Finding invisible spellcasters via their spellcasting


Rules Questions

401 to 434 of 434 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

VRMH wrote:
I'm rather curious about the opposite: how would someone "fake" these manifestations, in order to pretend to cast a spell? Hand movements and incantations can be mimicked easily enough - unspecified phenomena not so much.

Fortunately most people have no idea what they would have to expect. Throwing some sand in the air should be fine. If they managed their spellcraft check to know better the heist is over either way.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ascalaphus wrote:
In general we all agree that nowadays, manifestations exist. And they should, because they keep psychic casters from dominating people without any warning whatsoever. They also clarify why you can use spellcraft on component-less spells and SLAs.

I don't know if all will agree that they "should" exist. Not everyone use the occult stuff, and having a new book messing with 6 years of released material could displease quite a few.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Lintecarka wrote:
Fortunately most people have no idea what they would have to expect. Throwing some sand in the air should be fine. If they managed their spellcraft check to know better the heist is over either way.

Thrown sand doesn't really seem "obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated" to me...

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
dwayne germaine wrote:
Or I could be wrong, and the sky really is falling. I would like to hear if anyone has an example of a published encounter where the FAQ really does truely invalidate the tactics as written. For Science.

The Dalsine Affair.

Spoiler:
Last fight involves an invisible magus casting buffs while an illusion of himself tricks the PCs into a disadvantageous position.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Now that you guys mention it, aren't there abilities in the game that let people pretend to cast? How might those be affected by this FAQ?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The inner sea magic guide has the feat false casting that lets you pretend to cast divine spells using arcane spells or magic items. Was that what you were thinking of?

I am curious to see a ruling on the mislead spell. That is core so it really should be addressed as a priority.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
dwayne germaine wrote:
Or I could be wrong, and the sky really is falling. I would like to hear if anyone has an example of a published encounter where the FAQ really does truely invalidate the tactics as written. For Science.

The Dalsine Affair.

** spoiler omitted **

First off, the scenario you reference has been identified by GMs as one of the top killers of PCs. Probably in the top 5 for level 1. One has to wonder why it's so deadly in comparison. Perhaps there's something unfair about the NPC's tactics.

Response to Dalsine Affair with spoilers:

Second, the written tactics are not at all invalidated by manifestations. The only thing that changes is someone might get off a readied attack with a 50% miss rate before factoring in AC. If a PC does happen to have a glitterdust or see invisibility potion at higher level, they won't even know to use it until the second time he casts because you have no way of knowing or suspecting what's going to happen unless you've read the scenario.

The first spell casts has VSM, so players should already know someone is casting regardless of manifestation. So that leaves the entire party 1 shot at trying to hit and expose him before he goes on the offensive. I'll bet dollars to donuts, that even with manifestations, no party at level 1-2 every stops him from casting and maybe 1 out of 30 can do it at levels 3-4, unless players have cheated and read the scenario. And I'll put that number at around 1 out of 10 at levels 6-7, and that's probably too high.

IME, most casters with glitterdust love to use that spell on the first large group, rarely hoarding it for the unlikely event there is an invisible caster...unless they've read the scenario.


Ascalaphus wrote:

*fails saving throw, posts*

Can I try to summarize what we'd like an FAQ on this to sort out?


  • In general we all agree that nowadays, manifestations exist. And they should, because they keep psychic casters from dominating people without any warning whatsoever. They also clarify why you can use spellcraft on component-less spells and SLAs.
  • A big question is whether the manifestations are visible even if the caster isn't (invisibility). There's a lot of disagreement on how it works, and if it should work.

    On the one hand, quite a few AP encounters have NPCs relying on it working. Perhaps also in PFS. With the "run as written" nature of scenarios, it would be awkward if their tactic is invalidated.

    Also, quite a few wizard PCs like their safe summoning. As do psychic casters who don't have to worry about verbal components.

    On the other hand, for everyone on the receiving end those encounters can be a bit of a drag. What with the new feats that you need to hide manifestations, they'd be relegated to a more specialized rarer niche.

