Hostile actions

Rules Discussion

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I'm a Little confused about what can be considered hostile...

Sustaining a summon, for example, you can give it the order to Attack... Does It count as indirectly harming a foe?

Or creating an illusion? Or summoning a creature?

CRB PG. 305 "Hostile Actions" wrote:

Sometimes spell effects prevent a target from using

hostile actions, or the spell ends if a creature uses any
hostile actions. A hostile action is one that can harm or
damage another creature, whether directly or indirectly,
but not one that a creature is unaware could cause harm.
For instance, lobbing a fireball into a crowd would be
a hostile action, but opening a door and accidentally
freeing a horrible monster would not be. The GM is the
final arbitrator of what constitutes a hostile action.

This is pretty well explained. It boils down to; did you cause harm? And do they know about it?

If you sustained a summon without attacking anyone, probably not a hostile action. But that depends on circumstance. Are you in an audience with a King? His guards may not like you summoning a monster. Are you using your magic to entertain a bunch of village kids? They may be ok with you summoning a dog. Sustain a summon and have it attack; that is definitely hostile. You are the root cause of that attack after all.

Illusion's generally don't directly cause "harm" but they could be used threateningly, which would constitute a hostile action in my opinion.

For instance one of my players used Illusory Object to make a creatures tent appear to be on fire. This stretched the utility of it a bit, but I allowed it for the Rule of Cool. If the creatures in the tent had any idea that he had cast the spell, it would have been a hostile action; they would believe that he set their worldly possessions on fire. Since they were asleep at the time, until someone started screaming about the fire anyway, they were unaware of the illusion's origin, or any tie to the PC in question. Thus it was not directly a "hostile action". He didn't actually cause any harm, and nobody perceived it that way. They merely thought their tent had caught fire and were preoccupied.

Hope that helps.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Basically, if the question is " can I hurt these creatures while technically not performing a hostile action?" the answer is no.

If you know the intent of the action is to harm, then it's a hostile action.

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