Chains of Light


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chains of Light wrote:
A creature targeted by this spell is held immobile by glowing golden chains composed of pure light. The creature is paralyzed and held in place, but may attempt a new saving throw each round to end the effect. While held by the golden chains, a creature cannot use any sort of extradimensional travel, such as astral projection, blink, dimension door, ethereal jaunt, etherealness, gate, maze, plane shift, shadow walk, teleport, and similar spells and spell-like abilities. The spell does not affect creatures that are already in ethereal or astral form when the spell is cast.

Recently, I tried to use this spell against a baddie. The DM ruled that they can make a new saving throw as a free action, since it doesn't specify the action type to make a new saving throw. I argued it was like the hold person spell, which is a full-round action.

How does this work?


Your GM is correct. Making a save is not an action, that's a specific exception for the Hold Person spell. Chains of Light does not say that making its save requires an action, or that it works like the Hold Person spell, so the save does not require an action.


If the spell doesn't specify the save is a free action. I bit cheap for such a high level spell. But it's already extremely powerful, so probably not that bad.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well shucks, thanks!


That said, Chains is still a fantastic spell. A reflex based save or suck is simply worth its weight in gold considering how garbage most creature reflexes saves are as you climb the bestiary.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
That said, Chains is still a fantastic spell. A reflex based save or suck is simply worth its weight in gold considering how garbage most creature reflexes saves are as you climb the bestiary.

It's a good spell, but it's not meant to be for this campaign. Most of the mythic foes have 20+ bonuses across the board (will, reflex, fortitude) and he rolls 2d20 for them and takes the best. The one time I got lucky, it made its save on its initiative (which was right after me, so no effect). I'll have to stick to control/buffing spells!


I'm no expert in mythic, but I recall seeing absurd CLs and DCs being touted for PC casters. Either way, there's certainly nothing wrong with control/buff casting. Do what you'll enjoy!


You and your GM are both wrong. Dasrak is correct that saving throws are normally not actions at all. Hold Person has specific rules that change this to require a full-round action, but Chains of Light has no such rules.

CRB wrote:
Saving Throw: When a creature is the subject of a dangerous spell or effect, it often receives a saving throw to mitigate the damage or result. Saving throws are passive, meaning that a character does not need to take an action to make a saving throw—they are made automatically. There are three types of saving throws: Fortitude (used to resist poisons, diseases, and other bodily ailments), Reflex (used to avoid effects that target an entire area, such as fireball), and Will (used to resist mental attacks and spells).


When the creature gets to make it's new saving throw each round, is the the Reflex bonus the same as it was before the spell went off, or are the new saves made at the new Reflex bonus (ie at Dex 0)?


Atalius your neighborhood necro here. Can anyone answer this question for TxSam? Good question.

Grand Lodge

The target is paralyzed when they are making the new saves, so I would use the modified saving throw (I.E. Dex 0).


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This FAQ seems to suggest the opposite.

FAQ wrote:

Reflex Saves: If I’m paralyzed, held, dying, or otherwise completely immobilized or insensate, can I still attempt a Reflex save?

Yes, you can still attempt a Reflex save, but since your Dexterity is set to 0, you’ll have to replace your Dexterity bonus with a –5 penalty, so you’re not likely to succeed. If you do succeed, it might be due to the power of your cloak of resistance, a good angle for cover, or even luck. Either way, follow the rules of the spell for a successful Reflex save, even if this would change your space, like create pit. However, you lose evasion in these circumstances. If you are under the influence of a rare effect that causes you to be immobilized or insensate and allows ongoing Reflex saves to escape the effect, as an exception to the rule, you can use your full Dexterity bonus (instead of a –5 penalty) for the purpose of attempting those ongoing saves only, since your full Dexterity is at work within the confines of the spell, trying to break free.

Shadow Lodge

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Wow that is a terrible reason to get full Reflex save.


Ya that ruling doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I guess that's RAW.


