Magic Missile and Concealment


Rules Discussion

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GM allowed a dc 5 flat check to use magic missile against a concealed creature.

Magic Missile:
"You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that
you can see. It automatically hits..."

Wouldn't concealment prevent the casting of magic missile against the concealed creature?


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Concealed
While you are concealed from a creature, such as in a thick fog, you are difficult for that creature to see. You can still be observed, but you’re tougher to target. A creature that you’re concealed from must succeed at a DC 5 flat check when targeting you with an attack, spell, or other effect. Area effects aren’t subject to this flat check. If the check fails, the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you.


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No, magic missile only requires you to see the target, which is true for a concealed creature. Magic missile hits a concealed creature just as easy as an observed one.


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I take "automatically hits" to mean that you don't have to roll a spell roll to hit, but magic missile would still be subject to a concealment flat check miss, just as a targeted spell with a save would be. Those spells also "automatically hit" (subject to save), but not necessarily if the target is concealed.


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The flat check for concealment is not to determine whether or not an incoming attack does or does not hit - it's determining whether the target can or can not be seen well enough to be attacked.

Because picking your target is what concealment interferes with, and magic missile doesn't specifically exempt itself from such interference, concealment appears to still apply against it.


So if the flat check is failed then the spell is not expended?


Oh, it's expended. Think of it as the target fading in an out of visibility while you're casting, you only roll the check at the moment you finish casting.


Xenocrat wrote:
I take "automatically hits" to mean that you don't have to roll a spell roll to hit, but magic missile would still be subject to a concealment flat check miss, just as a targeted spell with a save would be. Those spells also "automatically hit" (subject to save), but not necessarily if the target is concealed.

Where do the rules state concealment protects against spells? Other than those with an attack roll, I mean.


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Concealment: "When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect. If you fail, you don’t affect the target."

The issue is, you don't need to "roll to determine your effect", hence the flat check is never needed. Magic missile has no roll for effect [you don't roll for success or failure]. The flat roll is required to make your roll for effect and magic missile doesn't need that.

"The concealed condition doesn’t change which of the main categories of detection apply to the creature. A creature in a light fog bank is still observed even though it’s concealed". So magic missiles target conditions are still met: a observed creature is still observed. Observed = "Anything in plain view is observed by you."

Taken altogether, I see no reason a magic missile doesn't avoid the flat check


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Blave wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I take "automatically hits" to mean that you don't have to roll a spell roll to hit, but magic missile would still be subject to a concealment flat check miss, just as a targeted spell with a save would be. Those spells also "automatically hit" (subject to save), but not necessarily if the target is concealed.
Where do the rules state concealment protects against spells? Other than those with an attack roll, I mean.

In the condition.

Concealed, CRB 618 wrote:
While you are concealed from a creature, such as in a thick fog, you are difficult for that creature to see. You can still be observed, but you’re tougher to target. A creature that you’re concealed from must succeed at a DC 5 flat check when targeting you with an attack, spell, or other effect. Area effects aren’t subject to this flat check. If the check fails, the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you.

A spell "targets" you when it chooses you as a target, no attack roll required. The specific exemption for area effects makes it extra clear that Charm, Suggestion, Paralyze and their ilk are subject to concealment in this version. It's one of the reasons concealment and dazzled condition are so valuable now.

Targeting with respect to spells is on CRB 304.


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So when are you targeting?
In PF1, it was explicitly when you finished your spell.

If the target's concealed at that final moment, could you then opt for an unconcealed opponent? Either you are seeing them at that moment or you aren't.
Or do you target throughout casting, hoping you can discern your opponent in that decisive moment?

Somewhat tangential, but I think helpful would be to consider an enemy that has a Reaction when targeted, let's say to Step. Yes, that would be a pretty strong defense, so unlikely, but it's the mechanics we're exploring.
Let's say you target them with Magic Missile, they Step behind a wall so you can't see them. Now what?
That should give you a similar answer to the concealment question, right?

Have to say you're all making good points. The differences seem to arise from different premises about the mechanics of targeting.
Cheers


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That's interesting. Never noticed that in the condition. Or more likely: I glanced at it and thought it was talking about spells with attack rolls.

But as it stands, I agree. Concealment should give Magic Missile (and all other single target spells) a miss chance. That makes Concealment a pretty damn good defensive ability.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Wow that one is interesting. It would be very helpful to get a faq on this one from the developers.

