God-Meddled curse, and what it implies...

Rules Questions

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

(First part is general musing, the rules Q is at the end)

I was wondering if anyone had used or come into contact with one of the newer curses from Heroes of Golarion in play yet: God-Meddled... and if it would work/tweak for an Oracle that follows Nocticula in Return of the Runelords (hoping to play next year after all the boons stuff comes out), as the rest of the gods are in two minds about this upstart cult claiming that Lady N is going to do what she does by the end... which affects the Divine flow of power from wherever it comes from to the PC.

Here's the gist from AoN writeup:

"God-Meddled (Heroes of Golarion pg. 14): The gods’ interference in your life has left you with strange, unpredictable powers dependent on divine whim. Bizarre side effects occur whenever you are affected by a spell from a divine caster—for better or for worse. Once per round, when *a creature* casts a divine spell including you as a target, roll 1d20 and consult the table below. The effect resulting from this roll begins at the end of that enemy’s turn. This effect targets only you, even if other creatures were included as targets of the triggering spell. At 5th level, etc etc...."

My question is: when it says "a creature", does that also include you casting spells on yourself?
Just so's I know to pick some spells that can cast before a fight, or on others. Self-healing's going to be interesting...
Also does this include wands or items that cast divine?

You are a creature, therefore self buffs would also count.

Much as you are your own ally, you are also a creature.

I am trying to parse whether this includes using divine wands or potions. I am certain scrolls count and wands probably do. As for how strict 'casting' is interpreted, however, the user of a potion is both the caster and the target, not sure if that counts as 'casts a divine spell' though. That would mean a potion of cure light wounds that you drink could trigger it.

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I would have to disagree

As pointed out you're your own ally.

The following sentence is " The effect resulting from this roll begins at the end of that enemy’s turn"

You're your own ally not enemy. I don't think it counts for allies, or self.


By that logic, would you say an allied creature casting a friendly divine spell on you wouldn't trigger it either ?
[edit : somehow missed the part where you said as much, my bad]

I will say, either part of that description could be more explicit.
As is, hard to say if it applies to all creatures or only enemies.
Not that it would be all that beneficial if it applied to allies as well, the effects being a mixed bag tending towards detrimental.

I'd limit to enemies as well, but mostly because that's quickly gonna become a lot of additional rolls and effects to pile up otherwise.

I would agree that it could be clearer.

However it doesnt mention allies once and it actually mentions enemies as the caster of the spell.

So yes to me? Not self or Allies.

Well, it seems clear that the intend is to only trigger on spells cast by enemies, but even RAW, it does that: The curse does technically trigger on the PC's own, or their allys', spells, but the effects never begin, as there is no enemy during which turn it can start.

I definitely think it needs clarification.
Playing devil's advocate, reading it as rules are written (ie. edited), we have two sentences before the 'enemy' term is used. Each of those two sentences is the proper location for indicating the 'type' of divine caster that should trigger it.

For instance:
'Bizarre side effects occur whenever you are affected by a spell from [an enemy/hostile] divine caster—for better or for worse.' or
'Once per round, when [an enemy/hostile] creature* casts a divine spell including you as a target, ...'
would both be the location for indicating what triggers the effect. The third sentence, mentioning 'enemy', is a description of when the effect that is triggered takes place.

Objectively, the first possible effect requires there to be an enemy or enemies nearby to get the free AoO or movement, but on that same objective stance, that is the only one possible result out of a d20 roll that results in no apparent effect. All the others could happen whether or not there are enemies around. Granted, most of those effects are trivial and would have little actual effect outside of combat, but if it includes any creature targeting you with divine casting, then that would make it more of a curse since it would make divine buffs or healing during combat potentially more detrimental (which is what a curse should be, especially since it actually grants increasingly powerful bonuses and immunities).

To me, it seems like poor wording in the third sentence describing when the effect occurs, meaning I think it should have just been 'that caster's turn'. There are two better and entirely more appropriate sentences immediately prior where that should have been designated (the second sentence being the most appropriate and correct place). It's entirely possible that enemies were the designer's intent, but the execution was not pulled off correctly or cleanly.

