Innate Spell - What Action?


Rules Discussion

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Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
You must have access to Components. You don't.

You keep stating this like it's an indelible fact, but do you actually have anything to back this assertion up? So far you haven't provided one.

The rules on innate spells don't say anything about modifying how you cast them.
The rules on spell components don't place any prerequisites on your ability to use them.
You've pointed to the rules that say wizards can provide spell components, but saying "wizards can do this" is not the same as saying "non-wizards can't do this." So on its own it doesn't really tell us anything.

Your entire point hinges on the idea that creatures with innate spells aren't allowed to use spell components, but as far as I can tell there's absolutely nothing within the rules that says that.

"It would be nice if" is a good case for a houserule. It's even one I'd like, innate spells without components makes sense. I'd also like to see proficiency scaling for innate spells, since player options that give you offensive spells innately fall off pretty hard if you aren't a spellcaster. But I don't see why we're trying to pass this off as something supported by the CRB.

The same way that a character who is untrained in Thievery cannot attempt to pick a lock. The same way that a character cannot attempt a craft Alchemy check without the relevant feat.

"You can use the Craft activity to create alchemical items."

"...you can supply material, somatic, and verbal components when casting spells."

The same way that a character who is not a monk cannot use their fists as Lethal weapons without taking a penalty.

The same way that a character with a Focus spell can use these same actions that graystone states anyone can.

CRB PG. 302 Non-Spellcasters with Focus Spells wrote:
You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your focus spells (see below). However, you don’t qualify for feats and other rules that require you to be a spellcaster.

So yeah. If you are not specifically given access to spell components, why would you ever be able to use them?

Trick Magic Item specifically allows you to do so.

CRB PG. 268 "Trick Magic Item" wrote:
Success For the rest of the current turn, you can spend actions to activate the item as if you could normally use it.

This tells me that for all intents and purposes, for the rest of that turn you are treated exactly as though you had all of the requirements to use that item. Including the ability to use Components.

What evidence is there that any ability that grants an Innate spell also grants the ability to use spell components?


Isthisnametaken? wrote:
This discussion really borders on the absurd. If innate spells did not follow the rules of casting they would “break the game” causing a host of unforeseen outcomes. If we allow ourselves the slightest ability to apply logic there can be no debate. As to material components specifically, they are not listed anyway so who cares what little bobble gets pulled out to activate.

Break the game in what way exactly? I would be interested in your well reasoned and sound argument for that.

... Sooo. Wizards don't need a spell component pouch then. They just lose some "little bobble (I think you meant bauble here)" to activate their spells.

Good to know there are literally useless items in the CRB. /s


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We got rid of spell-like abilities that work differently in second edition. Innate spells are spells and follow the same rules for casting as class-granted spells.


GM OfAnything wrote:
We got rid of spell-like abilities that work differently in second edition. Innate spells are spells and follow the same rules for casting as class-granted spells.

Did we though? How do you resolve the Innate spells that require material components question then?

Does a character with an innate spell need to carry around a Spell Component Pouch?

I would think not as a rule. Especially for a Runescarred caster who's magic is apparently held within their runes.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The reason spell casting classes explicitly spell out how things work is because they are the first place new players will encounter them if approaching the book naturally. This is true of lots of things in PF2 where options have reminder text if it's the likely first place a player might interact with a rule. Like Double Slice reinforces the MAP rules.


Malk_Content wrote:
The reason spell casting classes explicitly spell out how things work is because they are the first place new players will encounter them if approaching the book naturally. This is true of lots of things in PF2 where options have reminder text if it's the likely first place a player might interact with a rule. Like Double Slice reinforces the MAP rules.

Sure. Unless that player happens to play an Elf and choose the Otherworldly Magic archetype. Or Elemental Wrath. Or they play a Gnome and take First World Magic. Then their very first introduction to magic will be an innate spell.

What if that player doesn't play a spellcaster? They are going to go to the Innate Spells section to see how it functions. Nothing in that section mentions using any components, nor them having access to them. Why would the book delineate "innate" spells so much if they were cast exactly as a spell from a standard spellcasting tradition? Why not give them the same universal wording used in every other instance of a character gaining the ability to cast a spell?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well yeah those things could happen. But for most people new to roleplaying if they want to play a character with magic they are going to go for the explicitly magical classes.


CRB PG. 302 "Cast a Spell" wrote:
You cast a spell you have prepared or in your repertoire.

Innate spells are not prepared, nor are they in your repertoire. From a mechanical point of view, you cannot use the Cast a Spell activity to cast an Innate spell.

At best this is a case of needing errata to add wording similar to the Non-Spellcasters with Focus Spells, you know, the paragraph immediately preceding Innate Spells. Wording like:

CRB PG. 302 Non-Spellcasters with Focus Spells wrote:
You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your focus spells.

