Detect Magic is getting tedious


Homebrew and House Rules

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When I first read Detect Magic, I thought it was going to be a cool change. Players wouldn't be using it to automatically see through illusions, find hidden magic items behind loose stones in the wall, etc. Now they would have to rely on their skills and more specialized spells.

What has actually happened is that everything grinds to a halt as soon as Detect Magic pings positive. Now they have to go through an elaborate search algorithm to discover which of the 20 items they can see is magical. This involves a combination of moving around the room and moving items around so they are out of line of effect or outside the 30' radius. Then you hide the found magic item and repeat the process to see if there are more.

I am torn about how I want to treat this. One would be to just fast forward through the search process and tell them what is magical and tick off some time. I thought about treating Detect Magic as an imprecise sense and letting them know what square the item is in on an easy perception check. I am reluctant to just make the item glow for the caster, but it does have its attractions. Now they know that the third sword from the left in the rack of eight is the magical one and we can move on without the search routine.


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If they have a workable algorithm and there is no reason they can't use it, why not just go ahead and tell them they succeed without the song and dance? The important part of the Detect Magic changes is that such an algorithm takes much more time so it's not viable in combat/under time pressure the way it was and that illusions aren't automatically seen through. Just saying "you take the next couple minutes to determine these two items are magical" seems like it should work great.


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^ Right, I mean the entire point of distinguishing exploration from encounter time is you don't need to overtly track every action, it's still there but nobody needs to spell things out action by action if it's going to be following a general period for a period of time, you just decide how long it takes and that's it.

AFAIK, 1E Detect Magic couldn't see thru rock walls, and if anybody didn't want their spells pinging, they should have used Magic Aura spell which has very long duration at high levels.


In 1e detect magic, and most other detection spells "can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it." I am glad they got rid of that.


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Yeah, that's where you as a GM just say "you search the room to try and locate the magic item, roll a check to search the room before you move on".

If the players decide they want to search the room thoroughly, checking everything;

"You search the room thoroughly to try and locate the magic item, roll a check to search the room with a +2 circumstance bonus before you move on".

Letting them spend two hours taking individual checks for each stone they turn over isn't actually fun for anyone.


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Pandora's wrote:
If they have a workable algorithm and there is no reason they can't use it, why not just go ahead and tell them they succeed without the song and dance? The important part of the Detect Magic changes is that such an algorithm takes much more time so it's not viable in combat/under time pressure the way it was and that illusions aren't automatically seen through. Just saying "you take the next couple minutes to determine these two items are magical" seems like it should work great.

I'd agree along these lines. If players want to thoroughly spam Detect Magic while rearranging the room they're in, just decide how long it takes them to do so in-game and treat it like an exploration mode section.

Personally, I'd start by saying it takes a default of 10 min (standard short break time) as long as there is more than just a few objects in the area so that non-searching characters could have a chance to do something else if they wanted. Depending on how many magic items there are and/or how many other objects the group may have to sort through - this could easily be increased to hours if the group is determined to find everything magical before moving on. Don't waste game time dwelling on it, but make it clear that in-game time is moving and the rest of the world did't stop because they did (only so many hours in a day before PCs need sleep after all).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

When a few items turn out to be magical and bad they'll reconsider.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mean it makes sense, adventurers are in a room. The wizard's spidey-sense tingles - there's magic nearby. The party searches.

I'd simply ask "How long would you search before giving up?", treating a basic perception as 10 minutes and "As long as it takes" to mean that even on a crit-fail they'll find it a few hours later. If there's no time pressure I can't see why they wouldn't turn over every stone, and luckily as GM's we can use failing forward to quickly tell the story of their boring hours of searching. Even better if you can think of things other than time. Maybe a patrol is alerted? Maybe an NPC is getting frustrated by waiting & will be harder to get on with?

Just make sure it's logical and if the time really shouldn't matter or there's really nothing in the room to make the search difficult just let them find it. 90% of the time really there isn't any repercussion to a thorough search & there's no reason not to let that hour pass in a single roll.


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Of course, you could just suggest that someone cast Read Aura next. True, this spell takes longer to cast at one minute, but once heightened it can distinguish individual auras on multiple items each time it is cast, which makes it more useful than Detect Magic at higher levels (which can only give you a general sense of where they exist and what the strongest individual school is).

