Step Up (feat) vs Invisibility


Rules Questions

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Dear Piazo,
We have reached an in pass and need a little help with rule interpretation.

Situation:
• 1 x PC Character fully visible with Step Up feat having made perception check to pin point an invisible enemy in the 5-foot square next to him.
• 1x NPC Enemy invisible wanting to take a 5-foot step away from the fully visible PC character to cast as spell.

After the PC turn in which he used a minor action (page 186) to make a perception check to perceive pinpoint the NPC and then attacked. The NPC in his turn tries to take a 5-foot step back to cast. The PC wants to use his “Step Up” feat claiming he “pin pointed” with perception so he can follow him.

Perception Pin Pointing means you are aware through your senses which square a create is standing and swing hoping to hit the invisible creature in that square (still 50% miss chance from total concealment). Attacks of Opportunity can be made if the creature sticks around and provokes, or moves beyond 5 foot and then attacks. On that note the PHB2 vs creatures you can’t see; says you could make an OA (at -5 for total concealment) against an invisible creature that hasn't made a stealth check. So this means you can react to invisible creatures say casting next to you.

Isn't it that the PC realizes the NPC has moved until it’s his turn again in which he can try to “perceive pin point” the NPC again. I feel that “Pin Pointing” is not sight (tremor sense, heat vision, etc) and that Step Up can only work if you can see the creature.

I found that the NPC does not provoke an attack of opportunity as he only takes a 5-foot step, and is invisible so can’t he followed with the step up feat. A new perception check in the PCs turn will be needed to re-pin point the creature.

What do you think?


Rules-wise Step up doesn't say you have to see them to be able to use it, but that does seem pretty silly.

Having said that, Perception is reactive, which means if the NPC moves the PC should probably get a perception check to see if he notices. Invisibility gives a +20 to stealth when moving, so it's not a given, but it's something.

I don't know the exact circumstances, but INVISIBILITY does say the Perception DC to notice them is -20 when in combat. If the invisible NPC isn't attacking that seems a bit silly too, but it might be worth giving some bonus to the perception check since the PC is standing right there threatening the NPC.

And lastly, if the NPC is casting a spell with verbal components the PC should be able to locate them again (assuming the spell doesn't end the invisibility effect & reveal them anyway).

What I would have done:
- NPC tries to move away without being noticed - STEALTH CHECK (+20 due to being invisible)
- PC may or may not notice the movement - PERCEPTION CHECK (I'd probably give a bonus if they're in combat)

- If the NPC wins, the PC is none the wiser.
- If the PC wins he can follow the NPC.

- Variant, if the PC misses the DC by 5 or less he knows the NPC is moving, but can't pinpoint where to. You could let him use Step-Up here if you want, but I probably wouldn't have the NPC provoke AoO's that round since the PC doesn't know where they are.

Usually the best way to handle a situation where you're not quite sure of the rules (or not quite in agreement) is to make a snap decision and note down what happened. At the end of the session talk about it (maybe look it up?) and decide which way the group thinks is a fair way to rule things. Then once everyone's agreed you note that down somewhere so if it ever happens again you have a rule you've all agreed on.

Silver Crusade

You can do a game of bids.

You write where the invisible will move.

The reactive say where he step up, trying to adivinate to follow the invisible.

If the step up would be adyacent to the invisible then both move. If not only invisible move.

Step up feat reading and not stealth/Perception check (nice option also. Im just consider another chance with creativity)


^Alternatively, the character using Step Up who guesses wrong ends up in the wrong square (and in some cases might even get AoO'd, like if they thought they need to Step Up to the left and the invisible character actually didn't move and has Step Up and Strike or something similar).


@ Mr Charisma:
I am all for giving a perception check to notice there is someone invisible there and even to pin point the square he is (which my PC did in his turn).

I have no problem with the reactive perception check for the PC to detect movement to another square with all the combat penalties etc. Seems fair to say the PC notice movement.

My question really becomes does the PC gain another free perception check to pin point (normally pin pointing happens in PC's turn) where he's moving to. If so, then I guess the PC could Step Up towards the NPC.

Your variant includes the pinpointing which is interesting and worth considering.

Which brings me to

@ Mondragon and @ UnArcaneElection:

I could see that the PC detects movement and can use step up without knowing if he Steps Up in the right direction. But after the step up would the PC need to do another perception to "Pin Point" and is that free/reactive or in the PCs turn?

Your suggestions gives a little credit to the feat and the invisibility spell.


Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:
My question really becomes does the PC gain another free perception check to pin point (normally pin pointing happens in PC's turn) where he's moving to. If so, then I guess the PC could Step Up towards the NPC.

That seems like a fair way to do it. I don't think there's a problem with perceiving things outside of your own turn; it's just that normally your own turn is the only time you'd need to.


Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:

@ Mr Charisma:

I am all for giving a perception check to notice there is someone invisible there and even to pin point the square he is (which my PC did in his turn).
I have no problem with the reactive perception check for the PC to detect movement to another square with all the combat penalties etc. Seems fair to say the PC notice movement.
My question really becomes does the PC gain another free perception check to pin point (normally pin pointing happens in PC's turn) where he's moving to. If so, then I guess the PC could Step Up towards the NPC.
Your variant includes the pinpointing which is interesting and worth considering.

Perception is different to other skills (except Sense Motive I gues) in that it's almost entirely reactive:

PERCEPTION wrote:

Action

Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

So yes there is a precedence for having to make that check on your turn (and I think it even specifically applies to pin-pointing invisible creatures?) but generally perception isn't something you actively do, it's something that just happens. Think of it like making a save - something happens and your character reacts. It doesn't have to be on your turn - in fact it often wouldn't make sense if it was.

Having said that, Perception (again like Sense Motive) is a skill that can have negative results if you roll badly enough. If you do decide to go this way, remind you players that a poor perception roll could potentially give them false information. This is the kind of roll you (the GM) could make in secret, and if it's terrible (a natural 1, or DC-20 or something) you give the player false information. Your players may decide that streamlining game-play and ignoring all these perception checks would be easier for everyone. It's really up to you to decide what's best for your group.

I recently joined a group of new players, and even the GM is new enough to not understand the rules. He's making it a standard action to make a Knowledge roll to identify any monsters we're fighting. I haven't even told them this is wrong since the games is running smoothly and everyone's having fun. The most important thing is to keep the pace. If perception checks would slow the game down, just ignore them.

(sorry I'm a bit ramble-y at the moment)


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Suggestion: Don't make magic just trump non-magic. It widens the already-present gap between spellcasters and non-spellcasters and trivializes a lot of otherwise neat abilities.

In this particular case I'd suggest that, at the very most, the invisible character can make a stealth check to move away without being noticed... and then, if they succeed at said stealth vs perception they only have a minor advantage if they do something loud. (For example, if they start casting a spell with a verbal component, the martial character can step up and make an AoO with a -2 penalty for poor timing, or whatever)


Mondragon wrote:

You can do a game of bids.

You write where the invisible will move.

The reactive say where he step up, trying to adivinate to follow the invisible.

If the step up would be adyacent to the invisible then both move. If not only invisible move.

Step up feat reading and not stealth/Perception check (nice option also. Im just consider another chance with creativity)

While on the surface this seems like a good idea, the PC would always choose the square that the NPC was in, that way the new square would always be adjacent to the square where the NPC ended up.


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The casters moves: this can be a 5' step or a regular move action. Neither will provoke.

The PC gets an opposed perception check. If he makes it, he knows the caster moved and where to. This allows usage of the Step Up feat.

The Caster casts: casting always results in a noticeable effect. Everyone now knows the caster's location. Casting does not provoke, even if adjacent to the caster.

Alternatively: the caster can cast, without provoking, and then move.


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Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:


• 1x NPC Enemy invisible wanting to take a 5-foot step away from the fully visible PC character to cast as spell.

Entirely unnecessary. Invisible characters do no generate AoO's when casting a spell unless the other character can see invisible (having pin pointed their square is not enough to allow an AoO).

Otherwise use the rules on stealth/perception to continue to pinpoint the casters location - allowing step up if the caster 5' steps and the new location is pinpointed. The perception check can certainly be passive in this case, the PC doesn't need to use some kind of action to trigger it.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:


The Caster casts: casting always results in a noticeable effect. Everyone now knows the caster's location.

This is highly debatable. Search the forums and there are half a dozen or more threads on interaction between spell manifestations and invisibility - none of which can come to a conclusive result for one side or the other based on RAW text to define it.


MrCharisma wrote:
Having said that, Perception (again like Sense Motive) is a skill that can have negative results if you roll badly enough. This is the kind of roll you (the GM) could make in secret, and if it's terrible (a natural 1, or DC-20 or something) you give the player false information.

false. perception never give false information, never it is stated in the skill that it give false information if you failed badly, and sense motive only give false information to discern secret message if you fail the DC by 5 or more (DC is the opposed bluff check of the other creature).

doing what you said with perception is a house rule and not eligible for this forum


bbangerter wrote:
Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:


• 1x NPC Enemy invisible wanting to take a 5-foot step away from the fully visible PC character to cast as spell.

Entirely unnecessary. Invisible characters do no generate AoO's when casting a spell unless the other character can see invisible (having pin pointed their square is not enough to allow an AoO).

Otherwise use the rules on stealth/perception to continue to pinpoint the casters location - allowing step up if the caster 5' steps and the new location is pinpointed. The perception check can certainly be passive in this case, the PC doesn't need to use some kind of action to trigger it.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:


The Caster casts: casting always results in a noticeable effect. Everyone now knows the caster's location.
This is highly debatable. Search the forums and there are half a dozen or more threads on interaction between spell manifestations and invisibility - none of which can come to a conclusive result for one side or the other based on RAW text to define it.
FAQ wrote:
Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball.


