How the heck do spellhearts work?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Has anyone figured these things out?


Like a talisman that's permanent and does exactly what it says in the item description?


Guntermench wrote:
Like a talisman that's permanent and does exactly what it says in the item description?

I assume it's a free action then upon activation. Seems busted. Being able to cast 2 spells at once.


aobst128 wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Like a talisman that's permanent and does exactly what it says in the item description?
I assume it's a free action then upon activation. Seems busted. Being able to cast 2 spells at once.

That's not what they do, the activation is the cast a spell activity with the spell being cast being the spell that the spellheart casts. The benefit you get is being able to cast the spell from an item and the carry on effect triggered by using it to cast a spell.


aobst128 wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Like a talisman that's permanent and does exactly what it says in the item description?
I assume it's a free action then upon activation. Seems busted. Being able to cast 2 spells at once.

How can you cast 2 spells at once? The cast a spell action typically takes 2 actions.


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It's not a free action. When an Item has 'Cast a Spell' as its Activate entry, it inherits the normal action cost and traits of the spell you're casting.

If this weren't the case then scrolls, staves, and wands would all be free actions too, and that's pretty clearly wrong.


If it helps, you can think of them as multiple use wands that you can use while holding a two-handed weapon.


Ruzza wrote:
If it helps, you can think of them as multiple use wands that you can use while holding a two-handed weapon.

That makes a lot more sense. Thanks. Like a wand in talisman form. I was just confused as to the trigger and activation entries.


Wands (and staves) require to either use TMA or to have the spell on your spell list. I don't thin spellhearts require that.

They don't specifically state it, unlike wands, and the slotted spells use a fixed DC so I think everyone can use them.


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roquepo wrote:

Wands (and staves) require to either use TMA or to have the spell on your spell list. I don't thin spellhearts require that.

They don't specifically state it, unlike wands, and the slotted spells use a fixed DC so I think everyone can use them.

Not everyone; the user needs to know the Cast a Spell activity (which is really easy to acquire, but not automatic).

--

Spellhearts give you a spell (sometimes several), with the number of uses outlined and at what DCs or attack roll. The exception is the Cantrips which use yours if higher and are unlimited.

The user casts that spell with the Cast a Spell activity (which they can only do if they know it, but with no list or tradition requirements).

The user then gets an additional benefit as outlined for the item and where it was placed.

---
So easy to accumulate lots of Cantrips now!


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ruzza wrote:
If it helps, you can think of them as multiple use wands that you can use while holding a two-handed weapon.

Can't you cast spells while holding a two-handed weapon anyways?

Rules for Somatic components, Core Rulebook, page 303 wrote:

A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely.

Spells that require you to touch the target require a somatic component. You can do so while holding something as long as part of your hand is able to touch the target (even if it’s through a glove or gauntlet).

The only spells that really require a free hand are those with material components, and literally every class grants a way around having to deal with material components.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
If it helps, you can think of them as multiple use wands that you can use while holding a two-handed weapon.

Can't you cast spells while holding a two-handed weapon anyways?

Rules for Somatic components, Core Rulebook, page 303 wrote:

A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely.

Spells that require you to touch the target require a somatic component. You can do so while holding something as long as part of your hand is able to touch the target (even if it’s through a glove or gauntlet).

You can't hold a wand and swing a Greatsword at the same time. The comment was about wands not casting spells in general.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Guntermench wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
If it helps, you can think of them as multiple use wands that you can use while holding a two-handed weapon.

Can't you cast spells while holding a two-handed weapon anyways?

Rules for Somatic components, Core Rulebook, page 303 wrote:

A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely.

Spells that require you to touch the target require a somatic component. You can do so while holding something as long as part of your hand is able to touch the target (even if it’s through a glove or gauntlet).

You can't hold a wand and swing a Greatsword at the same time. The comment was about wands not casting spells in general.

Ah, my mistake. Misread the post I guess.


It is, they said to think of them (spellhearts) like wands you can use with your hands occupied.

It's a fair comparison.


What's impressive is that you could potentially tape all 5 kinds to yourself. Say a Sparkling Targe magus, your shield spike, your weapon, 2 gauntlets and your armor could each have one.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
What's impressive is that you could potentially tape all 5 kinds to yourself. Say a Sparkling Targe magus, your shield spike, your weapon, 2 gauntlets and your armor could each have one.

Clearly, they were intended to boost magi, summoners, and other bounded spellcasters.


My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?
I think yes, as it's a Cast a Spell action, but for say, the Flaming Star, would the damage boost apply to the spellstrike's attack or the next Strike afterwards?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Do the higher level spellhearts get the lower spells or at least the base cantrip?