Furthermore, if you take Read Aura as a cantrip, and are trained in Arcana, you can get innate (essentially permanent) Detect Magic via the feat Arcane Sense without taking up another cantrip, if you happen to need that extra cantrip more than the general or skill feat.

That should greatly reduce the time needed to figure out what items your loot goblins should be focusing on grabbing each encounter.


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Personally when it came to Detect Magic in PF1e if an illusionist wanted to hide the magical aura of their spells they would either overlay with the Magic Aura spell or simply use Nondetection if they were protecting a person or object.

Doing this required people to succeed at a Caster Level check in order to be able to see that there even is a magical aura there in the first place. Though to prevent meta gaming by the players I prefer when those checks are made in secret by the DM.

I otherwise liked spells such as Detect Magic and Arcane Sight and how they simply showed an overlay of magical aura that you were able to detect in your normal senses. It made it much easier to understand as an abstract.


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Thanks for all the good suggestions. I was getting too far in the weeds and treating their search as more of an encounter and less as exploration. I ran Sunday and just had the default search take 10 min, so that people could also be doing treat wounds, etc. at the same time, and assumed that detect magic would be cast at the opportune times.

It does seem odd that a wizard would have designed the Detect Magic spell to work this way. Why make it so hard on yourself when you could have just made the magic auras visible?


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Penthau wrote:
It does seem odd that a wizard would have designed the Detect Magic spell to work this way. Why make it so hard on yourself when you could have just made the magic auras visible?

I imagine that was not an option because of Mordenkainen's Uncertainty Principle or other ingame technobabble. Just as in PF1 no wizard wanted detect magic to be blocked by a thin sheet of lead, that was just the way magic worked.


It's simply another case of changes to mechanics changing fluff.


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Temperans wrote:
It's simply another case of changes to mechanics changing fluff.

Its always possible that the new mechanics are a newer version of the spell - perhaps they stopped casting the old version of the spell because someone discovered that casting the old version caused infertility or cancer or something.

Spells are an application of manipulating magic fantasy physics, and techniques and common practice can change over time.


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I haven’t though of an algorithm method yet... just had my first 2e sessions a week ago. However, when something came up on the radar and I needed to isolate it, I immediately started wondering how I could triangulate its position. The GM recognized this and - seeking to avoid the ensuing monotony - hand-waived the process. I foresee some glossing over in our future.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

remember you can use read aura to determine a specific items magicalness.


Having DM only be "precise" from 7th level onward is a bad design decision which is making life unnecessarily annoying for low level chars, which have to rely on triangulation tactics or overly meticulous searches. And while read aura may certainly help you identify items as magic you first need to have a basic idea which items to scan.

Sovereign Court

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Ubertron_X wrote:
Having DM only be "precise" from 7th level onward is a bad design decision which is making life unnecessarily annoying for low level chars, which have to rely on triangulation tactics or overly meticulous searches. And while read aura may certainly help you identify items as magic you first need to have a basic idea which items to scan.

Surely by searching most players are finding the loot anyway? Why are folks so upset about it not being automatic with a spell that costs nothing to cast?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I am genuinely asking. Is there something in the rules that I am missing?


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The big weakness in the Detect Magic spell is that it just tells you if something magical is somewhere in the 30' radius of the spell. In 1e, you could just concentrate for a few rounds and the items in the area became obvious to the caster.

For example, the characters walk into the wizard's research lab and there are 30 scrolls sitting in little shelves around the room. The GM knows that 3 of them are magic scrolls and the other 27 are not. He tells the players after they cast Detect Magic "You detect magic in the room". Now what? How do they find the magic ones, because they are not going to stop once they know there is magic of some kind in the room?

Do you send the caster out in the hallway, bring out 1 scroll at a time and recast the spell 30 times? Do you have him cast Read Aura 30 times over the course of 30 minutes?

Even if you just hand wave it and say they find them over the course of a 10 minute search, the process for the characters is just ridiculously tedious. I agree that the spell needed to be nerfed, it revealed too much, especially working through materials and spotting high level illusions, and ruined encounters unless you explicitly planned around it. I feel that they nerfed it too far.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

why is this in homebrew now, no one has been suggesting homebrew... this is more rules discussion.