Replacing Focus with Innate.

The fact that wording like this is missing is suspect.

What you are left with is a hodgepodge of possible rulings as we've covered over the course of this thread.

You could rule that you gain the ability to spontaneously know arcane words and gestures to cast your innate spell. Works fine for cantrips as none of them that I am aware of require more than that. But it gets sticky when you run into a spell with a Material component.

Why would a spell that is, "natural to your character, typically coming from your ancestry or a magic item rather than your class," require material components? Doesn't the "magic" come from whatever source granted you the spell in the first place? A Runescarred characters runes for example. Or a elf or gnome who has natural magic running in their blood.

What is needed is a clarification. If the intention was to use any component, or specific components, those requirements should be clear. They are not. Since they are not clearly required the only reasonable outcome from my point of view is to waive them.

I mean, would you require a 20th level fighter who just spent 30,000gp on a Wishing Luck Blade to head back to town when he finds out that he is simply unable to cast his Wish spell because he didn't pick up a 5sp Material Component Pouch? An item he had no use for, will likely have no further use for and was never informed he should have on hand? That doesn't feel a bit ridiculous?

Sovereign Court

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beowulf99 wrote:
Typically you can't do a "thing" in this game that you are not clearly able to do. If you are untrained in Thievery, you can't attempt to pick a lock. If you aren't a Barbarian, you can't tap into your Rage. If you aren't a Spell Caster you can't use spell component actions without Trick Magic Item.

I think this works the other way around. Not needing spell components is an advantage. You only gain that advantage if something specifically says so, like a Silent Spell metamagic feat.

Actually it goes even further: if innate spells don't use the Cast a Spell activity, how do you even cast them at all? You'd be left with no rules to fill in that gap.

So I don't think this is true. I think innate spells use Cast a Spell like all the other spells. There isn't a vast gulf between innate and regular spells; if you're trained in a spellcasting tradition then your innate spells actually get to benefit when your spellcasting training goes up to Expect and beyond. So they're not radically different and separate things.

Innate cantrips aren't particularly rare. Several races give easy access to them, even more with the Lost Omens books. If you could really use innate spells to cast without components, then that would be a major way to avoid attacks of opportunity for spellcasting in melee. That's sufficiently "surprising" that I only believe it's true if it's spelled out explicitly in the rules.

I think mostly, the Cast a Spell bit has been left out for brevity. If you had to add a "Cast a Spell" paragraph to every power that grans a cantrip you'd swell up the text enormously, but the writing style for PF2 actually aims to cut repeated text so that you can focus on what's special about each power.


Ascalaphus wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
Typically you can't do a "thing" in this game that you are not clearly able to do. If you are untrained in Thievery, you can't attempt to pick a lock. If you aren't a Barbarian, you can't tap into your Rage. If you aren't a Spell Caster you can't use spell component actions without Trick Magic Item.

I think this works the other way around. Not needing spell components is an advantage. You only gain that advantage if something specifically says so, like a Silent Spell metamagic feat.

Actually it goes even further: if innate spells don't use the Cast a Spell activity, how do you even cast them at all? You'd be left with no rules to fill in that gap.

So I don't think this is true. I think innate spells use Cast a Spell like all the other spells. There isn't a vast gulf between innate and regular spells; if you're trained in a spellcasting tradition then your innate spells actually get to benefit when your spellcasting training goes up to Expect and beyond. So they're not radically different and separate things.

Innate cantrips aren't particularly rare. Several races give easy access to them, even more with the Lost Omens books. If you could really use innate spells to cast without components, then that would be a major way to avoid attacks of opportunity for spellcasting in melee. That's sufficiently "surprising" that I only believe it's true if it's spelled out explicitly in the rules.

I think mostly, the Cast a Spell bit has been left out for brevity. If you had to add a "Cast a Spell" paragraph to every power that grans a cantrip you'd swell up the text enormously, but the writing style for PF2 actually aims to cut repeated text so that you can focus on what's special about each power.

You are correct, not needing spell components is an advantage. An advantage offset by several factors built into Innate spells. Availability for one, usually having either a feat or gold cost associated with them. You can only have 1 Aeon stone slotted in a wayfinder granting a spell for instance. Runescarred is far more limited than any other spell granting archetype aside from maybe Mantis Assassin, and that is debatable as they at least can change their selected spells.

Second, unless you are already part of a spellcasting class, your training level with spell attack rolls and DC's never increases with an Innate spell. This means that as you level they will fall farther and farther from relevance with a few exceptions.

Even a member of a spellcasting class with non-cantrip Innate spells will only have access to a handful of castings per day at most.

