Innate Spell - What Action?


Rules Discussion

1 to 50 of 69 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Vigilant Seal

What action does a character use when casting an innate spell?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I would think the "Cast a spell" activity.

Vigilant Seal

Other spellcasting abilities specify the caster gets access to the Cast a Spell action. No innate spell ability I've found specifies it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Innate spells, page 302, directly followed by Casting Spells on the same page?

CRB wrote:
You can cast your innate spells even if you aren’t a member of a spellcasting class.


I think I see what PoohPuss is getting at. They are asking what components you can use to cast your innate spells. Each of the spellcasting classes specify that they can provide specific components when using the Cast a Spell activity. None of the abilities that provide you with an innate spell seem to do so. So while you can clearly use the "cast a spell" activity, you don't seem to be able to provide any specific components.

There are two interpretations I can see here.

1. You are able to use whatever components needed to cast an innate spell. This would mean that if a spell required a verbal component for example your cast a spell activity would gain auditory. The only problem I see with this interpretation is it would require you to keep a spell component pouch or a focus item to use those innate spells that require them. I doubt this is the intention. It also wouldn't make much thematic sense. Why would someone with an innate magical ability suddenly know the words to a spell? Well, someone who isn't a Sorcerer anyway. :)

2. You simply use the Cast a Spell activity without adding any specific components, but still expend the necessary actions to cast the spell. Fiery Body for example grants you the ability to use Produce Flame as an innate spell and even reduces the number of actions required to 1. Instead of simply dropping either the Somatic or Verbal component I believe you wouldn't have to provide either component. Instead just using a "blank" cast a spell action.

I definitely see the confusion here, and I am not 100% convinced that either interpretation is strictly correct, but if I had to pick I would go with interpretation 2. If an Elf Fighter for example decided to grab Otherworldly Magic they would not specifically have access to any component actions. But they should definitely still be able to cast their chosen cantrip. Interpretation 2 would facilitate that in a way that feels far more natural.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Its #2. Innate spells don't require focus or any special action or words. They are innate, like breathing, blinking, and heart-beating.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Without specific components, casting a spell would have no traits like manipulate or concentrate (normally derived from somatic/material and verbal components). As a result you could easily cast spells without risk of provoking reactions, while raging, etc.

That seems like a lot to assume, unless there's some supporting text saying that no components are needed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HammerJack wrote:
Without specific components, casting a spell would have no traits like manipulate or concentrate (normally derived from somatic/material and verbal components). As a result you could easily cast spells without risk of provoking reactions, while raging, etc.

That would also be correct.

You're basically asking how Fey cast glamour on themselves. They just do. They don't have to think about it, speak aloud, or gesture. (It still takes the listed number of actions, usually 2)


Draco18s wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Without specific components, casting a spell would have no traits like manipulate or concentrate (normally derived from somatic/material and verbal components). As a result you could easily cast spells without risk of provoking reactions, while raging, etc.

That would also be correct.

You're basically asking how Fey cast glamour on themselves. They just do. They don't have to think about it, speak aloud, or gesture. (It still takes the listed number of actions, usually 2)

This makes innate spells.... much cooler than I initially appreciated


And that's why they're typically once-per-day abilities.

Vigilant Seal

Thanks for the brilliant discussion. Was enlightening.

Another reason it matters is for instances such as the Runescarred archetype and magic items requiring spellcasting ability (scrolls, wands and staves).

The Runescarred has access to the arcane spell-list for purposes of picking their innate spells. If they use the spell-casting activity they seem to fulfill the requirements for using arcane spells up to lv 6 through such items. Since spellcasting classes specify they get access to the activity and the Runescarred doesn't specify it, it becomes unclear whether the requirement is fulfilled or not. And if not, and all activities are codified in the rules, what action they actually use to cast a spell comes into question. If there is none other, maybe they have access even tho the archetype doesn't specify they are able to use that activity.

It's not important per se since the GM can just make a ruling, but it'd be nice to know.


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

Yes, very enlightening. I now have a newfound respect for innate spells.

Grand Lodge

PoohPuss wrote:

Thanks for the brilliant discussion. Was enlightening.

Another reason it matters is for instances such as the Runescarred archetype and magic items requiring spellcasting ability (scrolls, wands and staves).

It's not important per se since the GM can just make a ruling, but it'd be nice to know.

I think this language from pg 302 under innate spells indicates that it doesn't count for spellcasting prerequisites:

"you can cast your innate spells even if you are not a member of a spellcasting class"


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Draco18s wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Without specific components, casting a spell would have no traits like manipulate or concentrate (normally derived from somatic/material and verbal components). As a result you could easily cast spells without risk of provoking reactions, while raging, etc.

That would also be correct.

You're basically asking how Fey cast glamour on themselves. They just do. They don't have to think about it, speak aloud, or gesture. (It still takes the listed number of actions, usually 2)

I disagree: innate spells still use the Cast a Spell action and nothing tells you to ignore the components of the spell in the innate spell section themselves. As presented, the only thing innate means is a different way to get the spells[access the spells] but nothing about the actual spell differs from the same spell cast from a spell slot.

Do you have any quote that innate spells ignore components Draco18s?

beowulf99 wrote:
I think I see what PoohPuss is getting at. They are asking what components you can use to cast your innate spells.

All the Component Substitutions requires is that you be the class in question: as such if an elf bard that multiclasses into a sorcerer and gets an innate cantrip from ancestry could substitute an instrument for any verbal components and their bloodline for material components for the innate cantrip if they wished.


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Without specific components, casting a spell would have no traits like manipulate or concentrate (normally derived from somatic/material and verbal components). As a result you could easily cast spells without risk of provoking reactions, while raging, etc.

That would also be correct.