I think the thing people need to realize is that Detect magic has had part of its utility put into read aura. Detect magic is a simple yes/no in 30 ft while read aura can let you start going through various items that seem magical and confirm those items individually, and at higher levels use it on multiple items at a time.

Quote:

READ AURA CANTRIP 1

CANTRIP DETECTION DIVINATION
Traditions arcane, divine, occult, primal
Cast 1 minute (somatic, verbal)
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 object
You focus on the target object, opening your mind to perceive magical auras. When the casting is complete, you know whether that item is magical, and if it is, you learn the school of magic (pages 297–298). If the object is illusory, you detect this only if the effect’s level is lower than the level of your read aura spell.
Heightened (3rd) You can target up to 10 objects.
Heightened (6th) You can target any number of objects.


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Bandw2 wrote:
I think the thing people need to realize is that Detect magic has had part of its utility put into read aura. Detect magic is a simple yes/no in 30 ft while read aura can let you start going through various items that seem magical and confirm those items individually, and at higher levels use it on multiple items at a time.

Thats all nice and fine and easy going once you reached 5th or 7th level. However at low levels those spells, even when combined do not provide the utility and convenience the old one did (for finding magic items that is). Not even close.

You stand in an abandoned old armory containing dozens of weapons and pieces of armor. You use detect magic. You detect magic. Good luck now lowbie, searching for that one lego brick that you know is somewhere in your big box of spare lego bricks.

A generous GM might allow a perception or craft check to single out items of exceptional craftmanship, however you can not call on that.


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The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Having DM only be "precise" from 7th level onward is a bad design decision which is making life unnecessarily annoying for low level chars, which have to rely on triangulation tactics or overly meticulous searches. And while read aura may certainly help you identify items as magic you first need to have a basic idea which items to scan.
Surely by searching most players are finding the loot anyway? Why are folks so upset about it not being automatic with a spell that costs nothing to cast?

Some people are probably upset because default expectations have changed since 1E. In 1E, Detect Magic gave the location of every magic aura in a room after just three rounds and also allowed checks to gain even more information. Looting essentially became a non-issue after a certain point, since any loot worth carrying would be magical and it'd take less than a minute to locate and grab everything you wanted in an area.

2E on the other hand has not only rebalanced magic within the setting, but seems to have more focus on certain options/activities actually taking time to accomplish (see exploration mode, treat wounds, focus, etc.), rather than a single common spell instantly solving the issue and invalidating any mundane options (like searching by hand). So instead of saying the group finds everything valuable in a room after 18 seconds - the group would have to say they spend X minutes/hours searching in order to find everything while giving the mundane folk time to do something else in the meantime or help out in other ways.

Personally, I kinda like this since it helps make time actually have an impact within the game when you have to spend it as a resource in order to get certain things done.

Ubertron_X wrote:
Having DM only be "precise" from 7th level onward is a bad design decision which is making life unnecessarily annoying for low level chars, which have to rely on triangulation tactics or overly meticulous searches. And while read aura may certainly help you identify items as magic you first need to have a basic idea which items to scan.

I'd disagree that it's a bad design decision, rather it is simply one that creates a different expectation within the setting. Also, I'd note that detect magic never becomes a precise sense in 2E, only becoming imprecise when heightened as a 4th level spell. So while you'd be able to narrow down a magic aura to a 5ft cube, you might still have to do a bit of searching if you're trying to find a small magic item among various mundane items within that 5ft cube.


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Why do people think 100% looting effectiveness is universally needed?
If you don't find one piece of loot, who f+%$ing cares?
The GM only gives it to you to meet metagame expectations anyways.
If you don't happen to find it, their ultimate motivation still exists so you will find some other loot somehow.
If GM is providing specific plot items, they can understand how rules work and make sure it's findable.


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Bandw2 wrote:

I think the thing people need to realize is that Detect magic has had part of its utility put into read aura.

Quote:

READ AURA CANTRIP 1

Targets 1 object

I think this is why Penthau suggested casting Read Aura thirty times. Once for each scroll.

Of course, there's still the entire contents of the rest of the room to deal with too. What if there's a +1 dagger inside a desk drawer?


