In Pathfinder, you can't see the Sun


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Jhar226 wrote:

I've read enough of the thread. It's an absurd conclusion to come to however.

If there's something that's big (even Huge sized) flying high in the sky, I'd say people would probably notice it just like they notice planes in the sky. Handwaving a ridiculous issue like this doesn't cause any problems in game other than the problems created by the people who think this is an issue.

"just like they notice planes in the sky" seems reasonable.

But how to implement that? Sometimes I notice planes in the sky. Sometimes I don't.

Seems like a reasonable thing to roll dice for. Seems like Perception would be a reasonable skill to work with. But the rules just don't work at all.

So do we handwave to "everyone is always aware of any flying creatures or objects within line of sight, regardless of distance or size"? Or do we try to come up with more reasonable guidelines?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Blindmage wrote:
TOZ wrote:
What do you mean? The sun is the SUN! I can see where it is!
Need to reply for the best use of a Flight of Dragons quote I've seen in ages that I didn't make.
Should have been the first thing I posted in the thread, but I can't be on top of everything.

Now I have the urge to run a game based on the movie.


Tacticslion wrote:
"The rules work where they work, and don't where they don't. Apply accordingly."
Jhar226 wrote:
All I can think of after hearing that is of head-on. Apply directly to the forehead.

I'm afraid a typo (or something?) made this somewhat incomprehensible. I think I get the idea (implied face-palm or head-desk?), but I'd prefer if it were clear. :)

However, if tautology seems frustrating to you, it may help to understand that it's not a needless clarification of the "obvious", nor is it empty pedantry.

By pointing to a specific limitation of the rules, you learn of limitations of the rules, and can work your way backwards from the absurd issue of the sun, to actual rules issues (along the lines of the other issues I've noted).

The thing is, it's important to be aware of those places where the rules do and don't function, so you know what you're actually doing. By doing so, you're making informed decisions, rather than simply doing guesswork or making inaccurate presumptions (which could lead to unintended negative consequences later).

It's a matter of gaining perspective instead of tearing down the rules. The rules rock. The rules also have holes. Use the knowledge of which ones are which well.


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Have you not seen a commercial for head-on?


HyperMissingno wrote:
Have you not seen a commercial for head-on?

Ah. That explains it. A reference that I don't have.

(I have not seen such a commercial. As I don't watch tv, I miss many such things. Sorry!)


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APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.


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Blindmage wrote:
Need to reply for the best use of a Flight of Dragons quote I've seen in ages that I didn't make.

What were some of the better ones you DID make?

Blindmage wrote:
Now I have the urge to run a game based on the movie.

Would there be only 4 Deities?

Ooh, could I defeat any magic-based character or monster - even a Deity - simply by denying that magic exists? (Granted, my character would then have to pop out of the game world permanently, but at least I'd go down a hero!)

Shadow Lodge

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I'll play Antiquity!


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Check, Perception, Core Rulebook:
Check: Perception has a number of uses, the most common of which is an opposed check versus an opponent's Stealth check to notice the opponent and avoid being surprised. If you are successful, you notice the opponent and can react accordingly. If you fail, your opponent can take a variety of actions, including sneaking past you and attacking you.

Perception is also used to notice fine details in the environment. The DC to notice such details varies depending upon distance, the environment, and how noticeable the detail is. The following table gives a number of guidelines.


Is the sun an opponent that made a Stealth check to hide? -> No
Is the sun a fine detail in the environment? -> No
Ergo, no perception check is needed to see the Sun.


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thejeff wrote:
Jhar226 wrote:

Is this a serious issue that people have? I mean...really. This is the first time I've ever heard of seeing the sun being a problem.

Look outside. Assuming it is daytime and you have a window in your house with no trees blocking it, you can see the sun. Pathfinder works no differently. The only check you have to make is lifting your head.

No. It's not actually a real issue.

It's a reductio ad absurdum example of a real issue.

No, it's not. It's a joke. There is no real issue—in reality, the sun probably has huge penalties to avoid being seen due to its light source and additional bulk.

The reason this thread stops being fun is that people feel the need to act like it proves something.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Jhar226 wrote:

Is this a serious issue that people have? I mean...really. This is the first time I've ever heard of seeing the sun being a problem.

Look outside. Assuming it is daytime and you have a window in your house with no trees blocking it, you can see the sun. Pathfinder works no differently. The only check you have to make is lifting your head.