You're basically asking how Fey cast glamour on themselves. They just do. They don't have to think about it, speak aloud, or gesture. (It still takes the listed number of actions, usually 2)

I disagree: innate spells still use the Cast a Spell action and nothing tells you to ignore the components of the spell in the innate spell section themselves. As presented, the only thing innate means is a different way to get the spells[access the spells] but nothing about the actual spell differs from the same spell cast from a spell slot.

Do you have any quote that innate spells ignore components Draco18s?

I think he's going by the fact that each spellcasting class explicitly grants you the ability to satisfy spell component requirements, while innate spells do not. Since you cannot supply the spell's components, but still can cast the spell, the only consistent reading is that the spell must not have component requirements.


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Without specific components, casting a spell would have no traits like manipulate or concentrate (normally derived from somatic/material and verbal components). As a result you could easily cast spells without risk of provoking reactions, while raging, etc.

That would also be correct.

You're basically asking how Fey cast glamour on themselves. They just do. They don't have to think about it, speak aloud, or gesture. (It still takes the listed number of actions, usually 2)

I disagree: innate spells still use the Cast a Spell action and nothing tells you to ignore the components of the spell in the innate spell section themselves. As presented, the only thing innate means is a different way to get the spells[access the spells] but nothing about the actual spell differs from the same spell cast from a spell slot.

Do you have any quote that innate spells ignore components Draco18s?

The real question is, do you have any quote that states that an ability that gives you an innate spell allows you to provide any components whatsoever?

graystone wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
I think I see what PoohPuss is getting at. They are asking what components you can use to cast your innate spells.
All the Component Substitutions requires is that you be the class in question: as such if an elf bard that multiclasses into a sorcerer and gets an innate cantrip from ancestry could substitute an instrument for any verbal components and their bloodline for material components for the innate cantrip if they wished.

Nobody mentioned anything about substituting any components. None of the abilities that I have found that grant you an innate spell give you access to any component types. Each spellcasting class specifically gains the ability to provide Verbal, Somatic, Material, and sometimes Focus components as a part of their spellcasting tradition. In contrast innate spell granting abilities simply state that you can cast the spell, "even if you aren’t a member of a spellcasting class." Nothing in Innate Spells states that you gain the ability to provide any component, therefore you don't have to provide any component for an innate spell.

For example: you make an Elf Fighter and take the Otherworldly Magic ancestry feat. How would you be able to provide any component of whichever cantrip you chose for that feat without access to components in the first place?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Strill wrote:
I think he's going by the fact that each spellcasting class explicitly grants you the ability to satisfy spell component requirements, while innate spells do not.

The Cast a Spell action explains.

Cast a Spell
Source Core Rulebook pg. 302
"Spell Components: Each spell lists the spell components required to cast it after the action icons or text, such as “[three-actions] material, somatic, verbal." The spell components, described in detail below, add traits and requirements to the Cast a Spell activity. If you can’t provide the components, you fail to Cast the Spell.
Material (manipulate)
Somatic (manipulate)
Verbal (concentrate)
Focus (manipulate)"

Each spell requires listed components and you "add traits and requirements to the Cast a Spell activity". Innate spells are spells so when you use the Cast a Spell activity for innate spells, the rules for that action tell you to add the components.

The sections in the caster classes that talk about components tell you to go to that section: "(see Casting Spells on page 302)" That sections tells you each spell has components and "If you can’t provide the components, you fail to Cast the Spell." Innate spells have components so if you take the stance that nothing gives you the ability to make use components, it just makes them unusable and I'm pretty sure that's not the case.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
beowulf99 wrote:
The real question is, do you have any quote that states that an ability that gives you an innate spell allows you to provide any components whatsoever?

I have a quote that each spell has components without an exception noted. SO either innate spells are all unusable or you can use components: only one makes sense. The section that 'grants access' refers you to the Cast a Spell action that doesn't mention a need for such access.

also "Spell Components
Source Core Rulebook pg. 303
A spell description lists the components required to Cast the Spell. For most spells, the number of components is equal to the number of actions you must spend to Cast the Spell. Each component adds certain traits to the Cast a Spell activity, and some components have special requirements. The components that appear in this book are listed below." The spell dictates components, NOT the way you gain the spell. The SPELL determines them and the traits that are added to the Cast a Spell action.

beowulf99 wrote:
For example: you make an Elf Fighter and take the Otherworldly Magic ancestry feat. How would you be able to provide any component of whichever cantrip you chose for that feat without access to components in the first place?

100% yes, they cast it with components: that's what the Cast a Spell action REQUIRES. Innate spells give no way to bypass that requirement. You either can use components because you can Cast a Spell or it's unusable. Faced with options and one breaks the rule, the clear way to read it is in a way that doesn't break it.

EDIT: I'd take the line in innate spells that says "You can cast your innate spells even if you aren’t a member of a spellcasting class" to give access to components: as cast a spell requires them, and it says that you CAN cast even if you aren't a spellcaster, it should grant everything you need to cast.


Okay. Then why does every spellcasting class specify that you can now use each type of component to cast your spells? Bard, Cleric, Druid, Wizard and Sorcerer all have the same wording after all. None of the Innate spell granting abilities I can find do so, which makes this a very odd situation.

Flip the script though, and I will note that the Champion and Monk do not specifically gain access to any Components, however their Focus Spells do require them. So perhaps there is some truth to that. I will note that these Focus Spells only use Verbal and Somatic components, so perhaps anyone actually has access to these?

This still raises the question: Would you need to carry a Spell Component Pouch to cast an innate spell with a Material Component? How about a monster who maybe has a spell which requires a verbal component, what if they don't have a mouth capable of speech? Verbal components take the form of "Words of Power" after all.

This needs some serious clarification.

Edit to address the Edit: Doing something even if you aren't a member of a class is not the same as doing it as the class. If you simply gained access to their basic spellcasting abilities, why wouldn't Innate Spells say that?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Non-Spellcasters with Focus Spells
Source Core Rulebook pg. 302
"You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your focus spells".