I could see it going either way.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Reading it, I'm of the opinion that magic missile can be potentially foiled be said flat check.


Castilliano wrote:

So when are you targeting?

In PF1, it was explicitly when you finished your spell.

If the target's concealed at that final moment, could you then opt for an unconcealed opponent? Either you are seeing them at that moment or you aren't. Or do you target throughout casting, hoping you can discern your opponent in that decisive moment?

According to the rules as written it looks like you need to risk the flat check, as your "eye-laser-guided missiles" can apparently fail you last second if the target has concealment.

Castilliano wrote:
Somewhat tangential, but I think helpful would be to consider an enemy that has a Reaction when targeted, let's say to Step. Yes, that would be a pretty strong defense, so unlikely, but it's the mechanics we're exploring. Let's say you target them with Magic Missile, they Step behind a wall so you can't see them. Now what? That should give you a similar answer to the concealment question, right?

I consider this to be a different situation, i.e. not about targeting vs concealment but about if you can lose a spell (or not) while still casting when your target is gone.

CRB page 302 wrote:
As soon as the spellcasting actions are complete, the spell effect occurs.

However conducting a reaction like: When the enemy mage starts casting I step behind this wall is perfectly fine. As would be: I ready an action to shoot (and kill) the enemy minion once the enemy priest starts casting a spell on it. In both cases the target of the spell is gone mid cast.

The only thing that comes near from the CRB is a paragraph about spells already in effect:

CRB page 304 wrote:
If a creature starts out as a valid target but ceases to be one during a spell’s duration, the spell typically ends, but the GM might decide otherwise in certain situations.

So what?

1) Lose the spell and the action?
2) Lose the action but not the spell?
3) Lose the spell but not the action?
4) Or can you re-target? And even if you can, what if there are no other targets? Go by 1), 2) or 3)?


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I vacillated on this one, but the spell description says "You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see. It automatically hits and deals 1d4+1 force damage."
I have seen no other spell description that says automatically. That makes me feel this is an exception to the spells referred to by the Concealed condition.

BTW, I am the GM referred to by the OP. I have now offically changed my ruling for our home game.
Thanks DireLemming.


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Singularity wrote:

I vacillated on this one, but the spell description says "You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see. It automatically hits and deals 1d4+1 force damage."

I have seen no other spell description that says automatically. That makes me feel this is an exception to the spells referred to by the Concealed condition.

BTW, I am the GM referred to by the OP. I have now offically changed my ruling for our home game.
Thanks DireLemming.

Nothing against your feelings, but are your NPC casters and player characters now also hitting all their touch spells despite their adversary having concealment?

CRB page 304 wrote:

Touch Range

A spell with a range of touch requires you to physically touch the target. You use your unarmed reach to determine whether you can touch the creature. You can usually touch the target automatically, though the spell might specify that the target can attempt a saving throw or that you must attempt a spell attack roll. If an ability increases the range of a touch spell, start at 0 feet and increase from there.


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Your welcome Singularity... but I still do not agree with your crafting DCs for clothing.


Concealment applies.

It effects the targeting phase.

Quote:
A creature that you’re concealed from must succeed at a DC 5 flat check when targeting you with an attack, spell, or other effect. Area effects aren’t subject to this flat check. If the check fails, the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you.

It doesn't affect and is all about the targeting phase not the hit/miss phase so it doesn't matter if the spell says automatically hits.

Quote:
Some effects require you to choose specific targets. Targeting can be difficult or impossible if your chosen creature is undetected by you, if the creature doesn’t match restrictions on who you can target, or if some other ability prevents it from being targeted.
Quote:
Disrupted and Lost Spells Some abilities and spells can disrupt a spell, causing it to have no effect and be lost. When you lose a spell, you’ve already expended the spell slot, spent the spell’s costs and actions, and used the Cast a Spell activity. If a spell is disrupted during a Sustain a Spell action, the spell immediately ends. The full rules for disrupting actions appear on page 462.

So the spell goes off but you targeted the wrong thing and it is wasted.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:

Nothing against your feelings, but are your NPC casters and player characters now also hitting all their touch spells despite their adversary having concealment?