Quote:


Isn't it that the PC realizes the NPC has moved until it’s his turn again in which he can try to “perceive pin point” the NPC again. I feel that “Pin Pointing” is not sight (tremor sense, heat vision, etc) and that Step Up can only work if you can see the creature.

Incorrect. If you have ever played blind mans bluff, you'll understand that perception is not just sight. His ability to follow with Step up could just as easily be hearing or even smell.

If your invisible caster moves, that modifies his invisibility bonus to stealth from +40 (stationary) to +20 (moving). Because the stealth vs. perception check values have been modified (this qualifies as "observable stimulus", he gets an automatic (and not on his turn) perception check against the caster's reduced stealth check.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:


• 1x NPC Enemy invisible wanting to take a 5-foot step away from the fully visible PC character to cast as spell.

Entirely unnecessary. Invisible characters do no generate AoO's when casting a spell unless the other character can see invisible (having pin pointed their square is not enough to allow an AoO).

Otherwise use the rules on stealth/perception to continue to pinpoint the casters location - allowing step up if the caster 5' steps and the new location is pinpointed. The perception check can certainly be passive in this case, the PC doesn't need to use some kind of action to trigger it.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:


The Caster casts: casting always results in a noticeable effect. Everyone now knows the caster's location.
This is highly debatable. Search the forums and there are half a dozen or more threads on interaction between spell manifestations and invisibility - none of which can come to a conclusive result for one side or the other based on RAW text to define it.
FAQ wrote:
Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball.

And?

What if the spell manifestation is flashing lights and colors swirling around the caster? Are those visible despite invisibility? Probably.

But what if the spell manifestation is it turns the casters gear/clothes invisible and their skin color changes to plaid? Are those visible despite invisibility? Probably not.

The forum threads on the topic are well aware of the FAQ, which is what spawned most of those threads and the discussions in them.

So, can you point to any FAQ, rules text, or even developer commentary that even so much as suggests that either of those two (or unlimited numbers of variations on those themes) aren't valid "spell manifestations"?

The very FAQ you are referencing even states:

FAQ wrote:


You can see some examples to give you ideas of how to describe a spell’s manifestation in various pieces of art from Pathfinder products, but ultimately, the choice is up to your group, or perhaps even to the aesthetics of an individual spellcaster, to decide the exact details.

Cause I'd love to see that particular discussion point put to bed with RAW for either side.


The FAQ is good enough for me. The text you bolded is with regard to the specifics of the spell's manifestation--not its observability, which, as the rest of the FAQ states, is assumed by the system.


blahpers wrote:
The FAQ is good enough for me. The text you bolded is with regard to the specifics of the spell's manifestation--not its observability, which, as the rest of the FAQ states, is assumed by the system.

Right... so the rest of the FAQ talks about:

- All spells (and SLA's) have manifestations regardless of spell casting form. (nothing to do with observability here)
- Even those without magical training will recognize them as magic of some kind. (even those without magical training observing them will recognize them as spellcasting, but nothing about what allows/prevents observability)

And the part that talks about what form the manifestations actually are is the line I specifically quoted. So still not seeing anything that invalidates my two examples of possible manifestations or how those would interact with invisibility.

The FAQ being good enough for you is fine. That doesn't change the fact that this is still a highly debatable subject that "casting always results in a noticeable effect [that allows you to automatically pin point even an invisible caster]".


Read the FAQ in its totality, and then think about what invisibility actually does in the game. You're invisible. Your stuff is invisible. Your torch is invisible, but its light is not, because it isn't part of you or your stuff. Where do you think spell manifestations would fall given the text of that FAQ and the rational thought required to process it?


I've already answered this question:

Me wrote:


What if the spell manifestation is flashing lights and colors swirling around the caster? Are those visible despite invisibility? Probably.

But what if the spell manifestation is it turns the casters gear/clothes invisible and their skin color changes to plaid? Are those visible despite invisibility? Probably not.

What part of the spell manifestations FAQ indicates that spell manifestations have the [light] descriptor on them? Does it say spell manifestations shed light as a torch? As a candle? etc? And more importantly, given the lack of those, are there other possibilities for what constitutes a spell manifestation?

So can I reverse the question back to you? To think about it rationally and determine if your opinion on the matter is the only logical/rational way to interpret these rules? I can see both sides of this topic - but it all comes down to how you define spell manifestations. If you can show me RAW, or even developer commentary that says spell manifestations are "flashy light shows", then I'll happily agree with you.

So yes, I have read the FAQ in totality.

Scarab Sages

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Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:

Dear Piazo,

We have reached an in pass and need a little help with rule interpretation.

Situation:
• 1 x PC Character fully visible with Step Up feat having made perception check to pin point an invisible enemy in the 5-foot square next to him.
• 1x NPC Enemy invisible wanting to take a 5-foot step away from the fully visible PC character to cast as spell.

What a strange situation. Confirming the above:

So the PC has been able to locate the invisible NPC with perception, despite the +20 stealth bonus from Invisibility that the moving NPC has?

