Can a bard use Saving Finale if he / she doesn't realize a saving throw is being made?


Rules Questions


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Yesterday, this issue came out in a game I'm GMing.
One of my players is playing a bard who has Saving Finale as one of her spells.
They were in a room where a hidden Aboleth cast Dominate Monster on the swashbuckler and he failed his saving throw, but the characters didn't realize the spell was casted. I asked the swashbuckler to make a Will save, he used his charmed life but failed anyway.
So the bard decided to end her bardic performance to cast her Saving Finale and allow him to roll again.
I allowed the bard to do it, as I didn't have clear if it was possible and I didn't want to unnecesarily slow the game, but I'm not completely sure it was legit, as I don't know if she would have noticed a failed saving throw was happening at that time.
I mean, if you're going to get engulfed in flames by a fireball, it seems like something easy to notice. If you're going to be weakened by poison or something similar, I can understand it too. But what about failing Will saves when you don't even know that the spell is being cast and the effect might not be obvious?
Would the bard notice her friend's resolve getting weaker? Would she notice something different going on in his mind that would allow her to use that spell?
Because, as this player has told me: how do you really notice when a saving throw is being failed? Sometimes it seems pretty obvious, but another times it seems difficult to notice.
I'd like to get some insight here, because I have a lot of doubts about when I'm going to allow to use this spell and when I shouldn't.


Magic.
Don't overthink it.
You are allowed to use saving finale if an ally fails a save and they are in range and you have line of effect.
Some of your suggestions on how to justify it are good, you just have to find the one that works for you, but ultimately the bard can do so because the rules allow them to.


The weird thing about Dominate is that the bard would know that a save is being made, but that wouldn't allow him to realize that her friend is actually dominated so she could not pass the roll to realize it and think everything is OK. Sounds funny.


I believe there are rules that even hidden spell-casters produce some kind of VAGUE MAGICAL PHENOMENA that allows any creature to ascertain that magic was cast. If the bard and the swashbuckler were present in the room together, then I would think that the bard could see some magical stuff was flung at the swashbuckler, allowing for the spell to be cast, even if they didn't see the spellcaster who cast the spell.

The target of the spell is the person making the save, not the spell or the spellcaster who forced the save. So, as long as the target is within line of effect and sight, you're good to go.

Liberty's Edge

Lots of different things to check.

First: it was a surprise round where no one had detected the invisible aboleth? If so neither Charmed life nor Saving finale could be used as they are immediate actions.

Second: if they were able to act, there is a relatively recent FAQ that say that you can always try spellcraft as every use of spells or spell like abilities has telltale signs. It is here.
Barring special abilities it is impossible to cast a spell without people noticing it.
So the bard could attempt a spellcraft check to know what happened, with appropriate modifiers based on how the aboleth was hidden.

If the aboleth was using invisibility it would have become visible immediately after casting the spell, a big sign of it acting offensively.

At this point we get to the core question: "how I know that someone has failed a save when it is not evident?".

I would require the use of appropriate skills, with a bonus if the spellcraft check was successful.
So, to know that the swashbuckler has failed a save against dominate, a Sense motive check would be appropriate, with a +5 or so if the bard was successful at using spellcraft.

As a simpler alternative you can rule that having a bardic performance in effect and having Saving finale as a know/ready spell give the bard a sixth sense about the people affected by his performance, a sense that allow him to perceive when they fail a save.
Sometime that can be a big boon and I will limit it to targets that can be affected by the spell (so targets in LOS and LOE from the bard), but it can be a valid solution.


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Diego Rossi wrote:


First: it was a surprise round where no one had detected the invisible aboleth? If so neither Charmed life nor Saving finale could be used as they are immediate actions.

It wasn't. They were fighting an illusion cast by the aboleth. That's why the bard had her bardic song active.

Quote:


If the aboleth was using invisibility it would have become visible immediately after casting the spell, a big sign of it acting offensively.

He was hiding behind an illusory wall.

Quote:


As a simpler alternative you can rule that having a bardic performance in effect and having Saving finale as a know/ready spell give the bard a sixth sense about the people affected by his performance, a sense that allow him to perceive when they fail a save.

I'll rule that the bard has a spider-sense that starts tingling when there is something wrong, but only while she is singing/dancing xD

Quote:


Sometime that can be a big boon and I will limit it to targets that can be affected by the spell (so targets in LOS and LOE from the bard), but it can be a valid solution.

I think allowing to reroll something that you don't see/hear might be powerful, but as she has to have an active performance it's not unbalancing. I can live with it. I just have to find the appropiate flavor for the spell as I like it to have sense, and it's not difficult anyway.


