Gaseous Form vs. Stand Still Feat


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Can a creature with the stand still feat use it to stop the movement of another creature in gaseous form?

Stand Still (Combat)
You can stop foes that try to move past you.
Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes.
Benefit: When a foe provokes an attack of opportunity due to moving through your adjacent squares, you can make a combat maneuver check as your attack of opportunity. If successful, the enemy cannot move for the rest of his turn. An enemy can still take the rest of his action, but cannot move. This feat also applies to any creature that attempts to move from a square that is adjacent to you if such movement provokes an attack of opportunity.

Gaseous Form
School transmutation; Level alchemist 3, bard 3, magus 3, medium 3, occultist 3, psychic 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, spiritualist 3; Domain air 3; Elemental School air 3
CASTING
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components S, M/DF (a bit of gauze and a wisp of smoke)
EFFECT
Range touch
Target willing corporeal creature touched
Duration 2 min./level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
DESCRIPTION
The subject and all its gear become insubstantial, misty, and translucent. Its material armor (including natural armor) becomes worthless, though its size, Dexterity, deflection bonuses, and armor bonuses from force effects still apply. The subject gains DR 10/magic and becomes immune to poison, sneak attacks, and critical hits. It can’t attack or cast spells with verbal, somatic, material, or focus components while in gaseous form. This does not rule out the use of certain spells that the subject may have prepared using the feats Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials. The subject also loses supernatural abilities while in gaseous form. If it has a touch spell ready to use, that spell is discharged harmlessly when the gaseous form spell takes effect.
A gaseous creature can’t run, but it can fly at a speed of 10 feet and automatically succeeds on all Fly skill checks. It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can’t enter water or other liquid. It also can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot.


Gaseous form does not make you immune to attacks, just gives you a DR. Thus RAW regular movement provokes AoO and Stand Still can stop you.


When you are in gaseous form you are insubstansial. You're aren't immune to attacks in general when it comes to taking damage, but holding you in place isn't possible. Your path also is getting blocked by a creatures.

Stand Still would fail against gas just like it would an incorporeal creature.


Where does it say you are holding them in place. It doesn't say you can grapple them as an AoO. It says you preform a combat maneuver check, not an actual or specific combat maneuver. It's not defined and can be anything from a kick to the shins or groin, to blocking their field of view, disorienting them, or anything else that could stop them from moving.


They're insubstantial, they can't be held in place. It's not that they're incorporeal or anything. They're fog. But you can still beat on them if you have a magic weapon. :P


Again nothing says they are being held in place. They don't become a fog cloud, they become insubstantial, misty, and translucent. While they can pass through cracks, they still have their form. You can be blocking their view or fanning them back with your cloak, or flickering reflective light in their eyes. Hell it could be getting in their face with mocking gestures. The mechanics are not defined. You are not doing a combat maneuver, just a combat maneuver check.


wraithstrike wrote:

When you are in gaseous form you are insubstansial. You're aren't immune to attacks in general when it comes to taking damage, but holding you in place isn't possible. Your path also is getting blocked by a creatures.

Stand Still would fail against gas just like it would an incorporeal creature.

While I agree that it makes sense for Gaseous Form to protect against Stand Still, However RAW there is nothing to say that the Gaseous Form prevents Stand Still from working. It does not specifically grant immunity to any combat maneuver nor does it prevent you from being tripped or even grappled.


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Latrans wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

When you are in gaseous form you are insubstansial. You're aren't immune to attacks in general when it comes to taking damage, but holding you in place isn't possible. Your path also is getting blocked by a creatures.

Stand Still would fail against gas just like it would an incorporeal creature.

While I agree that it makes sense for Gaseous Form to protect against Stand Still, However RAW there is nothing to say that the Gaseous Form prevents Stand Still from working. It does not specifically grant immunity to any combat maneuver nor does it prevent you from being tripped or even grappled.

There is no such thing as RAW. Anything written has to be interpreted.

Now if you're saying the actual rules are the most literal reading of them, without taking common sense or precedence into play then a lot of the rules fail. There is an entire thread on rules that fail when read as if a robot was reading them.

So are you saying the most literal version of a rule is how the rulebook should be read?

If so then sure, your idea can work, but most people come here wanting to know intent.

Dead people can still take actions if you want to be 100% literal since the dead condition does nothing to stop you from acting.