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I think people just are attached to 3.x/1E-specific optimized way of exploiting rules, literally DEPENDING on detect magic to find everything magic. Well now that's not so much the important part, but you can still find it just find by making Search check, and stuff like Quick Identify Feat will also help identifying it. Just finding stuff like magic weapons and armor is easy, because they have Runes that overtly show they are magical even to somebody without Detect Magic/Read Aura. Of course at low level, there is generally much less magical gear, so the assumption "we only bother to loot magical stuff" doesn't really apply, and thus "instantly" homing in on the magical gear isn't going to necessarily save you any time because you DO want the nonmagical loot also. There is a dynamic that identifying is more of exploration/downtime thing, although Quick Identify changes that eventually at high levels. Just seems like if you approach it not attached to mechanics enabling one specific sequence of optimized looting, then you won't be disappointed: you still fight stuff in dungeons, search for treasure, and use some of it as powerful tools.

Sovereign Court

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I think a lot of the time isolating the magic wazzit isn't all that complicated.

Instead of standing in the middle of the room, stand in the corners, narrow itd down to a quandrant.

When trying to decide which of a bunch of scrolls are magical, put them in two piles and test for each pile if there's magic; keep splitting until you isolate. You can give some algorithmic complexity bounds for how long it should take, but basically, you can cut it down to a few minutes.

The only tricky situation really is small rooms where you can't split stacks of items.

Sovereign Court

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"It takes you 2 minutes to find out, that 3 of the 30 scrolls are magical." In exploration mode you have enough time to do just that.

"After you pitched the Animted Statue into the deep crevasse you look around" "I want to cast Detect Magic." "Are we still in Encounter Mode?" "Yes." "I will move to the corner and cast Detect Magic." "Me. too, but from another corner." "As you do, you feel the earth shudder, as the Animated Statue hits the bottom. There is dust and pebbles coming down from the ceiling as the earth does not stop shaking." "We don't have time to search for all magic items, grab the best things you can get and we need to get out of here...!"

If you do not have enough time, then Detect Magic will only give you a hint. You will have to make your own decisions.

My opinion? This gives better story telling options.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

I think the thing people need to realize is that Detect magic has had part of its utility put into read aura.

Quote:

READ AURA CANTRIP 1

Targets 1 object

I think this is why Penthau suggested casting Read Aura thirty times. Once for each scroll.

Of course, there's still the entire contents of the rest of the room to deal with too. What if there's a +1 dagger inside a desk drawer?

oh no, you have to actually use detect magic, and then search the room manually and use a different spell to confirm your results... oh no. you shouldn't be getting multiple magic items until higher levels and bringing all the scrolls with you to read aura in downtime is perfectly reasonable.

the point is, unless you perform fairly well with your searching, you probably won't be sure what is magical loot until later, or you can do it while people are resting using medicine or for focus points, etc.


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Quandary wrote:
The GM only gives it to you to meet metagame expectations anyways.

Speak for yourself.


Bandw2 wrote:
oh no, you have to actually use detect magic, and then search the room manually and use a different spell to confirm your results... oh no.

Nice straw man you built up and tore down, there.


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Draco18s wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
oh no, you have to actually use detect magic, and then search the room manually and use a different spell to confirm your results... oh no.
Nice straw man you built up and tore down, there.

and what exactly was your "thirty scrolls" example? I was being satirical and self aware.

even taking your example seriously, you CAN just stow it all and go through it meticulously later. nothing about my second sentence was a straw man, even worst case scenario you will still be able to find out what is magical, just can't do it if you're under time pressure.


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Yeah taking longer to find identify items (at least at low levels before you start getting heightened cantrips and quick identify) is definitely an intended consequence of the new system. That's why it takes 10 minutes by default to identify magic, not 1 to 3 rounds.

I mean even in a scenario where you're using Read Aura 30 times at level 1 instead of using triangulation, that's still only as long as it takes to Treat Wounds on 3 members of the party. And your allies can search bodies or the room in that time as well. You'd need another 30 minutes to identify their properties once you've figured out which ones are magic, but if you aren't waiting an hour for another round of Treat Wounds you can just pocket them and identify them later.


