Can I cast a spell into a place I can't directly see.


Rules Questions


Hi,

I want to cast the 0 level Druid spell FLARE into the eyes of an NPC.

The distance between me and the NPC is a couple of metres and the NPC is facing away from me.

Essentially I can't see where I want the spell to appear (as his back is towards me) but I can see him (well the back of him).

So, can I have the flare appear before his eyes or do I need to direct it to more to a place I can see?

Thanks for your help.
Ravensgray

Silver Crusade

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

PRD - Line of Effect:

Quote:

Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

Liberty's Edge

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Yes, pathfinder abstract's what direction a creature faces. Basically the game dose not care what direction a creature faces. All you need is line of sight to the target. In this case the target is the creature.


I would say no. You're trying to cast it behind his head, to me it's like casting it behind a pillar.

The Exchange

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What Swordjockey said. There's no such thing as facing a direction in pathfinder.


Hi all,

That's great thanks for your assistance.

I'm going to take it that I can cast it against the back of his head. If I wanted to cast it in front of his eyes then I'd need to move so I can see the front of his face. A simple 5 ft step may infact achieve this for me.

Thanks again for all your help. Appreciated.

Ravensgray,

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Even if we apply some sort of 'facing' rules... there is nothing preventing you from having the light burst a foot in front of his face and a few inches to the left or right... basically you can target past him to a point that IS in front of his face even if you can't see his face yourself.


Hi CBDunkerson,

Agreed but I'm assuming you still need to be able to SEE that location.

Ravensgray


A mirror would do wonders in this situation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

That's my point... you CAN see a location in front of a person who is not facing you. You just need to look past that person... everything further away from you than they are is 'in front of them'.


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You don't roll to hit the eye's, you just 'cause the light to burst in front of a single creature', so all you need is line of effect to that creature. It's effectiveness is decided by Fortitude not Reflex; armour, cover (apart from total) etc. do not affect the spell.

No need to overcomplicate it's a 0 level minor debuff.

Edit: missed a comma

Silver Crusade

Ravensgray,

You are over complicating the situation. As has been pointed out, there is no facing rules in Pathfinder, nor should there be.

Combat is hectic and fluid. Combatants are looking in all directions assessing threats. Just cast the spell at the target, you can even shout, "Hey, look over here!" as you cast the spell to get their attention if it makes you feel better.


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Ravensgray wrote:

Hi all,

That's great thanks for your assistance.

I'm going to take it that I can cast it against the back of his head. If I wanted to cast it in front of his eyes then I'd need to move so I can see the front of his face. A simple 5 ft step may infact achieve this for me.

Thanks again for all your help. Appreciated.

Ravensgray,

You are misunderstanding things.

There is no facing.

Do you see the creature?
If yes: cast the spell on it.

The creature's facing has zero bearing. What direction he is looking has zero bearing.

Heck, there are not even rules regarding 'I put it in front of him' because such rules are not necessary.

The only rule relevant to your issue here is: can you see him, then you can target him.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

There is no facing rules, but the spell calls out "in front of".
You must have line of effect to the point.
You must have line of sight to the point.

If you satisfy all three of those, he makes a save. You simply target a square to the left or right that you can see and there is no barrier blocking line of effect.


Guass has the most correct answer.

Pathfinder does not have any rules for facing a direction, creatures are effectively looking all around them all the time. That's just how the game works.

If you can see them, you can target them. And besides, the target is the individual character not their eyes.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What is the target was in the middle of an fog cloud, and you were on the outside of it? Could you target a specific square that is concealed to you even though you have "line of effect?"


ckdragons wrote:

What is the target was in the middle of an fog cloud, and you were on the outside of it? Could you target a specific square that is concealed to you even though you have "line of effect?"

If you can't see it, you can't target it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
ckdragons wrote:

What is the target was in the middle of an fog cloud, and you were on the outside of it? Could you target a specific square that is concealed to you even though you have "line of effect?"

If you can't see it, you can't target it.

Could a spellcaster target a square/intersection within the fog cloud he can't see with an AOE spell (fireball)?


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ckdragons wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
ckdragons wrote:

What is the target was in the middle of an fog cloud, and you were on the outside of it? Could you target a specific square that is concealed to you even though you have "line of effect?"

If you can't see it, you can't target it.

Could a spellcaster target a square/intersection within the fog cloud he can't see with an AOE spell (fireball)?

Yes

CRB p215 wrote:
Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It’s like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it’s not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

The rule (below) that requires line of sight for targeted spells does not apply to area spells unless the area spell also has a target line.

CRB p213 wrote:
Target or Targets: Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.

Liberty's Edge

It appears you can cast flare into a square you can not see in a fog cloud. Flare is a burst effect which only requires LOE. It seems like Flare should either target a single creature or have a burst of one square. The way it is written now it seems like you could only effect yourself, as you are a creature, there is no facing in Pathfinder, and if you wanted to affect another creature the spell would burst in front of more than a single creature.

PRD wrote:

FLARE

School evocation [light]; Level bard 0, druid 0, sorcerer/wizard 0
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect burst of light
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; Spell Resistance yes
This cantrip creates a burst of light. If you cause the light to burst in front of a single creature, that creature is dazzled for 1 minute unless it makes a successful Fortitude save. Sightless creatures, as well as creatures already dazzled, are not affected by flare.

I think this spell should be a targeted spell, as it was made as a response to an old tactic of casting light in people's eyes. It was a valid target of the spell at the time with no defined rules, so many GMs made there own effects that went up to blindness.


Samish Lakefinder wrote:

It appears you can cast flare into a square you can not see in a fog cloud. Flare is a burst effect which only requires LOE. It seems like Flare should either target a single creature or have a burst of one square. The way it is written now it seems like you could only effect yourself, as you are a creature, there is no facing in Pathfinder, and if you wanted to affect another creature the spell would burst in front of more than a single creature.

PRD wrote:

FLARE

School evocation [light]; Level bard 0, druid 0, sorcerer/wizard 0
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect burst of light
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; Spell Resistance yes
This cantrip creates a burst of light. If you cause the light to burst in front of a single creature, that creature is dazzled for 1 minute unless it makes a successful Fortitude save. Sightless creatures, as well as creatures already dazzled, are not affected by flare.
I think this spell should be a targeted spell, as it was made as a response to an old tactic of casting light in people's eyes. It was a valid target of the spell at the time with no defined rules, so many GMs made there own effects that went up to blindness.

Actually, it still requires either the ability to see the creature's location or at least be able to define where it is.

CRB p214 wrote:
Effect: Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present. You must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear, but if the effect is mobile, after it appears it can move regardless of the spell’s range.

So while there is no target you still, more or less, have to see or know about the area it is in.

What that means in the case of a fog is that you could flare someone in a fog...ONLY if you could define the area (square) the creature is in (for example, someone told you).

It is worth noting that many of us made the assumption that there would be a target line in a spell that is clearly a targeting attack spell. But, at least the effect line has the same effect, more or less. Silly rules.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

After reading through this thread, I would allow a targeted spell at a hidden target with line-of-effect if that spell required an attack roll with the standard 50% miss chance and the correct "square" targeted. If the spell doesn't require an attack roll (i.e. magic missile), sorry, no dice.

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