Now maybe you'll say, "but common sense", but you just used dismissed common sense for this ruling.

So now we have to get into level of common sense, which leads back to interpretation and that goes back to me saying there is no RAW, and everything has to be interpreted.


Merm7th wrote:
Again nothing says they are being held in place. They don't become a fog cloud, they become insubstantial, misty, and translucent. While they can pass through cracks, they still have their form. You can be blocking their view or fanning them back with your cloak, or flickering reflective light in their eyes. Hell it could be getting in their face with mocking gestures. The mechanics are not defined. You are not doing a combat maneuver, just a combat maneuver check.

The mechanics don't need to be defined. You're using strength for a combat maneuver check which would be a nonfactor which wouldn't stop gas.

You can't use strength against something that's insubstantial. That's like trying to push the wind back. It's not going to happen despite there not being a rule saying that you can't push wind back.


Where does it say "You can't use strength against something that's insubstantial"? Are you saying if I attacked a character in gaseous form with a magic weapon I wouldn't add my strength modifier? What if I'm doing a combat maneuver with a magic weapon? What if I have agile maneuvers? If I'm using a agile maneuvers and a magic weapon to perform at combat maneuver, would the insubstantial target still use strength for its CMD?

The spell gives a list of what the character is immune to, combat maneuvers aren't on it.


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To point it bluntly, if the gas form can slip through cracks, it can slip around an arm or even a whole body.


RAW, the cloud can be tripped, grappled, pinned, repositioned, disarmed, bull-rushed, dirty-tricked and so on. Nothing to say it can't be. But I'd allow for a bit of real-world sense:

It takes damage (after DR 10) from normal weapons and only moves at speed 10'/r. So I'd say that if the attacker is capable of doing any damage to it (ie, 11+ or 1+ magic) with a physical attack it's capable of stopping it.


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There is so much context here that suggests that stand still simply doesn't work, beyond mere logic (and that alone is enough for me):

The subject and all its gear become insubstantial, misty, and translucent.

Its material armor (including natural armor) becomes worthless, though its size, Dexterity, deflection bonuses, and armor bonuses from force effects still apply.

It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can’t enter water or other liquid. It also can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot.

All the above quotes suggest that it cannot be stopped with mere physical weapons or impeded by stand still. The actual answer is unclear, but the logical answer only leans one way.


Merm7th wrote:
Where does it say "You can't use strength against something that's insubstantial"?

It's called common sense. Not everything is going to be said in a game.

Can you use strength to push gas away in real life or in the game?

If a cloud of mustard gas is going toward you will you push it away or will you just find yourself surrounded by mustard gas?

If someone throws poison that is inhaled at your feet can your character push the poison cloud away?

And no I'm not saying you can't use your strength modifier on damage. Of course you can, just like it applies against incorporeal creatures. I'm saying you can't meaningfully restrict the movement of anything that is gaseous by using strength, just like you can't put a ghost in a bearhug.


Can you use stand still against or reposition stinking cloud?


Allow me, since Paizo hasn't defined it themselves, to direct you to the definition of "insubstantial"

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insubstantial


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

My problem with Gaseous Form is that it doesn't really protect you from anything. It makes you extremely vulnerable and helpless. DR10/magic is a joke, since every adventurer and their brother and their brother's dog has a magic weapon of some kind, or just uses a huge weapon that goes way over 10 points of damage. If there isn't a helpful crack right next to you when you go gaseous, you are basically toast.

I tried to use gaseous form to help a villain escape from a party of 5th-level PCs. He couldn't even run away.

Should this feat allow a guy to block a gaseous adversary? The rules don't say. I would rule, as a DM, that if he used a magic weapon to do it, yes he could. Otherwise, no. A DM could also say, yes, it's possible, but the gaseous guy has a +10 to his DMD to escape (drawing from the DR10/magic) unless a magic weapon was used.

Personally, I would prefer a gaseous form to grant you far more protection from attacks. Like immune to non-magical attacks and DR10 vs magical ones. But that would be a house rule.


Considering that a gaseous form person can still be killed by a strong enough barbarian with a non magical club, the same barbarian may be able stop them from advancing with a similar swing.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Can you use stand still against or reposition stinking cloud?

Sorry, but stinking cloud isn't a creature, doesn't have CMD, and its movement doesn't provoke.


