Self target spell shenanigans


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion


Striking Spell only requires that the spell targets a single creature. Nothing says that the creature targeted cannot be 'self'. That can make spells that target 'self' usable on allies now.

So a Monk that wants to boost their AC even higher and sees that Mage Armor adds an item bonus to unarmored defense. Using a scroll or wand of Mage Armor would be great. Now, they could go the Trick Magic Item route, but skill training in Arcana, and a skill feat seems a bit much character build to put into it.

Fortunately, Magus to the rescue. Just buy a non-magical dagger for 2sp, hand both the scroll or wand and the dagger to the Magus and say, 'Here. Hit me with this.' Then drop prone and close your eyes.

Seems oddly similar to everyone buying wands of Cure Light Wounds and handing them to the Cleric...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

In PF2, self-targeting spells don't have "Target: Self". They simply don't have a target entry and the text then says that it affects you. So they don't qualify for Striking Spell.


That's some really subtle rules interaction. Not intuitive or clear. Even after you say that, I am not entirely sure that I agree with that as the intended ruling.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
breithauptclan wrote:
That's some really subtle rules interaction. Not intuitive or clear. Even after you say that, I am not entirely sure that I agree with that as the intended ruling.

It's definitely the intended ruling. It's obvious Magus is intended to be hand out self-only buffs by stabbing allies. The rules include that if there are multiple possible interpretations, don't go with the obviously broken one.

As for the wording, personal-only spells don't say anything about targeting, let alone targeting a single creature.


QuidEst wrote:
It's definitely the intended ruling. It's obvious Magus is intended to be hand out self-only buffs by stabbing allies.

I'm suspecting a mis-wording here, but I think your meaning is that you agree with me that a 'knife of apply Mage Armor' is not how the game is meant to be played.

QuidEst wrote:
As for the wording, personal-only spells don't say anything about targeting, let alone targeting a single creature.

But 'not saying anything' is not the same as actually saying 'no'. If left to intuitive language - the ruling is ambiguous.

The spell targets something even if the spell stat block doesn't actually say what. That 'something' that the spell affects is a single creature. So therefore the 'target' of the spell is a single creature and thus the spell qualifies for Striking Spell.

Do I agree with it - no. Can I argue against it - not very well.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

"Invalid Target: If the target you hit wouldn’t be a valid
target for the spell, the spell is still expended but doesn’t
affect the target."


Invalid target is for things like casting Magic Weapon on Thieves tools. The magic is inherently incompatible with the target.

Mage Armor is not inherently incompatible with a humanoid Monk. In fact, there are perfectly valid ways for the Monk to cast Mage Armor on himself.


breithauptclan wrote:
Invalid target is for things like casting Magic Weapon on Thieves tools.

This isn't true: there is no issue with casting Magic Weapon on Thieves tools.

Improvised Weapons
"If you attack with something that wasn’t built to be a weapon, such as a chair or a vase, you’re making an attack with an improvised weapon.": So you can use Thieves tools, or most any object, as improvised weapons.

"Improvised weapons are simple weapons.": This means you can cast Magic Weapon on almost any object.


graystone wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Invalid target is for things like casting Magic Weapon on Thieves tools.

This isn't true: there is no issue with casting Magic Weapon on Thieves tools.

Improvised Weapons
"If you attack with something that wasn’t built to be a weapon, such as a chair or a vase, you’re making an attack with an improvised weapon.": So you can use Thieves tools, or most any object, as improvised weapons.

"Improvised weapons are simple weapons.": This means you can cast Magic Weapon on almost any object.

It isn't entirely true - I'll grant you that. You still couldn't apply the +1 item bonus from Magic Weapon on open lock checks. But it wouldn't cause the spell to fail. You could then try to stab someone with your +1 striking improvised weapons.

Casting it on your Eidolon on the other hand...

But still, that is beside the point. Nothing in the Invalid Target rule forbids using Mage Armor with Striking Spell and applying it to an ally that I hit with the weapon. My Monk ally is not an Invalid Target for Mage Armor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

mage armor doesn't have a target. it doesn't say target. there is no requirement in the rules for a spell to have a target. if you can randomly and arbitrarily add the word target to it, why can't i add a minus sign to the armor bonus?.