IMO, "use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your focus spells" is what allows component use just as "You can cast your innate spells even if you aren’t a member of a spellcasting class" does for innate: neither spells it out explicitly but focus is a bit clearer.

On edit to edit: it says you can cast a spell and doing so requires components: full stop. Why would you assume you throw out components instead of following what the rules for casting says? Casting, is casting is casting: they all follow the components listed.


Oh right, good call. I forgot to check that section. You do realize that this torpedoes the only corroborating evidence that Innate spells would require any components though, right?

You see, if they did then Innate Spells would have similar wording. "You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your Innate Spells," or something to that effect. This wording does not exist.

Nothing grants you access to any specific component action for an Innate Spell, but it does state that you can cast that spell regardless. So you use the Cast a Spell activity, spend the requisite number of actions, and boom, you cast the spell.

Let's say you are that Elf Fighter from before and you happen to have a Tourmaline Sphere Aeon stone, allowing you to cast Heal once per day as an Innate spell. Can you perform a 3-action heal spell, despite not having a Material Component Pouch?

Edit to avoid double post: I have actually done some more thinking on it. I feel like you may not actually be using the "Cast a Spell" activity specifically to cast an Innate Spell. While Innate Spells does state that you can cast such a spell despite not being a member of a spellcasting class, unlike every other instance where you gain a spell (A spellcasting class, Archetype or Focus Spell repertoire) , the Innate Spells section does not state that you gain access to Cast A Spell.

Instead you treat the spell as an independent action or activity. You do not have access to components, but Innate Spells allows you to cast it regardless. So you spend the requisite actions and you get the spells effects.

There is probably more to think on here.


when you look at dedications that really do give you spellcasting, like wizard or crimson assassin dedication, you can see that those dedications give you a "Cast a Spell" activity. It's clearly worded, and you follow normal rules for casting spells and you get that class full spell list.

Runescarred dedication, or various ancestry feats are not worded like that. You don't get Cast a Spell, nor do you get access to full list from which you pick your innate spells.

Innate spells don't mention Cast a Spell at all, so it is a confusing subject because it raises following questions:

Do innate casters use Cast a Spell activity while they cast their spells? They don't get it as an ability from that feat or dedication compared to other sources.

If they don't use CaS, does their casting actions have traits(manipulate, concentrate)?

since innate casters don't get CaS, can they activate scrolls or wands with spells that they have, or with spell that are on the same list that they took their spell from?

Clarifications are really needed

P.S. at my table I would rule that innate spells have only concentrate trait for all their casting actions and that you can't use CaS to activate anything bc you never learned that skill...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is the bestiary not giving any additional insight?

Age of Ashes:
How for example is a Greater Barghest casting Invisibility (at will) at himself? Does he need to carry a large component bag? How probable is this?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
beowulf99 wrote:
You see, if they did then Innate Spells would have similar wording. "You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your Innate Spells," or something to that effect. This wording does not exist.

The thing is, the ONLY way to cast a spell under the rules is Cast a Spell: there is no other way to adjudicate it. Innate spells allow you to cast. Hence you can Cast a Spell. It tells you that even though you aren't a spellcaster, you can cast: the only way to do that is if they can use components. So I don't see the "torpedoes" that you do.

If you feel that innate spells don't use Cast a Spell then how do you figure out how it works? You aren't using the spell block anymore as you're ignoring what it says. You aren't using the casting rules anymore. There are no rules on what actions you take or what they are. AT that point you're just making things up out of whole cloth... If it was it's own unique thing, it's have to be it's own action with it's own entry to let us know how it works.

So the simple thing to ask is, how do you cast a innate spell: please let me know without referencing the Cast a Spell entry and include references on what actions you need to take [and what traits they have] without that section too.

EDIT: note, you can't even tell how many actions an innate spell take without Cast a Spell: "Cast The number of actions required to Cast the Spell are listed here."

beowulf99 wrote:
So you use the Cast a Spell activity, spend the requisite number of actions, and boom, you cast the spell.

No, the section specifically tells you the action gains the traits of the components and NOTHING bypasses that.

beowulf99 wrote:
Let's say you are that Elf Fighter from before and you happen to have a Tourmaline Sphere Aeon stone, allowing you to cast Heal once per day as an Innate spell. Can you perform a 3-action heal spell, despite not having a Material Component Pouch?

He has to do something to fulfill the material component, so no.

Ubertron_X wrote:
Is the bestiary not giving any additional insight?

If the intent was no components, they they 100% failed to explain how casting them works and how to adjudicate the type of actions needed: for instance not know what type of action it is means not knowing if it provokes or not. They went to a LOT of trouble to make everything work the same with spell, it seems odd they they'd want to make something work differently and then not tell us about it...

EDIT: I think I found something to put this all to rest:
Elemental Wrath: Feat 1
Elf
Source Lost Omens Character Guide pg. 26
You are so attuned to the land that you can call forth a bolt of energy from your surroundings. When you gain this feat, select acid, cold, electricity, or fire. You can call to the land to cast the acid splash cantrip as an innate primal spell at will, except the spell has only verbal components and deals the type of damage you chose instead of acid damage; the spell gains the trait appropriate to its damage instead of the acid trait. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up."


Hmm. That is awkward. I will point out that it is the only Innate spell with any wording that way, making it the odd duck in this situation. If there is going to be a typo or misprint situation, it is likely the odd duck.

I simply don't agree that an innate spell granting ability gives you access to spell components, especially Material and/or Focus. Unlike every other ability that grants you a spell, they simply don't give you access to them.

As to... the rest of your post, sure you would have to follow "Cast a Spell". But I was merely pointing out how odd it is that you don't actually gain access to the Cast a Spell activity, or any components actions, with Innate spells. The only way to adjudicate this situation is to follow the nearest reasonable rule; Cast a Spell. Since you are not able to supply components, but Innate Spells states clearly that you can still cast an innate spell, you simply ignore them. Going back to the Material component example, how do you adjudicate this? "Sorry Elf Fighter, you didn't spend the silver to carry around a Spell Component Pouch, so you can't use the Innate Heal spell you paid for in that Tourmeline Sphere."?