Liberty's Edge

Gyro89 wrote:

My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?

I think yes, as it's a Cast a Spell action, but for say, the Flaming Star, would the damage boost apply to the spellstrike's attack or the next Strike afterwards?

Nope. Does not work :

"If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item."

"Metamagic: You typically can't use metamagic with Spellstrike because metamagic requires the next action you take to be Cast a Spell, and Spellstrike is a combined activity that doesn't qualify."


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
Gyro89 wrote:

My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?

I think yes, as it's a Cast a Spell action, but for say, the Flaming Star, would the damage boost apply to the spellstrike's attack or the next Strike afterwards?

Nope. Does not work :

"If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item."

"Metamagic: You typically can't use metamagic with Spellstrike because metamagic requires the next action you take to be Cast a Spell, and Spellstrike is a combined activity that doesn't qualify."

Can you please provide a link or page source for that, The Raven Black?


The Raven Black wrote:
Gyro89 wrote:

My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?

I think yes, as it's a Cast a Spell action, but for say, the Flaming Star, would the damage boost apply to the spellstrike's attack or the next Strike afterwards?

Nope. Does not work :

"If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item."

"Metamagic: You typically can't use metamagic with Spellstrike because metamagic requires the next action you take to be Cast a Spell, and Spellstrike is a combined activity that doesn't qualify."

It's not an activity or metamagic but a passive so it'd work on the second attack as it works "until the end of your next turn".

As to the "can you use them with spellstrike", it sure can: the Cast a Spell for a spell of your character is the same Cast a Spell for the item as far as spellstrike is concerned. "You Cast a Spell that takes 1 or 2 actions to cast and requires a spell attack roll."


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PawnJJ wrote:
Do the higher level spellhearts get the lower spells or at least the base cantrip?

It isn't quite clear. The description says that "For example, a major five-feather wreath requires air walk, gale blast, and wall of wind.". So you would at the very least get the cantrip plus whatever your level of item says. But spellhearts don't have the passage about how higher level types get the everything the lower ones get like staves.

The simplest and most logical solution would be to say that you just get everything the previous versions get. Plus the changes to the weapon/armor of that specific type ofc (that part is clear).

Gyro89 wrote:

My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?

The Raven Black wrote:

Nope. Does not work :

"If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item."

"Metamagic: You typically can't use metamagic with Spellstrike because metamagic requires the next action you take to be Cast a Spell, and Spellstrike is a combined activity that doesn't qualify."

Activating an item is not metamagic. Metamagic doesn't work because you next action isn't Cast a Spell, but Spellstrike.

Activate an Item is really weird, because it isn't 100% clear whether it is actually a separate activity or you are just doing the action/activity listed as the activation.
It technically says it is a separate activity ("This is a special activity that takes a variable number of actions" CRB p.532). Then that gets turned around as you are clearly intended to be able to Spellstrike with Staves ("You can Cast Spells from the staff as part of a Spellstrike even when the staff is in weapon form." - Fused Staff, p.46), meaning Cast a Spell as the component for Activating an Item satisfies the requirements for Spellstrike. A bit weird, but seems to be the intention.

Using spellhearts is the same as using a staff, so if one works, so does the other.


And about the bonus damage from, say, flaming star applying to the Strike part of Spellstrike:

Quote:
"After you cast a fire spell by Activating the star, your Strikes with the weapon deal an additional 1d4 fire damage until the end of your next turn."

and

Quote:
"You Cast a Spell that takes 1 or 2 actions to cast and requires a spell attack roll. The effects of the spell don’t occur immediately but are imbued into your attack instead. Make a melee Strike with a weapon or unarmed attack."

are the relevant parts to this. The effect of Activating the Item are not tied to the spell taking effect, just to using the Cast a Spell/Activate an Item activity, so the highlighted part doesn't affect it.

I see no reason why the bonus damage shouldn't apply immediately to the Strike.


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PawnJJ wrote:
Do the higher level spellhearts get the lower spells or at least the base cantrip?

The formatting informs which is the case.

Take the grim sandglass as an example. The cantrip is listed above the separator and thus applies to all of the below levels just like the rest of the general text does, but 2nd-level harm or heal of the greater version is not also picked up by the major version because there is no text like there is for staves which says you gain the lesser level benefits - and the major version explicitly has a 4th-level harm or heal listed instead of saying "the harm or heal is increased to 4th-level" or something along those lines (like how resistance, damage, and DC are worded because they change already established information instead of creating an independent thing).


