Eclipsed Spell Meta-magic and the Light Cantrip


Rules Questions


Hiya folks, trying to grok the way a meta-magic effect (Eclipsed Spell) changes the light cantrip. The relevant parts of Eclipsed Spell are:

Eclipsed Spell wrote:

You alter how your spells affect illumination.

Benefit(s): Only spells that create areas of light or darkness can be eclipsed spells. If the eclipsed spell creates an area that shines like a torch or raises the light level by one step, you can choose to have the spell lower the illumination level in the affected area by one step, functioning like darkness.

Since light is a Cantrip and lasts 10 min/level rather than the 1 min/level darkness, an Eclipsed Spell of light seems to be the much superior option. It would have the con of easier dispel, but at low levels, this seems like a game-changer.

A possible caveat, Darkness specifically states that it sniffs out non-magical lighting, returning a space to whatever the "ambient" light conditions are (sunlight and any non-mobile lighting fixtures, if I have my FAQs right). An Eclipsed version of light only states that it functions "like" darkness, but doesn't have the specific language about dousing non-ambient light sources.

This would cause the eclipsed version of the light spell to be much more effective for its place, but the optimizer in me feels like this is too good to pass up.

Thoughts?


Bump, and a clarification. I guess my question is specifically asking if the Eclipsed Spell Meta-magic feat is applied to the light cantrip, does that spell negate mundane sources of light in its effect (20 ft centered on object touched) like other darkness spells, or not?

I've looked for clarification on what it means when a spell or effect "acts like" another spell, but not having found it I guess one is supposed to just infer which aspects carry over, and thus open to GM interpretation (not that everything isn't already under that rule). Anyone have a reason to believe differently or insight into the question?


"Acts like" and "treated as" are just a few of the reoccurring examples of lazy, ambiguous writing that was deemed acceptable by the Paizo editors...

Such nondescript descriptions have spawned many debates.

For ease of, well, everything... "functions as" = IS...

Your metamagic cantrip would dispel the opposing type of illumination, as long as it is non-magical in nature.

Now, whether or not it is worth you taking a borderline useless metamagic feat, just to have a long(er) lasting, low-level source of benign illumination control...


VoodistMonk wrote:


For ease of, well, everything... "functions as" = IS...

Your metamagic cantrip would dispel the opposing type of illumination, as long as it is non-magical in nature.

Thanks, good enough for me.

VoodistMonk wrote:
Now, whether or not it is worth you taking a borderline useless metamagic feat, just to have a long(er) lasting, low-level source of benign illumination control...

Longer lasting isn't the issue, it's that the spell functions identically to darkness (a 2nd level spell) and as a cantrip can be cast an unlimited number of times without cutting into a pretty valuable resource at low levels.

As for "benign illumination control" I'd point out that any environment that isn't lit by ambient natural light (outdoors in the day) is going to default to a minimum of dim light when non-ambient light gets overridden by the reverse light spell. That minimum dim lighting then gets downgraded to darkness. So one can cast an (Eclipsed) light and become a mobile bundle of blindness for anything they can get in a 10f foot range of.

It's true that this combo is useless against dark-visioned enemies or in natural daylight, but it's potent enough to shut down a target that isn't adequately prepared. At low levels, this is going to be a large spread of enemies.

The tactic requires preparation or luck, but if it only works in 30% of your 1st to 6th level encounters it's well worth the feat.


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Sorry, just seen that Eclipse Spell doesn't raise the level.

For a cantrip, that's actually pretty awesome.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Sorry, just seen that Eclipse Spell doesn't raise the level.

For a cantrip, that's actually pretty awesome.

Thanks! Yeah, it's so good I feel like I'm missing something or should warn my GM <.<;; I'm putting this up on my Sanctified Slayer / Dhampir Inquisitor, the combination looks mean


It's powerful and a good find, but if you pay with your precious first feat, probably your GM will consider it balanced. Later an inquisitor gets darkness anyway, a few times a day if desired. Alternatively there will be a lesser rod, just not on the first few levels, due to the price (1,500).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

1) A metamagiched spell isn't a cantrip anymore, so you can cast it only once even if it is a 0 level spell.