Largely, I still maintain that a character can cast an Innate spell without component actions. It even makes sense from a narrative stand point. If you "innately" have the ability to cast Light for example, why would you know the specific gestures and words of power necessary for that spell?


graystone wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Is the bestiary not giving any additional insight?

My question was less aimed at examples out of the bestiary (even if I provided one) but about the bestiary itself, as - not being a GM yet - I do not currently have a copy available. Older issues of the bestiary had the monster "special" rules listed in a separate rules section, so the question was if the new bestiary has such a rules section and if there is an entry for innate spells (and if that entry differs from the entry in the CRB)?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
beowulf99 wrote:
Hmm. That is awkward. I will point out that it is the only Innate spell with any wording that way, making it the odd duck in this situation. If there is going to be a typo or misprint situation, it is likely the odd duck.

Note how it's worded: it's not telling you to add an component but that it "only" has one: odd wording if it doesn't normally have more.

beowulf99 wrote:
As to... the rest of your post, sure you would have to follow "Cast a Spell".

Full stop then. "If you can’t provide the components, you fail to Cast the Spell." No where does it allow for alternate components outside of the class specific ones.

beowulf99 wrote:
But I was merely pointing out how odd it is that you don't actually gain access to the Cast a Spell activity, or any components actions, with Innate spells.

As you can see in the spell format section, cast and Cast a Spell are used interchangeably: Cast is how many actions it is to Cast a Spell. IMO when it says "If you have an innate spell, you can cast it" is enough. You can only cast is you use the Cast a Spell action and that action requires components. Could it have been spelled out? sure, but I don't think it needs it.

beowulf99 wrote:
Since you are not able to supply components, but Innate Spells states clearly that you can still cast an innate spell, you simply ignore them.

You literally can't: without them, you don't know how many actions you have, what type they are or what traits they have.

beowulf99 wrote:
Going back to the Material component example, how do you adjudicate this? "Sorry Elf Fighter, you didn't spend the silver to carry around a Spell Component Pouch, so you can't use the Innate Heal spell you paid for in that Tourmeline Sphere."?

Sounds right to me. If someone buys an item with a command component and is mute, I'm not going to feel bad for them either.

beowulf99 wrote:
Largely, I still maintain that a character can cast an Innate spell without component actions.

Based on what? What actions do they use? If you went to another table, would you expect them to see it the same way?

beowulf99 wrote:
It even makes sense from a narrative stand point. If you "innately" have the ability to cast Light for example, why would you know the specific gestures and words of power necessary for that spell?

I don't agree: Innate using components makes as much sense as a monk's ki using them: if a monk needs somatic and verbal to use ki to heal themselves it doesn't seem odd that the light needs it too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ubertron_X wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Is the bestiary not giving any additional insight?
My question was less aimed at examples out of the bestiary (even if I provided one) but about the bestiary itself, as - not being a GM yet - I do not currently have a copy available. Older issues of the bestiary had the monster "special" rules listed in a separate rules section, so the question was if the new bestiary has such a rules section and if there is an entry for innate spells (and if that entry differs from the entry in the CRB)?

Replying to this on it's own as the other post was getting long.

The only thing of note is that you can have constant innate spells and under constant spells it says:

Constant Spells
Source Bestiary pg. 342
"A constant spell affects the monster without the monster needing to cast it, and its duration is unlimited. If a constant spell gets counteracted, the monster can reactivate it by spending the normal spellcasting actions the spellrequires." So if you reactivate a constant innate spell, it requires "spending the normal spellcasting actions the spellrequires" and that means the components of the spell in question.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Draco18s wrote:
And that's why they're typically once-per-day abilities.

Actually the game is chock-full of feats granting you at-will innate cantrips.


In lieu of replying with quotes, imagine that the previous conversation is here.

What has happened here is a difference of interpretation. To graystone, "cast" is interchangeable with "Cast a Spell" and if you are supposed to cast a spell, you must have "Cast a Spell". I disagree. If you do not have a class feature or feat that grants you the ability to use the "Cast a Spell" activity, how can you logically use the Cast a Spell activity? The same question for any spell components. If you aren't able to use "Words of Power" or make a "Magical Nexus" with your hand movements, how can you spontaneously gain that ability by letting a magic rock float around your head?

Instead I believe that Innate Spells are meant to follow the formula of "Cast a Spell" without specifically granting you Cast a Spell or components. Weird, yes. But it is also logical. You are not a full caster. You have no training, no divine patron, no magical blood etc... You instead have a nebulous slightly magical ability. Slapping a Tourmeline Sphere or other spell granting Aeon stone into a wayfinder does not make you a Wizard. So the fine intricacies of Casting a Spell are lost on you. But you can still "cast" that spell.

You cannot specifically use any component action types. So you don't. Instead you simply spend the number of actions necessary and the spell happens. This explains how a Greater Barghest could use Invisibility on itself despite not having components or the "proper" digits to perform the necessary gestures.

This explains how a Runescarred caster uses runestone magic to manifest "spells" without necessarily needing to have been a full caster prior.

If anything, Elemental Wrath is the exception that proves the similarities in every other innate spell. Note that in it's description it even states that you, "Call to the Land" to invoke it's wrath. Perhaps that was the intention of the "verbal" components clause but whoever wrote it didn't account for the way that Innate spells seem to work.

Fiery Body gives you Produce Flame as an Innate spell, but you reduce it's casting to a single action. Well it requires both a Verbal and Somatic component. Which one do you lose? Do you lose any? Did you ever have to use any? Fiery Body doesn't specify. We have no rules dictating how to pick one. Isn't it easier to assume that an Innate spell doesn't use either, unless noted otherwise?


graystone wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Is the bestiary not giving any additional insight?
My question was less aimed at examples out of the bestiary (even if I provided one) but about the bestiary itself, as - not being a GM yet - I do not currently have a copy available. Older issues of the bestiary had the monster "special" rules listed in a separate rules section, so the question was if the new bestiary has such a rules section and if there is an entry for innate spells (and if that entry differs from the entry in the CRB)?