Yes, I think Step up should be allowed. That feat has very high limitations anyway, and if the NPC is bad enough at stealth where being invisibile isn't helping, then the PC should be able to use Step Up.

If the GM is looking to counter this, first, understand that the PC isn't given any alterations to the 5' step requirements, so if difficult terrain is involved, Step up doesn't function because 5' steps don't go through difficult terrain. An Invisible Druid, for example, would be able to use Woodland Stride to make 5' steps that couldn't be followed via Step Up. This, in turn, can be countered by Nimble Moves, which allows 5' steps through difficult terrain.

Could also teleport out of reach, and then go invisible. Though that can be countered with Teleport Tactician.

It's back and forth, but ultimately, you should allow PCs that waste lots of feats one particular situation, to be able to shine when that situation actually arises.

I will note that Step Up doesn't work well with reach weapons, since you need to end adjacent to your target.


bbangerter wrote:


And?

What if the spell manifestation is flashing lights and colors swirling around the caster? Are those visible despite invisibility? Probably.

But what if the spell manifestation is it turns the casters gear/clothes invisible and their skin color changes to plaid? Are those visible despite invisibility? Probably not.

The forum threads on the topic are well aware of the FAQ, which is what spawned most of those threads and the discussions in them.

So, can you point to any FAQ, rules text, or even developer commentary that even so much as suggests that either of those two (or unlimited numbers of variations on those themes) aren't valid "spell manifestations"?

The very FAQ you are referencing even states:

Fluff does not override mechanics. I quoted the section of the FAQ dealing with the mechanics.

Characters are given the leeway to describe their individual spell manifestations (fluff) as they see fit, but the mechanics dictate that this manifestation must always exist and be obviously magical in nature.

The only caveat in the FAQ is

FAQ wrote:
Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed, but they will always provide an onlooker some sort of chance to detect the ruse.

Basically, if you want to hide your spellcasting, take the published feats. Even then, everyone else still has a chance to perceive the spell being cast.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Basically, if you want to hide your spellcasting, take the published feats. Even then, everyone else still has a chance to perceive the spell being cast.

Just because there are feats for concealing weapons doesn't mean you can't also conceal weapons by turning invisible.

My guess would be that RAI is that the 'manifestations' emit some kind of light or whatever, but there's no text for that.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Basically, if you want to hide your spellcasting, take the published feats. Even then, everyone else still has a chance to perceive the spell being cast.

Just because there are feats for concealing weapons doesn't mean you can't also conceal weapons by turning invisible.

My guess would be that RAI is that the 'manifestations' emit some kind of light or whatever, but there's no text for that.

Personal equipment is considered part of the character.

1. Spells in process of being cast are not equipment and are not carried. Once the spell is completed invisibility will conceal it if:

  • Non-Instantaneous
  • The target is invisible
  • Does not generate a light source or other explicitly perceivable manifestation, e.g. strong odor.

2. There is a difference in game terminology between concealment and a concealed weapon. Concealed weapons do not have an associated miss chance or operate under any other rules associated with concealment.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:


The very FAQ you are referencing even states:

Fluff does not override mechanics. I quoted the section of the FAQ dealing with the mechanics.

I agree, fluff does not override mechanics. But we lack mechanics on the interaction between spell manifestations and invisibility.

1) If I'm behind a wall, can you detect my magical spell manifestations? (I'm hoping you'll agree with me, that no, you cannot).
2) If its dark, and you don't have darkvision, and I cast a spell, does that let you see me during the spell casting? Which mechanic takes precedence, that you can't see in the dark, or that spell manifestations are visible? Given a lack of mechanic that says spell manifestations give off light I actually lean towards the darkness mechanic being the trumping mechanic here.
3) Which then brings us to invisibility. Which mechanic trumps the other? The spell manifestations or the invisibility effect. I provided fluff examples of both sides of this coin that could explain a precedence for choosing one over the other - but, as I keep stating, we don't have any rules to tell us what this interaction between these mechanics are. So at present, it is still simply your opinion that spell manifestations take precedence here - which is fine. I don't have an objection to your opinion on this. My objection is your claim it is RAW, because as currently written, that is indeterminable.

As to the specific feats, those are mechanically the equivalent of a stage magician misdirecting the audiences attention away from what his other hand is doing to perform his magic trick. This suggests (though its not explicitly defined) that spell manifestations are probably not a big flashy light show, but something a bit more subtle - otherwise the observing creature would catch on extremely easily. So I don't see it as a valid comparison to the rules interactions we are discussing here. It is simply a different set of rules.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If I were playing the PC with step up and did notice the movement from the invisible creature, I would use step up to move to the square that the npc vacated. That way, I would still have a chance at hitting the target. There's still the possibility of not knowing which square the npc went to and there's still the miss chance granted be being invisible.


bbangerter wrote:
As to the specific feats, those are mechanically the equivalent of a stage magician misdirecting the audiences attention away from what his other hand is doing to perform his magic trick. This suggests (though its not explicitly defined) that spell manifestations are probably not a big flashy light show, but something a bit more subtle - otherwise the observing creature would catch on extremely easily. So I don't see it as a valid comparison to the rules interactions we are discussing here. It is simply a different set of rules.

