Source Severance


Rules Questions


Source Severance

School abjuration; Level cleric 6, druid 6, witch 6

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (an unworked lodestone)

EFFECT

Range 5 feet Area 5-ft.-radius emanation, centered on you
Duration 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance see text

DESCRIPTION

You create an invisible barrier that surrounds you and moves with you, inhibiting one category of magic. When you cast this spell, choose either arcane or divine magic. This spell functions like antimagic field, but it suppresses only spells of the chosen type and supernatural and spell-like class abilities from classes that grant spellcasting of the selected type. Magic items, other spell-like abilities, and other supernatural abilities are unaffected.

While this spell is in effect, you must succeed at a concentration check (DC 20 + twice the spell level) to cast any spell, whether arcane or divine. If you fail at the check, you lose the spell as if you had cast it to no effect.

So this spell just came up in the campaign I am running. The party is facing off against a powerful wizard. The Druid just cast this and declared arcane. Now he is untouchable for 3 hours. What the heck were they thinking when they made this spell? It's only level 6, and lasts 10 min/level. This is insanely overpowered.

So my real question's start here.

1. Can this crazy mess be dispelled?
2. Failing this, are there any other ways to get rid of this? Other than a wish or something insane. In fact, would wish even work?

All I got atm. Other than that, anyone with experience working with this spell that has advice would be appreciated.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Lol, yeah, I insta-banned it when it came up in my game.

It works as antimagic field, so it can't be dispelled. You'd need a mage's disjunction to get rid of it.

It won't negate wall of force, prismatic wall, or prismatic sphere though, for what that's worth.


Well I can ban the spell, which might be what I do because it just seems to be insane. My wizard does have access to wall of force and prismatic wall, but they only last 2 min.

I was hoping to find other options than just banning the spell outright though. I try to play as close to RAW as possible, so finding some legit ways to deal with this crazy spell would be awesome.


off the top of my head.

Planar bind something to kill it.

Pit Spells (if you can cast prismatic wall you can cast Rift of ruin)

For levels of spells you may not yet have, Prismatic Sphere on top of the caster, Mages Disjunction, Aroden's Spellbane, Gate.


A few of these have promise, although the pit spells will not help. The Druid in my game is constantly in earth elemental form while in combat, and is too large for the pit spells to do anything, unless I have misread them.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Flagged for being in the wrong forum (although at least I saw it because I think most sane people have rules question and advice closed because of all the threadcrappers in there).

First of all: please note that the following...

Spell, emphasis mine wrote:
While this spell is in effect, you must succeed at a concentration check (DC 20 + twice the spell level) to cast any spell, whether arcane or divine. If you fail at the check, you lose the spell as if you had cast it to no effect.

... applies to the caster ("you" in spell descriptions refers to the caster, not the target). It doesn't matter what type of magic he blocks, if he's a divine caster, he still needs to make that Concentration check. That means the druid is potentially hindering himself significantly by casting the spell. For three hours, he may fail at summoning creatures, buffing himself or others, or healing his fellow party members. Even if he has a good concentration check, there's always a chance of him rolling low.

Also, note the spell also only affects a five foot radius. So, for example, any summoned monster or charmed ally of the druid can attack the druid all day with ranged and reach attacks--they just need to be sure not to enter an adjacent square. ETA: Because this spell does not apply to spell-like abilities, the wizard can also summon monsters, keep them out of the radius of the source severance but have them use SLAs on the druid just fine. I'm assuming since your druid is 18th level your wizard must at least be 20th, if he has summon monster spells, he can summon monsters with SLAs that can still affect the druid normally--they just have to be sure not to be adjacent to the druid.

ETA: Again, oh, and along the lines with ranged abilities and monster abilities basically being unaffected... the Wizard could cast form of the dragon on himself and I would interpret the spell as the breath weapon working on the druid just fine, since the effect of the spell is turning him into the dragon, not the breath weapon (which would in turn simply be the supernatural ability of the dragon he turns into).

As to your big bad: the wizard now knows the druid can cast this spell. He should take the time to create whatever circumstances he has to prevent the druid from casting -- e.g., focusing all attacks on the druid first (taking also precautions to do everything he can to win initiative), silencing or paralyzing the druid before he can cast, using bribery and threats and other nefarious villain techniques to turn the party members against the druid. Sure, charm person won't work within the field, but threatening to kill the theoretical party barbarian's sister if he doesn't stop the druid might. Your big bad is a villain, he should do horrible villainous things.