No. It's not actually a real issue.

It's a reductio ad absurdum example of a real issue.

No, it's not. It's a joke. There is no real issue—in reality, the sun probably has huge penalties to avoid being seen due to its light source and additional bulk.

The reason this thread stops being fun is that people feel the need to act like it proves something.

Well, I certainly agree the Sun doesn't have a real issue. There are several excuses that would let you handwave it away, though the bulk isn't sufficient - distance penalties scales linearly, size scales quadratically.

It's an absurd example of the underlying problem, which is easily apparent with colossal objects a few hundred yards away. Unlike most things in Pathfinder you have to push detecting anything at non-combat distances (or even long range combat distances) onto GM fiat.


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I would doubt that "unlike most things" claim, honestly.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I would doubt that "unlike most things" claim, honestly.

Let's say that it's the intent that it be less so in PF (& 3.x) than in previous editions.


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Chemlak wrote:

Bluenose, that's awesome.

And, for ease of use, it's about right to consider a "pace" to be about 3 feet, then round down to the nearest 5 feet, so...

3340 feet to tell the difference between a group of medium humanoids and a group of large quadrupeds.
2640 feet to see an individual medium humanoid.
1845 feet to see a head on an individual medium humanoid. Light coloured items of clothing may be spotted.
1320 feet to see a light-coloured spot for a face, and some fine details - uniform, number of limbs, long weaponry - can be seen.
Between 525 & 660 feet greater details become visible (might be able to spot the difference between a lieutenant and a normal soldier).

And the 2640 feet to see an individual medium humanoid is about right with the calculation from physics for the mark 1 eyeball (about 2,500 feet).

And to really cheer people up, let's use the latest in reductio ad absurdum: The DC to notice an unmoving, affected by a silence spell, visible creature through a 1-foot thick solid stone wall is... 10.

The perception rules unequivocally do not cover every circumstance, and that's why there is a GM.

So they don't cover outdoor encounters and they don't cover dungeon encounters. What circumstances do they cover?


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Since I had this turned to my attention, I must draw this to your attention.

If the sun is a colossal object, that would mean so is the Earth (or Golarion, in some cases).

If the Earth is a colossal object, RAW, I can animate using Animate Object (theoritically), or even possess it via Possess Object. I could do the same to the Sun in fact.


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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

Since I had this turned to my attention, I must draw this to your attention.

If the sun is a colossal object, that would mean so is the Earth (or Golarion, in some cases).

If the Earth is a colossal object, RAW, I can animate using Animate Object (theoritically), or even possess it via Possess Object. I could do the same to the Sun in fact.

You will need to get your caster level to 32 though.


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Hence why I said 'theoretically' but yes, you are right. Not sure how you would do it, I'm sure there is a way, but it'd be tricky.


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"And then I Possess the Sun..."


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Jason Wu wrote:

What is this "sun" you speak of?

Sounds like crazy talk.

-j

I think I head the worshippers of rovagug talking about it. It was this ball of fire that their god banished by altering the laws of the universe so it was impossible to successfully get a perception check to perceive it.

Actually, maybe that was what caused the original age of darkness. Earthfall caused a change in the system, and the entire era was the gods arguing as rules lawyers while some of them were trying to figure out how to house rule the sun back.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
You will need to get your caster level to 32 though.

Hmmmmm...


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Tacticslion wrote:
"And then I Possess the Sun..."

For the record, I wasn't just a-whistlin' Dixie.

(Hypothetically this could apply, too: you couldn't use either directly, of course, because constructs are immune to necromancy, but with a single polymorph any object spell in between animation and possession, the sun might be yours, depending on GM interpretation of keeping creature traits under polymorph effects...)

((And, you know, just for giggles, you could throw in a fiery body spell while wielding a blade of the rising sun and a daylight spell equipped. But that's just for the funsies.))

EDIT: For rules and point clarification


The planet is not an object, it is an environment, in fact several environments.
The sun is much larger than that.

The Exchange

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Xellrael wrote:

Per RAW:

The Sun is a colossal object (+8 perception to see it)
-1 perception for every 10 feet away it is (-49 billion perception to see it)
"Circumstance bonus" is used in printed adventures, but there is no actual rule for it in the Core Rulebook

Constructive point: The rules aren't perfect, and that's okay.