If you plan on dismissing the rules referred to in the spell manifestation FAQ, then there are no rules available that allow spell manifestations to be concealed.

The initial condition is established in the FAQ (all spells have identifiable manifestations) and nothing has been shown to modify that initial condition.

If you have anything in RAW that explicitly modifies the established condition that all spells have manifestations that are easily identifiable as magic, please provide.

Scarab Sages

bbangerter wrote:

1) If I'm behind a wall, can you detect my magical spell manifestations? (I'm hoping you'll agree with me, that no, you cannot).

It would depend on circumstances. A verbal spell could be heard through a thin wooden wall. Detect magic can also pierce walls, depending on material and thickness. And certain class abilities allow normal sight through certain barriers.

Under normal circumstances, a perception check would be issued, with substantial penalty for the wall. With amazing perception, I'd allow the spellcraft to ID the spell.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

1) If I'm behind a wall, can you detect my magical spell manifestations? (I'm hoping you'll agree with me, that no, you cannot).

It would depend on circumstances. A verbal spell could be heard through a thin wooden wall. Detect magic can also pierce walls, depending on material and thickness. And certain class abilities allow normal sight through certain barriers.

Under normal circumstances, a perception check would be issued, with substantial penalty for the wall. With amazing perception, I'd allow the spellcraft to ID the spell.

you can't identify a spell that you hear you must see it

Spellcraft wrote:
Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but 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.

sadly just hearing the spell being cast is not enough, in a way its normal because each spellcaster has their own magical writing and talking


Volkard Abendroth wrote:

If you plan on dismissing the rules referred to in the spell manifestation FAQ, then there are no rules available that allow spell manifestations to be concealed.

I'm not dismissing it. I'm pointing out that the feats for spell misdirection is a separate set of rules interactions. And there are other factors to take into consideration. The base rule is, as you stated, spell manifestations are obviously magical, yada yada.

This clearly isn't a supercede everything rule though. You...
1) Can't identify a spell being cast behind a wall.
2) Can't identify a spell being cast in an area of darkness (as you can't see the spell being cast, *more on that in a moment).

So it is a base rule that can be superseded by other things. Is invisibility one of those? The rules don't give us a clear direction on that.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:


If you have anything in RAW that explicitly modifies the established condition that all spells have manifestations that are easily identifiable as magic, please provide.

That's the problem. Neither side has explicit rules to solidify their claim. At best we can infer what we think it should be.

PRD, Spellcraft wrote:


Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but 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.

* as a character without darkvision cannot see in the dark, they cannot see a spell being cast in the dark unless/until we are told spell manifestations create visible light. A pretty clear example that other rules can override the base rule for seeing spell manifestations.

Given that spellcraft is the reason for the FAQ question and answer - eg., spell manifestations are how you identify a spell with spellcraft, then it is relevant to understand the rules on spellcraft.

So what results in penalties to (or outright preventing) spellcraft checks?
Distance.
Poor conditions - defined further in the perception skill as

PRD, Perception wrote:

Favorable and unfavorable conditions depend upon the sense being used to make the check. For example, bright light might decrease the DC of checks involving sight, while torchlight or moonlight might increase the DC. Background noise might increase a DC involving hearing, while competing odors might increase the DC of a check involving scent.

Other factors.

Invisibility is not distance.
Invisibility could result in a GM ruling poor conditions for observing a spell being cast.
Invisibility probably falls under other factors though. What that actually means for spellcraft though we aren't told. We certainly know it counts as an other factor for seeing the spellcaster themselves. So it isn't exactly a stretch to suggest it has some effect on the perception of things the caster is doing. I'd posit its the opposite, that it is a big stretch to say invisibility does not effect perception of other things related to the casters activities.

@Murdock Mudeater, I agree with most of what you've stated there. But you would not be able to spellcraft such a spell as you cannot clearly see something on the other side of the wall (at least not without scrying or something else to allow you full vision of the other side of the wall). As a house rule I sometimes allow stilled/silent spells to be harder to spellcraft, and that lack of los also is just a penalty to id'ing a spell, so I can certainly appreciate allowing a high perception to id a spell being cast behind a wall. Per RAW though its simply not allowed.


All spells have manifestations easily identifiable as magic. That doesn't necessarily mean that the manifestations automatically reveal the location of the caster in any way


It would be odd if manifestation weren't very close to the caster. "My spell manifestations are visible, but they always appear a mile above my head." So when the spell manifestations are visible, they ought to reveal the location of the caster.


bbangerter wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:


The very FAQ you are referencing even states:

Fluff does not override mechanics. I quoted the section of the FAQ dealing with the mechanics.

I agree, fluff does not override mechanics. But we lack mechanics on the interaction between spell manifestations and invisibility.

1) If I'm behind a wall, can you detect my magical spell manifestations? (I'm hoping you'll agree with me, that no, you cannot).