Replying to this on it's own as the other post was getting long.

The only thing of note is that you can have constant innate spells and under constant spells it says:

Constant Spells
Source Bestiary pg. 342
"A constant spell affects the monster without the monster needing to cast it, and its duration is unlimited. If a constant spell gets counteracted, the monster can reactivate it by spending the normal spellcasting actions the spellrequires." So if you reactivate a constant innate spell, it requires "spending the normal spellcasting actions the spellrequires" and that means the components of the spell in question.

This is actually not true at all. Mark Seifter even commented on it here.

Components do not equal spellcasting actions. The two are distinct.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Well RAW I tend to agree to @graystone, however RAI I tend to agree to @beowulf99, which means that there is a certain uncertainty in the rules that probably need to be adressed.

While looking for additional clues I looked up the descriptions for Staves and Wands, and this is exactly what we need in the Innate Spells paragraph.

CRB-Staves:
...Casting a Spell from a staff requires holding the staff (typically in one hand) and Activating the staff by Casting the Spell, which takes the spell’s normal number of actions...You must provide any material omponents, cost, or focus required by the spell, or you fail to cast it...

(note that Casting the Spell is starting with a capital letter)

CRB-Wands:
A wand contains a spell that can be cast once per day. Casting a spell from a wand requires holding the wand in one hand and activating the item with a Cast a Spell activity using the normal number of actions for the spell...A spell cast from a wand doesn’t require physical material components, but you must replace any material component normally required to cast the spell with a somatic component. If the spell requires a focus, you must still have that focus to cast the spell from a wand, and if the spell has a cost, you must still pay that cost to cast the spell from a wand.

(note that Casting the Spell is starting with a capital letter)


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

I for one am inclined to believe that innate spells have no components except where noted.

That's the way it worked thematically and mechanically in all past editions, so I dont find it so hard to believe that, that may well be the developers' intent for 2and Edition as well.


beowulf99 wrote:

This is actually not true at all. Mark Seifter even commented on it here.

Components do not equal spellcasting actions. The two are distinct.

The game allows for them not to match but the default is they match. "A spell description lists the components required to Cast the Spell. For most spells, the number of components is equal to the number of actions you must spend to Cast the Spell." The issue here is that nothing tells you to remove a component from innate. If you follow the 'no Cast a spell' and 'no component' route, all innate spells are unnoticeable by default ["When you Cast a Spell, your spellcasting creates obvious visual manifestations of the gathering magic"] so you'll never identify an innate spell. I'm not sure if you could even counteract it as you never see it coming. Plus, your actions have NO traits as those go with the components, making it so you can't actively disrupt it... "The spell components, described in detail below, add traits and requirements to the Cast a Spell activity." There is NO way to add, for instance, the concentrate trait back in as there is no mechanism for a non-Cast a Spell spell adding traits to it's actions. Without components, it just actions spent.

Does anyone think they planned for innate spells to be unnoticeable, un-disruptable and unidentifiable? Seems unlikely to me.


And that is a powerful benefit. But the limiting factor of Innate spells is their availability. Runescarred for example caps out at 1 spell per spell level up to 6th. You also cannot change the chosen spell unlike every other caster Archetype. If a Runescarred caster had a similar number of "slots" and more versatility in their casting, I would agree that their spells lacking traits would be crazy. But they don't. They get a maximum of 6 non-cantrip spells that they cannot heighten and a cantrip that they cannot change.

That is very limited, and it should be for access to the ability to cast without traits being added to the mix.

I liken casting an Innate spell closer to activating a Spell Storing weapon than to actually casting a spell. The power is already there, you just need to let it out. This especially fits for Runescarred, but arguably also fits for the various monsters with Innate spells.

Side note: Generally I would like to agree with graystone from a rules perspective, but really they just don't clearly spell out needing components for innate spells. Every example we have of gaining access to non-Innate spells includes some way of enabling you to use components to cast those spells. This tells me that without one of those abilities a character is simply unable to properly use spell components.

Rogues and other martials have to use Trick Magic Item and the relevant casting skill to activate magical items that require somatic or verbal components. If you don't Trick that item, you simply cannot attempt to use it, so components are definitely not universal.

But despite that, you can cast an innate spell. You simply can.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
beowulf99 wrote:
they just don't clearly spell out needing components for innate spells

For me, there is a clear explicit requirement for components but there is never any requirement for component use: the spellcasting classes just say they can supply the components but don't say that others can't: it can be a reminder. So it's an explicit rule vs an assumed requirement that there is a special requirement to use components IMO.

beowulf99 wrote:
Trick Magic Item

"A spell cast from a wand doesn’t require physical material components, but you must replace any material component normally required to cast the spell with a somatic component. If the spell requires a focus, you must still have that focus to cast the spell from a wand, and if the spell has a cost, you must still pay that cost to cast the spell from a wand." So you still require components and nothing tells you you can avoid that. Add to that that NOTHING tells you that there is a requirement to be able to use components and it seems simple to me: telling someone that they can do something isn't proof that no one else can do that thing. With multiple rules requiring components, it seems odd that they forgot to let you know you need special access to components doesn't it?

Further, look at the Red Mantis Assassin archetype. They can take Basic Red Mantis Magic: "You gain the Cast a Spell activity" and "You’re a prepared spellcaster, able to prepare two cantrips and one 1st-level spell each day." No place does it say you can use components: Do you assume it's divine prepared spells are component-less because of that? It clearly gives you slots and you're clearly a spellcaster but by your theory of component use, they get to ignore what other spellcasters need to do.