Ravingdork wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Gyro89 wrote:

My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?

I think yes, as it's a Cast a Spell action, but for say, the Flaming Star, would the damage boost apply to the spellstrike's attack or the next Strike afterwards?

Nope. Does not work :

"If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item."

"Metamagic: You typically can't use metamagic with Spellstrike because metamagic requires the next action you take to be Cast a Spell, and Spellstrike is a combined activity that doesn't qualify."

Can you please provide a link or page source for that, The Raven Black?

Spellstrike Specifics: Metamagic.


thenobledrake wrote:
PawnJJ wrote:
Do the higher level spellhearts get the lower spells or at least the base cantrip?

The formatting informs which is the case.

Take the grim sandglass as an example. The cantrip is listed above the separator and thus applies to all of the below levels just like the rest of the general text does, but 2nd-level harm or heal of the greater version is not also picked up by the major version because there is no text like there is for staves which says you gain the lesser level benefits - and the major version explicitly has a 4th-level harm or heal listed instead of saying "the harm or heal is increased to 4th-level" or something along those lines (like how resistance, damage, and DC are worded because they change already established information instead of creating an independent thing).

That was my line of thinking at first, but technically that first entry is still the base version, so I'm not 100% on that, since - unlike other items - the spell part never states if it is completely new or just a modification.

Sadly, the "multiple types" section that should deal with this is rather unhelpful, so both interpretations are possible:

Quote:
If multiple types of an item exist, the title line gives the minimum level followed by a plus symbol (“+”). The description includes information on the base version of the item, and the Type entries at the bottom of the stat block lists the specifics for each version, including the level, Price, and any modified or added abilities of the different types. For some items, the types listed are upgrades to the base item. For other items, such as aeon stones and wondrous figurines, each type is distinct from the others.


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Karmagator wrote:
The description includes information on the base version of the item, and the Type entries at the bottom of the stat block lists the specifics for each version, including the level, Price, and any modified or added abilities of the different types. For some items, the types listed are upgrades to the base item. For other items, such as aeon stones and wondrous figurines, each type is distinct from the others.

This is the section of rules text that says exactly what I was saying, and the bold portion is how I know I'm correct that anything which is a modification would be worded as a modification.

Then the last two sentences that tell us some items upgrade and some do not provide us examples so we can see the formatting and the specific inclusion of text like "such a staff always contains the spells of all lower-level versions, in addition to the spells listed in its own entry." from staves which is definitely not present in the spellheart section.

It's a case of not saying "this happens" being functionally identical to saying "this does not happen", but using less word count.

Liberty's Edge

breithauptclan wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Gyro89 wrote:

My bigger question is "can you use them with spellstrike"?

I think yes, as it's a Cast a Spell action, but for say, the Flaming Star, would the damage boost apply to the spellstrike's attack or the next Strike afterwards?

Nope. Does not work :

"If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item."

"Metamagic: You typically can't use metamagic with Spellstrike because metamagic requires the next action you take to be Cast a Spell, and Spellstrike is a combined activity that doesn't qualify."

Can you please provide a link or page source for that, The Raven Black?
Spellstrike Specifics: Metamagic.

Yes. And the first part comes from Activate an item on AoN2 which refers to Core Rulebook pg. 532.

Sorry, hard to link on my phone.


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Spellhearts: check.
Next up: Spellkidneys.


thenobledrake wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
The description includes information on the base version of the item, and the Type entries at the bottom of the stat block lists the specifics for each version, including the level, Price, and any modified or added abilities of the different types. For some items, the types listed are upgrades to the base item. For other items, such as aeon stones and wondrous figurines, each type is distinct from the others.

This is the section of rules text that says exactly what I was saying, and the bold portion is how I know I'm correct that anything which is a modification would be worded as a modification.

Then the last two sentences that tell us some items upgrade and some do not provide us examples so we can see the formatting and the specific inclusion of text like "such a staff always contains the spells of all lower-level versions, in addition to the spells listed in its own entry." from staves which is definitely not present in the spellheart section.

It's a case of not saying "this happens" being functionally identical to saying "this does not happen", but using less word count.

Mh, your version certainly makes the most amount of sense out of all of them, especially since it doesn't require any changes to the text. So I'm probably way overthinking this.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:

Spellhearts: check.

Next up: Spellkidneys.

Clippy: It looks like you're trying to build a spellgolem. Would you like help?


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Okay, now you've got me jonesing for grafters and implants. Do I want a monk who has his bones turned into a magical object? Yes. Yeas, I do.

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