    And, just because casting would give away your position, doesn't mean invisibility becomes useless. It'll still protect you from AoOs, or let you move away from your revealed-position after you cast your spell, or just use the invisibility to buff another party member.

    All in all it would be nice to get a decisive answer about this.

  • Quite a few older feats and abilities have language focusing on hiding your spellcasting by concealing the use of components, not on hiding manifestations. Are they supposed to hide manifestations now?

Let's be be honest. Visible manifestation is going to have limited effect on PC's outside of homebrew. In PFS, if the author wants to deal with invisible casters, the NPCs have see invisibility. Outside of that, I've yet to see NPC tactics for countering spell casters with readied actions or glitterdust.

So really, we're talking about the effect on NPC casters and GMs in homebrew campaigns creating NPCs specifically to stop the PC casters.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Heresy of Man II

Spoiler:
Invisibile caster uses ventriloquism to misdirect the party away from himself.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wonder if a certain sword of ice from pathfinder tales will start emitting manifestations when using its abilities, since doesn't this FAQ include spell-like abilities?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Before the Dawn I

Spoiler:
Summoner uses invisibility to screen her movements and casting to heal her eidolon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Now that you guys mention it, aren't there abilities in the game that let people pretend to cast? How might those be affected by this FAQ?

Feign Curse feat from Ultimate Intrigue, after they should have known better, is pretty hard to justify in a word of manifestations.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

While I can't say I blame them for not throwing themselves to the lions, it is rather amusing that no one official has deemed to touch this topic. Hell, if this is "how it has always been" it shouldn't be to hard for someone from Paizo to explain how this has been designed to work this whole time.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Now that you guys mention it, aren't there abilities in the game that let people pretend to cast? How might those be affected by this FAQ?
Feign Curse feat from Ultimate Intrigue, after they should have known better, is pretty hard to justify in a word of manifestations.

Except that hexes are SU and don't have manifestations. So while you may know it's not a spell, you don't know it's not a hex. And what's interesting is that you can counter this faux hex by using Spellcraft. I guess the thought is you can tell it's fake spell because there are no true manifestations, since it looks like the idea is that one is mind-affectd into thinking the are actually being cursed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I should also mention Serpent's Rise being the textbook example.

Scarab Sages

N N 959 wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Now that you guys mention it, aren't there abilities in the game that let people pretend to cast? How might those be affected by this FAQ?
Feign Curse feat from Ultimate Intrigue, after they should have known better, is pretty hard to justify in a word of manifestations.
Except that hexes are SU and don't have manifestations. So while you may know it's not a spell, you don't know it's not a hex. And what's interesting is that you can counter this faux hex by using Spellcraft. I guess the thought is you can tell it's fake spell because there are no true manifestations, since it looks like the idea is that one is mind-affectd into thinking the are actually being cursed.

So, then they were just writing that you pretend to curse someone despite the fact that you couldn't possibly believably pretend to curse someone without manifestations? You have shown a great capacity to ignore evidence contrary to your belief, even when text becomes pointless, meaningless and even ridiculous if manifestations were always supposed to exist as the FAQ declares them.

It is MUCH more likely that "spellcraft was always intended to just work" then "spells and SLAs are supposed to shine beacons on the caster no matter their condition or feats".


silverrey wrote:
While I can't say I blame them for not throwing themselves to the lions, it is rather amusing that no one official has deemed to touch this topic. Hell, if this is "how it has always been" it shouldn't be to hard for someone from Paizo to explain how this has been designed to work this whole time.

They don't normally weigh in on rules topics here so it's not a surprise. Anything they say wont be official so it would be pointless anyway. May as well avoid fanning the flames and put out an FAQ.


wraithstrike wrote:
silverrey wrote:
While I can't say I blame them for not throwing themselves to the lions, it is rather amusing that no one official has deemed to touch this topic. Hell, if this is "how it has always been" it shouldn't be to hard for someone from Paizo to explain how this has been designed to work this whole time.
They don't normally weigh in on rules topics here so it's not a surprise. Anything they say wont be official so it would be pointless anyway. May as well avoid fanning the flames and put out an FAQ.