No; line of effect will block visual manifestations and identification of material an somantic components. Non-visual manifestations such as sound or odor may be identifiable with a circumstance modifier. Verbal components/manifestations would almost certainly permit a spellcraft check if perceived by someone on the other side of the wall.

Quote:
2) If its dark, and you don't have darkvision, and I cast a spell, does that let you see me during the spell casting? Which mechanic takes precedence, that you can't see in the dark, or that spell manifestations are visible? Given a lack of mechanic that says spell manifestations give off light I actually lean towards the darkness mechanic being the trumping mechanic here.

Not unless the manifestation emits light. This comes with a caveat: unlike Invisibility, darkness obscures everything within its area instead of a specific target.

It also comes with the caveat that spell manifestations are not defined as visual only, only that they are obviously magical to even the untrained.

Quote:
3) Which then brings us to invisibility. Which mechanic trumps the other? The spell manifestations or the invisibility effect. I provided fluff examples of both sides of this coin that could explain a precedence for choosing one over the other - but, as I keep stating, we don't have any rules to tell us what this interaction between these mechanics are. So at present, it is still simply your opinion that spell manifestations take precedence here - which is fine. I don't have an objection to your opinion on this. My objection is your claim it is RAW, because as currently written, that is indeterminable.

A noted on #2, unlike light conditions, Invisibility is target specific. I may conceal the caster, but it will not conceal the secondary effects of any of the caster's actions. This can involve something mundane, such as opening a door or spreading chalk dust on the floor (both of which would be obscured by darkness or a wall, or more arcane activities such as spellcasting.

What we have is a FAQ stating
1. Spell casting always has an identifiable manifestation
2. There are feats available that allow a caster the chance to conceal spells as they are being cast.

Quote:
As to the specific feats, those are mechanically the equivalent of a stage magician misdirecting the audiences attention away from what his other hand is doing to perform his magic trick. This suggests (though its not explicitly defined) that spell manifestations are probably not a big flashy light show, but something a bit more subtle - otherwise the observing creature would catch on extremely easily. So I don't see it as a valid comparison to the rules interactions we are discussing here. It is simply a different set of rules.

Perhaps, but like them or not they are the mechanisms we are directed to use in order to conceal spellcasting.


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We're not even to page 2 and you guys are completely beyond the scope of the original question.


Ok, back to the original question. The PC has already spotted the Invis guy. The Invis guy has decided to take a 5" step back.

Since Step up is a immediate action, then yes, he gets to follow. The PC does not have to make another perception check.

All this argle-bargle about "manifestations" is fine- for a different thread.


bbangerter wrote:

Entirely unnecessary. Invisible characters do no generate AoO's when casting a spell unless the other character can see invisible (having pin pointed their square is not enough to allow an AoO).

Beside the point, entirely. The invisible caster has no idea of whether or not the PC can See Invisible, since clearly the PC knows he's there. So, to be safe, he wants to back up. Make sense.


blahpers wrote:
Read the FAQ in its totality, and then think about what invisibility actually does in the game. You're invisible. Your stuff is invisible. Your torch is invisible, but its light is not, because it isn't part of you or your stuff. Where do you think spell manifestations would fall given the text of that FAQ and the rational thought required to process it?

Is your fireball invisible? How about a Ray spell that comes from your finger? Cant then the source be figured out?


DrDeth wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Read the FAQ in its totality, and then think about what invisibility actually does in the game. You're invisible. Your stuff is invisible. Your torch is invisible, but its light is not, because it isn't part of you or your stuff. Where do you think spell manifestations would fall given the text of that FAQ and the rational thought required to process it?
Is your fireball invisible? How about a Ray spell that comes from your finger? Cant then the source be figured out?

Hey, you're preaching to the choir porcine here.


DrDeth wrote:


Beside the point, entirely. The invisible caster has no idea of whether or not the PC can See Invisible, since clearly the PC knows he's there. So, to be safe, he wants to back up. Make sense.

Fair enough.

Irontruth wrote:
We're not even to page 2 and you guys are completely beyond the scope of the original question.

Several people have already answered the original question. So now I'm just correcting misinformation... which seems to flow in in bunches, as seen with this next quote.

DrDeth wrote:


Is your fireball invisible? How about a Ray spell that comes from your finger? Cant then the source be figured out?

That depends. Did you hit them with your ray spell from 5' away, or were you 10' or more?

SRD, Invisibility Special Ability wrote:


If an invisible creature strikes a character, the character struck knows the location of the creature that struck him (until, of course, the invisible creature moves). The only exception is if the invisible creature has a reach greater than 5 feet. In this case, the struck character knows the general location of the creature but has not pinpointed the exact location.
Volkard Abendroth wrote:


Perhaps, but like them or not they are the mechanisms we are directed to use in order to conceal spellcasting.

Darkness effects are not one of the feats listed, yet you seem to agree that darkness would prevent seeing spell manifestations.

You can't have it both ways. Either you agree that there are other things that will prevent seeing the spell manifestations (specific rules that override what the FAQ states), or there are not.