I can see your brevity argument holding water. But if that is the case they should have at least included clear instructions in "Innate Spells" then referred to that section like how they refer to the section on Focus spells in each ability that grants you one. The wording of Cast a Spell should also reflect how it applies to a spell regardless of how you obtain it. As written it is too vague and open to various interpretations.

If the phrase, "You can cast your innate spells even if you aren’t a member of a spellcasting class," is meant to mean that you gain access to "Cast a Spell" and associated actions, why wouldn't they have just used the same wording they used for Focus Spells? The paragraph directly before Innate Spells.

"You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your Innate spells."
19 words, 107 characters vs. 16 words and 84 characters. This would clear up the entire debate in a reasonable way, and provide a clear method for players to follow. As is casting an Innate spell is dubious.

This needs to be addressed in Errata imho.


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I think I prefer the way we used to play AD&D as kids - nobody thought much or cared about details like this. Even today I don't recall any GMs or players referencing spell components during an actual game, like ever. And I'm glad, actually, because it's pretty tedious if you think about it too much, and not much fun IMO.

There are infinite rabbit holes to go down if one wants to find inconsistencies in a game of make-believe.


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

If an innate spell has no components, how would I not be able to identify it?

Insofar as I recall, even innate spells have observable manifestations and the spell identification rules make no provisions about components. If the spell is in your repertoire or spellbook, you automatically recognize it. The rest of the time you just need a successful Recall Knowledge check.


Isthisnametaken? wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
Isthisnametaken? wrote:
This discussion really borders on the absurd. If innate spells did not follow the rules of casting they would “break the game” causing a host of unforeseen outcomes. If we allow ourselves the slightest ability to apply logic there can be no debate. As to material components specifically, they are not listed anyway so who cares what little bobble gets pulled out to activate.

Break the game in what way exactly? I would be interested in your well reasoned and sound argument for that.

... Sooo. Wizards don't need a spell component pouch then. They just lose some "little bobble (I think you meant bauble here)" to activate their spells.

Good to know there are literally useless items in the CRB. /s

Innate spell no components:

Does it use manipulate? Is it subject to AOO and other reactions?
No way to identify it?
Usable unnoticeably, in and out of combat?
Can’t counter it?
Same number of actions to cast? As was pointed out, there’s a bit of a relationship between components and actions to cast.
An innate caster has abilities with magic (at potentially first level) that an archmage may not?
Usable under water with hands tied? Impossible to prevent?

The game has carefully intertwined casting into many other game elements. I find it highly improbable the intention was to create such a powerful spell casting fork that literally has zero rules provided outside of speculation, our only guidance being our imagination on how it works.

Answers to the best of my ability in order:

No to manipulate, no AOO or some other reactions, however it would trigger reactions based on casting a spell like say, Counterspell. More on that below.

It definitely can be identified. Components are not what is used to identify a spell. Each spell creates "manifestations" when cast, regardless of how they are cast. This is what is generally used to identify the spell.

Nope, as stated above there are still "fireworks" when casting an innate spell. So no unnoticeable use, it just doesn't have the Verbal trait so can't be heard per se.

Definitely can counter an innate spell, regardless of using components. "When a foe Casts a Spell you know and you can see its
manifestations, you can use your own magic to disrupt it." Since Innate spells still have "manifestations" you could counter it.

Definitely the same number of actions to cast. As stated previously, and linked to, Mark Seifter cleared up the "relationship between components and actions to cast" in another thread. While the two tend to be the same, they are not 1 for 1 the same, nor do you have to have the same number of either. It is simply a trend that most spells follow.

I don't follow you here; What ability could an innate spell user have at 1st level that an Archmage at whatever relevant level you would need to be to be one wouldn't?

Usable under water with hands tied, sure. Since you don't need to speak or gesture, I would actually allow that. Generally Innate spells are impossible to prevent without counterspelling them from what I can tell.

The problem with your final supposition is that it essentially means nothing. You didn't provide a reasonable reason in your post that Innate spells should or do follow "standard" Cast a Spell rules. The closest thing to evidence I have seen is the wording of a single heritage feat from the Lost Omens Players Guide, Elemental Wrath. But that feat breaks with the terminology typically used with every other innate spell granting ability, and thus is more likely to be a typo or oversight than the other 20 or so abilities that do grant an Innate spell, at least one of which even alters the actions to cast without mentioning any components being required.

I have been accused of inventing rules out of whole cloth here. Well who is really inventing rules? No where is it mentioned that you either can or must use Spell Components to cast an Innate spell. No where. Every example of a spellcasting tradition that does require components includes a clause granting you access to them. Innate Spells do not do this. They are the only type of spell casting that doesn't.

