Casting suffocate on a non water breathing creature inside an Aquaeus orb


Rules Questions


As the title say what would happen if I happened to be this very malicious hydrocaster who casted suffocate on someone who just got caugh in my aquaeus orb or in an area spell such as rising water. Instant drowning or uncounciousness regardless of a won or failed save due to having no air? Suffocate explicitely says that it expulse held breath no mather if you save or not.


The first line describes what the spell does, but that is typically meant to be its full effect (meaning failed save).

For your question, if the target fails, they start swift suffocation as per the spell and they'll be dead in 3 rounds anyway. If they save, they are staggered for 1 round which is spent gasping for breath.

While I would rule gasping for breath, as the effect is worded, might prevent spellcasting (which requires speaking in a clear, strong voice) I would still allow talking (in a gasping voice). For purposes of this particular situation, I probably wouldn't make them inhale water and start drowning. This is based on the last line of suffocation which specifies it expels the air from their lungs if they fail the initial save (implying strongly that success merely forces gasping similar to having no air but not meaning they have no air).

If you do decide to make them lose their held air on a save, likely they would not actually begin suffocating/drowning until they failed the DC 10 Constitution each round (+1 DC per round) as per normally running out of air.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:

Aqueous Orb

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School conjuration (creation) [water]; Level bloodrager 3, druid 3, magus 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, summoner/unchained summoner 3; Bloodline aquatic 3; Elemental School water 3

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a drop of water and a glass bead)

EFFECT

Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect 10-ft.-diameter sphere
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Reflex negates; Spell Resistance no

DESCRIPTION

You create a rolling sphere of churning water that can engulf those it strikes. The aqueous orb can move up to 30 feet per round, rolling over barriers less than 10 feet tall. It automatically quenches any non-magical fires and functions as dispel magic against magical fires as long as those fires are size Large or less.

Any creature in the path of the aqueous orb takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage. A successful Reflex save negates this damage, but a Large or smaller creature that fails its save must make a second save or be engulfed by the aqueous orb and carried along with it. Engulfed creatures are immersed in water and must hold their breath unless capable of breathing water. They gain cover against attacks from outside the aqueous orb but are considered entangled by its churning currents, takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage at the beginning of their turn each round they remain trapped. Creatures within the orb may attempt a new Reflex save each round to escape into a random square adjacent to the aqueous orb. The orb may hold one Large creature, 4 Medium, or 16 Small or smaller creatures within it.

The sphere moves as long as you actively direct it (a move action for you); otherwise, it merely stays at rest and churns in place. An aqueous orb stops if it moves outside the spell’s range.

If a creature is engulfed in water and you are outside, you don't have Line of Effect and can't target it.


What about a widen 40ft large area of rising water though? But yea air is expeled on first failed save does this start drowning them?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kyubi3009 wrote:
What about a widen 40ft large area of rising water though? But yea air is expeled on first failed save does this start drowning them?

No. He dies for suffocation, i.e. being unable to draw air in the lungs, so it is unable to draw water too. The two effects don't stack.

And if the target is submerged in water and you aren't, LoE is missing, so you can't target it. How it was submerged doesn't matter.
If it isn't submerged, it has access to air and will not drown.


Diego Rossi wrote:
If a creature is engulfed in water and you are outside, you don't have Line of Effect and can't target it.

Huh?

line of effect wrote:
A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier.
terrain wrote:
A completely submerged creature has total cover against opponents on land unless those opponents have freedom of movement effects. Magical effects are unaffected except for those that require attack rolls (which are treated like any other effects) and fire effects.

Where do you get that from?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
avr wrote:
terrain wrote:
A completely submerged creature has total cover against opponents on land unless those opponents have freedom of movement effects. Magical effects are unaffected except for those that require attack rolls (which are treated like any other effects) and fire effects.
Where do you get that from?
Core Rulebook p. 196 wrote:
Total Cover: If you don’t have line of effect to your target (that is, you cannot draw any line from your square to your target’s square without crossing a solid barrier), he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover.

The effect pass through the water, the LoE don't. Targeting and effects aren't the same things.

Core Rulebook p. 214 wrote:
Effect: Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.

Did you cast Cone of cold? The effect is a cone-shaped burst of cold, and it passes through the water. But if the spell target something underwater and you are outside, it has total cover and the LoE is blocked.


So you reckon that you can't cast suffocate, or hold person or whatever at a submerged target - unless you have freedom of movement cast on yourself? I think the mention of freedom of movement makes it clear that the total cover applies to physical attacks, and exempting 'magical effects' as well doubles down on that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
avr wrote:
So you reckon that you can't cast suffocate, or hold person or whatever at a submerged target - unless you have freedom of movement cast on yourself? I think the mention of freedom of movement makes it clear that the total cover applies to physical attacks, and exempting 'magical effects' as well doubles down on that.

From outside the water? Yes.