Runescarred: it's powerful without the need to power it up. Slap it on a Cha spellcaster means you use the same casting spell and innate allow you to use your own spellcasting proficiency. This means it just PURE extra slots. A bard with sorcerer and runescarred multiclassing can now access occult, arcane and either divine or primal spells and all using Cha and bard proficiency. That means you can get 3 extra cantrip-6th level spells and 2 extra 7-8th. It's nothing to brush off as needing no components. Just the base ability gives a valuable cha based attack cantrip that are lacking on non-arcane lists.


graystone wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
they just don't clearly spell out needing components for innate spells
For me, there is a clear explicit requirement for components but there is never any requirement for component use: the spellcasting classes just say they can supply the components but don't say that others can't: it can be a reminder. So it's an explicit rule vs an assumed requirement that there is a special requirement to use components IMO.

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.

graystone wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
Trick Magic Item
"A spell cast from a wand doesn’t require physical material components, but you must replace any material component normally required to cast the spell with a somatic component. If the spell requires a focus, you must still have that focus to cast the spell from a wand, and if the spell has a cost, you must still pay that cost to cast the spell from a wand." So you still require components and nothing tells you you can avoid that. Add to that that NOTHING tells you that there is a requirement to be able to use components and it seems simple to me: telling someone that they can do something isn't proof that no one else can do that thing. With multiple rules requiring components, it seems odd that they forgot to let you know you need special access to components doesn't it?

I never said that using Trick Magic Item bypassed components. What I said was that the only way for a non-caster, or even a caster of a different tradition of magic to use the "proper" components with such an item was to Trick it. If you were always just able to use Somatic components or Verbal components, why would you need to trick the item? And why would another caster, who has access to those components but for their own tradition, have to trick that item? Components aren't universal or free. If you aren't granted access to them, you can't use them. That is my point.

But despite that, you can cast your innate spells. Hence why I believe the intention is to forgo the use of any components and simply expend the actions necessary for the spell.

graystone wrote:
Further, look at the Red Mantis Assassin archetype. They can take Basic Red Mantis Magic: "You gain the Cast a Spell activity" and "You’re a prepared spellcaster, able to prepare two cantrips and one 1st-level spell each day." No place does it say you can use components: Do you assume it's divine prepared spells are component-less because of that? It clearly gives you slots and you're clearly a spellcaster but by your theory of component use, they get to ignore what other spellcasters need to do.

Actually, yeah, it would be thematically fitting for Red Mantis assassins to be able to cast their divine spells without speaking. Especially since they have no inbuilt access to Silent Spell, but are in theory great magical assassins. Also to note, Red Mantis Assassin has probably the MOST restrictions on the types and level of spellcasting that they gain access to. A total of 4 spell slots from spell level 1-4 and 2 cantrips. Add to that the restriction to Illusion and Transmutation spells (or the noted spells that follow) and you start seeing the trade that is happening. Though you can easily chalk that up to gaining proficiency with Sawtooth sabers and the shroud or mantis form focus spell. But those require additional feats, and you can grab them without touching Red Mantis spellcasting at all.

graystone wrote:
Runescarred: it's powerful without the need to power it up. Slap it on a Cha spellcaster means you use the same casting spell and innate allow you to use your own spellcasting proficiency. This means it just PURE extra slots. A bard with sorcerer and runescarred multiclassing can now access occult, arcane and either divine or primal spells and all using Cha and bard proficiency. That means you can get 3 extra cantrip-6th level spells and 2 extra 7-8th. It's nothing to brush off as needing no components. Just the base ability gives a valuable cha based attack cantrip that are lacking on non-arcane lists.

But is it any more powerful than just taking the core archetype for a Cha caster? Or whichever flavor of magic you want to splash into your build? You get more spells per level once you take advanced casting in the archetype and can even access other class specific feats.

Not to mention the pure Versatility one of the core casting classes give you. They are capped at 6th level. You cannot change your "runescarred" spells once you gain them. They are static. Name one basic archetype caster that has that limitation. You also get more cantrips out of a basic class archetype, so that is not a very good point either.

The only real benefit you point out to going with Runescarred over a basic Archetype is using Cha for an Arcane cantrip. That is a dubious benefit, since if you are playing such a high Cha character, you are likely already playing a caster.

I will note that one ability that supports your interpretation would be the Rogue's Minor Magic. It doesn't note the cantrips as being Innate spells, but does not provide them with access to spell components. To that I say, eh. Maybe it's a typo, or there is some fundamental rule that is missing that states once you gain access to a spell you automatically have access to the necessary components, or a version that you are able to use. This would fix a lot.


Or you could take Red Mantis Assassin for what it likely is: A dedication feat that didn't pull it's "Basic Spellcasting ability" from a core class, and the designer simply forgot to note that you gain access to the Components for your spells.

I would personally allow a Red Mantis Assassin to use thier spells sans components though. Naturally silent and still magic feels very on brand for a magic assassin.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Or the listing if components in the spellcasting class features is not there because it is the only way to be able to use compinents, but because to lay the groundwork for those features also laying out the component substitution options available to that class (bard performancrs, divine foci, sorcerers eschewing components, etc).

Rage capable, unidentifiable, non-reaction-provoking spells areally a bigger assumption than is supported by innate spells not mentioning that you can use components while also not saying anything to imply that you don't need them.


HammerJack wrote:

Or the listing if components in the spellcasting class features is not there because it is the only way to be able to use compinents, but because to lay the groundwork for those features also laying out the component substitution options available to that class (bard performancrs, divine foci, sorcerers eschewing components, etc).

Rage capable, unidentifiable, non-reaction-provoking spells areally a bigger assumption than is supported by innate spells not mentioning that you can use components while also not saying anything to imply that you don't need them.

Why? Components are supposedly something you typically have to learn imho. A Wizard spends years in arcane training. A bard is given theirs by their muse, and can often bypass them by playing their instrument. Druids and Clerics are granted divine inspiration or some similar equivalent. Sorcerers are the odd one out in that apparently their blood tells them what motions to make, and what words of power to utter.