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Bandw2 wrote:
even taking your example seriously, you CAN just stow it all and go through it meticulously later. nothing about my second sentence was a straw man, even worst case scenario you will still be able to find out what is magical, just can't do it if you're under time pressure.

The problem though isn't actually the 30 scrolls in the book case (the 30 scrolls, for reference, was from the room description). Its the fact that Detect Magic can't even narrow the magic down to the 5 foot square the book case is in without meticulous triangulation tedium and why the +1 dagger in a desk drawer throws the whole process out the window.

THAT'S the problem and THAT'S the reason Read Aura isn't a solution and why your quip is a straw man. The rules don't offer an "out" that narrows down where the magic is and makes the players tediously manipulate their positioning and what objects are in range in order to get the effect that was built into the spell in PF1!


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If the GM doesn't want it to be hard to find the magic items, it will not be hard to find them. If they do want it to be hard, they can actually do that now, instead of a cantrip invalidating that as an option. Why are you complaining, because the GM actually has an option they didn't have before? If they were just being mean and keeping the magic items away from you, they don't have to give any in the first place. This simply opens up space for the players making meaningful choices were there was no space before, and isn't in any disruptive to playing the game. Just say, "There's a whole bunch of stuff, including a big bookcase of scrolls. How much time do you guys want to spend finding the magic items?" And if they want to spend a lot of time to find every magic item, then let them. It doesn't take any more real-life game time to do unless the GM is making them describe their item finding algorithms or something.


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Draco18s wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
even taking your example seriously, you CAN just stow it all and go through it meticulously later. nothing about my second sentence was a straw man, even worst case scenario you will still be able to find out what is magical, just can't do it if you're under time pressure.

The problem though isn't actually the 30 scrolls in the book case (the 30 scrolls, for reference, was from the room description). Its the fact that Detect Magic can't even narrow the magic down to the 5 foot square the book case is in without meticulous triangulation tedium and why the +1 dagger in a desk drawer throws the whole process out the window.

THAT'S the problem and THAT'S the reason Read Aura isn't a solution and why your quip is a straw man. The rules don't offer an "out" that narrows down where the magic is and makes the players tediously manipulate their positioning and what objects are in range in order to get the effect that was built into the spell in PF1!

yes, you seem to have a problem with an intended consequence due to a rule change.

you must actual search for the room, figure out what is worth keeping and figure out what is magical later, or do a manual search while casting read aura. it's not impossible to find magical items like you seem to think it is, it's just not a flick of the wrist.

at higher levels, you can tell items are base of higher grade materials to narrow it down even further. you detected magic, found it came back yes, you search around and find a ring, do you keep it? cast read aura on the spot, etc?

what would you do if the drawer in PF1e was lined with lead? miss out on a dagger i suppose.


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Except the GM can still have the dagger in a lead lined drawer. So its effectively whent from 2 questions: is there magic and is there a lead lined container? To 3 questions: is there magic, where is it, and is there a lead lined container?

Now I get why they did it as one of the nerfs was weaker instant benefits, and it's honestly not bad as a low level cantrip.

However, It would had been nice if instead of telling you the school and 5-ft area of magic of the highest magic effect. It narrowed down any area where spells are, so for example at spell lv 3 it tells you the direction, at spell lv 6 it tells you a 10 ft square and at spell lv 9 it tells you the exact location or nearest 5-ft square.

Heck Detect Alignment give you exact location at spell lv 2 for comparison.

It would then also allow Magic Aura to be dedicated to give the school and power of the magic.

************
Side note: I'm kind of surprised that Read Aura is not based more on the Analyze Aura spell (available to psychic pf1e casters). Although both have a very similar effect regarding magic auras.

It actually looks like they kind of gutted everything but the school detection and anti illusion and made it a cantrip instead of 2nd/3rd lv, while also making it multi target.

Otherwise it's a cantrip version of Analyze Dweomer or Aura Sight, that only tells you the school but its requires no check and target every thing in the area (at high level).


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detect magic isn't stopped by lead anymore only locate is as far as i can tell, its also stopped by running water o-o...

in fact locate, other than lead lined drawers probably does exactly what people want "locate magic item not in my possession" *shrug* i don't see where it outlines what kind of criteria you can and cannot sort by, but it'll probably be up to your GM.