CRB page 304 wrote:

Touch Range

A spell with a range of touch requires you to physically touch the target. You use your unarmed reach to determine whether you can touch the creature. You can usually touch the target automatically, though the spell might specify that the target can attempt a saving throw or that you must attempt a spell attack roll. If an ability increases the range of a touch spell, start at 0 feet and increase from there.

That description of Touch Range feels less emphatic than the Magic Missile description. I would impose the DC 5 in most cases. If you are already in touch with the target some other way then I would skip the DC 5 check.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Concealment applies.

It effects the targeting phase.

Quote:
A creature that you’re concealed from must succeed at a DC 5 flat check when targeting you with an attack, spell, or other effect. Area effects aren’t subject to this flat check. If the check fails, the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you.

It doesn't affect and is all about the targeting phase not the hit/miss phase so it doesn't matter if the spell says automatically hits.

[...deleted...]
So the spell goes off but you targeted the wrong thing and it is wasted.

That is a very compelling argument, very convincing. You've made me vacillate again. My brain hurts. I'll flip a coin (d2) next time I need to make that decision. :-)

Actually, you've convinced me to put the DC 5 flat check back on the menu.


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Lesson to the devs:

When you change a forty year old tradition (that Magic Missiles cannot miss), be explicit about the change. Do not merely assume having "clear" rules is enough - people want specific confirmation:

"Yes, we are fully aware how the spell used to work. We confirm that in PF2 there is a deliberate and intentional change that makes Magic Missile subject to targeting rules, including concealment. Thank you."

After such a message, there is no more uncertainty and the confusion should go away.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

For me, the clincher is the removal of this wording "so long as it has less than total cover or total concealment" from the spell description. There is now nothing in the spell description to indicate that it is exempt from the rules on concealment*, so my conclusion is that this rules does apply to magic missile.

*See this line, "If a rule doesn’t specify otherwise, default to the general rules presented in this chapter," from the box on Game Conventions (p. 444)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Doesn't specific override general in this version of Pathfinder?

Isn't the spell description for Magic Missile more specific than the general rule for concealment?

Magic Missile says it hits automatically. That sounds like a specific override of needing to consider a spell attack roll or concealment.


Zenori wrote:

Doesn't specific override general in this version of Pathfinder?

Isn't the spell description for Magic Missile more specific than the general rule for concealment?

Magic Missile says it hits automatically. That sounds like a specific override of needing to consider a spell attack roll or concealment.

Nope, as i said and showed with the quotes, concealment effects the targeting phase of spells/abilities.

Just like being behind total cover or with broken line of sight. Magic missile says nothing about always targeting.

Unless you are also suggesting that auto hit effects (magic missile, most touch spells) can also auto hit undetected foes.


Zenori wrote:

Doesn't specific override general in this version of Pathfinder?

Isn't the spell description for Magic Missile more specific than the general rule for concealment?

Magic Missile says it hits automatically. That sounds like a specific override of needing to consider a spell attack roll or concealment.

It hits automatically in the general case of no concealment. In the specific case of concealment, it can miss.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Zenori wrote:

Doesn't specific override general in this version of Pathfinder?

Isn't the spell description for Magic Missile more specific than the general rule for concealment?

Magic Missile says it hits automatically. That sounds like a specific override of needing to consider a spell attack roll or concealment.

Nope, as i said and showed with the quotes, concealment effects the targeting phase of spells/abilities.

Just like being behind total cover or with broken line of sight. Magic missile says nothing about always targeting.

Unless you are also suggesting that auto hit effects (magic missile, most touch spells) can also auto hit undetected foes.

That's sort of the clincher for me. Magic Missile can't just hit an invisible foe whose square you aren't aware of. Concealment is basically the same principle, albeit to a lesser degree, as contrasted by landing an attack roll where you can see what you're shooting at and just need to penetrate its armor and account for its quickness.


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So failing the flat check when firing magic at a target in low light results in firing magic missile at the darkness... :)


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Zapp wrote:
When you change a forty year old tradition (that Magic Missiles cannot miss), be explicit about the change.

I for one hate this idea entirely.

Changing the rules text should be enough. There should not be an expectation that not only does the rule text have to be different for a rule to be different than some prior edition (or other game) but also extra text has to be included to say "yes, these words aren't the same words as they used to be and it's not an accident." or else "it's confusing."

No. It's not confusing. It's clear as day. Anyone confused because "that's not how it used to be" is confusing them self, and that's on them, not the book, to fix.