So who is inventing rules here? You are bluntly assuming that a Greater Barghest is carrying around a material component pouch to satisfy the Material component of it's innate spells. That slotting an Aeon Stone into a Wayfinder somehow unlocks mystic Words of Power and gestures that create "Arcane Nexus'" in your mind. But as soon as you un-slot that stone, well darn you just can't remember them.

If a developer were to pop in and say that, "Yes, you do need to use components for Innate Spells, here is why," then I would accept it. Either way the issue is resolved, I believe the rules are simply too vague to 100% believe either interpretation. In my games I will be waiving components though, as I see no good argument for requiring them. I encourage everybody who has participated in the discussion to rule however you see fit at your tables.


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Quote:
You didn't provide a reasonable reason in your post that Innate spells should or do follow "standard" Cast a Spell rule

You have this backwards.

There's no need to provide a reasonable reason as to why innate spells would follow the normal rules for casting spells, because those are just the normal rules of the game being applied normally. We can talk about the ups and downs of that, but then that's a discussion of game design, not application of rules.

It's when you want to argue that an ability functions outside the normal parameters of the rules that you need to start providing evidence.

For instance, if you want to argue

Quote:
No to manipulate

You'd generally want to provide some sort of rules source that says "innate spells never have the manipulate trait" or something similar to back up the claim.


Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
You didn't provide a reasonable reason in your post that Innate spells should or do follow "standard" Cast a Spell rule

You have this backwards.

There's no need to provide a reasonable reason as to why innate spells would follow the normal rules for casting spells, because those are just the normal rules of the game being applied normally. We can talk about the ups and downs of that, but then that's a discussion of game design, not application of rules.

It's when you want to argue that an ability functions outside the normal parameters of the rules that you need to start providing evidence.

For instance, if you want to argue

Quote:
No to manipulate
You'd generally want to provide some sort of rules source that says "innate spells never have the manipulate trait" or something similar to back up the claim.

Simple.

"I disagree. The rules don't need to spell out restrictions. It can certainly be handy sometimes, but the point of the rules is to describe what we can do and we work from there, not to exhaustively describe what we can't do.

Given that, the fact that nothing in the game actually gives you the ability or in any way implies that you can cast spells in the wrong slot, that's sufficient enough to support the idea that it's not an actual game mechanic.

If it's supposed to be a mechanic, then it needs to be spelled out in the rules, not the other way around."

A wise man once said something like this once. I would argue that the fact that nothing in the game actually gives you the ability or in any way implies that you can cast Innate Spells with components, that's sufficient enough to support the idea that it's not an actual game mechanic.

If it's supposed to be a mechanic, then it needs to be spelled out in the rules, not the other way around.

Since nothing in Innate spells requires the use of components, and components are what provide Manipulate, Concentrate, or Verbal to a Spell, not needing to use them would naturally remove them from the equation. Basically an Innate spell would only have whatever traits the spell naturally has.


My problem with that assertion is that the components are part of the spells themselves and nothing ever talks about removing them, outside specific metamagic.

Can you at least agree that not having the manipulate or auditory traits (etc) on spells is a fairly meaningful advantage and therefore, if it is intended (big if imo stil), it's kind of odd that the rules don't spell that out more explicitly in the section on innate spells and instead it's something you feel that needs to be inferred from the class rules?


Squiggit wrote:

My problem with that assertion is that the components are part of the spells themselves and nothing ever talks about removing them, outside specific metamagic.

Can you at least agree that not having the manipulate or auditory traits (etc) on spells is a fairly meaningful advantage and therefore, if it is intended (big if imo stil), it's kind of odd that the rules don't spell that out more explicitly in the section on innate spells and instead it's something you feel that needs to be inferred from the class rules?

That I think is the key difference between my interpretation and others here. I don't see components as being part of the spell themselves. It is simply how characters access those spells. They are changeable for one, every non-wizard class has a method for the substitution of at least the Material component. And at least one metamagic feat even removes or alters the components required without changing the number of actions beyond adding the metamagic action.

I do agree that being still and silent is a great advantage. One that is balanced by the factors built into Innate Spells. It is the sole reason I can see to restrict the Runescarred archetype to a single spell of each of it's granted spell levels, spells that can't be changed once chosen. Compared to almost every other spell granting archetype who can for the same number of feats gain twice as many spell slots and change what spells are in those slots during daily preparations, what is so innately strong about Runescarred that they need to be that restricted?

Magic items that grant innate spells tend to be 1/day. Innate spells always use Charisma as their casting stat, meaning that for non-bard casters they will fall behind slightly.

Add to that the fact that if you are not a spellcaster you are only ever trained with a given innate spell, and I think that is plenty of balancing factors to offset the still and silent nature of Innate Spells.

In fact, they kind of suck if you did have to use components. They go from good options for splashing spellcasting into a non-caster build to generally more trouble than they are worth.

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