Does the target know how to end Qualm (and similar spells)?


Rules Questions


Some spells give a condition under which the target can end the spell, such as Qualm.

Qualm wrote:
The creature takes a –10 penalty on its ability checks, skill checks, and concentration checks, until the duration ends, or until it spends its entire turn doing absolutely nothing (it spends a full-round action gaining focus). Spending an entire turn doing nothing discharges the spell.

Does the target automatically know they can do that, or would they need to make a Spellcraft check or something?


Presumably, the spell puts them off kilter enough that they are are of the effects of the spell. They probably wouldn't know so much that it takes a full round, but that they can refocus from whatever threw them off.


In general, if a spell requires a creature to do something to mitigate it, the creature should know generally what that is unless the spell puts some requirement on that knowledge. E.g. ill omen's text: "A target who can speak and has at least one free hand and who is aware of the spell and its effects (such as from a Spellcraft check to identify the spell as it is cast) can negate one reroll by spending a move action to utter a brief prayer or good luck charm to appease the spirits of ill fortune."


Ultimate Intrigue talks about this topic

Influence & Magic - Enchantment, UltIntrg here note that targets of an enchantment may not be aware that they are under a spell effect while others get a relatively easy SnsMotv check to notice their behavior is odd. Note that Spellcraft is still needed to identify the spell (normal methods).
Enchantment & Dominate, UltIntrg echos the above.
Subtle Enchantments feat, UltIntrg where targets may not even know they made a save.

Pretty much everyone knows spellcasting is going on due to Spellcasting Manifestations.
The target doesn't know the conditions of the spell unless they act as the caster(Potions), make the Spellcraft check, or the spell description notes that they do know. It is likely that >someone< in the target's Party would make a Spellcraft check as a free action and inform the target of the condition & curative.
When the spell duration ends targets generally know they were magically influenced unless the spell specifically says they don't. Sometimes the the caster has options/conditions in the spell itself. Casters can take precautions with another spell like Hypnotism but usually don't care.

with casting Qualm people nearby notice spellcasting manifestations, the target makes a saves which they notice, and after failing that save the effects begin. Notice that the spell almost forces the cure. So with all that doubt why not withdraw to a safe place and contemplate?

I'll add that there are many preventatives and options available to buff a creature's save or avoid the effect.


I was considering it as a spell to take, and was trying to figure out if it'd be worth it. Thanks for the input, folks.

I'll probably skip it. I'm having bad luck with Hideous Laughter, so 'save for no effect' spells aren't high on my list right now.

Scarab Sages

Azothath wrote:

Ultimate Intrigue talks about this topic

Influence & Magic - Enchantment, UltIntrg here note that targets of an enchantment may not be aware that they are under a spell effect while others get a relatively easy SnsMotv check to notice their behavior is odd. Note that Spellcraft is still needed to identify the spell (normal methods).
Enchantment & Dominate, UltIntrg echos the above.
Subtle Enchantments feat, UltIntrg where targets may not even know they made a save.

Pretty much everyone knows spellcasting is going on due to Spellcasting Manifestations.
The target doesn't know the conditions of the spell unless they act as the caster(Potions), make the Spellcraft check, or the spell description notes that they do know. It is likely that >someone< in the target's Party would make a Spellcraft check as a free action and inform the target of the condition & curative.
When the spell duration ends targets generally know they were magically influenced unless the spell specifically says they don't. Sometimes the the caster has options/conditions in the spell itself. Casters can take precautions with another spell like Hypnotism but usually don't care.

with casting Qualm people nearby notice spellcasting manifestations, the target makes a saves which they notice, and after failing that save the effects begin. Notice that the spell almost forces the cure. So with all that doubt why not withdraw to a safe place and contemplate?

I'll add that there are many preventatives and options available to buff a creature's save or avoid the effect.

I HATE spellcasting manfestations it ruins plot hooks, ruins subtle magic and moves you into a very specific style of play. I know they're not all "massive glowing circle in the air" of marvel magic but if you make me play in a game with manifestations I'll insist on not taking detect magic and similar spells because "I can detect it ANYWAY as can any Tom, Dick or Harry with no magical ability".

Liberty's Edge

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Senko wrote:


I HATE spellcasting manfestations it ruins plot hooks, ruins subtle magic and moves you into a very specific style of play. I know they're not all "massive glowing circle in the air" of marvel magic but if you make me play in a game with manifestations I'll insist on not taking detect magic and similar spells because "I can detect it ANYWAY as can any Tom, Dick or Harry with no magical ability".