But an Innate spell can come from a wide range of options. Ancestry feats, general feats, magic items, archetypes. And not one of them denotes that you, "can supply material, somatic, and verbal components when casting spells," like all of the "standard" classes. Even the Basic casting Archetypes include that clause when you gain the basic spellcasting ability of that class.

Runescarred does not. Aeon Stones do not. Ancestry and General Feats like Otherworldly Magic and Arcane Sense do not. But you can still cast them. The only reasonable way to adjudicate this is to spend actions but not require specific components.

This goes back to the Spell Component Pouch issue. Should a non-caster be required to carry around and refill a spell component pouch to use an Innate Spell with a Material component?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
beowulf99 wrote:
Typically you can't do a "thing" in this game that you are not clearly able to do.

Not equivalent: you are allowed an action that requires them: does it make sense to invent new requirements or use the existing one? No contest IMO. Secondly, there isn't any listed requirement to learn them.

beowulf99 wrote:
I never said that using Trick Magic Item bypassed components. What I said was that the only way for a non-caster, or even a caster of a different tradition of magic to use the "proper" components with such an item was to Trick it. If you were always just able to use Somatic components or Verbal components, why would you need to trick the item?

I'm not getting what you're talking about. Where does it require a roll for component? You can emulate a tradition but that's for spell lists: components aren't mentioned. "this might allow a fighter to cast a spell from a wand" plus "A spell cast from a wand doesn’t require physical material components, but you must replace any material component normally required to cast the spell with a somatic component" seems like there is no issue with a fighter using a component: after all, there is no specific text allowing components for the wand either is there? if we assume the text is correct for trick Magic Item, thy not do the same with innate spells?

beowulf99 wrote:
Actually, yeah, it would be thematically fitting for Red Mantis assassins to be able to cast their divine spells without speaking

But it's not innate anymore: we're talking REAL spell casting now with slots any everything. You can't argue it doesn't use the Cast a Spell action and that requires components...

beowulf99 wrote:
But is it any more powerful than just taking the core archetype for a Cha caster?

It can be: just having an arcane cantrip that uses your stat and proficiency can be a HUGE boon leveling. IMO, doubling your slots gives a LOT of options and allows you to toss around more niche ones without hitting your core spells. Of course it's a tradeoff with class feats but for some classes that's not too much of a hit. For me, I find innate spells are often overlooked and can be a great resource [and that's using components]: I don't see any reason to change them as they are strong enough.

beowulf99 wrote:
Why? Components are supposedly something you typically have to learn imho.

Are they though? "Sorcerer:You didn’t choose to become a spellcaster—you were born one." Born a spellcaster seems to disprove that they had to learn something before they where born... :P

beowulf99 wrote:
The only reasonable way to adjudicate this is to spend actions but not require specific components.

Or more reasonable, maybe use the rules under Casting a Spell?

beowulf99 wrote:
This goes back to the Spell Component Pouch issue. Should a non-caster be required to carry around and refill a spell component pouch to use an Innate Spell with a Material component?

1000% yes: there is NOTHING unreasonable with this. I have yet to hear a reason it would be.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

So every monster that has an innate spell with a material component now needs to have that pouch no matter how odd it is or implausible it might be for them to have one?


graystone wrote:
Previous Post here.

1. I'm not sure what you mean by listed requirements to learn them. To learn how to lockpick? Or Spell Components? By and large a character can only attempt actions that they "know". Why does it make sense that a character could make an "Arcane Nexus" or it's divine/primal/occult equivalent without any prior training?

2. A character who is not a spellcaster of the proper tradition cannot attempt to use a scroll or wand or other applicable magic item without using Trick Magic Item. "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 without having tricked that item, you can't even attempt to use it. If that is the case, you obviously do not have access to the "proper" somatic or verbal components. If you did, you could at least attempt to use them, right?

3. I can argue that the Mantis Assassin itself does not grant you specifically the ability to use spell components. This is unlike every other "standard" caster in the game. As I said in another post, I can see this being a typo or oversight since afaik, it is the only non-basic class archetype that makes you a "prepared" caster in this way. I could be wrong on that, but it is the only one I know of.

4. You aren't doubling your slots though, are you? You are gaining 1 additional specific and unchangeable spell of levels 1 to 6. Compare multiple slots up to a single 7th level spell allowed by say the Wizard archetype, I'm not seeing the parity here.

5. Yes, they are. The Sorcerer is the sole outlier there. Honestly, claiming that specific hand gestures and arcane words of power are just common knowledge is the most laughable part of your argument. At best someone with a relevant knowledge can "trick" an item into taking whatever gibberish they mutter in place of a verbal component. And that is contingent on passing a check. And that is only for the remainder of their turn at most.

If what you claim was true and spellcasting actions = spell components (despite a quote from Mark Seifter tearing that one apart) then the only thing that Trick Magic item does is grant you temporary access to spell components. Kinda makes your argument self defeating, doesn't it?

6. Sure. So Innate spells are simply un-castable then. Gonna be fun to hammer that Greater Barghest while it tries in vain to turn invisible.

7. That is very unreasonable. If an item requires a second item to function fully, why wouldn't that be noted anywhere in the book?

Honestly you are treating this like it invalidates standard spell casting. That is far from the truth of the matter. Innate spells are simply not "common" enough to truly effect standard spellcasting. Runescarred casting is highly limited. The bulk of Innate spells are either cantrips, or are limited to 1/day and/or tied to a magic item like an Aeon stone slotted into a Wayfinder.


Talonhawke wrote:
So every monster that has an innate spell with a material component now needs to have that pouch no matter how odd it is or implausible it might be for them to have one?

