Is the Vanishing Trick (Su) dispellable?


Rules Questions


Hi All,

The question hinges on exactly what part of the Vanishing Trick is protected by the fact that it is (Su). The trick states "This ability functions as invisibility". Which is correct?

1. (Su) refers to the trick itself and the protected (Su) effect (cannot be dispelled, not subject to SR, does not provoke AoO, etc.) is only the activation of the trick. Beyond that it "functions as" the spell invisibility. And as that spell is subject to being dispelled. So the (Su) doesn't extend down the chain of effects to the spell effect of invisibility. i.e. the wording "functions as <spell>" negates the "(Su)" protection for that part of the entire effect. Spell effect would be protected only if it had instead said "This ability provides the effect of <spell>" since (Su) says the effects of the ability cannot be dispelled, etc.

2. (Su) applies to the entire ability and all chained or referenced abilities, effects, functions, or whatever language is used; such that the invisibility spell function in this example is also protected by virtue of being initiated by the (Su) ability Vanishing Trick and therefore can't be dispelled, etc.

There are likely other (Su) abilities that state "functions as <spell or other ability>.", so the answer to this question would therefore apply to all such (Su) abilities unless the ability specifically states otherwise.

Mark


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Supernatural and Extraordinary abilities are not dispellable, unless for some weird reason it states that it's dispellable in the ability's description. It functions "like" the <insert spell>, but that doesn't mean it's a spell. Dispel only works on magical spells and items.


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The supernatural ability functions as a spell, but is still a supernatural ability. Dispel magic specifies only spells or spell like abilities.

Maybe think of it like this, the supernatural ability thinks of itself as a spell, but to everything else it’s just a supernatural ability.


To clarify. The invisibility spell creates an invisibility effect while it's functioning. The "effect" of the invisibility spell is being invisible, and everything else listed under the effect subheading and description subheading of the invisibility spell.

If I understand them correctly, both Melkiador and Ryze Kuja interpret the words "functions as" to operate by drawing in by reference the invisibility spell's "effect" of being invisible into the vanishing trick as it's effect, but disregarding every other "effect" stated in the invisibility spell's entry and modifying it as explicitly stated in the vanishing trick where ambiguities would arise; like changing duration to 1r/level and target to personal only instead of personal or touch, but most importantly also changing it from a spell to (Su). So dispel magic, greater dispel magic and even mage's disjunction would not be able to dispel a vanishing trick conducted by a level 1 ninja. Though spells such as invisibility purge would still work.

This seems to also be consistent with a similar discussion in https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ta9h?Does-a-creature-with-change-shape-revert -to, though there was no authoritative response.

Does anyone else have any comments on this, one way or the other?


There's a bunch of Su abilities which function as some spell or another, largely IMO to save the time/words needed to write the effect again. As I read them they are not affected by dispel magic, disjunction etc. unless they say so, which they never do.

I think that amounts to the same as the second paragraph of mjmeans last post.


Just as you cannot dispel wild shape, you cannot dispel Vanishing Trick.


The question was posed to me, by one of my players, in a generic form. Vanishing Trick was the first example I came up with that could be used as an example to post to the forums.


For the rules quote:

Magic wrote:
Supernatural Abilities: These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas.


blahpers wrote:

For the rules quote:

Magic wrote:
Supernatural Abilities: These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas.

Yes, I'm aware of that. You misunderstood the question. My question was interpretation of the grammar and whether the (Su) specific protections applied only to the way the spell effect was activated (no AoO, can't be counterspelled, etc.) or it if also applied to the activated spell and the spells ongoing effects as well.

There seems to be a consensus that it applies to all effects and through any consequential chain of effects as well.

This consensus would also mean that if a ninja uses Vanishing Trick, another PC would not be able to use spellcraft to identify the spell "invisibility" because there is no actual spell; it's just an effect similar to the spell invisibility. Likewise, any contingency on becoming invisible by the spell invisibility (which would include spell activation or completion items) would not be triggered by using vanishing trick for the same reasons.


mjmeans wrote:
This consensus would also mean that if a ninja uses Vanishing Trick, another PC would not be able to use spellcraft to identify the spell "invisibility" because there is no actual spell; it's just an effect similar to the spell invisibility.

Yes. I think Ultimate Intrigue may even expand upon this.

Quote:
Likewise, any contingency on becoming invisible by the spell invisibility (which would include spell activation or completion items) would not be triggered by using vanishing trick for the same reasons.

I'm not sure what you mean here. What would a contingency on becoming invisible be?


mjmeans wrote:
This consensus would also mean that if a ninja uses Vanishing Trick, another PC would not be able to use spellcraft to identify the spell "invisibility" because there is no actual spell; it's just an effect similar to the spell invisibility.

Correct, however, the "Recall Intrigues" function of knowledge skills introduced in Spymaster's Handbook allows anyone to "identify a feat or class feature when you observe it in use". For Ninja, the knowledge skill is local, and the DC is "10 + class level when feature is granted" (I don't know if that's 2nd level for the Ninja Trick feature, or the level Vanishing Trick was actually picked.)

If you choose to use that system, of course.


I am pretty sure it is when the trick could have been learned. Therefore level 2. Otherwise, you could retrain it at each level to make the DC scale as you level.

The (Su) tells you how to treat the effect. Saying "functions as" means that you get the effect, not that you cast the spell.

/cevah

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