If there are some that prevent seeing spell manifestations (which you seem to agree there are based on darkness), they have not been explicitly enumerated. So declaring invisibility as something that doesn't is a completely arbitrary decision on your part to do so. As I noted earlier, your trying to take a general rule and make it trump specific rules. That's not how the general vs specific rules paradigm works though. Specific rules trump general rules, not the other way around.


bbangerter wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Is your fireball invisible? How about a Ray spell that comes from your finger? Cant then the source be figured out?

That depends. Did you hit them with your ray spell from 5' away, or were you 10' or more?

SRD, Invisibility Special Ability wrote:

If an invisible creature strikes a character, the character struck knows the location of the creature that struck him (until, of course, the invisible creature moves). The only exception is if the invisible creature has a reach greater than 5 feet. In this case, the struck character knows the general location of the creature but has not pinpointed the exact location.

That's for situations where the attack itself is invisible. If an invisible man pokes you with an invisible longspear, it's going to be hard to pinpoint the man's body. But if the invisible man shoots lightning out his fingers, and the lightning isn't invisible (and I don't see why it would be) then the origin of the lightning would be the location of the caster.


bbangerter wrote:
Darkness effects are not one of the feats listed, yet you seem to agree that darkness would prevent seeing spell manifestations.

Darkness is an environmental condition that applies to everything within.

Invisibility is specific to an individual.


Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:

Situation:

• 1 x PC Character fully visible with Step Up feat having made perception check to pin point an invisible enemy in the 5-foot square next to him.
• 1x NPC Enemy invisible wanting to take a 5-foot step away from the fully visible PC character to cast as spell.

After the PC turn in which he used a minor action (page 186) to make a perception check to perceive pinpoint the NPC and then attacked.

Using a skill is referenced on p189, not 186, and points to chapter 4 for specifics.

Perception is p102.
DC is either based on the opposed stealth check, or DC 10 to hear someone walking. Presumably this is during combat, so there is a +5 DC for distraction. Being invisible adds a +20 DC as well.

There is no such thing as a "minor action". The skill is either a move action to use or a free action reaction to stimulus.

Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:
The NPC in his turn tries to take a 5-foot step back to cast. The PC wants to use his “Step Up” feat claiming he “pin pointed” with perception so he can follow him.

Even if you pinpointed your enemy, you need to make a new perception check to note the place moved to. If you make it, you can activate Step-Up. If you don't, you cannot.

Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:
Perception Pin Pointing means you are aware through your senses which square a create is standing and swing hoping to hit the invisible creature in that square (still 50% miss chance from total concealment). Attacks of Opportunity can be made if the creature sticks around and provokes, or moves beyond 5 foot and then attacks.

Invisible means no AoO.

Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:
On that note the PHB2 vs creatures you can’t see; says you could make an OA (at -5 for total concealment) against an invisible creature that hasn't made a stealth check. So this means you can react to invisible creatures say casting next to you.

PHB2 is not PF.

Gerard Van Ginderen wrote:

Isn't it that the PC realizes the NPC has moved until it’s his turn again in which he can try to “perceive pin point” the NPC again. I feel that “Pin Pointing” is not sight (tremor sense, heat vision, etc) and that Step Up can only work if you can see the creature.

I found that the NPC does not provoke an attack of opportunity as he only takes a 5-foot step, and is invisible so can’t he followed with the step up feat. A new perception check in the PCs turn will be needed to re-pin point the creature.

What do you think?

He can be followed by Step-Up if you make your reactive check.

You cannot Step-Up after the 5' step and he is casting. The feat only triggers on the 5' step, not on the casting.

/cevah

Scarab Sages

John Murdock wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

1) If I'm behind a wall, can you detect my magical spell manifestations? (I'm hoping you'll agree with me, that no, you cannot).

It would depend on circumstances. A verbal spell could be heard through a thin wooden wall. Detect magic can also pierce walls, depending on material and thickness. And certain class abilities allow normal sight through certain barriers.

Under normal circumstances, a perception check would be issued, with substantial penalty for the wall. With amazing perception, I'd allow the spellcraft to ID the spell.

you can't identify a spell that you hear you must see it

Spellcraft wrote:
Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but 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.
sadly just hearing the spell being cast is not enough, in a way its normal because each spellcaster has their own magical writing and talking

Yeah, the book says this, but the book also overly reliant on sight and has all sorts of weird rules interations. I'd allow the perception check. Just like I'd allow spellcraft through unusual situations which kinda function in the same way.

For example, I create the illusion of a Wall (Silent Image). We are adjacent, but the wall is in between us. You fail your save and believe the wall. Do further spells cast allow spellcraft, since their is a "wall" between us?


Under perception it says

Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

Can an invisible thief feint you? I would say not visually, there is no visible stimulus.

Likewise, way back in this thread http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pt9j&page=2?Stealth-Errata#64

Jason suggested (ruled?) that you don't have the player rolling a hundred times in the turn, just at the point most advantageous to the player.

