Hiding Mirror Images On Top Of Yourself


Rules Questions


In a game I was running I had an NPC conceal the fact that she has mirror image cast on herself by having her images basically stand on top of her so they were exactly coextensive with her body. My players balked at this saying it was BS and that the spell doesn't work that way. The spell says that the images "remain in your space and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly." so I thought it wasn't unreasonable for anyone not taking a close look at her to not notice her images if they were following her movements exactly. I could see someone arguing that if the character talked that it would sound like multiple people talking at once but if she wasn't talking that wouldn't be an issue. Thoughts?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chrion wrote:
In a game I was running I had an NPC conceal the fact that she has mirror image cast on herself by having her images basically stand on top of her so they were exactly coextensive with her body. My players balked at this saying it was BS and that the spell doesn't work that way. The spell says that the images "remain in your space and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly." so I thought it wasn't unreasonable for anyone not taking a close look at her to not notice her images if they were following her movements exactly. I could see someone arguing that if the character talked that it would sound like multiple people talking at once but if she wasn't talking that wouldn't be an issue. Thoughts?

It defeats the purpose of the spell.

The idea is that there's 'x' number of mirror images, which the party then has to hit as they move around. If they are all on top of the caster, then they are going to *hit the caster* and not pop an image...


She wasn't trying to conceal them while in combat, just the fact that she had preemptively cast it on herself knowing she was going to initiate combat


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The spell provides no indication that you can control the images in such a manner. So you can't.


Yea, not workable as deception, but the multiple figures could have entertainment value so Sense Motive unless the NPC is otherwise hostile. Any speller who has that on their spell list would be wary right quick though.


_Ozy_ wrote:
The spell provides no indication that you can control the images in such a manner. So you can't.

the spell provides no indication as to where the images actually appear other than "in your space"...seems open to further interpretation.


Chrion wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
The spell provides no indication that you can control the images in such a manner. So you can't.
the spell provides no indication as to where the images actually appear other than "in your space"...seems open to further interpretation.

The spell gives you no control over where they appear, and how they behave, otherwise it would specify and tell you what sort of action it is to control the images (free or move). If the images appear overlaid on top of you, then the purpose of the spell is defeated, so I doubt this is the default behavior.

So you are free to 'interpret' that they appear on top of you, and therefore do nothing and making the spell useless. But you aren't free to 'interpret' that the caster gets to control their behavior.

Why ask the question in the first place if you don't want to listen to the answers?


_Ozy_ wrote:
Chrion wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
The spell provides no indication that you can control the images in such a manner. So you can't.
the spell provides no indication as to where the images actually appear other than "in your space"...seems open to further interpretation.

The spell gives you no control over where they appear, and how they behave, otherwise it would specify and tell you what sort of action it is to control the images (free or move). If the images appear overlaid on top of you, then the purpose of the spell is defeated, so I doubt this is the default behavior.

So you are free to 'interpret' that they appear on top of you, and therefore do nothing and making the spell useless. But you aren't free to 'interpret' that the caster gets to control their behavior.

Why ask the question in the first place if you don't want to listen to the answers?

haha calm down my man, im listening to what you have to say, im just trying to have a conversation about it. i think spells do what they say they do. i think your right that the caster cannot control them in any way since the spell doesnt say that. the spell doesnt specify where they appear other than in your space and on top of you counts as in your space. having them on top of you wouldnt defeat the purpose cause its magic and the spell does what it says it does, it doesnt say they need to be in a certain position relative to you to be effective. you cant apply logic to magic cause its magic, spells do what they say they do, but i understand the reasoning behind why you might want to say if the images were positioned exactly where your body is the spell wouldnt have the intended effect.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Say this NPC mage had researched an "improved" version of the spell that allowed this additional (relatively minor) feature, as a higher level spell. And don't make it too good, or your players will all want to learn it.

Alternatively, if the NPC is at least 11th level, she can have mirror image on a "contingency", so she doesn't need to take any extra actions to cast it. There's probably other spells that would make even better "contingencies", but it wouldn't be a bad option.


Chrion wrote:
In a game I was running I had an NPC conceal the fact that she has mirror image cast on herself by having her images basically stand on top of her so they were exactly coextensive with her body. My players balked at this saying it was BS and that the spell doesn't work that way. The spell says that the images "remain in your space and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly." so I thought it wasn't unreasonable for anyone not taking a close look at her to not notice her images if they were following her movements exactly. I could see someone arguing that if the character talked that it would sound like multiple people talking at once but if she wasn't talking that wouldn't be an issue. Thoughts?

Tell her that she does such a good job at hiding her mirror images that the spell has no effect.


So you believe if you overlay the spell on yourself, the first 1d4 whatever hits are negated? That's not what the spell says. "It's magic, it doesn't have to follow logic" doesn't work, as it clearly states WHY the hits are negated: the enemies don't know where to strike to hit the actual you. If they're overlayed over you, they still know where to strike, and the spell is useless.

Also agreeing that you can't add additional degrees of control to a spell when it's not stated.