Stop expecting things to be the same and actually read what the book says like you did with whatever was the first game you read.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

We ran into a similar situation last night with a caster wanting to use a cantrip with a saving throw (electric jolt or something) against an invisible creature we knew the location of.

We looked around and saw nothing that would prevent the spell from being used against the creature, as long as the flat check succeeded.


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makes smoke sticks more useful than last edition at least.


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graystone wrote:

Concealment: "When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect. If you fail, you don’t affect the target."

The issue is, you don't need to "roll to determine your effect", hence the flat check is never needed. Magic missile has no roll for effect [you don't roll for success or failure]. The flat roll is required to make your roll for effect and magic missile doesn't need that.

"The concealed condition doesn’t change which of the main categories of detection apply to the creature. A creature in a light fog bank is still observed even though it’s concealed". So magic missiles target conditions are still met: a observed creature is still observed. Observed = "Anything in plain view is observed by you."

Taken altogether, I see no reason a magic missile doesn't avoid the flat check

I found this interpretation convincing. I would not call for a flat check on magic missile.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
The issue is, you don't need to "roll to determine your effect", hence the flat check is never needed. Magic missile has no roll for effect [you don't roll for success or failure]. The flat roll is required to make your roll for effect and magic missile doesn't need that.

Is the "roll to determine your effect" always a d20 "check"? In the broadest sense, you do "roll to determine your effect" with magic missile. You're just rolling one or more d4. It's not clear to me that "roll to determine your effect" always and only means a d20 check or some sort.


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I'm surprised there's so much contention in this thread.

The condition appendix says:

Quote:
A creature that you’re concealed from must succeed at a DC 5 flat check when targeting you with an attack, spell, or other effect. Area effects aren’t subject to this flat check. If the check fails, the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you.

Magic Missile:

A) Is a spell
B) Doesn't say anything about ignoring concealment

This seems super clear.


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DireLemming wrote:


So failing the flat check when firing magic at a target in low light results in firing magic missile at the darkness... :)

Hah, reading that with your display picture next to it made it even better -laughs-


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pjrogers wrote:
graystone wrote:
The issue is, you don't need to "roll to determine your effect", hence the flat check is never needed. Magic missile has no roll for effect [you don't roll for success or failure]. The flat roll is required to make your roll for effect and magic missile doesn't need that.
Is the "roll to determine your effect" always a d20 "check"? In the broadest sense, you do "roll to determine your effect" with magic missile. You're just rolling one or more d4. It's not clear to me that "roll to determine your effect" always and only means a d20 check or some sort.

"Spells that require a target to attempt a save to resist some or all of the spell’s effects have a Saving Throw entry." "Some spells require you to succeed at a spell attack roll to affect the target" The roll is for checks and the degrees of success. The thing is, magic missile doesn't require ANY check so it avoids using the whole check section.

Page 445 under checks: "Step 4: Determine the Degree of Success and Effect". The flat dc 5 check you must make before you can take step 4 and that a step magic missile doesn't use anyway. Rolling damage doesn't come up until page 450, the step after the check section.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Magic Missile can't just hit an invisible foe whose square you aren't aware of. Concealment is basically the same principle, albeit to a lesser degree, as contrasted by landing an attack roll where you can see what you're shooting at and just need to penetrate its armor and account for its quickness.

Invisibility isn't the same as concealment though, as concealment specifically says "The concealed condition doesn’t change which of the main categories of detection apply to the creature." The target is JUST as visible as far as detection is concerned with or without concealment. The target requirement doesn't change because of concealment: if you could target without it, you can target them with it and that's all that you need for magic missile.

On the flip side, unlike other attack spells the magic missile spell is unable to be used against an invisible creature: "You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see."

Squiggit wrote:

I'm surprised there's so much contention in this thread.

The condition appendix says:

The issue is concealment goes into greater detail than the appendix does. Concealment on page 467 says "When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect." Magic missile happens to be spell that skips the entire check requirement entirely.


graystone wrote:
The issue is concealment goes into greater detail than the appendix does. Concealment on page 467 says "When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect." Magic missile happens to be spell that skips the entire check requirement entirely.

So the condition has two definitions with slightly different text in two places in the book. That's definitely problematic, but I don't think we can just pick one definition to choose to ignore either.


