spell chips and remote computers

Rules Questions

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

ok so a computer can be set up to control another computer, if a technomancer is using a computer to control a computer with spell chips installed that they can use, 1) can they use those spellchips even though they are not in possesion of the computer with them and, 2) where does the spell count as being cast from?

Glad to see someone else asked this! I'm wondering the same thing since you can miniaturize computers to negligible size I want to know if I can give it as a pendent to my front line fighter and cast overheat through it.

From my understanding the specific spell chips rule of anyone who has access to the computer overrides the general rule of needing to hold a spell gem.

I can't find anything on where the spell originates from mechanically but lore wise it seems implied that it comes from the spell gem or chip. Especially considering the Spell Thrower weapon fusion which from my understanding allows non casters to utilize spell gems.

The rules as written do not provide adequate information to answer this question. So we're left with opinion and speculation.

The spell gem works like, say, a scroll. The caster is still casting, must know spell things, must hold the gem, and so on.

A spell chip works like a gem mostly.

But all these go out the window when the computer is remote. Does it work the same and the caster is still the source of the spell? This seems, to me, illogical.

Does the caster trigger the spell at the spell chip's location? This is more plausible to me, but seems ripe for exploitation. I'd be nervous about this. The caster must still be able to cast the spell but how could the chip validate/"know" this remotely? Not to mention what evil players might come up with.

The simplest answer is probably to say "You can't be remote; the computer must be in your immediate possession." The necessary magical connection cannot be made with a remote computer. This may be a bit of a cop-out but it seems better than the alternatives.

I'd love to see this fleshed out more.

Right now spell chips seem a bit fluff specific, the circumstance bonus is a nice touch. The 1% discount on recharge is a bit cars salesmen-esque.

I haven't played enough, especially at higher levels, to understand balance well.

Maybe an archtype or a feat that lets you remotely use spell chips at the expense of a spell slot of equal level maybe eventually 1 level lower with a minimum of level 1 spell lot.

More correlation between computer tier and spell chip level to keep costs up.

Some sort of DC

like I said the balancing is beyond me.

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Quote wrote:
But all these go out the window when the computer is remote. Does it work the same and the caster is still the source of the spell? This seems, to me, illogical.

How is that illogical, when one of the classes that casts is called a Technomancer, i.e., Mancy of the Tech.

It would be expensive, but you would be able to setup a network of computers, through which the Technomancer would be allowed to control.
This then looks like a server with nodes, with the Server being the Technomancers computer and the nodes being the other party member's computers.
Each node would need their own spell chips plugged in, as the Technomancer would just run the subroutine. Example in spoiler
CD F:\ "Melee Soldier
Run Command ouchpain.bat
Ouchpain.bat initialized "Cast Supercharge Weapon"
End of command
Terminate connection

*Important Note* This is how a GM would create a scenario where a party is sneaking into a facility which has a Technomancer head of security. There would be spell chips at each terminal and the Technomancer would just trigger them from there. This satisfies the requirements of needing a Spellcaster, and that Spellcaster having access to that spell chip. The rules seem purposely vague to allow for players and GMs to figure out themselves, which by the number of posts on this topic, they have.

ImortalGuardian wrote:
How is that illogical, when one of the classes that casts is called a Technomancer, i.e., Mancy of the Tech.

Just for the sake of playing devil's advocate here, not all technomancers mance their tech in exactly the same way, so what one may understand another may not.

Not to mention that allowing this does rather step on the toes of the sixth-level holographic image, whose shtick is letting you cast spells freely far from yourself.

That being said, I am also firmly in the "spellchip spells originate with the chip" camp. It makes sense that the physical object would be the source of the effect, and really if they didn't work that way you would end up with the inverse scenario.
Party breaks into a techno's lair and are promptly pummeled with the six heat leech chips the techno has nestled in other computers around their facility.

From the Rulebook -

spell gems Holding a spell gem in your hand unlocks little-used portions of your mind, granting you the ability to temporarily cast the spell encoded within the gem without using up your daily spell slots. You must hold the spell gem in your hand throughout the spell’s casting time and must spend at least a standard action using the spell gem, even if the spell’s casting time is shorter. Each spell stored within a spell gem can be cast only once, after which the magic encoded within the spell gem’s lattice is forever expended.

Only spellcasters are capable of using spell gems — if you aren’t a spellcaster, you’re unable to make use of the knowledge that the gem unlocks. You don’t need to know the spell within a spell gem to use it, but the spell must be on your class’s spell list (or have otherwise been added to your spell list) and you must have a high enough key ability score to cast it. If the spell gem’s item level is higher than your caster level, once you’ve spent the full casting time of the spell, you must succeed at a caster level check with a DC equal to the spell gem’s item level + 1 or you fail to cast the spell. If you fail to cast a spell from a spell gem, the spell remains within the gem and you can attempt to use it again.

spell chips It is possible to create spell gems in the form of chips that can be slotted into a computer system. A user capable of utilizing an equivalent spell gem with access to the computer in which such spell chips are installed can cast the related spells whenever controlling the computer and gains a +2 circumstance bonus to any skill check involving these spells.

Complex Control Module When controlling a basic device that essentially has an on/off switch, the computer simply gains access to that switch and can activate or deactivate the connected device as instructed. When in charge of a device that can already operate autonomously (such as a robot or another computer), the controlling computer can give orders to that device. When operating a device that requires a skill check or attack roll (such as a computer hooked to a med-bed or weapon), the controlling computer can either allow a creature with authorized access to attempt a skill check or attack roll, or attempt the skill check or attack roll itself. When making its own check, the computer is assumed to have an attack bonus equal to its tier, proficiency with any weapon it controls, and a total skill bonus equal to 2-1/2 × its tier. Such controlled objects are normally mounted to a specific location (such as a controlled longarm placed in a turret with line of sight to the computer’s terminal), in which case the mount and related components are included in the control unit price.

Honestly, I say it be up to the GM to allow this at their table. But if the PCs plan to use this, the GM are fair to use this tactic back at the players. And if the GM plans to use this tactic in their games, then players should also be allowed to utilize this option.

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