Melodious Spell Again


Rules Discussion


I have seen it said that Melodious Spell cannot hide the "fireworks" that come with spellcasting.
I don't think that's true.

Melodious Spell wrote:
You subtly weave your spellcasting into your performance. If the next action you take is to Cast a Spell, attempt a Performance check against all observers’ Perception DCs. If your Performance check is successful against an observer’s Perception DC, that observer doesn’t notice that you are Casting a Spell, even though normally spells have sensory manifestations that would make spellcasting obvious to those around you and verbal, somatic, and material components are extremely overt. You hide all of these as part of an ordinary performance.

The text specifies "sensory manifestations that would make spellcasting obvious to those around you" as one of 4 things hidden as part of an ordinary performance.

When you become Hidden via the Hide action, the rules strictly limit the actions you can take and remaining Hidden to Hide, Sneak, or Step, so Melodious Spell doesn't help you cast from hiding.

This only becomes controversial when the Melodious Spell Performance is Mimed ,and the Bard spell caster is invisible.

I believe a successful Melodious Spell Performance check (Miming) will keep the spell casting from revealing the invisible spell caster.


Are you trying to say that you could use Melodious Spell with miming to hide any visual light based effects of a spellcasting action?

I suppose my question would be, why would it be important to hide spell "fireworks"? Melodious spell only works against things that are observing you, so it wouldn't help you while undetected or hidden. And any "effect" of the spell is still perfectly visible. I am struggling to find a circumstance where melodious spell hiding spell VFX is even a benefit.

Do you have a particular circumstance in mind?


"You subtly weave your spellcasting into your performance. If the next action you take is to Cast a Spell, attempt a Performance check against all observers’ Perception DCs. If your Performance check is successful against an observer’s Perception DC, that observer doesn’t notice that you are Casting a Spell, even though normally spells have sensory manifestations that would make spellcasting obvious to those around you, and verbal, somatic, and material components are extremely overt. You hide all of these as part of an ordinary performance. This hides only the spell’s spellcasting actions and manifestations, not its effects, so an observer might still see a ray streak out from you or see you vanish."

To my reading this only hides the fact that you are casting a spell on a success. If you do not have any way to remove the verbal component you are still audible (in the case of mime).

That is to say, you are still required to do the required components, but you are able to hide that they are components with your performance. In the case of miming this doesn't mean that you suddenly get silent spell as a result. I would consider that an intentionally exploitative reading.

"Ambiguous Rules
Sometimes a rule could be interpreted multiple ways. If one version is too good to be true, it probably is. If a rule seems to have wording with problematic repercussions or doesn’t work as intended, work with your group to find a good solution, rather than just playing with the rule as printed."


Having some kinds of performance be mechanically superior to others is definitely something to avoid.

Sovereign Court

Ordinary situation: spellcasting produces obvious manifestations ("fireworks").

Melodious spell doesn't stop spells from causing fireworks, but it hides them in your performance. Enemies have a hard time noticing the eerie sounds while you're playing your instrument, using your Brian Blessed voice to make speeches etcetera. It's not that the "fireworks" are gone, just that people don't recognize them as spellcasting.

Now, if you make your performance undetectable (invisible mime), then the spell has nothing to hide behind anymore.


How a mime performance hides the sounds of spellcasting, I cannot explain.
Magic,I suppose.
If you Hide successfully, actions other than Hide, Sneak, or Step make you observed,and that makes no sense either.
This is a 4th level class feat and yet it's not akin to Silent Spell,another 4th level class feat.
The verbal spell component is still used, it's just hidden.

The Melodious Spell Performance Check hides the sensory manifestations that would make spellcasting obvious to those around you and verbal, somatic, and material components as part of an ordinary performance.
No requirement as to what kind of performance.
Singing could hide somatic components just as well as it hides verbal components.
No requirement that your performance be observed in order to hide the spellcasting.
Puppeteering under a hat can hide casting a spell.
We already give advantage to different kinds of Performance.
Acting and Comedy can be done during conversation,singing done with your hands tied, water ballet can be done underwater, dance can be done with your mouth gagged.

If the Melodious Spell performance Check required audible elements in order to hide verbal components, the feat should say so.
That it did not would seem to be a choice to empower the player.
To impose a such a requirement is punitive.

There are spells like Daze that have no visible effects, that could be cast with Melodious Spell using a Performance check via Acting, Miming or Dancing.
A success would hide the fact you are casting a spell.


The Ronyon wrote:


If the Melodious Spell performance Check required audible elements in order to hide verbal components, the feat should say so.
That it did not would seem to be a choice to empower the player.
To impose a such a requirement is punitive.

Lawyer away, just don't expect it to swing at many tables.

The spell doesn't remove components, it just makes them seem like a part of the performance (so observers don't know it is a spell being cast).

Your reading requires the feat to do things that just aren't written.

In the same sense that if you are bound the spell won't allow you to sing the somatic components away.


The effects of Melodious Spell might be moot.
Spellcasting normally affects the ability to stay Hidden.
Invisibility specifically makes one automatically Undetected/Hidden, with a list of exceptions that doesn't mention spellcasting.

A successful Seek action renders an Undetected Invisible character Hidden.
A critical success renders them Observed.
Hostile actions can end invisibility.
Nothing I have found mentions spellcasting affecting a Invisible characters Undetected status.
Footprints in snow and nets are mentioned.

An Invisible character that has been rendered Hidden by a Seeking character can Sneak to re/gain their Undetected status, but even even if they simply remain Hidden, they can cast a spell without becoming automatically Observed.
The specific rules of Invisibility makes this possible.

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