How does the «Expend» spell work?


Rules Questions


I've got the Expend spell as a bonus spell from the Time patron, and I'm a bit confused about it.
When I force the opponent to expend an use of his limited magic powers, does he have to take the corresponding action to do it or does he lose the use but doesn't take an action to do so?
I'm thinking of using it against some opponents as a way of making them lose a turn or two, but I don't know if it would work like that.


It has a duration of instantaneous, but having to possibly make several willsaves against one spell, in one instant...


That's not what I was asking, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.
What I asked is whether the opponent has to take an action to expend the use of the spell-like/supernatural aptitude or just loses the uses and that's it.


I would rule that they don't have to take an action, but simply lose a usage of the ability of their choosing. That seems sufficiently powerful without also wasting the target's action.

I can definitely see an argument for the other perspective though.


Sorry, yeah. I think that plays into the answer.

If the opponents doesn't have to take the actions, it is possible that they lose several uses in an instant.
If they have to take the actions, they'll lose one or at most two uses per round.

The duration of instantaneous would be my clue that the opponents have to roll will saves until they make the save, losing the uses without having to take the actions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
jbadams wrote:

I would rule that they don't have to take an action, but simply lose a usage of the ability of their choosing. That seems sufficiently powerful without also wasting the target's action.

I can definitely see an argument for the other perspective though.

They can't choose at all.


For a 7th level spell I'd err on the side of the stronger interpretation. They have to use the ability, with whatever activation time it has.

It is competing with the likes of Banishment (mass effective save or die for Outsiders), Mass Hold Person (mass save or suck), Hungry Darkness (situationally one of the most brutal spells in the game), Finger of Death (loads of damage), Waves of Exhaustion (no save mass save or suck), Reverse Gravity (mass no save or suck)...yeah, if it worked the other way your action would be much better spent on any of these.


What makes me think the opponent would have to take an action is the wording. It doesn't say «they lose an use» but «you cause them to use up» them, so I'm guessing they actually will have to use them to no effect, effectively make them lose an action.
Anyway, if they don't have, a weak willed creature could lose all their spell-like and similar powers in a turn, which is not bad. Not my spell of choice anyway, but not completely useless.


Not all spells are created equal and niche spell is niche.
It's an instantaneous duration. I can't see any way to read it that it also consumes actions.
There are a few creatures where depleting limited use but extremely powerful SLA's could make this absolutely the spell that saves the day - if it weren't for other 7th level spells.
I would never memorise it as a wizard, but it's not the worst spell to be granted by a class ability.


Not complaining about it. I'm getting Silence, Haste and Time Stop too, and even though this one might be too circumstancial to be great it might be of use in very specific situations. The bad side is that it would only work on low willed creatures, and I have much better options for them. Working on undead is a plus, but not the strongest option anyway.
And yes, I had not thought on what the instantaneous duration meant. Clearly he doesn't have to take any actions, just will saves until he passes one of them and stops losing uses of his abilities.


Franz Lunzer wrote:


They can't choose at all.

You're correct, I somehow missed that.


Just gonna add this in:

EXPEND wrote:
You cause all creatures in the affected area to use up one or more of their limited-use magical abilities without any actual effect.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Kileanna wrote:

That's not what I was asking, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

What I asked is whether the opponent has to take an action to expend the use of the spell-like/supernatural aptitude or just loses the uses and that's it.

You are asking if an instantaneous spell that forces multiple saves does so over multiple turns forcing the target to use multiple actions for no effect?

No it doesn't work that way.

You simply decrease their available resources and their next init they have less to work with on their turn.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's an Abjuration spell. It's directly targeting their magic abilities. If it made them use actions, it would probably be an Enchantment [Compulsion].


People are reading too much into the Instantaneous duration. Instantaneous is also a better version of Permanent duration, in some cases (Flesh to Stone, for example). The spell takes effect, and has a "duration" of "Until they pass a save". This is in line with how Instantaneous works.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Sundakan wrote:
People are reading too much into the Instantaneous duration.

So since you've read this thread and still think it doesn't all happen upon casting of the spell, then we are at table variance with any who believe this burns their actions on future rounds. I don't think a low level (7th) spell can burn actions for an indeterminate number of future rounds.