Regarding wall of force and prismatic wall, a two minute duration is 20 rounds. That is more than enough time during a combat to wall off the druid and then going to town on the rest of the party.

Otherwise, wizard big bads should have lots of henchmen, including normal allies including divine casters and big nasty fighty creatures, as well as gated in or other otherworldly allies. You're the GM, you have absolutely no limits upon you as to whom your big bad can recruit for help beyond your own self-imposed limitations, and it's best to be sure those make sense. Wizard makes a pact with a Prince of Hell, devils show up (not summoned, I mean they literally show up) and shred the druid to pieces.

Also, antimagic field does not affect magical constructs. A big bad wizard can surely gain easy access to the materials and abilities needed to build several constructs to pummel the druid to death.

I wouldn't ban it because it's actually only circumstantially useful--banning one type of magic (and it has NO effect on psychic magic) doesn't exclude a massive variety of monsters, attacks, traps, etc. It has also has a minimal area of effect and hinders the caster of the spell. It only happens to be extremely useful as a deterrent to your specific big bad in particular. You don't fix that by banning the spell, you fix that by ensuring your big bad has access to all the resources he should as the story's big bad.

Also make sure he casts antimagic field (with its better 10 foot radius) on his minions so your druid gets a taste of his/her own medicine. As a wizard he has access to the source spell which is even more powerful than the druid's version.


Yeah I wouldn't ban it.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I banned it because it's the same level as antimagic field (actually much lower, considering the classes involved), has almost the same effects as that spell in a given fight, but with almost none of the drawbacks.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I banned it because it's the same level as antimagic field (actually much lower, considering the classes involved), has almost the same effects as that spell in a given fight, but with almost none of the drawbacks.

As a cleric spell, antimagic field is 8th level and this spell is 6th level for clerics, the scaling makes sense for the cleric spell list. Yes, antimagic field is 6th level for sorcerer/wizard list, but they don't have access at all to this spell as an alternative.

Further, source severance has a couple drawbacks compared to antimagic field: it has half the radius, and allows SLAs, supernatural abilities, and magic items to function through it (which is a drawback, because it doesn't protect you from those things) whereas antimagic field does not.

OOH, AramilNuren: I just noticed something else:

This is in the description of antimagic field and as far as I can tell would apply to source severance as well:

Quote:


Should a creature be larger than the area enclosed by the barrier, any part of it that lies outside the barrier is unaffected by the field.

You mentioned the druid is "always in earth elemental form" and is "too big" to be affected by most pit spells, which suggests he's taking the size of a Huge creature. If that's the case, its body would actually go beyond the radius of the source severance spell and those body parts could be affected normally by the wizard.

Further, even if he only is Large size, that means his body goes to the edge of the spell radius, and someone could stand even adjacent to him and be unaffected. I'm not sure if magic-influenced melee attacks would be affected but that mightily limits how protected he is.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I banned it because it's the same level as antimagic field (actually much lower, considering the classes involved), has almost the same effects as that spell in a given fight, but with almost none of the drawbacks.

As a cleric spell, antimagic field is 8th level and this spell is 6th level for clerics, the scaling makes sense for the cleric spell list. Yes, antimagic field is 6th level for sorcerer/wizard list, but they don't have access at all to this spell as an alternative.

Further, source severance has a couple drawbacks compared to antimagic field: it has half the radius, and allows SLAs, supernatural abilities, and magic items to function through it (which is a drawback, because it doesn't protect you from those things) whereas antimagic field does not.

OOH, AramilNuren: I just noticed something else:

This is in the description of antimagic field and as far as I can tell would apply to source severance as well:

Quote:


Should a creature be larger than the area enclosed by the barrier, any part of it that lies outside the barrier is unaffected by the field.

You mentioned the druid is "always in earth elemental form" and is "too big" to be affected by most pit spells, which suggests he's taking the size of a Huge creature. If that's the case, its body would actually go beyond the radius of the source severance spell and those body parts could be affected normally by the wizard.

Further, even if he only is Large size, that means his body goes to the edge of the spell radius, and someone could stand even adjacent to him and be unaffected. I'm not sure if magic-influenced melee attacks would be affected but that mightily limits how protected he is.

Wasn't there a FAQ about antimagic field and how dragons were too big for their own AMF? Seems relevant to this.