Mage Armour doesn't have a listed Target. It applies to self, but doesn't Target self (like most self affecting spells). It is not a valid spell for Striking Spell which requires a spell that has a Target of one creature or object

If a spell has a Target, it's listed in the foresection of the spell. There is nothing ambiguous about it.

For example:

MAGIC MISSILE SPELL 1
EVOCATION FORCE
Traditions arcane, occult
Cast [one-action] to [three-actions] (somatic, verbal)
Range 120 feet; Targets 1 creature

as opposed to

MAGE ARMOR SPELL 1
ABJURATION
Traditions arcane, occult
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Duration until the next time you make your daily preparations
Big empty space where Target would be if it was targeted

or

LIGHTNING BOLT SPELL 3
ELECTRICITY EVOCATION
Traditions arcane, primal
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Area 120-foot line
Saving Throw basic Reflex
Big empty space where the Target would be if it didn't just affect an area

Edited for spelling :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Affect :-)

Affect is the verb, i.e. "i affect an effect".

I will shut up now.


If a spell actually doesn't target anything, then doesn't it also not affect anything?

Since the spell affects yourself, then it must be targeting yourself. Even if there is a big blank space where the targeting line is.

Is there actually a printed rule somewhere that says that spells that affect yourself should not be considered to be targeting a creature (yourself)? That is what I am looking for. Somewhere that says:

needed rule wrote:
A spell that does not have a target line cannot be used for feats, abilities, or effects that require a spell with a target.

Similarly, could you use Lightning Bolt with Striking Spell? It also doesn't have a 'target: single creature' line. It is possible to affect only a single creature with the Lightning Bolt.

How about if you use Capture Spell when you get hit by a Lightning Bolt? If you succeed at the save, could you capture it?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:

If a spell actually doesn't target anything, then doesn't it also not affect anything?

Since the spell affects yourself, then it must be targeting yourself. Even if there is a big blank space where the targeting line is.

Is there actually a printed rule somewhere that says that spells that affect yourself should not be considered to be targeting a creature (yourself)? That is what I am looking for. Somewhere that says:

needed rule wrote:
A spell that does not have a target line cannot be used for feats, abilities, or effects that require a spell with a target.

Similarly, could you use Lightning Bolt with Striking Spell? It also doesn't have a 'target: single creature' line. It is possible to affect only a single creature with the Lightning Bolt.

How about if you use Capture Spell when you get hit by a Lightning Bolt? If you succeed at the save, could you capture it?

This is one of those cases where "target" is both a technical term and a plain language term and they get confusing. Unless someone has a FAQ/Clarification somewhere I can't find, we don't have any such advice for reading Target as a technical term. If they mean "Has a Target Line that contains One Creature/Object" then the number of spells you can Spell Strike is pretty limited. There's nothing in the actual rules that suggests an Area spell targets a Creature or an Object - the Target/Area rules only ever refers to "Affect" rather than "Target" with Areas. And even a plain language reading of "Target" can separate "Affect" and "Target" as categories.


Yeah. Which is why I started this discussion. The current wording is too ambiguous regarding how spells are qualified or disqualified from working with Striking Spell. As written, it looks like AoE spells don't qualify and I think they should. But some buffing spells do qualify - which you then apply to your allies by striking them. Which can do things like increasing the range of a touch spell to the range of your longbow.


breithauptclan wrote:

If a spell actually doesn't target anything, then doesn't it also not affect anything?

Since the spell affects yourself, then it must be targeting yourself. Even if there is a big blank space where the targeting line is.

Don't confuse target with effect. Spells only need to target something where there is an option of what it specifically could affect. Spells that affect self don't target; they don't need to. The effects can only affect the caster.

Quote:

Is there actually a printed rule somewhere that says that spells that affect yourself should not be considered to be targeting a creature (yourself)? That is what I am looking for. Somewhere that says:

needed rule wrote:
A spell that does not have a target line cannot be used for feats, abilities, or effects that require a spell with a target.

Because Target defines individual, restricted targets that the spell could have an effect on (a creature, a willing creature, an undead creature, an object, a purple people eater, x number of creatures, etc), it doesn't need a specific ruling stating what it is not, and a spell without a target can still trigger a wide range of things (Bespell Weapon is one of the most relevant to these discussions).