I.e., you will see when it is cast. Stop.

Detect magic and similar spells detect spells that have already been cast and are active and magical items.

And your argument about magical manifestations works both ways. Removing magical manifestations moves to a very specific style of play, where magic and spellcasters rule everything.


They really don't (with the exception of psychic magic which is b!!@@%!* in it's own right), as you have to prepare or spontaneously cast virtually every spell with silent+still in order to remove said obviousness when staring at someone casting. In a party where you have fighterman in the front, and random guy in a dress in the back just staring you down, especially in a world as superstitious as Golarion, people would catch on real quick that the guy in the back seemingly doing nothing but still here in the middle of an obvious fight is still the caster and focus them.

The intrigue rules were literally introduced for one AP (War for the Crown), and not only do their break their own rules in several places with magic in that AP, but literally every AP before that had a "enemy casts charm to protect themselves in the middle of fight" schtick, despite the casting of said spell immediately invalidating the conditions of charm, and also needing to cast charm within line of sight.

On top of that, any of the actual "magic is OP" spells all have their own built in obvious manifestations before the advent of the rule. Compulsions and Charms can be sense motived, damaging spells universally are clear something happened, most buffing spells create an actual difference in effect (barkskin making your skin actually toughening your skin, bull's strength literally making you buffer, haste making you move quicker, etc.), and as you said, any spell that has a significant duration is essentially unchanged as long as you don't see it get cast in the first place, so how does someone investing in 2 feats, raising their spell slot cost by +2, and then possibly still taking a FRA to cast a spell so its not obviously they're the one who cast it, make spell casters any more king?

Scarab Sages

AwesomenessDog wrote:

They really don't (with the exception of psychic magic which is b*$+~++& in it's own right), as you have to prepare or spontaneously cast virtually every spell with silent+still in order to remove said obviousness when staring at someone casting. In a party where you have fighterman in the front, and random guy in a dress in the back just staring you down, especially in a world as superstitious as Golarion, people would catch on real quick that the guy in the back seemingly doing nothing but still here in the middle of an obvious fight is still the caster and focus them.

The intrigue rules were literally introduced for one AP (War for the Crown), and not only do their break their own rules in several places with magic in that AP, but literally every AP before that had a "enemy casts charm to protect themselves in the middle of fight" schtick, despite the casting of said spell immediately invalidating the conditions of charm, and also needing to cast charm within line of sight.

On top of that, any of the actual "magic is OP" spells all have their own built in obvious manifestations before the advent of the rule. Compulsions and Charms can be sense motived, damaging spells universally are clear something happened, most buffing spells create an actual difference in effect (barkskin making your skin actually toughening your skin, bull's strength literally making you buffer, haste making you move quicker, etc.), and as you said, any spell that has a significant duration is essentially unchanged as long as you don't see it get cast in the first place, so how does someone investing in 2 feats, raising their spell slot cost by +2, and then possibly still taking a FRA to cast a spell so its not obviously they're the one who cast it, make spell casters any more king?

3 feats potentially to avoid dipping into a spell component pouch and grabbing some material stuff. Even with that aside as you said to not be dealing with V,S components you need to invest 2 of your limited feats (Even leaving aside general ones you may want there's no a ridiculous amount of metamagic and item creation feats) to not be obviously casting. especially when the feats introduced for this concept are hard to get or largely useless. Speaking personally I've never felt any urge to spend my limited resources as a mage on "running roughshod over social encounters", I leave dealing with people to the social classes who invest in that sort of thing as part of their class build.

I find it a lot easier to come up with reasons mages haven't taken over than I do to explain the mess manifestations make of the rules. I'm not going to say any more as it'd derail this thread, I mainly only responded because not everyone uses them, I for instance will never run a game that has them in and don't want to play in one that does.

On topic personally I'd say no they don't know how to end them the same way a mage doesn't know automatically when their spells expire e.g. a 8 hour mage armour needs some kind of timer or best guess there's no "You have 5 minutes remaining" alert.


Ultimate Intrigue came out 2 years before War for the Crown, I'm not so sure it was meant to be a "tie-in".


the Rules forum is for explaining the rules not extended grousing about well known limitations or game balance controls (unless the thread is about that).

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