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Squiggit wrote:
graystone wrote:
The issue is concealment goes into greater detail than the appendix does. Concealment on page 467 says "When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect." Magic missile happens to be spell that skips the entire check requirement entirely.
So the condition has two definitions with slightly different text in two places in the book. That's definitely problematic, but I don't think we can just pick one definition to choose to ignore either.

I know I'm taking the expanded and more detailed one in the actual rules section, named "Concealment and Invisibility", of the book over the condensed appendix one. It strikes me as similar to 'table listing vs actual description' discrepancy where you take the description over the condensed listing.

So I'll disagree that we can't pick one but I'll agree it's problematic and should be looked at.


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thenobledrake wrote:

I for one hate this idea entirely.

Changing the rules text should be enough. There should not be an expectation that not only does the rule text have to be different for a rule to be different than some prior edition (or other game) but also extra text has to be included to say "yes, these words aren't the same words as they used to be and it's not an accident." or else "it's confusing."

No. It's not confusing. It's clear as day. Anyone confused because "that's not how it used to be" is confusing them self, and that's on them, not the book, to fix.

Stop expecting things to be the same and actually read what the book says like you did with whatever was the first game you read.

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

Welcome to this very thread, nobledrake!

(Hint: If people agreed with your personal sentiment "it is clear as day", this thread would not have existed.)

Have a nice day


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
pjrogers wrote:

Is the "roll to determine your effect" always a d20 "check"? In the broadest sense, you do "roll to determine your effect" with magic missile. You're just rolling one or more d4. It's not clear to me that "roll to determine your effect" always and only means a d20 check or some sort.

"Spells that require a target to attempt a save to resist some or all of the spell’s effects have a Saving Throw entry." "Some spells require you to succeed at a spell attack roll to affect the target" The roll is for checks and the degrees of success. The thing is, magic missile doesn't require ANY check so it avoids using the whole check section.

Page 445 under checks: "Step 4: Determine the Degree of Success and Effect". The flat dc 5 check you must make before you can take step 4 and that a step magic missile doesn't use anyway. Rolling damage doesn't come up until page 450, the step after the check section.

Cool, thanks for pointing me to this language. I hadn't really dug into it before, and I'd now agree that "roll to determine your effect" does specifically refer to a d20 check.

At this point, I have no idea what the design team intended, so until there is official word, I'd default to the traditional vision of magic missile and say that it's not affected by concealment.


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

IMHO, either concealment has no effect, or else the flat check determines whether you can actually see the target or not, so you could abort the spell without losing it, or at least choose another target at the last minute.

No, this problem is far from "clear as day".


Zapp wrote:
(Hint: If people agreed with your personal sentiment "it is clear as day", this thread would not have existed.)

Show me someone that finds it unclear and isn't also possessing of knowledge of how the spell of the same name works in a different game/version.

Because the text in this book is clear in regards to magic missile not specifically exempting itself from concealment applying for the target - it's "...but that's not how it used to work" that people in this thread have been "confused" by.

Wheldrake has a point about a real lack of clarity, though: the rules text doesn't have a wording that gives a confident answer as to what happens when a spell is foiled by concealment preventing targeting - because the text about your target not working out only speaks to the specifics of thinking your target is a valid type of target but it isn't (vampire isn't living creature, so living creature-specific spell doesn't work) and what happens if a spell is in effect on a target and then the target becomes no longer a valid target. The eventuality of "...and then concealment makes it so you can't target them" seems it could prevent the casting of a spell entirely, or could have it cast but "shot wide"


Wheldrake wrote:

IMHO, either concealment has no effect, or else the flat check determines whether you can actually see the target or not, so you could abort the spell without losing it, or at least choose another target at the last minute.

No, this problem is far from "clear as day".

That's not how concealment works for attacks, so I don't think that's how it should work for spells, ignoring whether magic missile is a special case. Missing the spell due to concealment wastes the action and spell.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For those who allow flat checks, is it for the whole spell, or per missile?


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Step by step how concealment functions RAW

1. A person targets someone who is concealed

2. Then the person makes a DC5 flat check, as concealment says nothing about losing targeting just that if it fails "the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you." and that it happens "before you roll to determine your effect." which in the case of magic missile is before damage as that is what does damage therefore is what the effect of the spell is.