2)

Quote:

Eclipsed Spell (Metamagic)

You alter how your spells affect illumination.

Benefit(s): Only spells that create areas of light or darkness can be eclipsed spells. If the eclipsed spell creates an area that shines like a torch or raises the light level by one step, you can choose to have the spell lower the illumination level in the affected area by one step, functioning like darkness. If the eclipsed spell creates an area that shines like daylight or raises the light level by two steps, you can choose to have the spell lower the illumination level in the affected area by two steps and create an area of magical darkness, functioning like deeper darkness.

If the eclipsed spell lowers the illumination level in the affected area by one step, you can choose to have the spell cause the affected area to glow with normal light, functioning like light. If the eclipsed spell lowers the illumination level in the affected area by two steps, you can choose to have the spell cause the affected area to shed bright light, functioning like daylight.

An eclipsed spell does not use up a higher-level spell slot than the spell’s actual level.

The light cantrip shed light like a torch, so it will work as darkness.

A bit of a stupid thing that a metamagic can make a 0 level spell more powerful than a 2nd level spell, but it has its costs:
a) you exchange an unlimited use cantrip for a single use 0 level spell;
b) you need to take a feat or buy a metamagic rod.

RAW it works, but I suggest you consider this text from the sourcebook where it is published:

Blood of Shadows wrote:

Shaow Feats

The following feats represent special tricks and abilities that characters who cling to the shadows can learn to boost their effectiveness. They grant abilities and benefits revolving around fighting and manipulating darkness and dim light.

I would require an appropriate background before a paler can get it.


It acts almost exactly like a 0-level darkness that lasts 10-min/level. Its a little cheap, but was used in fun ways in a build that I had. I do think that this was just an oversight though as most of the time you wouldn't use darkness for much if you had this.

Consider however: >You can cast it as much as you like, but you can only have one at a time due to it still being the light cantrip.

>A walking sphere of darkness isn't all that inconspicuous.

>That certain creatures have special senses and they aren't very uncommon (mostly darkvision, though there are others creatures with other sensory abilities).

>That higher level "light-level" altering spells always take priority.

Otherwise, just have fun with your broken low level toy if your gm is fine with it. It does become less useful as you level up due to higher level magic being used and creatures more and more commonly having special senses, but was a fun gimmick while it lasted.


Diego Rossi wrote:
1) A metamagiched spell isn't a cantrip anymore, so you can cast it only once even if it is a 0 level spell.

Man, what?

Arcanic Drake wrote:
It acts almost exactly like a 0-level darkness that lasts 10-min/level. Its a little cheap, but was used in fun ways in a build that I had. I do think that this was just an oversight though as most of the time you wouldn't use darkness for much if you had this.

Mostly to pop (anti) light on my armor and follow it with meleeing an opponent. Kingmaker has a ton of human enemies in its first few levels, getting them into melee range makes them blind (50% miss chance to me, +2 to hit them, loss of dex bonus to AC).

Arcanic Drake wrote:

Consider however: >You can cast it as much as you like, but you can only have one at a time due to it still being the light cantrip.

>A walking sphere of darkness isn't all that inconspicuous.

With this strategy I wouldn't need more than one at a time, and the spell would be lit after battle begins. Can be as conspicuous as I want, the point is full concealment while my vision is fine.

Arcanic Drake wrote:

That certain creatures have special senses and they aren't very uncommon (mostly darkvision, though there are others creatures with other sensory abilities).

That higher level "light-level" altering spells always take priority.

Certainly the strategy falls down somewhere between levels four and eight, but in an adventure path that's still quite a bit of time played.

Arcanic Drake wrote:
Otherwise, just have fun with your broken low level toy if your gm is fine with it. It does become less useful as you level up due to higher level magic being used and creatures more and more commonly having special senses, but was a fun gimmick while it lasted.

That's the plan, thanks =D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
1) A metamagiched spell isn't a cantrip anymore, so you can cast it only once even if it is a 0 level spell.
Man, what?