Example wouild be: It says it makes "images" of you, but I don't believe you can alter the images. They look just like you. You can't make them wear all red when you're not.


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Here's the thing, if one of my players tried this I know exactly what I would say to them.
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Nope, I'm not going to repeat it here as I'm pretty sure most of it would breach the forum rules.


- It's a pretty short spell. When did she have a chance to cast it that they couldn't see her, but it was still worth setting up?

- The spell doesn't give control over the images. Even if you allowed this stack-on-cast (which I wouldn't), it would then be impossible to get them off yourself, as they mimic your moves exactly. If the images are stacked on you, then clearly they don't protect you. (As a figment, it doesn't have any physical stopping quality.)

- Do your players pull this kind of stunt regularly and you okay it? If it's part of your game, that's more understandable. (From your description of what happened, it doesn't sound like it.)

- Ultimately, you sprang something on the players in the range of "not obviously supported by the rules" to "obviously not supported by the rules", and your players had a worse time because of it. If you want to turn it into a positive experience, you could say they were right (or just that it didn't go over like you'd thought) and give the PCs a minor custom magical item that would have allowed the enemy to do that, retroactively adding it to their loot. If they didn't murderhobo the NPC, then maybe she dropped it on the way out, or one of the PCs swiped it off her while she wasn't looking. For example:

Ring of Subtle Figments
Once per day when casting a figment of at most third level with a duration of two or more rounds (including durations involving concentration), you may choose to conceal the illusion. While concealed, the illusion's duration continues to expire and you must concentrate on the spell to maintain it if the spell requires concentration, but the figment cannot be seen by any observers. As an immediate action or as part of an initiative check, you can cause the figment to become visible. (As a custom GM-granted item, this item cannot cannot be crafted or purchased, but can be sold for X gp.)

This works better if there's a PC who can actually make use of the item. If not, it might come across as just trying to retroactively justify the shenanigans.


Chrion,

This is not within the rules, you are houseruling this ability into the spell.


I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to post on this thread, ive enjoyed it. Most of what people have posted here is uncompelling as to why this would not work, mostly because spells work how they say they work and not how we would think they would work logically. that being said, i think, as Mechanical Pear pointed out, the fact that the spell says that the images makes it difficult for enemies to precisely locate you would mean that if the images were coextensive with your body, and therefore would not look like copies of yourself, would defeat the purpose of the spell. if the spell didnt have that text in it, i.e., "These doubles make it difficult for enemies to precisely locate and attack you." even the later text of "an attacker must be able to see the figments" wouldnt cause a problem for a person "hiding" their mirror images on top of themselves since their attacker would still be seeing the images, just overlaid on the person who cast it. At the end of the day though since i was the one running the game and it was my npc, i can have things function however i like. it was done in the service of a fun encounter and the players, once they stopped whining about it, had fun with it.


In the future, a magic item (one-shot if necessary) that pops up mirror image as a swift or immediate action would likely serve the same purpose without having to tinker with how the spell itself works.


Spells work as described. Anything outside of that is a houserule. Mark had a thread. Feel free to ask him if you don't beleive us, but depending on how busy he is it may take a while to get an answer.


wraithstrike wrote:
Spells work as described. Anything outside of that is a houserule. Mark had a thread. Feel free to ask him if you don't beleive us, but depending on how busy he is it may take a while to get an answer.

I agree that spells work as described...no belief needed. Exactly where the images appear is not specifically described, only generally described, and therefore some interpretation is required. I don't know who Mark is but I have conceded that the spell doesn't work how I was using it in the game, given the wording of the spell.


_Ozy_ wrote:
In the future, a magic item (one-shot if necessary) that pops up mirror image as a swift or immediate action would likely serve the same purpose without having to tinker with how the spell itself works.

This is a really good idea, ill keep it in mind.


Chrion wrote:
The spell says that the images "remain in your space and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly."

In your first post you had the answer. They mimic your movements exactly. That means if you were to cast the spell and they weren't on top of you, they would move the same distance away as you moved towards them, so you could never get in place with them. If you cast the spell and they all appeared on top of you, thus concealing the effect, you couldn't move away from them as they are mimicking your actions and would move with you.


Having now looked at this spell very closely, two conditions need to be met for it to be effective:

1) The enemy needs to be able to see the images
and
2) The images need to be able to be seen in such a way that the attacker is confused as to which of the of the things they are seeing is the actual person and not an image

Casting the mirror images (if it were possible) in such a way so that they would be coextensive with your body meets the first, but not the second, of the criterion for effectiveness.


Chrion wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Spells work as described. Anything outside of that is a houserule. Mark had a thread. Feel free to ask him if you don't beleive us, but depending on how busy he is it may take a while to get an answer.
I agree that spells work as described...no belief needed. Exactly where the images appear is not specifically described, only generally described, and therefore some interpretation is required. I don't know who Mark is but I have conceded that the spell doesn't work how I was using it in the game, given the wording of the spell.

Mark is one of the guys who makes the rules for the game, but I also misunderstood you as not conceding. Disregard my last post. :)

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