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Per the rules, in particular the Intrigue Rules, the Aboleth might be hiding behibd a wall, but people notice the spell anyways, magic is evident. Imagine it like XMen's Psylocke, with a butterfly of purple eldritch energy appearing both in the head of the aboleth and your character's. Or imagine it like any videogame, where each spell has a clear visual effect, full with Industrial Light and Magic FX. Hold Person looks like Dr Strange's Crimson Band of Cyttorack.

Teleport look like this

It's much easier to visualize it like this, given how the spells work in the game. Magic isn't subtle

This is not an aboleth, but here you have a picture of another Pathfibder creature doing a mind affecting spell like ability


This is best handled by strictly following the spell description and it says you can grant your allies another save, without any requirements besides performing and having the action avaiable. This might be because the spell effects is obvious or simply because the bards performance allows him to perceive subtle changes in the magic field around him (disturbance in the force).
Limiting the avaiability further would serve no purpose other than reducing the fun of the game.

On the other hand it seems reasonable to declare the whole process happens on a subconcious level. The bard gets the information about the failed save, but if he doesn't act on it the knowledge instantly vanishes from his brain. Otherwise a level 1 spell would grant the ability to be passively aware of any failed saving throw within the party, which probably wasn't the intention.

Sovereign Court

Aboleths are quite suited to hiding their spellcasting manifestations; that whole FAQ still has a lot of undefined parts where you could probably hide it behind an illusory wall. After all, it depends on the line in spellcraft that says:

Quote:
you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors

If the spell is being cast behind an illusory wall, it stands to reason you can't see it, can't spellcraft it, and probably can't see the manifestations (assuming visible and not audible or olfactory manifestations).

---

The real question is: how does the bard know someone failed a saving throw? Normally, even the one making the saving throw only knows something happened when he succeeds:

Core Rulebook > Combat > Saving Throws wrote:
Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

But the Saving Finale spell clearly implies that the bard knows. We'll have to make up our own ruling then.

I really like the idea suggested above that the bard gets a sixth sense about these things only when actually performing for someone. It's neat and and it's flavorful.


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Yes, I'm sticking to the «sixth sense» explanation.


This wouldn't be Skulls & Shackles, would it?


Ding, ding, ding! The pretty chameleon wins the prize!
Yes, it was.


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My aboleth dominated the party fighter, who proceeded to kill the healer (who immediately came back, thanks to his amulet) and then the inquisitor, who thought he could go toe-to-toe with the greatsword swinging maniac. For what it's worth, I gave everyone a will save vs the illusion (at a penalty) to get a spellcraft check.

Liberty's Edge

Kileanna wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Sometime that can be a big boon and I will limit it to targets that can be affected by the spell (so targets in LOS and LOE from the bard), but it can be a valid solution.
I think allowing to reroll something that you don't see/hear might be powerful, but as she has to have an active performance it's not unbalancing. I can live with it. I just have to find the appropiate flavor for the spell as I like it to have sense, and it's not difficult anyway.

Saving grace is a targeted spell, so to use it you need to have the target creature in LOS and LOE.

I was suggesting the ability to notice a failed save was limited the same way.

Sovereign Court

So to put it simply: you only detect failed saves on people who at that time would be legal targets for Saving Finale. By being in your audience and by being in your LOS/LOE.


Kileanna wrote:
The weird thing about Dominate is that the bard would know that a save is being made, but that wouldn't allow him to realize that her friend is actually dominated so she could not pass the roll to realize it and think everything is OK. Sounds funny.

The Bard would know that a save failed, which would allow them to cast Saving Finale. They wouldn't know what the save was against (unless they were aware of the caster and made a successful spellcraft roll). The same would be true of any spell though. The Bard wouldn't know what the spell is, just that someone failed their save.

The Bard also wouldn't have inherent knowledge of whether the second save was successful or not.


Ascalaphus wrote:
So to put it simply: you only detect failed saves on people who at that time would be legal targets for Saving Finale. By being in your audience and by being in your LOS/LOE.

But have in mind that the target here is the swashbuckler, not the aboleth, so he is in LOS/LOE.


Irontruth wrote:


The Bard would know that a save failed, which would allow them to cast Saving Finale. They wouldn't know what the save was against (unless they were aware of the caster and made a successful spellcraft roll). The same would be true of any spell though. The Bard wouldn't know what the spell is, just that someone failed their save.

The Bard also wouldn't have inherent knowledge of whether the second save was successful or not.

Aggree. That's what I'm sticking to now.

Liberty's Edge

Kileanna wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So to put it simply: you only detect failed saves on people who at that time would be legal targets for Saving Finale. By being in your audience and by being in your LOS/LOE.
But have in mind that the target here is the swashbuckler, not the aboleth, so he is in LOS/LOE.

Sure. The target is the guy that will reroll the save, not the caster.

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