A metamagic changes the level of the spell. Even if it stays at the same level it is still a different spell.

People have tried several times to say that a metamagiched cantrips can be cast an unlimited number of times, that has been shod down repeatedly by the Devs. Using a metamagiched spell use up a spell slot of that level.

Staying at level 0 doesn't invalidate that as there isn't any rule that says that a metamagiched spell doesn't consume 0 level slot.

The definition of cantrips, from the CRB: "Cantrips: Bards learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table 3–4 under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again."
Eclipse light si one of the spell a Bard or any other class learn? No.
So that rule doesn't allow you to use Eclipse light an unlimited number of times.
You can use an unlimited number of times only a standard cantrip, not one modified by metamagic.


Diego Rossi wrote:

A metamagic changes the level of the spell. Even if it stays at the same level it is still a different spell.

People have tried several times to say that a metamagiched cantrips can be cast an unlimited number of times, that has been shod down repeatedly by the Devs. Using a metamagiched spell use up a spell slot of that level.

Would you mind linking to where the Devs say that?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sadly, it was never addressed directly as a general rule, only the specific shenanigans have been shot down, but for starter, this FAQ:

Lehmuska wrote:

Something jumped up from the rules regarding zero level spells.

FAQ wrote:

Metamagic: At what spell level does the spell count for concentration DCs, magus spell recall, or a pearl of power?

The spell counts as the level of the spell slot necessary to cast it.

For example, an empowered burning hands uses a 3rd-level spell slot, counts as a 3rd-level spell for making concentration checks, counts as a 3rd-level spell for a magus's spell recall or a pearl of power.

In general, use the (normal, lower) spell level or the (higher) spell slot level, whichever is more of a disadvantage for the caster. The advantages of the metamagic feat are spelled out in the Benefits section of the feat, and the increased spell slot level is a disadvantage.

Heighten Spell is really the only metamagic feat that makes using a higher-level spell slot an advantage instead of a disadvantage.

The metamagiched spells use a spell slot of the appropriate level.

And the CRB, page 113: "Spells modified by a metamagic feat use a spell slot higher than normal.", modified in later books ain "Such spells generally take up a higher-level spell slot than the normal spell. For complete rules on how to apply metamagic feats to spells, see pages 112–113 of the Core Rulebook."
As "use up" hasn't been changed even when the possibility of having metamagiched spells maintaining the original level, there is no wiggle room. Using a metamagiched 0 level spell use up a slot.

Until you guys find a piece of rules that says that a modified spell is still a cantrip, you are extending the rules beyond the breaking point.
As you guys are extending a rule to get it to say something it doesn't say, the onus of proving that is on you, I have shown several pieces of the rules that point in the other direction.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Sadly, it was never addressed directly as a general rule, only the specific shenanigans have been shot down, but for starter, this FAQ:

Lehmuska wrote:

Something jumped up from the rules regarding zero level spells.

FAQ wrote:

Metamagic: At what spell level does the spell count for concentration DCs, magus spell recall, or a pearl of power?

The spell counts as the level of the spell slot necessary to cast it.

For example, an empowered burning hands uses a 3rd-level spell slot, counts as a 3rd-level spell for making concentration checks, counts as a 3rd-level spell for a magus's spell recall or a pearl of power.

In general, use the (normal, lower) spell level or the (higher) spell slot level, whichever is more of a disadvantage for the caster. The advantages of the metamagic feat are spelled out in the Benefits section of the feat, and the increased spell slot level is a disadvantage.

Heighten Spell is really the only metamagic feat that makes using a higher-level spell slot an advantage instead of a disadvantage.

The metamagiched spells use a spell slot of the appropriate level.

And the CRB, page 113: "Spells modified by a metamagic feat use a spell slot higher than normal.", modified in later books ain "Such spells generally take up a higher-level spell slot than the normal spell. For complete rules on how to apply metamagic feats to spells, see pages 112–113 of the Core Rulebook."
As "use up" hasn't been changed even when the possibility of having metamagiched spells maintaining the original level, there is no wiggle room. Using a metamagiched 0 level spell use up a slot.