Quote:

Similarly, could you use Lightning Bolt with Striking Spell? It also doesn't have a 'target: single creature' line. It is possible to affect only a single creature with the Lightning Bolt.

Area spells, like Lightning Bolt, don't target creatures mechanically. You say you throw the Lightning Bolt at the BBEG, but what you're mechanically doing is placing the area of the bolt so the BBEG is in the area of effect. The BBEG takes the effects because it is in the area of effect of the spell, not because you threw the Lightning Bolt at it. For the purpose of the spell, it doesn't care if there is one, fifteen, or no creatures or targets in its area, it just effects the area and everything in it regardless.

Quote:
How about if you use Capture Spell when you get hit by a Lightning Bolt? If you succeed at the save, could you capture it?

Because it's an Area spell, not a Targeted one, you would get your +1 to the save for it from Spell Parry, but wouldn't be able to capture it as it's not a valid spell for Spell Strike

Thinking about the interaction of self affecting spells, they wouldn't be deliverable by strike anyway. Their effects always apply to self. So, following this, you manage to store them in your sword, you hit someone with it. The recipient of that strike doesn't get the effect; they would not be considered the origin or caster of the spell. You, or your sword, get the effect of the spell, as the point of origin, the caster in this case.


Asethe wrote:

Thinking about the interaction of self affecting spells, they wouldn't be deliverable by strike anyway. Their effects always apply to self. So, following this, you manage to store them in your sword, you hit someone with it. The recipient of that strike doesn't get the effect; they would not be considered the origin or caster of the spell. You, or your sword, get the effect of the spell, as the point of origin, the caster in this case.

Actually, you wouldn't even get the effect yourself, per this line from Striking Spell...

Striking Spell wrote:

If you hit with a melee Strike using the receptacle for the spell, the spell is discharged, affecting only the target you hit.


breithauptclan wrote:

If a spell actually doesn't target anything, then doesn't it also not affect anything?

Since the spell affects yourself, then it must be targeting yourself. Even if there is a big blank space where the targeting line is.

I don't understand the logic here. A hurricane affects things. Is it meaningful to say it has a target?

This aside, within the framework of the rules, there is no requirement for certain spells to have targets, and you don't need to invent one. Why would you do that? Why do you feel it's unclear?


Moppy wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

If a spell actually doesn't target anything, then doesn't it also not affect anything?

Since the spell affects yourself, then it must be targeting yourself. Even if there is a big blank space where the targeting line is.

I don't understand the logic here. A hurricane affects things. Is it meaningful to say it has a target?

This aside, within the framework of the rules, there is no requirement for certain spells to have targets, and you don't need to invent one. Why would you do that? Why do you feel it's unclear?

A hurricane - described as a spell - targets an area.

The reason it is important is because the core Magus ability allows or disallows spells to be used with it based on the targeting rules of the spell.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
breithauptclan wrote:
Moppy wrote:


I don't understand the logic here. A hurricane affects things. Is it meaningful to say it has a target?

This aside, within the framework of the rules, there is no requirement for certain spells to have targets, and you don't need to invent one. Why would you do that? Why do you feel it's unclear?

A hurricane - described as a spell - targets an area.

The reason it is important is because the core Magus ability allows or disallows spells to be used with it based on the targeting rules of the spell.

This is wrong for 2 reasons:

1) They aren't the same thing.

2) Area spells don't require a target as defined in the rules. They are separate things. "Spells that affect multiple creatures in an area can have both an Area entry and a Targets entry. A spell that has an area but no targets listed usually affects all creatures in the area indiscriminately." - CRB 304.

What you are not doing is differentiating between "target" in regular english, and "target" as defined in PF2 rules. They are not the same thing.

In regular english, an effect may or may not have a target depending on your point of view. In the game rules, it is actually well defined that (some effects) do not have a target.


That is probably as good of an argument against using personal buff spells with Striking Spell as we are going to get with the current playtest rules.

But now we know how much the rules can be abused - how far they can be twisted and tortured to do more than they were supposed to. Thanks for playing, everyone.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Secrets of Magic Playtest / General Discussion / Self target spell shenanigans All Messageboards
Recent threads in General Discussion