Actually you're making a key assumption that the +8 perception bonus is a sheer result of it's size. I would counter that it is actually not the size of the object but the amount of light that is emanating from it that makes it a +8, or possibly the complete sum of size+distance+light=8.

If you factor the sun's size along with it's distance from the planet you will result in something that probably similar to a medium creature 20 feet away. If you assign a +10 perception due to the light emitted then +10 -2 for distance = +8.

Congratulations, and Enjoy your fully visible Sun!


Daw wrote:

The planet is not an object, it is an environment, in fact several environments.

The sun is much larger than that.

Sure, that's the "answer" if you're looking for one. This one is... more for fun, admittedly.

The fact is, there is no "rule" for anything larger than colossal - anything else is extrapolation and random decision-making on the part of the GM.

Dark Archive

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Tacticslion wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
"And then I Possess the Sun..."

For the record, I wasn't just a-whistlin' Dixie.

(Hypothetically this could apply, too: you couldn't use either directly, of course, because constructs are immune to necromancy, but with a single polymorph any object spell in between animation and possession, the sun might be yours, depending on GM interpretation of keeping creature traits under polymorph effects...)

((And, you know, just for giggles, you could throw in a fiery body spell while wielding a blade of the rising sun and a daylight spell equipped. But that's just for the funsies.))

EDIT: For rules and point clarification

Dude, that won't work. The OP has already established that the only true way to read Pathfinder's rules is to throw out any assumption of common sense even if they don't make sense otherwise. For instance, the rules don't say what happens if my heart were to stop beating for an extended period of time, so therefore we can assume that heart failure doesn't cause death in Pathfinder. They also don't say how long it takes for food to spoil, so my rations should stay edible forever and I shouldn't be at risk of food poisoning. And of course, there aren't any size penalties listed above Colossal, so therefore the sun only takes a -8 penalty to Stealth and you can't see it.

And thus I am sorry to inform you that as you cannot see the sun and never could, you obviously don't know that it exists and therefore can't target it with Possession. Them's the breaks.


But... what if I gate it in to my private demiplane?

EDIT: I do hope it is obvious, but yes, by ^this point, I'm being silly.

Dark Archive

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Tacticslion wrote:

But... what if I gate it in to my private demiplane?

EDIT: I do hope it is obvious, but yes, by ^this point, I'm being silly.

I would very much suggest that you do not Gate the Sun to your demiplane. Not only would that take up almost all of your free space and turn it into a sweltering sauna, but its paradoxically invisible light would stop maintaining the world's temperature and plunge Golarion into an eternal ice age (with no talking mammoths).

But, you know, if you don't care about that then go right ahead.

Yeah, I'm in a facetious mood today too.


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Shouldn't we just turn this into a Paladin+C/MD thread by now?


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No-no. It's casters that would do all of this nonsense, then the martial paladins would come smite them for removing the sun.

Jeez, this isn't that hard.


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Can you at least give parts of your demiplane strong enough magnetic fields to preserve something else form solar wind?

I now want a group of villains stealing stars for some reason.

Dark Archive

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Tacticslion wrote:

No-no. It's casters that would do all of this nonsense, then the martial paladins would come smite them for removing the sun.

Jeez, this isn't that hard.

Yeah, we even know what their rallying cry would be.

"Unleash the power of the sun!"

Sorry not sorry


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Removing the sun would be the final nail in the coffin of martial superiority, since casters only get spells back once per day...


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Xellrael wrote:

Per RAW:

The Sun is a colossal object (+8 perception to see it)
-1 perception for every 10 feet away it is (-49 billion perception to see it)

How do you know that Golarion's sun doesn't magically hover 100 feet about the ground? Are we even sure that Golarion is round?

Dark Archive

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HEY YOU LOOK FAMILIAR.


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Point of order. We can't see the sun IRL. We see the light coming from the sun. So the light is right up in your face. Easily viewable.


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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Point of order. We can't see the sun IRL. We see the light coming from the sun.

this is literally how you see everything you realize


Xellrael wrote:

Per RAW:

The Sun is a colossal object (+8 perception to see it)
-1 perception for every 10 feet away it is (-49 billion perception to see it)
"Circumstance bonus" is used in printed adventures, but there is no actual rule for it in the Core Rulebook

Constructive point: The rules aren't perfect, and that's okay.

Pathfinder is a game. The objective of the game is to have fun. The rules exist to create better communication and common expectations. The rules attempt to create balance so everyone has a fair chance to shine.