I think if they added a 2nd level heightening that essentially acted as a compass arrow that's essentially "that way", that'd be super useful, but not that powerful. Or some low level magic item that was just a dowsing rod for magic toys, that'd be pretty cool


Bandw2 wrote:
you must actual search for the room, figure out what is worth keeping and figure out what is magical later, or do a manual search while casting read aura. it's not impossible to find magical items like you seem to think it is, it's just not a flick of the wrist.

Watch this easy textual trick.

Nothing up my sleeves.

Quote:

Detect Magic Cantrip

You send out a pulse that registers the presence of magic. You
receive no information beyond the presence or absence of magic.
You can choose to ignore magic you’re fully aware of, such as the
magic items and ongoing spells of you and your allies.
You detect illusion magic only if that magic’s effect has a lower
level than the level of your detect magic spell. However, items
that have an illusion aura but aren’t deceptive in appearance
(such as an invisibility potion) typically are detected normally.
If you spent 10 minutes (as an Exploration Activity) you can
pinpoint the source of the highest-level magic.

Heightened (4th) As 3rd level, but you also pinpoint the source
of the highest-level magic immediately.

Without that line you force the players to go into encounter mode and detail exactly how they position themselves to pinpoint. Or you CAN'T pinpoint even with positioning. Once you detect something you just have a general idea that it's in some 30 foot area. You back off ten feet and try again and you'll get in-determinant results (that is, assume precisely one magical source and you get the first result: if you move 15 feet east and ping and get a result, then move 30 feet west and ping and get a result, where's the magic?).


Bandw2 wrote:

detect magic isn't stopped by lead anymore only locate is as far as i can tell, its also stopped by running water o-o...

in fact locate, other than lead lined drawers probably does exactly what people want "locate magic item not in my possession" *shrug* i don't see where it outlines what kind of criteria you can and cannot sort by, but it'll probably be up to your GM.

As far as I can tell, protections against detect magic are as simple as the drawer itself. The +1 dagger is out of line of effect in the drawer, so it wouldn't be detected inside it. So putting it under a thin false bottom should protect it from detection. You would have to find it by searching.


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Draco18s wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
you must actual search for the room, figure out what is worth keeping and figure out what is magical later, or do a manual search while casting read aura. it's not impossible to find magical items like you seem to think it is, it's just not a flick of the wrist.

Watch this easy textual trick.

Nothing up my sleeves.

Quote:

Detect Magic Cantrip

You send out a pulse that registers the presence of magic. You
receive no information beyond the presence or absence of magic.
You can choose to ignore magic you’re fully aware of, such as the
magic items and ongoing spells of you and your allies.
You detect illusion magic only if that magic’s effect has a lower
level than the level of your detect magic spell. However, items
that have an illusion aura but aren’t deceptive in appearance
(such as an invisibility potion) typically are detected normally.
If you spent 10 minutes (as an Exploration Activity) you can
pinpoint the source of the highest-level magic.

Heightened (4th) As 3rd level, but you also pinpoint the source
of the highest-level magic immediately.

Without that line you force the players to go into encounter mode and detail exactly how they position themselves to pinpoint. Or you CAN'T pinpoint even with positioning. Once you detect something you just have a general idea that it's in some 30 foot area. You back off ten feet and try again and you'll get in-determinant results (that is, assume precisely one magical source and you get the first result: if you move 15 feet east and ping and get a result, then move 30 feet west and ping and get a result, where's the magic?).

Without that line you can force the players to go into encounter mode. Or you can use some of that judgement GMs are supposed to apply in exploration mode and make it work in a bit looser fashion.

With that line though, you've nailed it down so that you can never find anything but the highest level magic. :)


Penthau wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

detect magic isn't stopped by lead anymore only locate is as far as i can tell, its also stopped by running water o-o...

in fact locate, other than lead lined drawers probably does exactly what people want "locate magic item not in my possession" *shrug* i don't see where it outlines what kind of criteria you can and cannot sort by, but it'll probably be up to your GM.

As far as I can tell, protections against detect magic are as simple as the drawer itself. The +1 dagger is out of line of effect in the drawer, so it wouldn't be detected inside it. So putting it under a thin false bottom should protect it from detection. You would have to find it by searching.