Of course. Greater Nightmares keep the material components for their innate spells in their pockets. If you part their mane, you'll find a zipper. Open that up, and you'll find a set of trinkets each originating from one of the major planes, which they use as a material component for Plane Shift. You'll also find a bunch of candy, but that's beside the point.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Talonhawke wrote:
So every monster that has an innate spell with a material component now needs to have that pouch no matter how odd it is or implausible it might be for them to have one?

Monsters already don't follow normal PC rules so it's not really on topic to mention them at all.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Talonhawke wrote:
So every monster that has an innate spell with a material component now needs to have that pouch no matter how odd it is or implausible it might be for them to have one?

Why focus on innate: dragon have true spellcasting but no hands... Do you expect every dragon to have holy symbols or material pouches? This is an issue with monsters and spells in general no matter the type of spells. And as Vlorax mentions, monsters can do anything the creator want and don't have to follow PC rules: even so, I would be surprised if they don't have to use the traits even if don't have to meet the exact component [IE if a spell would have Material, Somatic or Focus the spell casting would have (manipulate) and Verbal (concentrate)]

beowulf99:
#1 you're allowed to cast a spell and casting a spell requires components: ergo you can use components. If you don't meet prerequisites, you can't use the action. For instance, if something told you you can use the Fly Action, that means "You have a fly Speed": you don't get use your Speed instead just cuz. You can't invent thing to fill in the gaps. Nothing lets you remove the components or their traits.

#2 "A character who is not a spellcaster of the proper tradition cannot attempt to use a scroll or wand or other applicable magic item without using Trick Magic Item." Yep... That has NOTHING to do with components. 0%. nil. nada. tradition is something like divine, NOT a class. Hence NOTHING to do with components. However, trick Magic Items expects you to use components...

#3 "I can argue that the Mantis Assassin itself does not grant you specifically the ability to use spell components": Sure, you can argue anything you want. I don't think you're even close to right.

#4 "You aren't doubling your slots though, are you?" Multiclassing allows you to double your slots 1-6 and 2 extra 7-8th.

#5 "The Sorcerer is the sole outlier there." ONE is plenty to shot down having to specifically learn components SEPARATELY from spells. If sorcerer can be born with component use, why can't innate spells?

As to "common knowledge", it's common knowledge for anyone that can cast spells: If a feat like trick Magic Items that gives the knowledge to emulate an entire tradition, why wouldn't it include components? I don't think saying people that can cast spells know components is a wild or strange idea. We aren't talking about a fighter without any knowledge in spells. Additionally, what would a person identifying a spell use to do so is they have no knowledge of components?

#6 Or you can simply follow the Cast a Spell rules as presented without inventing a workaround for a perceived but unmentioned requirement?

#7 "That is very unreasonable. If an item requires a second item to function fully, why wouldn't that be noted anywhere in the book?"

IMO, VERY reasonable. Secondly, you can't have it both ways: you can't complain about an unmentioned pounch when the ENTIRE need for component training is NEVER mentioned anyplace in the rules.

Secondly, it very much IS mentioned in the rules: The Cast a Spell action REQUIRES components without any exceptions.

"Honestly you are treating this like it invalidates standard spell casting.": I'm acting like someone that is seeing someone inventing rules out of thin air and trying to pass it off as RAW. Secondly, it IMO, overpowers innate spells for no good reason.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

From my reading I think people are overthinking this. Individual spells tell you how many actions it takes to cast a spell and what traits that spell has.

I can't really find anything in the books that suggests innate spells are meant to play by entirely different rules, so why would we assume they do out of hand?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:

From my reading I think people are overthinking this. Individual spells tell you how many actions it takes to cast a spell and what traits that spell has.

I can't really find anything in the books that suggests innate spells are meant to play by entirely different rules, so why would we assume they do out of hand?

I think what's throwing them is monsters and the expectation that they work differently as it throws off their head cannon to need components. IMO, they are working backwards from that to PC innate spells. That and equating them to PF1 SLA, something PF2 moved away from by unifying spells and spellcasting and getting rid of the designations between SU, SLA and casting. PF2 just works differently than PF1.


graystone wrote:
Another truncated post here

First, I feel like I have offended you. That was not intentional and I apologize if I seem to come off as offensive.

#1: Innate Spells do not grant you the Cast a Spell action. Nor do they grant you the ability to use components. Despite this, you can cast these spells. I am not sure that I can restate this more clearly, but you are flat out ignoring that.

#2: Incorrect. According to you, casting actions = spell components. So if you cannot attempt to make casting actions, you cannot attempt to make spell components. This is all despite the clear delineation between the two that you are still ignoring.

#3: We can agree to disagree on that. I chalk Mantis Assassin up to a typo.

#4: When you say that multi-classing allows you to double your spell slots, that is patently false. Re-read Runescarred. You gain a single spell of each level you qualify for. 1, and they aren't slots. They are specific unchangeable spells. Even the standard spell casting class archetypes don't provide "double" your slots. They provide a specific number detailed in that archetype.

#5: Why? Isn't there normally an exception that proves a rule? Also, moot point since Sorcerer does specify that you can provide verbal, somatic and material components, soo...

Also: " We aren't talking about a fighter without any knowledge in spells." We very much are. An Elf Fighter with Worldly Magic in fact. You still haven't addressed that one. :)

#6: And here we go back around the circular logic train. You must have access to Components. You don't. You can't cast them. But you can. I stop that train at the, "Screw the components," stop. You decide to run it around a few more rounds. To each their own.

#7: This is a difference in GM opinion. I am truly glad that I don't play at your table.

I have never mentioned the Term RAW in this instance because there isn't one clear RAW to mention. My very first post posited both of these view points, and I even stated that I could see either one being correct. But the more I look into various rules, the more likely I see my second interpretation holding water over the first.

At this point, we are waiting on either some clear breakthrough from the rules, unlikely since we are down to picking apart Lost Omens Character Guide Archetypes, or we have to wait until a designer decides to chime in. Which I would welcome.

So agree to disagree? Or do we have to dance once again?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

1 to 50 of 69 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Innate Spell - What Action? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.