EDIT: Found it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Pounce wrote:
Wasn't there a FAQ about antimagic field and how dragons were too big for their own AMF? Seems relevant to this.

I was unaware of this. Here is the text for easy viewing.

Quote:
No, when such a creature uses an emanation or burst with the text “centered on you,” treat the creature’s entire space as the spell’s point of origin, and measure the spell’s area or effect from the edges of the creature’s space. For instance, an antimagic field cast by a great wyrm red dragon would extend 10 feet beyond her 30x30 foot space, for a total of a 50 foot diameter.

Hm. This would suggest if the spell is cast by the druid in another size form, then indeed that wouldn't count.

The problem with this is it contradicts specifically the text for antimagic field which suggests creature parts can exist beyond its radius.

This is particularly problematic for druids and anyone else using shapeshifting magic--does the field shift with the size of the body or stay the same shape? I.e., depending on how you ruled this, the druid could cast this as a Huge sized creature, then shapeshift back to Medium size, but still have a 20 ft radius source severance which is broken.

I'd wanna FAQ this FAQ response.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Used this to great effect in the final battle of Reign of Winter. It can shut down arcane casters, but divine one will have no problems taking the fight to the druid.


Deathquaker, this is one of my first threads ever. I have no idea where to put a thread or how to put it there! So if I am in error, I apologize.

Thanks for all the ideas guys! Really getting me thinking of things I can do. But i guess I should explain a little more about the Druid in my party.

He does not care about casting spells atm. He is in earth elemental form, and prepared to chase after my wizard (It's Karzog) and just beat him to death. Now that he is immune to arcane spells, he seems to think he is invincible.

And try as i might, hitting him with any kind to attack is almost pointless. I would have to hit him with some sick greater dispel magic spells before that is a thing. Stoneskin, barkskin, seamantle, and armor and a shield with the wild enchant on them make hitting him ALMOST impossible atm. Although the fighter in the group has 50 AC, and I have given up hitting that with regular attacks....

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

I have moved this thread to the Rules forum


Since this is for Karzoug, I recommend minions. Lots and lots of minions. Karzoug is a 20th level wizard, he should have plenty of bound minions in the room with him.

Also, keep in mind the druid is immune to arcane spells (effectively) including those his party might cast on him. Focusing on the druid with some minions to keep him occupied can take him out of the fight to the point where his arcane magic immunity does matter.

Also, if you really want this to be challenging for your party have them enter into Karzoug's study (which is a separate plane accessed through a device if I recall correctly) and into a Wall of Suppression. When all of your party's buffs fall off and only the druid is left it will be enough of a challenge.

Follow it up with some enervation and quickened enervation on party members that you know don't have Death Ward up anymore.

Also, Karzoug should probably have Arcane Sight (permanently) running.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

DeathQuaker wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I banned it because it's the same level as antimagic field (actually much lower, considering the classes involved), has almost the same effects as that spell in a given fight, but with almost none of the drawbacks.

As a cleric spell, antimagic field is 8th level and this spell is 6th level for clerics, the scaling makes sense for the cleric spell list. Yes, antimagic field is 6th level for sorcerer/wizard list, but they don't have access at all to this spell as an alternative.

Further, source severance has a couple drawbacks compared to antimagic field: it has half the radius, and allows SLAs, supernatural abilities, and magic items to function through it (which is a drawback, because it doesn't protect you from those things) whereas antimagic field does not.

I'm not talking relative drawbacks between spells, I'm talking about the downsides instrinsic to the spells themselves.

Antimagic field turns off all your spells, all your magic items, all your supernatural abilities. It also does the same to your enemies, sure, which is what makes it useful, but it's not a spell you cast lightly--especially since many enemies (read: most monsters) are far less hindered by it than you are. It's primary use, in my experience, is shutting down enemy wizards.

Source severance can accomplish the same effect (shutting down an enemy wizard), but without the tremendous cost to you that antimagic field exacts. You keep your items, you keep your buffs, you keep your supernatural abilities--you can even cast spells in it (albeit with a concentration check).

To me, that makes source severance a better, more useful spell than antimagic field, available in a lower level slot.

To put it another way, if the choice is between giving up everything to make you lose everything, or giving up very little to make you lose a lot, I'm going to pick the second one every time.


Oh yeah, Karzoug should have been scrying on the party the entire time they're coming for him so he arguably could have seen the druid use this spell.