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Zarius wrote:

Allow me, since Paizo hasn't defined it themselves, to direct you to the definition of "insubstantial"

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insubstantial

Piazo gives it different definitions. In gaseous form, insubstantial can pass through small holes. In ethereal jaunt, "As an insubstantial creature, you can move through solid objects, including living creatures".


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Merm7th wrote:
Again nothing says they are being held in place. They don't become a fog cloud, they become insubstantial, misty, and translucent. While they can pass through cracks, they still have their form. You can be blocking their view or fanning them back with your cloak, or flickering reflective light in their eyes. Hell it could be getting in their face with mocking gestures. The mechanics are not defined. You are not doing a combat maneuver, just a combat maneuver check.

The mechanics don't need to be defined. You're using strength for a combat maneuver check which would be a nonfactor which wouldn't stop gas.

You can't use strength against something that's insubstantial. That's like trying to push the wind back. It's not going to happen despite there not being a rule saying that you can't push wind back.

The following is 99% devil's advocate. I don't know for sure how I'd rule at the table though I usually try to err in a player's favor.

Stand Still doesn't seem to indicate how it works. It just indicates what it does and the means of utilizing it. Negating it isn't something we should do lightly.

It seems to me that nothing in gaseous form actually says that it overrides the effects of Stand Still. Nothing I see is an exception. Sure, it says you can move through small holes etc, but nothing in Stand Still suggests that it creates holes, be they small or large.

Given a lack of means by which gaseous form mechanically overrides Stand Still, we should consider if there is an interpretation where Stand Still makes sense. That's what some here are calling common sense.

Well. That comes down to how is Stand Still working. Yes, CMB is (usually) a Strength-based roll, but that doesn't prove that the action taken actually directly applies force-of-strength in the sense that a grapple does. Dirty Trick is uses CMB but can involve throwing gravel in someone's eyes, for instance. To a certain degree, some effects in this game happen because the rules say they happen.

So. What if... use of Stand Still is more about morale than physical obstruction? Diplomacy or Intimidate might have been useful for that, but being easier to make sky-high than CMB checks, they also might be disqualified. So what if a successful CMB check just makes the target not want to move? Or able to move, emotionally?

If you can imagine a way that Stand Still could impact a creature who used gaseous form - any way - then maybe the feat should be honored and accepted, as written.

Again, I'm not saying I necessarily believe the above. I just usually try to think of ways to allow the rules to work as they say they do, instead of trying to think of ways to disallow them to. If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let's look at gaseous form.

There aren't any rules written into the spell to prevent disarm, grapple, move, bull rush, or any other combat maneuver.

So we are forced to decide what makes sense given the spell's wording.

It indicates which things the person in gaseous form cannot do (e.g. It also can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form.) and can do ( It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists.)

It indicates which things the person in gaseous form is vulnerable to (e.g. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can’t enter water or other liquid.)

But we're really making a binary decision here. Is a gaseous form person (or vampire, remember that they go into gaseous form upon 0 hp) able to be affected by combat maneuvers (or things that use CMB or CMD) or are they not?

Does it make sense that a monk could grapple a vampire in gaseous form to prevent it from getting back to its coffin?

Does it make sense that a gaseous sword could be disarmed from a gaseous character? If so, does it remain gaseous, or when disarmed, does it become solid. If it becomes solid or even if it remains gaseous, the rules say that the character can't "manipulate it". Does that mean the gaseous character can't pick it up again?

If a character jumps and grapples a gaseous creature, does it fall through it, or does it grapple the creature mid-air?

Could you bull rush a gaseous vampire out of its cave into sunlight?

Could a horse be given a potion of gaseous form and it's rider remain on it, riding it (very slowly) through the sky?

Could you sunder the armor of a gaseous creature even though the armor doesn't protect the creature per the spell?

The spell gaseous form says "It can't attack or cast spells with verbal, somatic, material, or focus components while in gaseous form." as well as previously mentioned "It also can't manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form."

If that is the case, but we still say that RAW allows them to be grappled, can they make a combat maneuver check to break the grapple? Remember, that's a grapple resist, not an escape artist check.

If they can make a grapple resist, what about if they have drag down? Can they, if tripped in gaseous form, trip their opponent as a triggered retaliatory action?