Thanks all :)

So, I forgot/missed the sentence "The effect resulting from this roll begins at the end of that enemy’s turn"
As that also gives the sentence after more weight, because an ally wouldn't rush you to AoO, agreed...

You could also abuse the "I keep casting orisons on myself" out of combat for the chance to make yourself smaller for a round to get through somewhere if no-one else had Reduce; I don't think that was the intent either...

Does this need FAQ then?

Also if you were a Dhampir and Enemy channeling went off, (or came up against a Channeler of the Unknown's Entropy channel) I guess that counts too...?

I've probably got a year to sort out a ruling, and was going to ask my GM about it when I saw them next anyway (I may end up taking another curse if this one is a pain for both of us to accountant.)

Channels arent spells so in that respect you're in the clear.

Doki-Chan wrote:
Does this need FAQ then?

Well, it should get erratum/FAQ, but Paizo has stopped caring about PF1 two years ago.

In that case I'd settle for the person who wrote it to give a guideline on how they intended it to be?

Raw ironically goes 2 ways so the best you can do is intention. I think the fact its saying enemy spell is going to show you the intention.

It's rare for the writers to give insight, the most vocal likely didnt write this.

That is indeed more confusingly worded than when I thought when I first looked at it.
I think that I will rule that it only takes effect when a divine caster other than yourself casts a spell which effects you. This would include an allied caster.
Out of combat I may well rule that the effects are not worth bothering with. Further as it is a curse spamming divine spells to get the effect you want will probably never work and may irritate the gods. The out of combat no effect is to reduce unnecessary dice rolling but if the situation is one where the effects may be significant then I would roll
I may also occasionally in particularly appropriate situations modify the table of possible results, particularly as there are some places in the likely campaign which could result in divine oddities.

There are certainly other perfectly valid interpretations, but the one above I think fits my gm style best.
For anyone except Doki-Chan this can be read as just one attempt to reconcile how this badly worded rule fits with gameplay

It being an oracle curse, I'd expect it to go off from the caster's own spells - oracle curses are meant to be constant factors/nuisances.

An oracle curse that only goes off from enemy divine casters targeting you would be a pretty benign curse - depending on your campaign, it would be possible for that to go for long stretches of time without coming up.

For example, in Reign of Winter, I think you could make it all the way from Book 2 to the end of Book 5 without the curse ever triggering. Now, the final battle of Book 5 would almost certainly trigger it, but once that was done you'd be free and clear for the rest of the campaign.

Zhangar wrote:
It being an oracle curse, I'd expect it to go off from the caster's own spells - oracle curses are meant to be constant factors/nuisances.

That's not entirely true. While there are certainly many curses that are a constant pain, there are several that don't play much of a factor at all; Tongues is the classic "take this if you don't care about curses" choice, Blackened is essentially not a penalty for the full-caster type of oracle that would take it, Legalistic is mostly a roleplay thing and doesn't affect you negatively unless you mess it up...

Judging by the use of the word "enemy" it seems clear that the intent is for it to trigger on hostile spells. I'd argue it's more interesting if it applies to any and all divine spellcasting (and it'd make the regular between combats heal wand thwapping look very funny) but the way the curse is written is... not clear, exactly, but I don't see another interpretation that doesn't ignore part of the written rules.

Well, if you got hit by a friendly Dispell that fails to kill a Confusion spell while you think your ally is not an ally, it could trigger then. That confuse might also trigger if your confusion roll is attack-self because you are your own enemy then.

The rogue talent that makes an enemy a temporary ally could also cause a friendly spell to trigger the curse.


I believe that the curse only triggers via enemy divine spellcasters. I have a player with this at my table now. It wouldn't make much sense to have a curse that nearly cripples a divine spellcaster this way. It's got a 'wild magic' feel to it, I know, but the curse even says that it starts at the end of the enemy's turn...

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I have a question about another curse which may bear upon the above curse. It is the Curse of Lax Rules Editing During the Hectic Edition Transition Period. Now hear me out....

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I would rule it to only effect enemy casts just because it would otherwise bog the game down in an unhealthy way. The thing looks like such a bother I wouldn’t want it in my games in the first place though.

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