Which means that Karzoug should be able to use Spellbane. Which will be a really rude awakening for the Druid when he realizes his spell doesn't work against Karzoug (if his plan was to move into range and try to shut down Karzoug's magic).

Karzoug could use spellbane and set it to spellbane, antimagic field, source severance. It would prevent the party from using the tactic back against him, and also render the druids spell completely ineffective.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You could also have him stick a rune giant or dragon on his throne, polymorphed to look like him. That way when the druid gets within range, he finds himself face to face with a beatstick who can full attack him before he moves.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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I second all of Claxon's advice. Further, Karzoug is a transmuter and Nathan's advice is also good. Polymorph. Polymorph everything.

I would also reiterate he is unprotected against spell like abilities and supernatural abilities which gives monsters in Karzoug's service plenty they can do to him, and if they're not summons, they can also melee him themselves. He should a have a melee minion buffed with a divine minion's buffs to be able to hit the dude.

Also, earth elementals can't fly. Get enemies that can get far away from him. Snipe, spell, etc.

Huge sized creatures, which again I presume your druid to be taking the form of, also have problems with mobility. Narrow passageways and awkward terrain can often restrict a larger creature's movement. Earth glide can help with that, but a 20th level transmuter easily has the resources to litter the terrain with metal and water and other obstacles to keep him from being able to even move, things that can't be dispelled. Yes of course he can shift to another form, but then that's causing him to switch to a new set of tactics he's not used to.

If you're giving your party time to cast all those buffs, your foes have the same time to buff themselves and otherwise prepare. The party only has their class abilities. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE GAME. You're the GM. You have no limits. Should you cheat? No. But you have still, even within the game's restrictions, have nearly infinite resources. You cannot be afraid to use them, ESPECIALLY in a high level game. High level games cannot be run like dungeon crawls, linearly exploring till you get to a boss at the end. High level PCs can go anywhere and do nearly anything. Their enemies need--must--have the same freedom and the same adaptivity.

Worst case scenario, wish the druid into the Abyss.


IIRC correctly, there's a lot of open space to fall into molten gold/lava during the combat.

A spell which forces movement (into the lava) could really ruin the party's day, and is totally something reasonable for Karzoug to have prepared.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Claxon wrote:

IIRC correctly, there's a lot of open space to fall into molten gold/lava during the combat.

A spell which forces movement (into the lava) could really ruin the party's day, and is totally something reasonable for Karzoug to have prepared.

Earth elemental's earth glide will work in lava, but it should not work in molten gold (because gold is a metal and not earth or stone). That alone could hem him in--or moreover, protect Karzoug from being engaged in melee quite effectively. Karzoug could stand on an island within or fly over a pool of molten gold and as long as he's out of the druid's reach, the druid can't touch him.

wall of force the druid in an area bounded by molten gold and that could especially cause issues.

I don't know if the molten gold will hurt a fire elemental, and the druid could turn into that, but it sounds like the druid player is used to a one-trick pony he thinks is perfect. Throwing him off his usual tactics should provide the GM an advantage.


Yes, the earth elemental could glide through the lava, taking damage while doing so.

I'm less focused on the Druid specifically, and more focused on how the campaign should end, which is Karzoug killing the party.

Having played through the campaign I really don't believe the PCs should ever successfully beat Karzoug, but I understand that is entirely the point of the campaign. It just seems like Karzoug is given such poor tactics in order to make the AP winnable.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

The druid seems to be causing the OP most concern (he's the source of the topic of the post), hence my focus on that. Indeed, one of my concerns is to be sure the druid isn't so OP the other players feel sidelined.

Obviously, we hope the PCs should win, but as someone once put it, "The art of GMing is letting the players win without their realizing it." It's more fun to win a hard-won fight than cheesing one's way to instant victory. :)


I love the sheer audacity of making a lake of molten gold to stop this tactic. But I usually like my villains over the top.


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Said lake was already present, and far from the most audacious of this guy's stunts. Have you heard about his theories on dam construction?


The Sideromancer wrote:
I love the sheer audacity of making a lake of molten gold to stop this tactic. But I usually like my villains over the top.

Stop what tactic?

I was suggesting using the lake of molten gold (which was already written into the AP) as a means to kill the party. Wall of Suppression to remove all their buffs followed by something knock the party of the precarious platforms they show up on should be enough to cause significant damage to the party.