Finally, the spell says "A gaseous creature can't run, but it can fly at a speed of 10 feet and automatically succeeds on all Fly skill checks." Can they walk? For instance, if they have a movement rate of 30, can they walk at 30 or fly at 10?

I mean, there's RAW, but there's also common sense. Beyond that, there's absurdity flying in the face of sense. If they didn't put obvious things like "you can't wrestle something insubstantial" into the spell, can you?

Full disclosure: I'm a player in the OP's group and have a dog in this fight.


I would argue that in gaseous form you can only fly 10, no walking 30 feet at all. And since whoever is in gaseous form can only move 10 feet, why bother stopping them? Lol.

But yes, the rules mechanically say you can stop the person with stand still, even if they are in gaseous form.

You effectively kept the fart cloud from moving its amazing 10' of movement.

The spell is to get you out of a jail cell, past a door, stuff like that. If you catch him in the gaseous form, you can absolutely stop him. But why use stand still when you could just use the AoO to deal damage? He can only go 10' so why stop him?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On further thought, a point against my own argument...

Can a person in gaseous form move through an enemy's square? I don't deny they'd provoke an attack of opportunity, but is it possible to move through them, or are they trapped in? I'd think by raw, there's nothing in the spell that says they can...but consider:

E.G. If a vampire is killed in a room with a low ceiling with 8 opponents (say players, animal companions, familiars, etc) surrounding them. The ceiling and floor offer no way out (there are not cracks immediately above or below them and the ceiling is low enough that there is not a square above the players and mounts. The only way out of the room to get to the vamp's coffin is to move through an square occupied by an opponent.

Is the vampire stuck?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Aberzanzorax wrote:

Let's look at gaseous form.

There aren't any rules written into the spell to prevent disarm, grapple, move, bull rush, or any other combat maneuver.

I get it that this isn't cut & dried.

The biggest problem is that gaseous form says you get DR. That means you're still vulnerable to getting your face smashed in with a hammer. You're not even incorporeal, so the hammer doesn't need to be magical.

So physical effects still impact a gaseous creature, just at a reduced level.

That established, is it really that much of a stretch to imagine a disarm attempt actually making the gaseous creature drop something? I don't think so. The real hard decision is... does the dropped item stay gaseous? Can it be picked up again? Or by someone else?

Anyways, long story short is I think the DR feature of the spell screws things up, but it's required for balance purposes.


Aberzanzorax wrote:
Finally, the spell says "A gaseous creature can't run, but it can fly at a speed of 10 feet and automatically succeeds on all Fly skill checks." Can they walk? For instance, if they have a movement rate of 30, can they walk at 30 or fly at 10?

Of all the rebuttals in this thread that point out why we have to look a little beyond the limited written rules of the spell and apply some interpretive thought, this one is probably my favorite. The spell does not state that a character in gaseous form cannot use their normal full movement rate, as long as they are not running. As written, the spell would allow a quadruped to move at 40' per round, as long as they stayed on the ground. Anyone who thinks we have to go purely by what is written in the spell would have to agree with that.


Aberzanzorax wrote:

On further thought, a point against my own argument...

Can a person in gaseous form move through an enemy's square? I don't deny they'd provoke an attack of opportunity, but is it possible to move through them, or are they trapped in? I'd think by raw, there's nothing in the spell that says they can...but consider:

E.G. If a vampire is killed in a room with a low ceiling with 8 opponents (say players, animal companions, familiars, etc) surrounding them. The ceiling and floor offer no way out (there are not cracks immediately above or below them and the ceiling is low enough that there is not a square above the players and mounts. The only way out of the room to get to the vamp's coffin is to move through an square occupied by an opponent.

Is the vampire stuck?

The spell says the character can move through small cracks. Unless an enemy creature completely occupies the square (such as being one of the center squares of a huge or larger creature--or if the creature is a 5'x5'x5' Borg Cube sitting on the ground), then you can pass through the square, because there is going to be some empty space in that square.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Here is how it will work at my table. I don't claim any special knowledge.

