2

It's possible to do hoop-jumping to make arguments about various ways of providing the focus component in a scroll but it's something that just doesn't work and no GM should really allow.
quote...
c) Asmodeus doesn't like it when people try to out rules-lawyer him.

2) If the scroll is the contract, with a suitable _____ for the names, it could supply the magic, leaving behind the signed contract. To use, both sign, then one casts giving the other the benefits. Add 1 round for signage.

Alternatively, [not for PFS] craft a scroll with the intended recipient. Then when cast, if the recipient is in range, and you have prepared spells to give, it happens normally.

3) UMD works fine. If you have spells to give, you can use as indicated in 2.

4) Nothing happens since they have no prepared spells to supply.

c) I think he would love it. He would then challenge that person to even trickier feats of law. In the end, he would either own everything for nothing, or squash the offender. Either way, he would have fun.

/cevah

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