Not seeing that happening either sadly.


Lorewalker wrote:


So, then they were just writing that you pretend to curse someone despite the fact that you couldn't possibly believably pretend to curse someone without manifestations?

The feat allows you to FOOL someone that they've been cursed. You trick their mind. That's why someone with actual Spellcraft knowledge realizes that no actual magic is being employed. The only thing contradictory about allowing Spellcraft is that hexes don't have manifestations, so its entirely possible that you can be cursed without manifestations.

Quote:
You have shown a great capacity to ignore evidence contrary to your belief, even when text becomes pointless, meaningless and even ridiculous if manifestations were always supposed to exist as the FAQ declares them.

On the contrary, I'm recognizing that scenarios are written by non-PDT and often non-Paizo employees. You have to braindead to think that this is the only rule that scenario writers have overlooked.

While TOZ has found a smattering of scenarios that don't seem to contemplate manifestations in their tactics, I can find a dozen of scenarios that completely ignore action economy and suggest precombat actions that totally ignore initiative, surprise, and the fact that the NPCs have no way to know exactly when the PCs are suppose to arrive. None of that invalidates initiative or combat action economy.

Quote:
It is MUCH more likely that "spellcraft was always intended to just work" then "spells and SLAs are supposed to shine beacons on the caster no matter their condition or feats".

No, its much more likely that the only way Spellcraft could work absent components is if casting spells created some totally obvious manifestation. Since 3.5 didn't do it that way, it's hardly a surprise that various scenario writers overlooked that when writing their scenarios and the scenario editors didn't catch it. Of course, we don't know what the tactics were originally, so maybe they did fix stuff and we just aren't going to know that.


If memory serves back in 1e and 2e days there was no way of hiding spellcasting. Maybe some of the Pathfinder designers are working under the old assumptions?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

friendly reminder to FAQ if you haven't already.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
silverrey wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
silverrey wrote:
While I can't say I blame them for not throwing themselves to the lions, it is rather amusing that no one official has deemed to touch this topic. Hell, if this is "how it has always been" it shouldn't be to hard for someone from Paizo to explain how this has been designed to work this whole time.
They don't normally weigh in on rules topics here so it's not a surprise. Anything they say wont be official so it would be pointless anyway. May as well avoid fanning the flames and put out an FAQ.
Not seeing that happening either sadly.

I was not saying it will happen soon, but I think them not answering it will create more problems than answering it.

For those in PFS I would suggest getting a ruling from Mike Brock until something official comes down.

Personally, I am going to ignore the manifestation FAQ altogether as a GM. The way I have done it before, since PC's basically have 360 degree vision, was to let them notice that when ____ happens someone appears to be concentrating very hard.


There is an old comment from Jason(lead rules guy) where he says that spell with no component was still subject to spellcraft, but the had no idea about what that something was. He was silent on SLA's however.

So basically the idea that someone could possible spellcraft or notice a spell with no components was not new. The idea of it specifically being manifestation is new.

I'll probably have to post this again so I will just copy and past it into notepad.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In my home game I think I might handle manifestations in a way inspired by Scent;


  • Manifestations are more like feeling a "disturbance in the Force" than a show of lights. They can be detected even when you don't have a direct line of sight, such as around a corner.

  • Manifestations are noticeable even if the caster is invisible or hidden. If you're within 60ft of a manifestation you're immediately aware that something is happening, and you get a general idea of the compass direction it's coming from.

    Should it be 60ft? 30ft seems too little, very easily avoided in open spaces though still tricky indoors. At 60ft, you use the same range as most Darkvision users, but it also means Close range spells are almost impossible to sneakily cast. You could make manifestation distance depend on the power level of the spell but that would probably be a lot of work.