In gaseous form:

*are you immune to gas effects? Yes - immune
*Can you be spotted? Yes, as normal
*are you immune to grapple? Yes - immune
*are you immune to trip? Yes - immune
*are you immune to stand still feat? Yes - immune
*are you immune to bull rush? Basically immune (I might allow it in rare cases (e.g., an ooze that completely fills a square pushes up on you, a giant with a tower shield pushes against you)
*can you be disarmed? Immune - you also can't swap or use any equipment while GF
*can any of your equipment be sundered? Immune.
*Can the caster dismiss the spell on himself while gaseous? Yes.
*can you move through an opponent's occupied square? Yes, but for simplicity I want to add that you cannot end in an occupied state. Of course you need to deal with AoO. You cannot move through the inner squares of huge+ creatures (e.g., if we view a huge creatures as occupying 27 squares/cubes of volume you cannot move through the one center cube in the larger cube)
*can you share a square with an ally at movement end (or an opponent if you can move through their square)? No. This is logical but it is just confusing on the map.
*are you tangible in any way that can "hold weight" like a gaseous mount slowly moving with a rider? No, you cannot have a rider.
*can you speak and be heard (but not use verbal components)? No.
*can you gesture (i.e. are you a humanoid form, still)? Not precisely enough for spell casting, etc. but you could form a humanoid shape for crude gestures (e.g., pointing). If you can do it with a snowsuit and mittens on then it is probably crude enough to act out in gaseous form.
*are you recognizable (i.e. can someone tell two humans in gaseous form apart)? No - not recognizable.
*can you walk at normal movement rate instead of flying? No.
*do you have any weight at all (if you can walk, would you trigger weight based traps)? No.
*I assume the caster, who cast it on themselves, can dismiss it normally, despite being in gaseous form, correct? Yes.
*do you retain all of your ability scores, including those enhanced by spells and items as is for any purposes that apply (CMD, reflex saves, etc)? Yes.
*what exactly does "subject to the effects of wind" mean? Does that mean, e.g. no save if I were to float into river of wind? Does it mean ad-hoc effects? Does it mean I end up at the end of wherever the wind blows, a la chutes and ladders? You make fly checks and we use the swim rules as guidance. A light wind is like rough water and moderate wind is like stormy water but you use the fly skill. Once we get to strong or severe wind the gaseous form character is blown away (which may be desirable if your only goal is to get away quickly). River of wind would be no save. A fireplace would be like a light wind.
*does the spell make me immune to, say, the spell entangle or tanglefoot bags? Yes.
*does the spell change my "size" at all, for any purpose, perhaps for wind effects? For simplicity I want to say no.
*If I go into a chimney with an updraft from a fire, does that count as wind? Do I have any ability to push back against it, or am I blown along? See above.
*If I am blown along by wind, do creatures I pass get attacks of opportunity? Yes, they do.
*I assume that protective spells and abilities that make me immune to the effects of wind in my normal form still do so if they are active. Is that correct? (I'm thinking Cloak of Winds, which reads in part "The subject is never checked or blown away by strong winds of windstorm or lesser strength (whether natural or magically created)" http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/c/cloak-of-winds/

Cloak of Winds – d20PFSRD
www.d20pfsrd.com
School abjuration [air]; Level bloodrager 3, druid 3, magus 3, ranger 3, sorcerer/wizard 3; Elemental School air 3, wood 3. CASTING. Casting Time 1 standard action

although I'm also thinking of any other spells that do something similar. Yes. Looks like a decent combo.


there is a lot of verbal description in this spell as the target isn't quite incorporeal, so gaseous is a unique state. This means there will be GM intrepretation as to how far this mimics the incorporeal state.
Other similar spells will provide further insight to guide the GMs decision.


The core of this issue is can a creature successfully perform a CMB maneuver check against a gaseous target.
DR 10/magic implies that magic might be helpful.


Here's another snarl to add to the mess of all this, what if a Monk whose fist count as magic tries to stop a gaseous person? His punches, kicks, elbows, and even headbutt are able to deal full damage to a gaseous person as the spell wasn't there. (He just can't crit anymore.) If he can punch the gaseous person and hurt them like they were solid, why can't he clothesline them with his magic elbow to stop them from running past?


Why is that a snarl?

As I said, ask your table GM and expect variance from GM to GM.

Overall Gaseous Form is a lousy spell for almost every situation.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If the logic is that GMs will have table to table variation, and that is not a snarl, then I guess there are no snarls in D&D.


Your table, your rules, but this feels like trying to twist extra benefits out of a spell that is pointedly designed NOT to make one immune to physical assault. Fluffwise, I tend to look at things like Stand Still and Dazing Assault as being a bit like hitstun in a beat'em up.

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