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Yeah, that ruling is really, really bad. (Sorry, PDT!)


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I personally like it as it makes it so that those spells are not far more powerful than a Hold Person, for example. If it didn't have that, the DC instantly goes up by (in most cases) at least 5 and can make it so that the odds, which were already slim (Let's say a DC 15) is now a DC of effectively 20, assuming 10 dex. That is a huge penalty. By having it at full Dex it still leaves it possible and doesn't power up the spell. It's kind of why a lot of people hate Con Poisons (besides the obvious "It can kill me!"). It's harder to resist the more you fail.


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It should be a huge penalty. You're immobilized. It's too late to use raw dexterity to get out of the situation. You can still make the save, and you get another shot every round.

Same with Con poisons--they're supposed to kill you if left untreated. That's the point.


What creature type does Chains of Light not work against?


Probably should ready action to cast after it goes.


Grimman52 wrote:
What creature type does Chains of Light not work against?

Constructs, dragons, oozes, plants, and undead are immune to paralysis, so they wouldn't be affected by chains of light. Creatures with the behemoth, elemental, Great Old One, and inevitable subtypes are also immune, as are any number of other individual creatures.


blahpers wrote:
Grimman52 wrote:
What creature type does Chains of Light not work against?
Constructs, dragons, oozes, plants, and undead are immune to paralysis, so they wouldn't be affected by chains of light. Creatures with the behemoth, elemental, Great Old One, and inevitable subtypes are also immune, as are any number of other individual creatures.

A creature targeted by this spell is held immobile by glowing golden chains composed of pure light. [b]The creature is paralyzed and held in place[b], but may attempt a new saving throw each round to end the effect. While held by the golden chains, a creature cannot use any sort of extradimensional travel, such as astral projection, blink, dimension door, ethereal jaunt, etherealness, gate, maze, plane shift, shadow walk, teleport, and similar spells and spell-like abilities. The spell does not affect creatures that are already in ethereal or astral form when the spell is cast.

Since the creatures previously listed are immune to paralysis does that mean they are also not subject to being held in place?


Yes.


Cavall wrote:
Yes.

Isn’t “ paralyzed and held in place” two separate effects? I understand that they’re immune to paralysis but wouldn’t they still be anchored in place?


I see no game mechanic for held in place.

Which means at best it's a rider effect to paralyze.

When you're immune to something you're immune to its rider effects too, as evidenced in more than a few DR and Immunity FAQ.


Cavall wrote:

I see no game mechanic for held in place.

Which means at best it's a rider effect to paralyze.

When you're immune to something you're immune to its rider effects too, as evidenced in more than a few DR and Immunity FAQ.

are there examples that aren’t ‘damage + rider’ of this?


Well, trip immunity and elephant stomp? You cant get the benefit to someone that cant be tripped. I would have to sit down and think of some that may actually fit your question.

Like I said, at best it's a rider. Honestly I think it's just saying paralyzed twice.

Dark Archive

Held in place isn't a condition
Unless they are grappled or pinned they can move


Cavall wrote:

I see no game mechanic for held in place.

Which means at best it's a rider effect to paralyze.

When you're immune to something you're immune to its rider effects too, as evidenced in more than a few DR and Immunity FAQ.

I would think it it would work like the anchoring weapon enchant in ultimate equipment.


Then it should say that.

It doesnt say pinned. Helpless. Anchored. Entangled. It simply says paralyzed. If you're immune to that, what's the penalties for "held in place"? None. The condition doesnt exist.


Cavall wrote:

Then it should say that.

It doesnt say pinned. Helpless. Anchored. Entangled. It simply says paralyzed. If you're immune to that, what's the penalties for "held in place"? None. The condition doesnt exist.

Held in place specifies a list of effects that are blocked.

Chains of Light are not imposing a secondary condition, to which the may may be immune, it is simply preventing all movement, including those dimensional in nature, regardless of if movement is attempted by the target or by a third party.

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