  • If a manifestation happens adjacent to you (i.e. caster is standing next to you) you pinpoint automatically. Otherwise you pinpoint if you succeed at the Spellcraft check to identify the spell. Since Spellcraft is trained-only, not everyone can do this.

    I use Identification DCs just to avoid bloating the list of different DCs we need to learn. It's not ideal though, because it means higher-level spells are harder to notice than lower-level spells.

  • You can use Spellcraft to identify a spell if you're either close enough to feel the manifestation; or if you can perceive the spell components (see somatic, hear verbal), at any distance.

    This does mean that sneaky casters (Silent/Still, psychic, SLA) can cast from a distance without setting off automatic alarms. But it requires actual tactics and positioning to pull off.

  • Perception modifiers also apply to Spellcraft check DCs, notably the +1 per 10ft of distance, +5 for a closed door or +10 for a wall, and +5 if the observer is distracted, for example by being in combat with other enemies.

    Invisibility penalties do not apply because visibility is not needed to "feel the Force" or hear verbal components. In the case of a silent spell cast beyond the "feel" range, invisibility would block Spellcraft entirely.

    Someone readying a counterspell against a specific enemy is not considered distracted by the rest of the combat when trying to Spellcraft that enemy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thornkeep

Spoiler:
Invisible caster summons allies and buffs.


Maybe it has already been mentioned, but the Dawnflower Dissident's Secret Caster ability doesn't work under the new ruling: it's an automatic failure when the "Spell has an observable effect that clearly emanates from the caster". Which apparently has always been the case.


VRMH wrote:
Maybe it has already been mentioned, but the Dawnflower Dissident's Secret Caster ability doesn't work under the new ruling: it's an automatic failure when the "Spell has an observable effect that clearly emanates from the caster". Which apparently has always been the case.

That will need an FAQ also, so it can be fixed then. This FAQ ruling is going to lead to a few erratas it seems. Someone else mentioned feats that it affected.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The spell 'effect' is different than the spell 'manifestation'. The effect takes place after the spell has been cast, the manifestation takes place during the spell.

That said, this still needs a faq.


Hat of Disguise and Ring of Invisibility

Core FAQ "When I use a magic item like ring of invisibility or hat of disguise that can be activated to gain the effects of a spell, does the wording "as the spell" also include the spell’s duration?
Yes, such items' effects have a duration, as indicated by the spell’s duration and the item’s caster level. If the item has no daily use limit, however, you can simply use the item again to reset the duration."

Would there be a manifestation for these too?


Those are not spells being cast so I would say no.


Haldelar Baxter wrote:

Hat of Disguise and Ring of Invisibility

Core FAQ "When I use a magic item like ring of invisibility or hat of disguise that can be activated to gain the effects of a spell, does the wording "as the spell" also include the spell’s duration?
Yes, such items' effects have a duration, as indicated by the spell’s duration and the item’s caster level. If the item has no daily use limit, however, you can simply use the item again to reset the duration."

Would there be a manifestation for these too?

Yes, since the items use the spells, you would use the item's caster level for duration of the effects.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Haldelar Baxter wrote:

Hat of Disguise and Ring of Invisibility

Core FAQ "When I use a magic item like ring of invisibility or hat of disguise that can be activated to gain the effects of a spell, does the wording "as the spell" also include the spell’s duration?
Yes, such items' effects have a duration, as indicated by the spell’s duration and the item’s caster level. If the item has no daily use limit, however, you can simply use the item again to reset the duration."

Would there be a manifestation for these too?

Yes, since the items use the spells, you would use the item's caster level for duration of the effects.

Not the question I think. When I activate the Hat of disguise (or more importantly reactivate) is there a manifestation letting everyone know a spell has been cast?

I would agree with wraithstrike - no actual spell, just a similar effect, so no manifestation.


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

I certainly would hope there is no manifestation when activating magical items!


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Necroing this thread.

Has this been answered, or no?

Marked for FAQ.

401 to 434 of 434 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Finding invisible spellcasters via their spellcasting All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.