Rings and activation


Rules Questions


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It seems as if some people are not clear on how rings are activated so I am posting this FAQ in order to get a final answer.

The ring specific rules for activation are as follows.

Quote:
Activation: A ring's ability is usually activated by a spoken command word (a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity) or its effects work continually. Some rings have unusual activations, as mentioned in the ring's specific description.

Are the methods to activating a ring limited to command words, the effect continually being in place, and whatever method would be described in a ring's specific description?

If a ring just says it has to be activated, but does not specifically say "on command" or have a special method of activation listed how is that ring activated?

An example of this is the ring of invisibility which just says "By activating this simple silver ring, the wearer can benefit from invisibility, as the spell".

.


I believe that means that if a ring requires activation but doesn't specify some other activation method, it's a command word. So a ring of invisibility requires a command word and a standard action to activate.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks, Wraith. Chalk another one up to "yes, people really are this picky about the rules".


SodiumTelluride wrote:
I believe that means that if a ring requires activation but doesn't specify some other activation method, it's a command word. So a ring of invisibility requires a command word and a standard action to activate.

Not a command word and a standard action. The command word requires a standard action.


Sorry... can't help myself...

CRB wrote:

Command Word: If no activation method is suggested either in the magic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command word is needed to activate it. Command word activation means that a character speaks the word and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed.

A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the holder of the item runs the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation. More often, the command word is some seemingly nonsensical word, or a word or phrase from an ancient language no longer in common use. Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Sometimes the command word to activate an item is written right on the item. Occasionally, it might be hidden within a pattern or design engraved on, carved into, or built into the item, or the item might bear a clue to the command word.

The Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (history) skills might be useful in helping to identify command words or deciphering clues regarding them. A successful check against DC 30 is needed to come up with the word itself. If that check is failed, succeeding on a second check (DC 25) might provide some insight into a clue. The spells detect magic, identify, and analyze dweomer all reveal command words if the properties of the item are successfully identified.

Use Activated: This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to deflect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.

Many use-activated items are objects that a character wears. Continually functioning items are practically always items that one wears. A few must simply be in the character's possession (meaning on his person). However, some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command word (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen. The description of an item states whether a command word is needed in such a case.

Unless stated otherwise, activating a use-activated magic item is either a standard action or not an action at all and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless the use involves performing an action that provokes an attack of opportunity in itself. If the use of the item takes time before a magical effect occurs, then use activation is a standard action. If the item's activation is subsumed in its use and takes no extra time use, activation is not an action at all.

A number of Ring says to use a Command Word in there descriptions, Ring of Invisibility only says "by Activating".


I can't help myself either.

UE wrote:

MERIDIAN BELT

This narrow cloth belt has a silver buckle in the shape of four rings. The belt allows a creature to wear a magic ring on each foot in addition to the ring on each hand, though only two rings function at any given time. As a swift action, the wearer can change which of his rings are active (both hands, both feet, left hand and right foot, and so on). For example, a creature could wear a ring of protection, ring of energy resistance, ring of swimming, and ring of counterspells, switching between any two of them as a swift action each round as it desires.

The belt does not change the type of action required to activate a ring (for example, activating a ring of invisibility is still a standard action), but allows the wearer to easily switch between the constant powers of several worn rings. While the belt is worn, wearing a ring on a foot counts toward the attunement process of certain rings (such as a ring of sustenance) even if the belt isn’t used to make that ring active during that attunement period.


Activation is still leaps and bounds different from just "using" the item (aka wearing it). The default for rings was already mentioned in the OP/Request, command word activation.

The ring states it needs to be activated, the specific rules of magic rings states this would be a command word activation. Some rings (IE Ring of Protection) are use activated, providing a continuous benefit while worn. The fact that a ring states 'activation' with no other criteria or specifics, would make the action whatever 'magic rings' default to. There is a distinct difference between 'while worn the wearer is invisible' and 'when activated the ring makes the wearer invisible'. Mechanically the first is what a use activated item would read, the second is where the magic ring write up comes in.


Dr Styx wrote:

Sorry... can't help myself...

CRB wrote:

Command Word: If no activation method is suggested either in the magic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command word is needed to activate it. Command word activation means that a character speaks the word and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed.

A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the holder of the item runs the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation. More often, the command word is some seemingly nonsensical word, or a word or phrase from an ancient language no longer in common use. Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Sometimes the command word to activate an item is written right on the item. Occasionally, it might be hidden within a pattern or design engraved on, carved into, or built into the item, or the item might bear a clue to the command word.

The Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (history) skills might be useful in helping to identify command words or deciphering clues regarding them. A successful check against DC 30 is needed to come up with the word itself. If that check is failed, succeeding on a second check (DC 25) might provide some insight into a clue. The spells detect magic, identify, and analyze dweomer all reveal command words if the properties of the item are successfully identified.

Use Activated: This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to deflect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.

Many use-activated items are objects that a character wears. Continually functioning items are practically always items that one wears. A few must simply be in the character's possession (meaning on his person). However, some items made for

...

You still haven't answered my question using the ring rules.

So are you saying the general magic item rules trump the ring rules?
If so state why.

If not then state why you are not using them.


Gisher wrote:

I can't help myself either.

UE wrote:

MERIDIAN BELT

The belt does not change the type of action required to activate a ring (for example, activating a ring of invisibility is still a standard action),
Atarlost wrote:
Because Paizo has multiple employees and uses freelancers and not all of them know the rules as well as they should. That doesn't change the rules.


Dr Styx wrote:
Gisher wrote:

I can't help myself either.

UE wrote:

MERIDIAN BELT

The belt does not change the type of action required to activate a ring (for example, activating a ring of invisibility is still a standard action),
Atarlost wrote:
Because Paizo has multiple employees and uses freelancers and not all of them know the rules as well as they should. That doesn't change the rules.

Who is this person and why are you quoting them to me? From our previous exchange on this issue, I know that you don't accept Mark Seifter's comment on this subject to be meaningful because that was "[n]ot as an official paizo post, like the FAQ post." So why does this person's post suffice to override definitely official text from Ultimate Equipment?


hardly needs an faq.


Gisher I think he knows he is wrong because he won't explain why the ring rules should not take precedence when discussing rings. It's not a difficult question to answer if he thinks he is correct. Every once in a while we get someone who like this though. Hopefully he pressed the FAQ button, even if doesn't want to answer specific questions.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is sad to have to ask for a FAQ, but supported.


Is there more than one person honestly confused about this? I normally will FAQ anything, but I feel like this is a bit embarrassing to ask the PDT.

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