Like most of you, I have a very high I.Q. I have learned, however, that fixating on rules that I don't agree with (I'm looking at you, adamantine shuriken!) makes the game less fun, not more.

The next time someone asks me how fast a scorching ray is, my answer will be "whatever speed makes a more interesting and enjoyable story." Maybe it will be super fast like a laser beam. Maybe everything will seem to slow down in a dramatic moment that may mean the death of a beloved NPC. Time will tell (smirk).

How is the sun a colossal object? The sun is by far larger than 30x30. Our sun is over 4.5 billion feet in diameter. Glorian is based on similar sized sun. So it's between 4 and 5 billion feet in diameter. I'd give that +100,000 probably more bonus to see it.


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QuadOmegaZero wrote:
HEY YOU LOOK FAMILIAR.

You look great! What's your secret?

Dark Archive

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LOTS OF BODY. STUFFED INSIDE.


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voska66 wrote:
How is the sun a colossal object? The sun is by far larger than 30x30. Our sun is over 4.5 billion feet in diameter. Glorian is based on similar sized sun. So it's between 4 and 5 billion feet in diameter. I'd give that +100,000 probably more bonus to see it.

Because technically there are no larger sizes in PF. Colossal is the top of the scale.

Largely irrelevant though. Even if you gave it that +100,000, added to the roughly 49 billion penalty to see it, that comes to a nice even 49 billion penalty. Size penalties go up with the doubling of size. Distance ones go up linearly. This causes problems long before you reach the reductio ad absurdum case of the sun - colossal titans or dragons a mile away, for example.

More importantly, why did someone drag this thread back up again? And why am I replying to it?


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Majuba wrote:
Removing the sun would be the final nail in the coffin of martial superiority, since casters only get spells back once per day...

Now I want an evil cult trying to halt the sun at midnight, so they can always pray for spells, but their goody-goody enemies who get spells at dawn or noon can't.


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I believe someone already said that perception is not to simply see it, but notice details of it, like location and such. The sun isn't attempting to hide. Can anyone simply guesstimate the distance between the sun and the earth just by looking at it? Not unless they read a school book first. ;)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

And here I thought that this thread would be about Kaer Maga, where the sun shines down over the lake only for one hour a day.

Hmm


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thejeff wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Removing the sun would be the final nail in the coffin of martial superiority, since casters only get spells back once per day...
Now I want an evil cult trying to halt the sun at midnight, so they can always pray for spells, but their goody-goody enemies who get spells at dawn or noon can't.

They are foiled by Golarioleo, who points out that the sun actually never moves—the planet does.


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thejeff wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Removing the sun would be the final nail in the coffin of martial superiority, since casters only get spells back once per day...
Now I want an evil cult trying to halt the sun at midnight, so they can always pray for spells, but their goody-goody enemies who get spells at dawn or noon can't.

Said cult tried to steal the sun, but accidentally stole Golarion instead. That's how Starfinder happened.


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Has anyone said; that you see the radiation from the sun itself and not the sun itself?
So it is the intensity of the radiation and you eyes ability to pick it up not the fact that the body that is emitting the radiation is so far away.

Or is that too much science.

MDC

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Point of order. We can't see the sun IRL. We see the light coming from the sun.
this is literally how you see everything you realize


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Reminds me of that one explanation that if anyone had a 9 wisdom they'd be the most useless absent-minded person in the world

Lets say Peter is a commoner, level 1 of course. No time to put skill points into perception, you need to make sure your Profession skill is up to scratch (Also funny when you look at the rules)

So Perception Peter goes up to his room, his wife is laying naked on the bed, it is normal light conditions. Peter has a -1 to perception checks, and for the sake of the argument rolls a 1, he doesn't notice his significant other and starts looking for his hat, which will take a while because finding things is also a perception check in most games because: reasons.

Stealth Sally is not impressed by Peters lack of enthusiasm so she whispers for him to come to bed. DC15. Peter is most likely going to roll less than 16. He ignores her advances and continues looking around in the least likely spot to find his hat.

Moral of the story is, always max perception.


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We all know someone like Peter, the commoner.


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Although I feel colossal size category is still no where near what a celestial body would be need that new size category planetary colossal 5 with a -5 million to perception and an additional -5 million for the fact its is shinning bright light enough of witch to light up a galaxy.

so what about other stars that we can see from light years away?

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