Until you guys find a piece of rules that says that a modified spell is still a cantrip, you are extending the rules beyond the breaking point.
As you guys are extending a rule to get it to say something it doesn't say, the onus of proving that is on you, I have shown several pieces of the rules that point in the other direction.

Easy enough to debunk.

Quote:
Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from an opposition school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below).

It does not matter if metamagic has been applied, 0-level spells are not expended when cast and may be used again.


A spontaneous caster also doesn't have spell slots for 0 level spells, they would just apply the metamagic for no extra level cost wouldn't they?


Coolwasabi wrote:
A spontaneous caster also doesn't have spell slots for 0 level spells, they would just apply the metamagic for no extra level cost wouldn't they?

Yup. They'd be required to cast it as a full round action (like all other meta-magic spells) but they still get unlimited zero level spells and a metamagic feat that turns a spell from level zero to zero remains zero.

I have no idea what arbitrary nonsense the poster above is using to claim that cantrips both are and aren't applicable. Happily, I only need to be concerned about my GM's rulings. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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Oh, found a nice Dev quote that also supports my position.

Folks, James is right on here.

If you use a higher level slot, for any reason, be it because it is modified with metamagic, or you just prepared it in a higher slot, it is consumed when cast, just like any other spell. Only when it uses a 0-level slot, it is not consumed.

There is some poor wording there that I am going to correct the next time I am able.

And please folks.. play nice.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

So to rephrase what was said earlier, I have shown several pieces of evidence supporting my position. Since you are extending a rule to get it to say something it doesn't say, the onus of proving that is on you.


I think the best thing about an eclipsed light spell is that if someone tries to cast light to kill it, it will fail, since it only counters darkness spells, which eclipsed light is not.

VoodistMonk wrote:
Your metamagic cantrip would dispel the opposing type of illumination, as long as it is non-magical in nature.

How do you dispel a non-magical thing?

Diego Rossi wrote:

Sadly, it was never addressed directly as a general rule, only the specific shenanigans have been shot down, but for starter, this FAQ:

Lehmuska wrote:

Something jumped up from the rules regarding zero level spells.

FAQ wrote:

Metamagic: At what spell level does the spell count for concentration DCs, magus spell recall, or a pearl of power?

The spell counts as the level of the spell slot necessary to cast it.

For example, an empowered burning hands uses a 3rd-level spell slot, counts as a 3rd-level spell for making concentration checks, counts as a 3rd-level spell for a magus's spell recall or a pearl of power.

In general, use the (normal, lower) spell level or the (higher) spell slot level, whichever is more of a disadvantage for the caster. The advantages of the metamagic feat are spelled out in the Benefits section of the feat, and the increased spell slot level is a disadvantage.

Heighten Spell is really the only metamagic feat that makes using a higher-level spell slot an advantage instead of a disadvantage.

The metamagiched spells use a spell slot of the appropriate level.

And the CRB, page 113: "Spells modified by a metamagic feat use a spell slot higher than normal.", modified in later books ain "Such spells generally take up a higher-level spell slot than the normal spell. For complete rules on how to apply metamagic feats to spells, see pages 112–113 of the Core Rulebook."
As "use up" hasn't been changed even when the possibility of having metamagiched spells maintaining the original level, there is no wiggle room. Using a metamagiched 0 level spell use up a slot.

Until you guys find a piece of rules that says that a modified spell is still a cantrip, you are extending the rules beyond the breaking point.
As you guys are extending a rule to get it to say something it doesn't say, the onus of proving that is on you, I have shown several pieces of the rules that point in the other direction.

As you point out things Lehmuska said, and not what the FAQ said, you are pointing out an opinion, not rules.

Wizard wrote:
Cantrips: Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from a prohibited school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below).

According to the definition for a wizard, cantrips consume slots. That they don't get expended means you can cast the repeatedly.

Since an Eclipsed Spell does not change the level, an eclipsed light remains a cantrip for a wizard. So why would it differently for any other class that has cantrips or orisons?

I do agree that it sucks for spontaneous casters due to extending casting time.

/cevah

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