There's nothing in the wording to denote light of sight required for DM, it's just a true/false state that's only fooled by an illusion school spell of a spell level higher than that of DM. So if it's in the next room on the bed in the hotel, it'll ding as long as it's close enough. So if you enchant the drawer with some hiding spell, that should do the trick as long as it's not an archmage trying to find it


The idea of los is not a bad one, since now the spell is spammed whenever you are taking a hike.

As suggested, it could also bring more possibilities in terms of lore and flavor. However rules are clear, and that would be a homebrew one.

Personally the only thing I didn't really like back then was the fact that the more you go further, the more the exploits.

Mostly because magic, and particularly because of divination and transmutation.

Currently it is a dm spam all the time since lvl 1, so even the search phase tends to be boring.

With this consideration I am not saying that there will be magic overflowing everywhere, but that the use of dm could ruin part of the fun.


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nick1wasd wrote:
Penthau wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

detect magic isn't stopped by lead anymore only locate is as far as i can tell, its also stopped by running water o-o...

in fact locate, other than lead lined drawers probably does exactly what people want "locate magic item not in my possession" *shrug* i don't see where it outlines what kind of criteria you can and cannot sort by, but it'll probably be up to your GM.

As far as I can tell, protections against detect magic are as simple as the drawer itself. The +1 dagger is out of line of effect in the drawer, so it wouldn't be detected inside it. So putting it under a thin false bottom should protect it from detection. You would have to find it by searching.
There's nothing in the wording to denote light of sight required for DM, it's just a true/false state that's only fooled by an illusion school spell of a spell level higher than that of DM. So if it's in the next room on the bed in the hotel, it'll ding as long as it's close enough. So if you enchant the drawer with some hiding spell, that should do the trick as long as it's not an archmage trying to find it

There is also nothing in the wording of Detect Magic that exempts it from line of effect rules, which apply to all spells unless otherwise stated. It is listed as simply an emanation with a 30' radius.


Do you consider the spell something which lights up the magic objects in the spell's range, and because of that affected by los, or simply something the caster can feel?


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Well it certainly doesn't "light up the magic objects", since you can't tell which they are, or even if there's more than one.

But there's no reason I'm aware of that line of effect rules don't apply.

Might be even more frustrating if they didn't - that magic you detect, but can't find isn't actually in the room, but on the other side of a wall in a room you don't even know exists. :)


thejeff wrote:

Well it certainly doesn't "light up the magic objects", since you can't tell which they are, or even if there's more than one.

But there's no reason I'm aware of that line of effect rules don't apply.

Might be even more frustrating if they didn't - that magic you detect, but can't find isn't actually in the room, but on the other side of a wall in a room you don't even know exists. :)

Well, if we assume that nothing stops the spell, they could more or less identify the exact zone by moving around the place.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Penthau wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Penthau wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

detect magic isn't stopped by lead anymore only locate is as far as i can tell, its also stopped by running water o-o...

in fact locate, other than lead lined drawers probably does exactly what people want "locate magic item not in my possession" *shrug* i don't see where it outlines what kind of criteria you can and cannot sort by, but it'll probably be up to your GM.

As far as I can tell, protections against detect magic are as simple as the drawer itself. The +1 dagger is out of line of effect in the drawer, so it wouldn't be detected inside it. So putting it under a thin false bottom should protect it from detection. You would have to find it by searching.
There's nothing in the wording to denote light of sight required for DM, it's just a true/false state that's only fooled by an illusion school spell of a spell level higher than that of DM. So if it's in the next room on the bed in the hotel, it'll ding as long as it's close enough. So if you enchant the drawer with some hiding spell, that should do the trick as long as it's not an archmage trying to find it
There is also nothing in the wording of Detect Magic that exempts it from line of effect rules, which apply to all spells unless otherwise stated. It is listed as simply an emanation with a 30' radius.

oh then you can cast it inside a cup and get a cone shaped detect magic. if the source is your hand or something just pull up your sleeve.

hell you can easily use any obstruction then, like casting it from behind an open doorway to easily determine location...


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So 1 weird solution is to carry around a cone shaped container of your size that blocks magic and it's super flexible (to get around obstructions)?

(Not sure how long it has to be, would depend on whether aura/burst spell bend around corners)

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