3. If the DC5 check was 5 or higher the spell effects the target, if the DC5 check was 4 or lower the spell doesn't effect the target. It has nothing to do with missing or hitting raw, it simply changes what the spell does. In this case it doesn't matter whether the missiles auto hit or not because the concealment rules don't mention anything to do with misses (partially because they are intentionally there to foil saves and stuff not just hit/miss spells).

Quote:
pg.467: When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect.
Quote:

pg.618: A creature that you’re concealed from must succeed at a DC 5 flat check when targeting you with an attack, spell, or other effect.

Area effects aren’t subject to this flat check. If the check fails, the attack, spell, or effect doesn’t affect you.

So. You target, then concealment because you targeted someone with concealment, then if the concealment check fails whatever targeted the concealed creature fails to have any effect.

It doesn't say "you nolonger target this creature", "you miss the target" or anything similar. It says that the "the attack, spell or effect doesn't affect you"

Magic missiles effect are determined by the "reading spells section" on

Quote:
page 306. "A horizontal line follows saving throws and duration, and the effects of the spell are described after this line."

I don't believe there is any ambiguity in the rules here.

Again, concealment stops a spell's effects, magic missile's effect is it's damage (arguably even it's ability to auto hit the targets). It doesn't happen before the spell goes off, it happens after the target is chosen and the spell is cast, in the same way it happens after an attack is made.


The Gleeful Grognard: #2 and #3 don't affect the Magic Missile as it skips the check step.

Damage: "On a successful check, you hit and deal damage." Magic Missile specifically alter this norm, the norm that is affected by the flat check: IE the roll to see if you can roll, since there is never a roll for it. It's a more specific rule. It's skipping the check step is the same as skipping the flat check.

On your quotes, damage isn't an effect: the check section covers effects and damage happens in the damage step. There is never a roll for effect on a Magic Missile: hence the flat check is moot [it stops nothing as it would prevent the check you never have to make].


graystone wrote:

The Gleeful Grognard: #2 and #3 don't affect the Magic Missile as it skips the check step.

Damage: "On a successful check, you hit and deal damage." Magic Missile specifically alter this norm, the norm that is affected by the flat check: IE the roll to see if you can roll, since there is never a roll for it. It's a more specific rule. It's skipping the check step is the same as skipping the flat check.

On your quotes, damage isn't an effect: the check section covers effects and damage happens in the damage step. There is never a roll for effect on a Magic Missile: hence the flat check is moot [it stops nothing as it would prevent the check you never have to make].

Step 2 occurs before checking to see if something hits or misses, magic missile doesn't skip this step.

You don't roll to hit, then roll the flat DC, you do the flat DC directly after determining a target before hit/miss is determined. Ergo auto hitting is irrelevant.

Damage is an effect as far as spells are considered, I recommend reading the "how to read a spell" section. It is clear, for spells anything in that section is the effect of the spell. You may argue that this section needs a rewrite / errata but as written this is how you read spells.

With magic missile you cannot avoid having to target something, as the spell specifies you need a target, you then must make the DC flat check because you chose a target with concealed. Then you would determine if the attack/spell hits/misses, the save succeeds/fails.. in this case it would auto hit, but that is irrelevant as the next part is covered by concealed saying that the spell doesn't effect the target if that flat DC failed.


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DireLemming wrote:
So failing the flat check when firing magic at a target in low light results in firing magic missile at the darkness... :)

Bien has been getting off easy. Not any more. Now your GM knows the rule!

Beware of dim light, my friend.


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Singularity wrote:
DireLemming wrote:
So failing the flat check when firing magic at a target in low light results in firing magic missile at the darkness... :)

Bien has been getting off easy. Not any more. Now your GM knows the rule!

Beware of dim light, my friend.

Perhaps it would be best not to tell the other spell-casters in the party that DireLemming made you aware of this rule...

Bein is on thin-enough ice with Maribelle as it is...


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Step 2 occurs before checking to see if something hits or misses, magic missile doesn't skip this step.

You don't roll to hit, then roll the flat DC, you do the flat DC directly after determining a target before hit/miss is determined. Ergo auto hitting is irrelevant.

You roll to see if you can roll the d20: that's a moot point for the magic missile as the spell works without the roll. Magic missile skips the check required for most actions which is what the flat check is rolled for: to see if you can roll your d20 or not.

Say you still say I have to roll the DC5? Ok I failed and can't roll... So no d20 check for effect. Seeing as there is no roll in the spell, I move to the next step, damage...

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