It could be written better? Yes.
Total cover and Freedom of movement seem to imply two different things? Yes.

Total cover has its specific rules and disregarding them because of of the part about freedom of movement seem disingenuous. There was the space in the rule to clarify that, writing either:

A completely submerged creature has total cover against physical attacks from opponents on land unless those opponents have freedom of movement effects. Magical effects are unaffected except for those that require attack rolls (which are treated like any other effects) and fire effects.

or

A completely submerged creature has total cover against opponents on land unless those opponents have freedom of movement effects. Magical attacks are unaffected except for those that require attack rolls (which are treated like any other effects) and fire effects

"Effects" is a too specific game term to take it as "attacks" in the context of that rule.


Ahem let me rephrase this. I am a merfolk and my greatest joy in life is to force underwater combat on people ill prepared for it such as red dragons or non spellcasting air breathing creatures so I flood the dungeon over(yep gm to hell with your dungeon its an underwater adventure now). We both are Immersed in a 40 feet wide circular area of water from floor to ceilling I can breath water and he can't. Now what happen to him if I suffocate him. In the case of rising water theres no such thing as total cover as we both are immerged.


Suffocation wrote:
This spell only affects living creatures that must breathe. It is impossible to defeat the effects of this spell by simply holding one’s breath-if the victim fails the initial Saving Throw, the air in his lungs is extracted.

So the suffocation spell always extracts the air from the victim's lungs, save or no save.

PRD Environmental Rules, Drowning wrote:

Any character can hold her breath for a number of rounds equal to twice her Constitution score. If a character takes a standard or full-round action, the remaining duration that the character can hold her breath is reduced by 1 round. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round in order to continue holding her breath. Each round, the DC increases by 1.

When the character finally fails her Constitution check, she begins to drown. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hp). In the following round, she drops to –1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she drowns.

After being targeted by Suffocation, if you make your saving throw you are no longer holding your breath. At this point, the rules are ambiguous and the GM must choose between:

1. You must make Constitution checks per the drowning rules.
2. You immediately begin drowning.

Edited:

If you fail, the rules are ambiguous. The GM must choose between:

1. You immediately begin drowning
2. You use the rapid-suffocation rules from the spell. If you miraculously survive that, you begin drowning.

If I were the GM, I'd choose #1 in both cases.


John Mechalas wrote:
Suffocation wrote:
This spell only affects living creatures that must breathe. It is impossible to defeat the effects of this spell by simply holding one’s breath-if the victim fails the initial Saving Throw, the air in his lungs is extracted.

So the suffocation spell always extracts the air from the victim's lungs, save or no save.

No. If they fail the save, the air is extracted. If they pass the save, they are staggered the next round as they gasp for air (but it does not say the air is extracted if they save, only if they fail the initial save). So if they save, the spell forces them to gasp but that doesn't mean there isn't air in their lungs, they are just gasping as though there wasn't.


Pizza Lord wrote:
So if they save, the spell forces them to gasp but that doesn't mean there isn't air in their lungs, they are just gasping as though there wasn't.

I quoted the wrong part. :( I meant to quote this:

Suffocation wrote:
The target can attempt to resist this spell’s effects with a Fortitude save-if he succeeds, he is merely staggered for 1 round as he gasps for breath.

Gasping for breath implies you lost air in your lungs and are struggling to get it back. Since you can't gasp under water--or shouldn't, anyway--that implies you need air.

Yes, it's mostly flavor text. But it's very specific flavor text about what happens. If interpreted literally, they start drowning immediately, but a failed save should not be a better outcome than a successful save so it's better to move to Con checks per the drowning rules if they succeed.

Arguably, you could say that the outcome is the same in either case: you immediately begin drowning. But that kind of sucks, too, as a successful save should be better than a failed save.


All that being said, I wouldn't complain if a GM rules that a successful save meant the target was merely staggered for 1 round with no other effects.


I think it is pretty clear that the spell can target a creature submerged in water(Unless you gave it the fire descriptor somehow)

The text says as much. And furthermore, there would be no reason for only the surface of a pool of water to block a spell, but not the water itself.


I have to agree with Leitner. I am not seeing where LoE is blocked by water. Water is not a solid barrier because it's not a solid. And, in Core, there are rules for underwater combat which include this:

PRD wrote:
Fire: Nonmagical fire (including alchemist's fire) does not burn underwater. Spells or spell-like effects with the fire descriptor are ineffective underwater unless the caster makes a caster level check (DC 20 + spell level). If the check succeeds, the spell creates a bubble of steam instead of its usual fiery effect, but otherwise the spell works as described. A supernatural fire effect is ineffective underwater unless its description states otherwise. The surface of a body of water blocks line of effect for any fire spell. If the caster has made the caster level check to make the fire spell usable underwater, the surface still blocks the spell's line of effect.

(emphasis mine)

They specifically state that LoE is blocked for spells with the fire descriptor. That would not need to be called out if LoE was blocked in general.

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