UMD, Scrolls & Forbiddance


Rules Questions


Hi all, I tried to scour through and see if anyone's covered this before but didn't manage to find anything after several pages. With regards to using a scroll of Forbiddance (there might be other spells that are similar for this), can you use the Emulate Alignment portion of UMD to change the alignment you a considered for the casting of the spell?

A lot of threads spoke about UMD vs. the spell when it checks creatures entering for alignment, but could you (as part of the activation, and therefore casting of the spell) emulate a different alignment so that the area of Forbiddance treats a specific alignment different to your actual one, as the one it checks against creatures entering it?

For example, a LG creature uses UMD to emulate a CE alignment as part of the activation of the scroll, creating an area of Forbiddance that treats the 'identical alignment' as CE instead of LG? This would still mean the poor caster is immediately affected since their actual alignment is still different (in this case, 12d6 for both components), but could allow a creature to set up a Forbiddance zone keyed to an alignment different to their own?

Relevant portions of the spell and UMD:

"In addition, it damages entering creatures whose alignments are different from yours. The effect on those attempting to enter the warded area is based on their alignment relative to yours (see below). A creature inside the area when the spell is cast takes no damage unless it exits the area and attempts to reenter, at which time it is affected as normal."

"Emulate an Alignment: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on the user’s alignment. Use Magic Device lets you use these items as if you were of an alignment of your choice. You can emulate only one alignment at a time."

Sorry if this has been asked before, but it's a matter I'm concerned about for a twist regarding an upcoming session, and I don't want to houserule it if possible (a CE character creating a LG forbiddance zone, in my case).

Scarab Sages

Oddly enough, I've never actually heard of an alignment change in UMD for spells. But that's good to know. As of a LG creature casting a CE spell through UMD, I'd say no. Especially if it's a LG caster who uses divine magic. That would straight up be an alignment infraction in my opinion. But otherwise, I might let it fly at one of my tables. And as far as the LG character not being harmed goes, all casters can be harmed by their own spells. Like if a wizard drops a fireball directly on top of himself. So I'd say regardless of how you rule it, the person would most definitely take the damage.


Quote:
Emulate an Alignment: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on the user’s alignment. Use Magic Device lets you use these items as if you were of an alignment of your choice. You can emulate only one alignment at a time.

Seems pretty straightforward to me.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blahpers wrote:
Quote:
Emulate an Alignment: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on the user’s alignment. Use Magic Device lets you use these items as if you were of an alignment of your choice. You can emulate only one alignment at a time.
Seems pretty straightforward to me.

It lets you use the scroll as if you were of another alignment, but that does nothing for Forbiddance.

A scroll of forbiddance hasn't an alignment restricted use. The alignment of the user set the alignment of the spell. Essentially it checks what is your alignment when the spell takes effect, not while you are using the scroll. And the effect of a spell isn't affected by UND.

BTW:

Quote:
A creature inside the area when the spell is cast takes no damage unless it exits the area and attempts to reenter, at which time it is affected as normal.

People already in the area of effect don't take damage when the spell is cast.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As a side note, but that is a home rule, not RAW, I will have the crafter set the alignment of the spell when he crafts this kind of scroll. Crafting a scroll of a different alignment will require a helper of the different alignment or taking a +5 for a missing prerequisite and will count as an act of the scroll alignment.
The magic rules aren't detailed enough to take into account all the possible cases where this can be appropriate, but in a home game, a GM can evaluate it this kind of rule should apply or not on a case-by-case basis.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This forum has some weird problem, if I refresh the page or close and reopen the thread I don't see the comment above, backtracking I see it.

Now it seems to have resolved to make it visible, but it is decidedly strange.


Diego Rossi wrote:

This forum has some weird problem, if I refresh the page or close and reopen the thread I don't see the comment above, backtracking I see it.

Now it seems to have resolved to make it visible, but it is decidedly strange.

Yeah, I was having a weird issue when I first posted the thread, couldn't even see the post I'd made until I backtracked, closed, and re-opened. Seems fine now though.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Essentially it checks what is your alignment when the spell takes effect, not while you are using the scroll.

As far as I can tell, using the scroll is casting it (part of the same action), that's why there's the necessity of the ability score, caster level, spell list, magic type requirements etc. Forbiddance is also kind of weird because it checks the caster's alignment when the spell is cast, which doesn't normally happen (outside of evil/good descriptor spells for divine casters I believe?) for most spells. It uses the caster's alignment to determine what alignments are considered unsafe for the area - I suppose the question is, does the emulated alignment apply to the spell referencing the caster's alignment? It wouldn't under normal circumstances if you just cast the spell, but as soon as its on a scroll, UMD comes into play - it would also be a neat, if albeit not necessarily useful, trick.

It's one of those areas I thought was kind of niche enough that I wanted to check other people's views on it - I can always house rule as necessary in this case, so thanks for the suggestion Diego, just also trying to understand the core of it first.

Diego Rossi wrote:
People already in the area of effect don't take damage when the spell is cast.

Ah, nice catch - somehow missed that the first time. Makes one of other problems disappear entirely.

The Exchange

If you can use UMD to trick a sword, I think you can to trick a scroll while casting. Go for it in your home game. I don't think you will have much problems


advice - IMO (and elsewhere) all the decisions about a casting are written into the scroll. This decision avoids ambiguity when casting using a scroll. Casters may change the parameters when using a scroll BUT they need to know the spell and have the components on hand if necessary. Thus you see scrolls of Resist Fire and not Resist Energy (Fire).
It seems trivial but becomes readily apparent with spells like Baleful Polymorph, Alter Self, Bestow Curse, etc...

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / UMD, Scrolls & Forbiddance All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.