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot about the dam controls using the life energy of pit fiends. I think it was pit fiends. That was cray.


There is no lake of molten gold or lava or anything like that, but here is fire 100 ft below where they are fighting. And yes i am most concerned about the druid in the party, he is the only person that has managed to not die through the adventure path. The fighter has died 3 times, bard 2 times, and the ranger 2 times. Animal companions have numerous deaths for both the druid's pet and the rangers pet (Large cat and wolf).

The druid just has everything. The only weakness a druid seems to have is reflex saves, and the sucker just uses resist and shield spells to negate elemental damage as much as possible. And when he does get low on hp, he just uses heal. And since he is always in earth elemental form, he has high con, can't be crit or sneak attacked ext.

Basically? He is a pain in my butt!


Can't you use his size against him? A huge creature is what, 20x20? So stand in a hallway that is only 10x10.


The trouble with trying to exploit the size of a high level druid is they can wildshape probably 5+ times for hours per day

stick em in some corridors and they're just going to turn into a medium earth elemental until such a time as their is room for them to be big again.

I find the idea of trying to beat a druid by exploiting their size to be a weird one, since druids are the most mutable class in terms of physicality.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Doesn't affect items, which includes scrolls, potions, any equipment (intelligent or otherwise). As it turns out, that opens up a surprising number of options.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

The trouble with trying to exploit the size of a high level druid is they can wildshape probably 5+ times for hours per day

stick em in some corridors and they're just going to turn into a medium earth elemental until such a time as their is room for them to be big again.

I find the idea of trying to beat a druid by exploiting their size to be a weird one, since druids are the most mutable class in terms of physicality.

As I have noted repeatedly, per the OP's description, the druid relies upon being in this one form most of the time, which means he's a one-trick-pony type of player. One trick pony type players are usually REALLY good at that one trick, but will easily lose their tactical "brilliance" as soon as circumstances make that trick fail.

It's not that forcing him to change shape will ruin his day entirely, but it WILL force him to change tactics that he's not used to, which gives the GM an advantage.

For example, see the comment further below.

For another example -- remember how the OP said pit spells won't work on the druid because he's too big to fall in? If you force the druid to take a smaller form, and then drop a pit spell underneath him--guess what? He falls in.

Further, wildshape takes a standard action to perform, so if you are forcing the druid to change shape, you're taking away his ability to attack or cast a spell for a round, which can make a huge difference in a fight where action economy is everything.

AramilNuren wrote:
The druid just has everything. The only weakness a druid seems to have is reflex saves, and the sucker just uses resist and shield spells to negate elemental damage as much as possible.

Don't give your PCs a chance to rest so often that they are constantly buffed. If you're 15-minute adventure day-ing with that high level party, you will never be able to challenge them adequately. You need to force them to use up their resources. This doesn't mean never let them rest, but they shouldn't just be able to wander off and rest any time they want (and IF THEY DO, the bad guy should be exploiting the time the party is resting to gather more allies, build traps, fortify his position, etc. etc. etc.). They need to feel crunched for time, that if they don't act NOW, the big bad is going to finish whatever terrible thing he wants to do. They shouldn't feel like they can run off and rest for 8 hours any old time.

Your bad guy isn't just a mannequin waiting at the end of a path to be kicked over, he should be a living, breathing, thinking villain who is constantly working to fortify his power and achieve his goals.

Quote:
And when he does get low on hp, he just uses heal.

Which if he is protected by source severance means he'll have to succeed on a Concentration check or lose the spell. You can always add other effects that boost the DC of that Concentration check (crazy weather, earthquakes, etc.).

Quote:
And since he is always in earth elemental form, he has high con, can't be crit or sneak attacked ext.

Then change the terrain to force him out of that one form.

Again, your bad guy is a TRANSMUTER. He should have ways of affecting, creating, and changing materials (that once done, can't be dispelled) that is going to create limitations for someone relying on a Huge elemental form to be badass.

I haven't looked at the AP (I'm assuming this is the RotRL AP) to see campaign-specific things, but I encourage you to get as creative and crafty as you possibly can. It sounds like your players are expecting some wizard to just stand and blast; you need to knock them off their game with clever positioning, tactics, and area design.

If this is an adventure path, go into the Adventure Paths forum and ask for advice on this particular part of the campaign, or see what others have discussed about it in the past.

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