Question about Spell-Like Abilities

Rules Questions

So, this entire problem started a little while ago when I noticed that the definition of Spell-Like Abilities changed. While, when first introduced, SLAs went by the following definition (found in the Bestiary):

PRD wrote:
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp)Spell-like abilities are magical and work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components). They go away in an antimagic field and are subject to spell resistance if the spell the ability is based on would be subject to spell resistance.

However, with a recent reprinting of the CRB, SLAs now obey the following rules:

PRD wrote:
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): Spell-like abilities function just like spells, but are granted through a special racial ability or by a specific class ability (as opposed to spells, which are gained by spellcasting classes as a character gains levels).

This seems to raise a lot of problems, both flavor-wise and mechanics-wise.

Firstly, if an Astral Deva has to start chanting and waving thier hands around in the air every time they want to plane shift, it takes a lot of flavor away from the monster, and makes it seem more like a thing of study than intuition. But more problematic is that it would require the angel to never wear any kind of armor. Why? Because plane shift appears on the Sorcerer/Wizard list, and according to an FAQ, that would mean that the SLA obeys the rules for a Sorcerer/Wizard spell- including, if I understand this correctly, Armor Failure Chance. This seems to be a serious problem, unless I'm misunderstanding something.

Another problem comes with Wish. While before, the rules allowed for there to be no problem with Efreet granting unlimited wishes, given enough time, the new definition of a SLA means that ALL components stay the same.... including material components. Does this mean that all Efreet are assumed to have an infinite pile of diamonds on them at all times? Does it mean that any wish-granters have no wealth of their own, having spent it all on material components? Does entire problem need to just be ignored?


You do know that spell-like abilities are defined in several area, right? What does the Magic chapter of that core rulebook say? Because that is where I know it says that spell-like abilities have no components.

Also, where does your second quote come from, the one you say is a change in the rules? You attribute it to the PRD, but I can't find it in the PRD. It does appear on d20PFSRD, which is a third party site unrelated to Paizo and the official PRD.

Edit: Ah, I found it. It is in the Common Terms section at the beginning. You know those aren't the entirety of the rules, yes?

Jeraa wrote:
You do know that spell-like abilities are defined in several area, right? What does the Magic chapter of that core rulebook say? Because that is where I know it says that spell-like abilities have no components.

No components, BUT definitely some visible magical effects. Just to be clear. You can't use Charm Person like as an SLA completely invisibly... There still exists something clearly magical going on.

FAQ that relates

CRB p221 wrote:

Spell-Like Abilities: Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability’s use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.
Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated. Spell-like abilities cannot be used to counterspell, nor can they be counterspelled.
If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability’s effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is gained.

No apparent change here.

Okay, thanks for the help everyone. I had just been confused for some time because of the conflicting sources, and a couple of threads I read a while ago that SLAs required components. Thanks for the clarification.

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