Grappling with Ectoplasmic Snare...

Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ectoplasmic Snare looks like a very interesting spell. However, it appears to need more definition for how the grapple effect is supposed to work.

On the Pathfinder side, the original Occult Adventures version of Ectoplasmic Snare had more definition.

So...breaking down the Starfinder version:
The basic mechanic of the spell is clear: "Make a ranged attack roll against your target’s EAC. If you hit, the target can attempt a Reflex save. On a successful save, the target is entangled for the duration. If the target fails, it is grappled and takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage each round it remains so." No problem so far.

However, problems begin to occur with "If the target escapes the grapple...."

Both versions call out 1 round/level max duration and concentration for each round, but the Starfinder version omits all the other clarifying text.

So, are we supposed to assume that it switches from an EAC attack roll to a KAC+8 CMB attack maintain model? Or does the caster maintain against EAC+8, since it's ectoplasmic? Do we use Caster Level and Primary Stat as the modifiers (at +2 because the target is grappled) to maintain (as implied by, and defined in, the CMB section of Technomancer:Telekinesis)? Or, does this spell bypass Starfinder grapple mechanics and just require concentration to auto-maintain with a basic reflex save each round from the target against the original spell DC (maybe more like trying to escape an Aqueous Orb in Pathfinder)?

There is nothing for the target to attack, so they probably can't swap the grapple with a CMB attack. But, they might be able to use Acrobatics to try to escape. Should there be a skill check vs. the caster's Caster Level + Primary Stat + 10? The problem is that it's not defined, either generally or specifically.

There is also no definition for the snare having hit points in the Starfinder version, so destruction does't seem like an option.

Paizo Devs - could you please clarify exactly how the maintain/escape mechanics are supposed to work for the Starfinder version of Ectoplasmic Snare? Thanks!


acrobatics wrote:
The DC to escape a grapple or pin is typically 10 + the grappler’s Kinetic Armor Class.

So you could do something like 20+caster level, plus maybe key ability score (should be roughly equivalent in number at a guess, considering there's a +10 in KAC to start with)

But, normally you still roll vs. 10+KAC.

Grand Lodge

No adjudication involving KAC makes sense to me. The spell defines the attack vs. EAC and the caster is not immediately present for the target to attack. But, multiple adjudication decisions are possible = huge table variation. It needs formal definition.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Flagging this to be moved to Rules Questions, where the FAQ button exists, since it isn't really about the AP, and would have a better chance of coming to the attention if the right people.

Grand Lodge

Thanks -- anything that helps fill in the gaps with formal definition!

Grand Lodge

Also, as with the PF version of the spell, it requires concentration (standard action). So, if there is no definition for what happens with that standard action (such as the snare attempting a maintain grapple check, as in the PF version), then the PC can take no other standard action (like making another attack roll with the snare or using a standard to maintain the grapple). So, either there needs to be additional spell text, or the only thing possible on the caster side is basic concentration as a standard action to maintain the spell (including moving the target as defined in the spell), implying a reflex save each round and nothing more.

Grand Lodge

Other issues that arose during gameplay were:

1. What happens on critical hit with the snare? Is the initial 2d6 damage doubled for the crit?

2. Can this spell only target 1 creature per cast, or, while concentrating, can the caster decide to target another creature within range and just roll to hit it.

3. If the spell can be moved to another creature, does the originally-targeted creature still retain the "entangled effect" after a failed save? Or, does entangled go away when the caster targets someone else?

1. Tough question. I’d say no, as there isn’t an ‘initial damage’ portion of the spell. If it was worded that the target takes 2d6 and is grappled, I’d say yes. But the way the spell reads, the damage is an effect from the grapple. In fact, if someone argued that on your initiative (say, 30) you cast this spell on an NPC, and on that NPC’s initiative (say, 17) it breaks the grapple, I might be inclined to say it doesn’t take any damage, as it didn’t remain grappled for a round. But that might be a little more semantics than rules.
2. No, I’m pretty sure you just have the one target, the initial target that you rolled an attack roll for.
3. Moot, you can’t get here from a ‘no’ on 2.

Customer Service Representative

Moved to Starfinder Rules Questions. Thanks for the patience as we operate within the COVID-19 quarantine rules!

Did this ever end up covered somewhere?

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