...Since when are 7th level spells low level spells? You do remember you get those at 13th level, and there are only two spell levels above them, right?

You also realize Insanity is the same spell level, right? Permanent Confusion. Eats your actions forever until dispelled. Never gives you another save.

All the spells I listed earlier are similarly powerful. I didn't randomly pick those from the spell list, those are ALL 7th level spells.

This eats your actions until you succeed on a Will save, which you get one of every round.


Kileanna wrote:

That's not what I was asking, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

What I asked is whether the opponent has to take an action to expend the use of the spell-like/supernatural aptitude or just loses the uses and that's it.

Just as the spell says. Just loses the use of and that' it. There is no mention of actions needed to be taken by the victim, and there really can't be since the spells's duration of instantneous wouldn't allow for any.


Gjorbjond wrote:
If it made them use actions, it would probably be an Enchantment [Compulsion].

+1


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Kileanna wrote:

That's not what I was asking, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

What I asked is whether the opponent has to take an action to expend the use of the spell-like/supernatural aptitude or just loses the uses and that's it.
Just as the spell says. Just loses the use of and that' it. There is no mention of actions needed to be taken by the victim, and there really can't be since the spells's duration of instantneous wouldn't allow for any.

Not quite. It says they "use up one or more". Not "lose a use of", "use up".

Compare/contrast the wording on a similar spell like Spellcrash that simply makes the prepared spell "lost".

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Officially at table variance, as this can't be solved by discussion because we have different interpretations of the words "use up".


The funny thing is that I'm fully convinced now that it works like that. Hadn't thought before of the «instantaneous» implications.
I'm not arguing about it. I didn't want to start a discussion about it nor to take advantage of the spell. I'm glad to have been clarified on how it works.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Kileanna wrote:
Hadn't thought before of the «instantaneous» implications.

Instantaneous spell rules are defined as:

Quote:
Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.

So an effect of forcing them to expend an action on each of their turns is materially different. That is an ongoing spell influencing their actions, in other words an enchantment. Something that could be dispelled.

Insanity is a condition in the rules. There is no "expend my resources" condition. So insanity also being instantaneous makes sense. It applies the insanity condition which is confusion.

Shadow Lodge

I think if it required the target to spend actions in an ongoing manner in order to expend uses of its abilities, it would be an enchantment [compulsion] with a duration.

However I also think it's underpowered if it only reduces their uses of these abilities, especially since it starts by draining the abilities the target has more uses of.


Enchantment isn't the only school that can waste actions. See: Bestow Curse (a Necromancy spell).

Liberty's Edge

I agree with Sundakan. If the creatures affected don't lose nations, it is very weak 7th level spell.

At the same time I agree with James Risner, there will be table variation. It is one of those spells with a bad description of the effect.


I agree with Sundakan.
1) Without loosing actions, the spell is too weak for it's level, especially considering monsters are forced to use their weekest and numerous SLAs, which they probably won't use at all in their first and probably the last battle with PCs. Even moster failing one will save would be a luck to the witch.
2) Insanity also have instantaneous effect, even though spell continues to affect target forever.
3) The spell does say that it it causes all creatures to use up one or more of their magical abilities. It's a huge difference compared to expending one ore more of their magical abilities with the spell.

The spell would benefit from clarification from game designers.


Maybe it's weak for its level, but not all the spells have to be equally powerful.
Used on a monster with low Will you'll probably take all his SLAs, which is not bad, even though if you want to go save or suck there are much better options. Taking the Time witch as an example, I'd probably rather be Slumber hexing or something more definitive than denying him his SLAs.
The saving throw CD for my character with a level 7 spell would be 26, combining it with Evil Eye it becomes difficult for regular enemies to resist. The offside is that I have much better options for dealing with regular enemies.
I was originally asking for the mechanics of this spell to see if it could be of any use against some high level antipaladin vampires, but I finally dealt with them in the traditional way when I cannot do my thing: Buffing the martials, keeping them alive and letting them do the job.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / How does the «Expend» spell work? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rules Questions