Sort of goes along with the idea of what is a "reasonable" threshold to be an observable stimuli.

Additionally, notice that there is a DC to notice a plainly visible character. One certainly wouldn't necessarily know the exact range to a bystander in the middle of combat, for example. Nor would one necessarily notice when they moved 5ft.

I would argue under Jason's ruling that noticing the wizard adjacent was at the moment most favorable to the player; and that moving away would not entitle the player to further reactive checks.

IF a GM wanted to give additional further reactive checks (and really how many??) I would say that noticing a 5 ft step is probably more difficult than noticing a character. Probably a -2 to the check at least.

Also: (Rules)

A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check.

Quote:
It's practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature's location with a Perception check.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for manifestations..
The manifestation of a fireball was a tiny pellet that ran from your finger till exploding.

Conjured creatures however manifest within the range of the spell. Which was one of those corner cases where even with reach meta magic you couldn't exceed the range of the spell on your manifestation.

In otherwords, manifestations do not necessarily reveal the caster.
But this is pretty much a given, with how casting from invisibility is worked. Casting conjurations doesn't reveal you (or partially reveal you, or ....) casting an attack ends invis.

The reason is specifically to answer this kind of question.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

As for manifestations..

The manifestation of a fireball was a tiny pellet that ran from your finger till exploding.

That's the manifestation of the spell after it's been cast. The manifestation of casting the fireball spell is a bunch of glowing stuff appearing around your hands, like on the front of the Core Rulebook; this stuff appears even if the spell is interrupted by a failed concentration check, unlike the pellet.

Similarly, if you're invisible and you're summoning creatures, your invisibility doesn't end, but people can still hear the verbal components of you casting and can still make out your location from the spell manifestations that appears around you. So you'd better be ready to move as soon as the casting is over.


Uh, there is absolutely nothing in the game that specifies you can locate a caster from "manifestations".

And to the contrary - there are very specific words that say you cannot.
Aka - the the difficulting pinpointing based off a perception check.
Aka - the fact that you can remain in the same location after sniping.
"

It is something like DC 40 to pinpoint someone invisible, not trying to be stealthy. Trying pinpoint someone auditorily is nigh impossible - and would completeley obviate the need for feats abilities such as blindsense, tremor sense, scent, echo location.

Really, what is the value of things like nondection, change self, disguise self, dominate person, magic jar, possession etc., if using magic made it plain the victim was under magic effect?


But the PC in question has already pinpointed the caster.

The whole thing about manifestations is a hijack, and not relevant here. It does not matter whether or not the Caster will trigger a AOO. The caster knows he has been spotted, and wants to do a 5 foot step just in case the PC can see him. (The caster has no idea whether or not the PC has See invis, or Blindsight, etc).

So, since the PC HAS spotted the caster, and a 5' step is a Immediate action, yes he can follow without another perception check.

THEN, if the caster does an attack, it ends invisibility.


You're free to rule as you wish, but Jason Buhleman disagreed with you.

The OP made several mistatements which made it seem likely that the caster wasn't actually pinpointed. But even if he were pinpointing at one point in time doesn't pinpoint him at every other time, or in fact at any other time.

I agree with you by the way that whether the caster will trigger Aoo's is immaterial. The caster does not necessarily know he's been spotted either.

Again, restating JB - allow *A* reactive check at the point most favorable for the player.

And even if you were inclined to allow multiple reactive perceptions, (as I am not) certainly noticing a "five foot step" would be more difficult than simply pinpointing a character's location.

Just like pick pocketing an invisible character would be significantly more difficult than simply spotting him.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
Uh, there is absolutely nothing in the game that specifies you can locate a caster from "manifestations".

It says the manifestations are visible. And they're not on the list of things concealed by invisibility. I'd assume they appear in your square.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Trying pinpoint someone auditorily is nigh impossible - and would completeley obviate the need for feats abilities such as blindsense, tremor sense, scent, echo location.

Even if it was easy to pinpoint a character while they were talking, it would still be useful to have abilities that allow you to find someone who is being quiet.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Really, what is the value of things like nondection, change self, disguise self, dominate person, magic jar, possession etc., if using magic made it plain the victim was under magic effect?

The manifestations appear on the caster while casting the spell, not on the victim.


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Remember, all of this is about whether or not the character with Step Up can make an Attack of Opportunity.

In Pathfinder, if the target has total concealment, you CANNOT make an AoO, even if you know what square they are in.

The caster doesn't need to 5' step away to cast freely, because as long as they have total concealment (50% miss chance), they do not provoke AoO. Visible spell manifestations do not remove that miss chance.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
Uh, there is absolutely nothing in the game that specifies you can locate a caster from "manifestations".

Since the manifestations are clearly perceivable, why would you not be aware of their location?

Irontruth wrote:
The caster doesn't need to 5' step away to cast freely, because as long as they have total concealment (50% miss chance), they do not provoke AoO. Visible spell manifestations do not remove that miss chance.

Nobody is claiming they do.

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